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Antarctica is the fifth largest continent on Earth. It lies concentrically around the South Pole, its landmass almost wholly covered by a vast ice sheet averaging 6,500 ft (2,000 m) thick. It is divided into two subcontinents: East Antarctica, consisting mainly of a high, ice-covered plateau, and West Antarctica, consisting largely of an archipelago of mountainous islands covered with ice. Its land area is about 5.5 million sq mi (14.2 million sq km).[1]


  1. Encyclopædia Britannica. Antarctica, referenced 2011-07-06.