Here are answers to some questions asked by children visiting the
United States Polar Rock Repository.
Have you ever touched a penguin?
|| No. The Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978
protects the mammals, birds, plants and their ecosystems. Unless you
are authorized by permit, you cannot touch any mammal or bird. You will
have to pay a large fine if you violate the law.
What’s the capital of
There is no capital of
Antarctica. Antarctica is a continent, not a nation. In 1959, 12
nations (including the USA) signed the original Antarctic Treaty and
now 45 nations have agreed to abide by the treaty. The treaty states
that Antarctica will be used for peaceful purposes only. It allows
nations to send scientists there to do research.
Do you have any
meteorites stored at the repository?
No. Meteorites found in
Antarctica are sent to the Johnson Space Center for curation, and some
of them are forwarded to the Smithsonian Institute.
How can Antarctica be a desert
when there’s so much snow and ice?
| Antarctica is a considered to
be a desert because of the small amount of precipitation it receives.
(Deserts get less than 10 inches of precipitation each year). Not much
evaporation occurs, so over the years the snow has accumulated to form
the vast glaciers that cover Antarctica.