Antarctica: A Continent of Wonder

Antarctica: A Continent of Wonder
Mario Cuesta Hernando and Raquel Martin
Prestel

If you’ve ever wondered about taking a trip to Antarctica, then now is your chance if you accept a once-in-a-lifetime invitation from the United States Antarctic Program to accompany a research team on an expedition to the continent of penguins and the world’s lowest temperatures. You’ll sail on an oceanographic research vessel – the Polar Star – bound for the McMurdo Research Station. The subject of this large format book truly is a continent of wonders and it’s exciting to spend time with the researchers and discover what happens during their six month stay.

Many children will have heard about work being done studying the penguins, 

seals and whales that are able to thrive in the harsh climatic conditions, but are less likely to be aware that scientists are also investigating the fossil record of the continent and the secrets of life locked in the ice of its glaciers. There’s also an observatory for astronomers and research continues into the impact of global warming.

Did you know that one of the few open lava lakes is to be found at the heart of this continent, in the crater of Mount Erebus, an active volcano some 12448 feet high? I certainly didn’t. 

There is mention of the first known individuals to make landfall on Antarctica as well as details of the explorers including Amundsen and Scott who tried to reach the South Pole. 

Who owns this incredible area, you might be wondering; the answer is that it belongs to nobody, or rather no country can claim it as theirs; it belongs to everyone, including readers of this book. Thanks to the Antarctic Treaty (1959), this should ensure that international teams of scientists can continue their research for the good of all.

The book’s author, Mario Cuesta Hernando, a journalist with a special interest in adventure and nature, has himself, visited Antarctica and his enthusiasm for his subject is evident in this narrative. Raquel Martin’s dramatic land- and seascapes as well as the animal portraits capture the awesome nature of the continent.

Ideal for budding scientists and school collections in particular.

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