19+ South Pole Facts You Might Know! (Free Printables)

The South Pole, known as the Terrestrial South Pole or the Geographic South Pole, is the southernmost point on Earth.

This area lies on the opposite side of the North Pole. It is situated at the intersection of the Earth’s surface with the axis of rotation, also called the Earth’s rotational axis.

The South Pole is located in Antarctica, the southernmost continent on the planet. It is situated at the center of the Southern Hemisphere. In this article, we will explore some amazing facts about the South Pole.

Facts About South Pole

The South Pole remained undiscovered until 1911

The South Pole was first discovered in 1911 by a Norwegian explorer named Roald Amundsen.

He led an expedition team to the South Pole on December 14, 1911. Before Amundsen, several other explorers attempted to reach the South Pole but were unsuccessful.

The South Pole is in Antarctica and the famous Amundsen-Scott South Pole station site. This station was established and permanently staffed in 1956.

Do You Know About the Time Zone at the South Pole?

The South Pole is in a time zone known as the South Pole/Antarctica Time. This time zone is mainly used by researchers and scientists who work at the South Pole’s research stations.

In most cases, the Geographic South Pole is the southern point where the Earth’s axis of rotation intersects its surface. However, the Earth’s axis of rotation is subject to minimal polar motion; hence, this definition does not work properly.

Where is the magnetic South Pole located?

It Has The Magnetic South Pole

If people are standing at the Magnetic South Pole, then everywhere is north for that person.

The South Pole is the geographic South Pole and the magnetic South Pole. Our Earth’s magnetic field converged at the South Pole, making it a vital location for studying its magnetic field.

Exploration History of the South Pole

Exploration History Of The South Pole

The exploration of the South Pole has a fascinating and long history. In 1820, a Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarvin made the first recorded sighting of Antarctica. 

In 1841, British explorer James Clark Ross discovered the Ross Sea and the Ross Ice Shelf near the South Pole.

Early Antarctic Explorations: Scott and Shackleton’s Adventures

South Pole Attempt Of Robert Falcon Scoot

1901-1904, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott first attempted to look for a route from the Antarctic coastline to the South Pole. On his Discovery Expedition, he was accompanied by Ernest Shackleton and Edward Wilson.

They set out to travel as far south as possible and reach 82 degrees 16 inches south. 

Shackleton returned to Antarctica as the leader of the Nimrod Expedition, thinking about reaching the Pole.

However, in 1909, he reached 88 degrees 23 inches South, almost 180 km from the Pole, before being forced to return.

Roald Amundsen reached the Geographic South Pole First

The first person who reached the Geographic South Pole was Roald Amundsen and his team on 14 December 1911. He named his camp Polheim. 

When Robert Falcon Scott returned to Antarctica with his Terra Nova Expedition, he was unaware of Amundsen’s expedition. 

Scott reached the South Pole on January 1912, and his four men died of extreme cold and starvation on his return trip.

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition:

South Pole Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition

In 1914, the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition started to cross Antarctica through the South Pole.

However, after 11 months, its ship, the Endurance, froze in the pack ice and sank. So, this overland journey was unsuccessful.

the achievements of Richard E. Byrd’s explorations

In 1928, American explorer Richard E. Byrd led an expedition to Antarctica, establishing a base at the South Pole. Byrd’s expedition also conducted scientific research and made important discoveries about Antarctica. 

US Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his first pilot, Bernt Balchen, were the first to fly over the South Pole on 29 November 1929.

Key expeditions that took place during the 1950s and 1960s?

During the 1950s and 1960s, there was a vital increase in exploration and scientific research in Antarctica.

Some countries established research stations in Antarctica, including the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.

It was not until 31st October 1956 that people again set foot at the South Pole. 

What is the purpose of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

The Amundsen Scott South Pole Station

1957, the International Geophysical Year, was declared, marking a significant period of scientific research and international cooperation in Antarctica. During this time period, several countries established a research station at the South Pole, including the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

After Amundsen and Scott, Vivian Fuchs and Edmund Hillary reached the South Pole overland during the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

Also, in 1969, the first group of women who reached the South Pole was Lois Jones, Jean Pearson, Pam Young, Kay Lindsay, and Terry Tickhill.

The South Pole is well-known for its harsh climate

The South Pole is one of the driest and coldest places on Earth, with an average temperature of minus 56.5 degrees Celsius or 69.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

This place’s coldest temperature was recorded as minus 82.8 degrees Celsius or 117 degrees Fahrenheit.

The South Pole is colder than the North Pole, mainly due to the elevation difference and location in the middle of a continent. The North Pole is just a few feet from sea level and in the middle of the ocean.

The South Pole is one of the most inaccessible places on Earth

The South Pole is situated in the middle of Antarctica, a very remote and difficult-to-reach location.

The South Pole can only be reached by air, and even then, only during specific times of the year when the weather is favorable.

Moreover, though the South Pole is located at an altitude of 2800 m or 9200 feet, it still feels like 3400 m or 11,000 feet. The Centrifugal force developed from the planet’s spin pulls the atmosphere towards the equator.

The South Pole has no sunlight during winter

South Pole Is No Sunlight During Winter

During the winter months, like from May to August, the South Pole receives no sunlight. Thus, it remains completely dark apart from the moonlight.

However, during the summer months, like from November to February, the Sun continuously remains above the horizon and appears to shift in a counter-clockwise circle.

However, much of the sunlight that can reach the surface is reflected by the white snow. This lack of warmth and the high altitude makes the South Pole one of the coldest places on Earth.

The South Pole is a politically neutral location

The South Pole is governed by the Antarctic Treaty System, which was signed in 1959 by 12 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and even the Soviet Union.

This Treaty established the South Pole as a scientific preserve and banned military activity and mineral exploration in the region.

Also, The South Pole has no indigenous population. The only people who live there are researchers and scientists who work at the research stations there.

Flora and fauna at the South Pole

Flora And Fauna At The South Pole

Due to its extreme and harsh weather conditions, there are no native resident animals or plants at the South Pole. However, you can see south polar skuas and snow petrels there occasionally.

However, some types of animals you can see in Antarctica are leopard seals, Chinstrap penguins, Adelie penguins, Elephant seals, Emperor penguins, Killer whales, and even the largest and loudest animal, the Blue whale.

The flora of Antarctica mainly includes freshwater algae, fungi, mosses, lichens, and just two species of vascular plants.

The South Pole has the largest ice sheets on Earth.

The South Pole is on top of the Antarctic ice sheet, the largest ice sheet on Earth.

In some places, the ice sheet is up to 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers thick and contains about 70% of the Earth’s fresh water.

The South Pole of the Earth has an ice cap climate

The South Pole is just like a desert, with very little precipitation. The air humidity is almost zero.

However, the winds are very high and can cause snowfall to blow. Also, the accumulation of snow amounts to almost 2.8 in or 7 cm per year.

The South Pole is home to the largest icebergs

South Pole It Is Home To The Largest Icebergs

In March 2000, the largest iceberg broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf of Antarctica. Known as B-15, it was almost 37 km wide and 270 km long. Hence, it is larger than several of the island states of the world.

After 18 years, it started drifting north into the Atlantic Ocean. However, it broke apart, and only four small icebergs remained.

The South Pole is home to the Aurora Australis or Southern Lights

South Pole It Is Home Of The Aurora Australis Or Southern Lights

The South Pole is among the best places to experience the stunning Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights.

Aurora Australis is a natural display of light in the Polar Regions. It is caused due to the interaction between several charged particles from the Sun and our Earth’s magnetic field.

Today the South Pole is a fascinating and unique location that amazes all of us with its inaccessibility, extreme weather conditions, mysterious display of lights, and political neutrality.

At the end of this article, we learned about 19 really amazing facts about this remarkable region of the world.

These facts give us a clear picture of this place’s interesting and fascinating features. To know more, you may visit our website.

South Pole Facts
Free South Pole Facts Printables

Our Free South Pole Facts Printables are perfect for engaging kids and sparking curiosity about this icy region. Learn about extreme temperatures, unique wildlife, and scientific research stations. With one click, you can download and print these educational resources.

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Free South Pole Facts Printables
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