Ilaharna, Antartika mangrupa buana pangtiisna, panggaringna tur panglobaanginna, sarta boga rata-rata pangluhurna ti sakabeh buana. Alatan presipitasina saeutik, kajaba di basisir, jero-jeroan buana ieu sacara tehnis mangrupa gurun panglegana di dunya. Euweuh panyicingan manusa nu maneuh tur taya oge bukti yen kungsi kacicingan ku manusa ti jaman prasajarahna mula. Nu aya ukur tutuwuhan katut sasatoan nu bisa cocog jeung kaayaan alam nu tiis, kaasup pinguin, anjing laut(fur seals), lumut, lichen, jeung sababaraha rupa ganggang.
Ngaran Antarktika mangrupa versi romanisasi tina kecap campuran basa YunaniΑntarktiké (Aνταρκτική), nu hartina "Sabrangeun Arktik". Sanajan mite jeung spekulasi ngeunaan Terra Australis ("Southern Land") date back to antiquity, the first confirmed sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1820 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. However, the continent remained largely neglected for the rest of the 19th century because of its hostile environment, lack of resources, and isolation.
The Antarctic Treaty was signed in 1959 by twelve countries; to date, forty-five countries have signed the treaty. The treaty prohibits military activities and mineral mining, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone. Ongoing experiments are conducted by more than 4,000 scientists of many nationalities and with different research interests.