Male penguins stays on Antarctica through winter
The male Emperor penguin is the only warm-blooded animal that remains on the Antarctic continent through the winter. It stays to nest on the single egg laid by its mate (the female spends nine weeks at sea and returns in time for the egg to hatch).
There's a lack of diversity
The soils of most of the extreme-cold deserts of Antarctica are the least diverse habitats on Earth in terms of fauna, according to the British Antarctic Survey.
It's a barren land
There are no trees or shrubs on Antarctica, and only two species of flowering plants (found on some of Antarctica's surrounding islands and on the Antarctic Peninsula).
There's a locals-only policy
As of 1994, no non-native species are allowed to be taken to Antarctica.
It is experiencing unprecedented warming
The Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out into warmer waters north of Antarctica, has warmed 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1950, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. That's about five times the rate of warming measured for the rest of the world, according to NASA.
Its glaciers are in retreat
Eighty-seven percent of the Antarctic Peninsula's glaciers are in retreat, according to the website of the United States' Palmer Station.
Icebergs are breaking away
In March 2000, the largest iceberg ever measured broke away from the Ross Ice Shelf. The iceberg, dubbed B-15, was 170 miles (270 kilometers) long and 25 miles (40 km) wide — nearly the size of Connecticut.
The Pine Island Glacier is speeding up
The flow of West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier has been speeding up over the last few decades, and it contributes 25 percent of Antarctica's ice loss.
There are huge sand dunes
Antarctica's largest sand dune is 230 feet (70 meters) high and more than 650 feet (200 m) wide, and is located in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.
It's windy, windy, windy
So-called katabatic winds blow off Antarctica's high interior toward the ocean and can reach speeds that qualify as hurricane-strength — up to 200 mph (320 km/h).