Antarctica is one of the wildest frontiers left on the face of our planet. Cold and foreboding, yet mysterious and alluring, this last and Southernmost continent is one of the most eerily beautiful and controversial of the landmasses as a whole. While no country holds any claim on Antarctica, the worldwide community does recognize the value of the continent. It is treated as a global wildlife and scientific reserve and over 48 countries have signed an accord that recognizes Antarctica as such. The largest known area uninhabited by humans, the "white desert" of the Antarctic receives about one thousand to five thousand people each year. Known as a desert for its lack of rain and precipitation, it nevertheless holds one of the greatest reserves of fresh water on the planet. Antarctica has a rich and adventure laden history.

Always a fabled continent, it was theorized well before the 1800s and the great age of sailing as the mirror of the Arctic Circle. Many fabled historic explorers such as James Cook, James Clark Ross, and Earnest Shackleton. Richard E. Byrd pioneered the modern use of equipment on the continent for travel, though he would be the last exploration leader for almost fifty years before interest in Antarctica once again held itself in the public mind. While it is hard to imagine anything thriving on this frigid part of the world, the outer edges of the continent holds a surprising variety of animal wildlife. Penguins and seals, including the iconic emperor penguin, make their homes in the Antarctic circle. While not as memorable, there are a few signs of vegetation in the Antarctic as well. Antarctic hair grass and Antarctic pearlwort are two notable flowering plants in the region, while the rest of the niches of vegetation are filled by various lichens, algae, and fungi. Presently, the Antarctic continent and region, along with it's northern counterpart, is the center of the controversy for global warming. The shrinking ice shelf is one of the main pieces of evidence for arguments for the theory, and many national governments are spending millions in man hours and money for this phenomenon. Antarctica is one of the last mysterious places in the world, and still holds many imaginations captive in its beauty and majesty.

List of all Antarctic countries (the continent Antarctica) in alphabetical order

1 Antarctica
2 Bouvet Island
3 French Southern Territories
4 Heard Island and McDonald Islands
5 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands