Antarctica is the worlds fifth largest continent. However it's climate is so harsh that is has only approximately 150 permanent residents. The population can be as high as 5,000 when scientific and mining operations are taken into account. Not only is it the worlds coldest location (lowest recorded temperatures of −89.2 °C or −128.6 °F) it is also technically a desert as average rainfall is only 200mm. The continent is governed and protected by an international Antarctic Treaty system which limits the exploitation of the area and preserves its wildlife. The continent sits symmetrically across the Southern Pole and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. The continent possess many rivers and lakes however the largest lake, Vostok, is hidden below a thick layer of ice. Over 95% of the continent is covered with a layer of ice at least 1.6km thick which constitutes 70% pf the worlds fresh water. Most of the life is aquatic however the land mass is home to several species of Penguins.
Highest Point: Mount Vinson (4,892 metres or 16,050 feet) Lowest Point: Bentley Subglacial Trench, which reaches 2,555 metres below sea level which is the worlds lowest point not covered by water. Area: 14,000,000 km2 (5,400,000 sq mi) Coastline: 17,968 km (11,165 miles) Residents 150