A continent lying chiefly inside the Antarctic Circle and asymmetrically based on the Southern Pole. Some 95 % of Antarctica is covered by an icecap averaging 1.6 km (1 mi) in thickness. The location was investigated during the early 1800s, and even though there are not any permanent settlements, numerous countries made territorial statements. The Antarctic Treaty of 1959, signed by 12 nations, prohibited armed forces functions from the continent and given to the interchange of medical information.
The southernmost continent, south associated with the Southern Ocean, containing the Southern Pole.
The wider Southern Polar area comprising the Antarctic Continent along with the adjacent Antarctic and Subantarctic islands, and Southern Ocean oceans situated south for the Antarctic Convergence.