Antarctica is home to an unknown number of nations. Zero, to be exact. Antarctica is devoid of nations. Antarctica, on the other hand, is claimed by seven separate nations.
The following countries claim Antarctica:
New Zealand (Ross Dependency), Norway (Peter I Island & Queen Maud Land), Australia (Antarctic Territory of Australia), Chile (Antarctic Territory of Chile), and Argentina all have Antarctica territorial claims (Argentine Antarctica).
Each of the four countries mentioned (the United States, Peru, Russia, and South Africa) has retained the right to claim land in the future. For the time being, Brazil has a Zone of Interest, not a claim.
Antarctica is the world’s southernmost continent. There are 14.2 million square kilometers of Antarctica’s entire surface area (5.5 million square miles).
While there is no permanent resident population, it regularly welcomes between 1,000 and 5,000 scientists on short-term missions to the area each year.
The Geographic South Pole, the Geomagnetic South Pole, the Magnetic South Pole, and the South Pole of Rotation are all located in Antarctica. Antarctica is the world’s biggest desert, a fact that few people are aware of.
Cold and arid conditions make it impossible to live in or occupy Antarctica. Temperatures along the shore vary from -30°C to -10°C in the winter to 32°F (0°C) in the summer.
Winters are very cold, with lows of -76°F (-60°C) and highs of -4°F (-20°C) in the core of the continent. Due to the hard environment and circumstances, Antarctica was never inhabited.
Hence the region remained open and generally free of territorial conflicts. Even though France claimed a section of the continent in 1840, other countries, including the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Chile, Argentina, and Germany, didn’t make their claims until the early to mid-1900s.
The 1959 Antarctica Treaty was signed by 12 countries: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. As of 2021, 54 countries have signed the pact, which came into force in 1961.
By the Antarctica Treaty, the continent was designated a non-military zone for peaceful scientific research. Included in the treaty’s regulations are:
- Training, weapons testing, or any other military activity is prohibited (though the military can participate in peaceful research)
- There will be no nuclear war.
- Commercial exploitation will not be allowed.
- There are no more territorial claims to be made or reserved.
- We are committed to environmental stewardship.
- Research in the scientific field will continue, and its goals and outcomes will be made public.
Natural resources such as oil and 70 percent of the Earth’s freshwater are considered plentiful in Antarctica, but human use is prohibited under the Antarctic Treaty.
Also See: Countries in Americas 2022
Antarctica will be preserved in its current form as a scientific and natural preserve. This has led scientists and politicians to demand stricter environmental safeguards for Antarctica as a symbol of the repercussions of climate change.
|Country||Territory||Year Est.||Area km²|
|United Kingdom||British Antarctic Territory||1908||1709400|
|New Zealand||Ross Dependency||1923||450000|
|Norway||Peter I Island||1931||154|
|Australia||Australian Antarctic Territory||1933||5896500|
|Chile||Chilean Antarctic Territory||1940||1250257.6000|