Who owns Antartica?

Okay, maybe “owns” is too strong a word, but does any country have jurisdiction over it? Or is it considered “no man’s land” with any country willing to deal with the extreme temperatures allowed to do research? Are there portions “deeded” to certain countries, like the US gets this part, Japan gets that part, Russia gets that one over there?

As I recall, no one owns it - this link seems to agree. Apparently some nations have made a claim to it but other nations seem to have just scoffed at them.

I do.
I am the King Of Antarctica.

Give me a little sugar, ivylass, and you never be short of penguins again wink-wink-nudge-nudge. :wink: :smiley:

This map shows various claims. It’s interesting to see that several claims overlap – there’s a sector that’s claimed by Chile, Argentina and UK. (But nobody seems to mess with the Norwegian claim – Our preciousss desolate wastes of ice and rock :smiley: ). I found the map here, with a note that it’s prepared by CIA.

However, the various countries have signed an Antartic treaty, and cooperate in a Committe for Environmental Protection, so odds are the Killer Penguin Brigades from the various nations won’t clash in the immediate future. There’s also some information here.

Interestingly, y’all’s claim appears to be the only one with an undefined northern limit, so I guess that potentially Norway is laying claim to the entire world between 44°38’E and 20°W; this would appear to include the continents of Africa and Europe and maybe a bit of the Middle East (which in Risk would make a pretty good base from which to launch a bid for complete world domination).

dumps a ton of sugar all over Bosda

Penguins, please!

If I’m looking at it correctly, Norway does have a northern limit. The boundary is in blue, and it’s not a triangle, so it’s kind of hard to see.

I don’t see a US claim, yet don’t we have a camp down there? Wasn’t there some doctor who had breast cancer and they couldn’t get her out in time for surgery, so she had to perform it herself? (I’ve probably got that all wrong.)

Tell me of your domain, King Bosda. I’m short of sugar, but I have some fresh fish that your penguin minions might like. :wink:

IIRC, the official policy of the US and Russia has pretty much always been to tactfully ignore everyone else’s claims and to consider Antarctica neutral ground (I mean, it’s just too damned cold there to fight over the place)

And of course, if you watch Stargate SG1… (7th season spoiler) we know the Ancients have a secret base there as well, which is an integral part of Earth’s defense system.

It’s a wavy line, and it’s captioned “undefined limit”. I tell ya, those wily Norwegians are trying to pull a fast one on us.

Of course now I’ll probably be found in a ditch with a belly full of lutefisk by nightfall.

The territorial claims are all in abeyance, and the location of research bases mostly has nothing much to do with them. According to that map there are German, South African, Indian, Russian, and Japanese bases in the Norwegian area; there does seem to be some tendency for countries with territorial claims to put their bases in their alleged territories, but non-claimant countries tend to put their camps wherever the hell they feel like. Major U.S. bases include McMurdo (in the New Zealand claimed area) and Amundsen-Scott, which being directly at the pole is theoretically claimed by everybody, since all of the claims are pie shaped. The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. (and now Russia) never did make any formal claims, or recognize anyone else’s, although I understand the Big Dogs both formally reserved the right to make claims in the future, presumably in case vast deposits of oil or uranium or dilithium crystals were found down there.

That would be Dr. Nielsen.

So if say, Egypt, for instance, decides to stake a claim to a portion of Antartica, there’s not going to be much of an outcry? They can go down there and do what research they like, and if they try to colonize, more power to them?

Pretty much, so long as they don’t get in someone else’s way. So far as anyone’s yet discovered, there’s nothing worthwhile down there except acerage – and that’s both inhospitable and plentiful, so there’s not much dispute about it. (In the back of my head I remember reading something about some fossils being discovered, but maybe I dreamed that.)

In the late '30’s, the Nazis sent an expedition to Antarctica which stayed a few weeks and laid claim to a huge swath of territory (one site says as much as a fifth of the continent) which they called Neuschwabenland. As part of staking the claim, they airdropped thousands of tiny Nazi flags all over the place. (Who said you never learn anything reading comic books?)


According to the Antarctic Treaty there shouldn’t be any problem with anyone doing scientific research there. Strictly speaking, article IV says that new territorial claims should not be made while the treaty is in force; then again Egypt has never signed the treaty. If Egypt just wanted to send some guys down to plant a flag and proclaim the Viceroyalty of New South Nubia to be part of Greater Egypt, there might be some sort of diplomatic kerfluffle, but I doubt there would be any serious consequences unless the Egyptians started trying to interfere with other countries from carrying out research and so on in the allegedly Egyptian territory.

As far as colonization goes, there doesn’t seem to be anything in the treaty to specifically forbid nations from sending settlers, founding towns, etc. (although they would have to be open to any Russian or American or Belgian scientist who felt like it dropping in for tea). There have even been some very mild efforts in that regard from Argentina and Chile (who seem to take their claims more seriously than some other countries); at least three poor Argentine and Chilean women have given birth down there. You’d have to have some pretty hardy* pioneers, though, and my guess is Egyptians would find the climate even more unsuitable than most people would.

*As Dave Barry once said, “hardy” in the sense of “stupid”.

Definitely. In past ages the climate was much warmer even in high latitutdes, and with continental drift what we now call Antarctica hasn’t always been at the South Pole.

Also lots of meteorites. (It’s not so much that Antarctica gets more meteorites than most places, as that the meteorites it does get tend to be well-preserved and readily apparent; if you find a rock just lying on top of the icecap, it pretty well had to have fallen out of the sky, whereas rocks that have fallen out of the sky sort of just blend into the landscape in most places.)

How much of Antartica has been explored? And what are the research stations researching?

From what I hear, the primary topic of study is: How scientists cope with being stuck in fucking Antarctica for months at a time :wink:


Antarctic organisms face an onslaught by prospectors anxious to exploit their unique nature, the United Nations says.
The UN University says “extremophiles”, creatures adapted to life in the polar wastes, are being relentlessly hunted in what is virtually a new gold rush.

A successful search could uncover new drugs, industrial compounds and some commercial applications, the UN says.

It says the existing Antarctic Treaty System cannot adequately regulate the possible consequences to Antarctica"natural+resources"&hl=en&start=1

iron ore, chromium, copper, gold, nickel, platinum and other minerals, and coal and hydrocarbons have been found in small uncommercial quantities; none presently exploited; krill, finfish, and crab have been taken by commercial fisheries

Dammit! We need to fix this immediately. That would be the most adorable bloodbath EVER!

Is this such a bad thing? We could find the cure to cancer, or the secret to living on the moon.

I support responsible research, but not strip-mining.