Antarctica is pretty much a forbidden zone. The first Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve countries whose scientists had been active in and around Antarctica. 53 Nations have now entered the treaty. Updated November 5th 2016, the treaty now bans Private ships.
Antarctica is the most harsh place on Earth.
Compared to the Arctic
Antarctic South: Has No terrestrial mammals. No plants, trees, or any vegetation whatsoever. Only Penguins populate the low shores.
Arctic North: The animals include the reindeer, polar bear, Arctic fox, narwhal, walrus, seal, ox, moose, orca, and snowy owl. The Alaskan malamute is a powerful sled dog from Alaska. This small, white fox lives farther north than any other land animal. This white hare lives in the Arctic and has huge hindfeet. Approximately 1,700 species of plants live on the Arctic tundra, including flowering plants, dwarf shrubs, herbs, grasses, mosses, and lichens. The tundra is characterized by permafrost, a layer of soil and partially decomposed organic matter that is frozen year-round.
1768-1779 James Cook, circumnavigated the globe at an extreme southern latitude, becoming one of the first to cross the Antarctic Circle (17 January 1773). In the Antarctic fog, Resolution and Adventure became separated. Furneaux made his way to New Zealand, where he lost some of his men during an encounter with Māori, and eventually sailed back to Britain, while Cook continued to explore the Antarctic, reaching 71°10’S on 31 January 1774.
1841 James Clark Ross, led an Antarctic expedition (1839-43), commanding the “Erebus” while his friend Francis Crozier commanded the “Terror.” [These two ships were lost years later when Franklin’s Arctic expedition failed.] Ross charted much of the coastline and in 1841 discovered the Ross Sea, the Victoria Land area of Antarctica, Mount Erebus (a 12,400-foot tall volcano on Antarctica), and Mount Terror (a smaller, nearby, extinct volcano). Ross also discovered the Victoria Barrier, which was later renamed the Ross Ice Shelf. Ross wrote his memoirs, “A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions” (1847).
1926 Richard Byrd, (the navigator) and Floyd Bennett (the pilot) made what may have been the first airplane trip over the North Pole, in a 15 1/2 hour flight; they flew from King’s Bay, Spitsbergen, Norway, to the North Pole and back again. There is a dispute as to whether or not they actually reached the pole. He also made four Antarctic land expeditions:
During the 1928-30 expedition, the base called Little America was built on the Ross Ice Shelf; the nearby Marie Byrd Land was named for Byrd’s wife, and on Nov. 29, 1929, Byrd (as navigator) and three others made a 19-hour flight over the South Pole.
During the 1933-35 mapping, land-claiming, and scientific expedition, Byrd spent five months isolated at a weather station hut (called Bolling Advance Base) and was rescued after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning.
During the 1939-41 US government expedition (called the US Antarctic Service Expedition), Byrd discovered Thurston Island.
During the huge 1946-47 US government expedition (called Operation Highjump), ship-based and land-based aircraft mapped 537,000 square miles (1,390,000 square km) along the Antarctic coast.
Byrd was also involved with two later Antarctic expeditions. Byrd wrote about his adventures in his books: Skyward (1928), Little America (1930), and Alone (1938).
What Admiral Byrd said about Antarctica
TV interview 1954 Q&A
Q- Is there any unexplored land on this Earth, that might appeal to adventurous young Americans?
A- Yes, there is. Not at the North pole…… But strangely enough, there is left in the world today an area as big as the United States, that’s never been seen by human beings, and that’s beyond the pole, on the other side of the South pole, from middle America. And I think it’s quite astonishing …..
Circumnavigating South North
No one can attest as to what is beyond the Ice after a couple hundred of miles. Byrd excepted. No private party has come alive to tell the tale. The 53 countries stationed ‘around’ Antarctica are closely monitoring any intrusion. It is possible to visit Antarctica, but only accompanied of members of the monitoring parties, North Korean style.
Could it be an ice barrier that contains the oceans?
When will they set up an Airport close to Pole, to facilitate air travel in the South?