Common Myths about Antarctica – The World’s Biggest Ice Desert


    What is Antarctica? Many think about ice, freezing temperatures, penguins, and bears. However, such a stereotypical vision is far from reality and has nothing to do with the world of wonders you may discover when traveling to Antarctica.

    Let’s look through the most common myths about Antarctica and see what it really offers.

    1.   White bears live in Antarctica

    No, they don’t. Due to a very popular advertisement campaign, bears and penguins even interact with each other, but in real life, these animals can hardly meet. White bears live in the Northern Hemisphere, which is quite opposite to Antarctica (the southernmost land in the world).

    However, penguins do live in Antarctica. Overall, there are 18 species of penguins worldwide, with 5 of them living in Antarctica, and the others in sub-Antarctic islands. The total number of penguins may be reaching 20 million. In winter times, their density on the island may reach 19 birds per square meter!

    2.   Antarctica is unreachable to ordinary people

    Antarctica is a faraway land, and getting there is quite burdensome (depending on the starting point), however, it is definitely possible for everyone willing to open a whole new world within our planet.

    There are two major ways of getting to Antarctica – by plane or by ship. The flights set off from Punta Arenas in Chile and head toward King George Island where you embark on the ship.

    The second option – more picturesque – by the Antarctica expedition cruise, from Ushuaia, Argentina. The voyage takes around 48 hours to reach the destination.

    You can choose either option, depending on your preferences.

    3.   The temperature is too low to stay outside

    Antarctica is cold, indeed, the lowest registered temperature was – 89.4 degrees Celcius. However, the travel season welcomes you with comfortable temperatures – 2 – 8 degrees Celsius, which is a much better deal. The tour operators will only invite you on the trips during the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, which occurs from November till March. During this time, the ice melts just enough to allow the cruise liners in.

    With good gear, you will not think about low temperatures, as you will be protected against all weather elements.

    4.   The trip is too expensive

    Traveling the world is never cheap, yet considering the benefits it brings to your life experience, it is worth every penny. The average cost of the Antarctica voyage is 10 000 $ per two weeks, which includes the activities, accommodation, and nutrition along the way. The cost can also be lower, depending on the itinerary you choose and the special sales. Besides, if you are good at early planning and booking, you can save money on the flights, which will lower your totals.

    5.   Antarctica is uninhabited

    Antarctica has no permanent citizens, yet there are people who live there throughout the year – the scientists. While ordinary people just need to come and go, enjoying the pristine beauty, and the difference of the place (compared to the rest of the world), the scientists can stay there for as long as they need, even during winter times. Since the place has no noise and light pollution, it is a perfect spot for doing research into environmental issues, weather changes, animal behavior, ice core, etc  – science never sleeps.

    6.   Antarctica and Artic are the same

    Unlike previous myths, this one is rather a lack of knowledge. Although sounding similar, they are complete opposites. The Arctic is the Northern Hemisphere, and Antarctica is the Southern. “Arctic” means “bear” in Greek, because of the constellation Ursa Major. “Antarctic” means “opposite the bear”. Besides, Antarctica is a separate continent, while the Arctic is a region with locations in several countries.

    7.   There is nothing to do in Antarctica

    This is one of the most pitiful myths, as there are plenty of things to do on the White Continent, you just need enough time to go through every experience.

    Those who prefer hasteless activities may opt for animal watching (millions of penguins!), a visit to the research station, overnight camping, and taking photographs. If your heart craves something more active and extreme, there is also quite a list of activities –  scuba diving, kayaking, going inside the volcano, snowshoeing, ice plunge, and even a marathon run! Antarctica isn’t just a distant and cold continent. It offers you the beauty you haven’t seen before, and an opportunity to really experience this world through a variety of options.

    If you have been looking for something new and life-changing, a cruise trip to Antarctica may be the chance you were waiting for. With all its freezing beauty, it will capture your heart and fill it with warmth to our fragile yet extraordinary planet. The sceneries and landscapes will carve deeply into your memories and make great stories for family dinners.