Antarctica is a fascinating continent, for obvious reasons. But one aspect that a lot of people might have never thought about is how confusing a map of the continent is: every direction is north.
It really shows off the quirk of being a continent that straddles the South Pole.
Everywhere is north in Antarctica
Yes, you probably know that Antarctica is there at the bottom of our planet. But you probably never thought about what that meant direction-wise, on a map.
Especially on an Antarctica-centric map.
Here’s a humorous map we created to show a hypothetical—yet accurate—map of Antarctica with a compass.
The compass in the middle, centered on the South Pole, shows north in every direction and therefore does not really help anyone who needs to navigate this continent, which is not only the world’s coldest, but also the windiest, and the driest (it’s a polar desert).
For your information, Antarctica covers 14.5 million square kilometers, which is about 40% more than Europe (or 40% more than Canada if you prefer). To compare to another large island in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s just under twice the size of Australia.
This was inspired by a map shared on reddit by user kevinowdziej who humorously gave each of Antarctica’s bays the name “North Bay”. That’s not wrong, but that didn’t seem quite right either, since a side of the continent is in the Western Hemisphere and the other in the Eastern Hemisphere so there could be at least two different names for the bays, instead of one.
It’s true that everywhere is north when you’re at the South Pole though. Pretty unique.
Traveling to Antarctica
Unfortunately, you’re not about to see a deal to Antarctica on our flight deals page any time soon. Traveling to Antarctica is possible, but is prohibitively expensive for now.
I wish I could go there myself, if only because I love going to places that are off-the-beaten-path (I’ll soon share one of my trips to a unique country not many people have visited in our travel inspiration section).
But at some point in the future, there’s no doubt that travel to Antarctica will be more mainstream.
Is this a destination you’d want to explore?
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This humorous map shows that technically, every direction is north on a map of Antarctica.
What do you think of the map? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured image: Antarctica (photo credit: Henrique Setim)
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