Antarctica

Dry Ice

Photo credit: Eli Duke

Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth. It’s also the driest. So dry, in fact, that it’s classified as a desert because so little moisture falls from the sky there—more rain falls in the Sahara desert. It has no trees or bushes, and the only plants that can live on the continent (the fifth largest) are algae, moss, lichen and a hardy plant called hair grass. It’s too cold for permanent human habitation (only scientists live there temporarily) and the only warm-blooded animal to call it home year-round is the male emperor penguin, nesting on the single egg laid by his mate.

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