Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"I am hopeful that Antarctica in its symbolic robe of white will shine forth as a continent of peace as nations working together there in the cause of science set an example of international cooperation."
~ Richard E. Byrd
On this day, December 1st, 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 nations so that the continent would be a place only to be used for peace and science. Antarctica is the only continent without a native human population. However, several thousand scientists and support staff periodically inhabit Antarctica in pursuit of research. Some scientists at the South Pole station engage in crazy rituals in their off hours, including vying for membership in the 300 Club. When the temperature drops to -100° F at the South Pole station, daredevils first warm up in a 200° F sauna, then dash outside (naked) to the spot marking the Geographic South Pole several yards away, then run back into the sauna - having experienced a 300-degree swing in temperature in just a few minutes! Brrrrr. 🧊🌡️ 🇦🇶
Antarctica Day was inaugurated in 2010 to celebrate the December 1, 1959 signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which was adopted “with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind.”
Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Technically, Antarctica is a desert, with annual precipitation of only 8 inches along the coast and far less inland.
As of 2016, there are about 135 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.
For some fascinating facts about Antarctica, including "You cannot work there without having your wisdom teeth and appendix removed!" click the picture of the geographic south pole.
See below for the dance performed by the Charlotte Scottish Country Dance Society in 2012.