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Who owns the land in Antarctica?

3 mins. read
It’s the farthest continent from anywhere. Okay not anywhere, but from most places on Earth. It is also known as the coldest continent. And if you have had a chance to go to Antarctica, you will often be asked a question: did you see Polar bears? Nope, guys, Polar Bears are in the Arctic. Antarctica is the land of penguins and more penguins. Yes of course you will see Killer Whales there and Seals too. And many shipwrecks, but more importantly, Antarctica is filled with mountains and as we all know, is super cold!
So let’s start with a simple question, how does one get to Antarctica. Well, there are three ways in which you can.
1. From South America. You sail through the choppiest waters in the world through what is known as the Drake Passage and make your way towards the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica. 2. You can also go from Australia and New Zealand, although this can often be a rather long journey. And the third way and probably the fastest is taking a flight into Antarctica from the African continent. But if you are a tourist, you will probably be taking the South American or Australian route. Why not the flight? Well, we’ll come to that after we figure out who really owns the land in Antarctica.
But let us dive into some history for now. So the first time humans laid their eyes on Antarctica, was in 1820. Since then, multiple nations have been making claims on different parts of Antarctica. We can just imagine, how tense the situation would have been with all these countries wanting a slice of this icy continent. So on 1st December 1959, twelve countries represented by the Governments of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America, signed the Antarctic Treaty in Washington. With the signing of this treaty, all nations agreed that Antarctica is a continent solely devoted to peace and science. And this is one of the reasons why there has never been a war in Antarctica. Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica, consult on the uses of a whole continent, with a commitment that it should not become the scene or object of international discord.
So today, many nations including India have established their research laboratories in the region. And coming to the earlier point of why you may not be on a flight to Antarctica from Africa very soon, well in 90% of the cases, these flights are only and only reserved for scientists and governmental research expeditions. And to end the conversation, well who owns Antarctica then? It’s the same to say, through the Antarctic treaty, the world owns Antarctica. Let us know what you think of this interesting topic!
April 12, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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