Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200mm (8in) along the coast and far less inland. The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89.2°C (−128.6°F), though the average for the third quarter (the coldest part of the year) is −63°C (−81°F). There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Organisms native to Antarctica include many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, plants, protista, and certain animals, such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals and tardigrades. Vegetation, where it occurs, is tundra.
In 1993, Jerry Shepard (Paul Walker) is a guide at an Antarctica research base under contract with the National Science Foundation. UCLA professor, Dr. Davis McClaren (Bruce Greenwood), arrives at the base. He presses Shepard to take him to Mount Melbourne to attempt to find a rare meteorite from the planet Mercury. Shepard does so, ignoring his own intuition, which tells him it is too late in the season to complete such a treacherous route, and decides that the only way to get to Mount Melbourne is by dog sled.
They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter ... From Time ... SpotlightAntarctica ... “Just in time for this issue celebrating Earth Day, one of our favorite Feast and Field photographers, Lèzanne Fourie, has headed to the most remote place on Earth, Antarctica, to spend a year working, learning and (of course!) taking photos of this mysterious place.