If you’re looking for a travel destination, Antarctica is pretty low on the list for most people as they’ll prefer to go to a sunny continent filled with sand and numerous beaches.
Antarctica is one of the coldest places on earth with its temperatures as high as 15 °C (59 °F) and the summer temperature is most of the time below 0 °C (32 °F).
Antarctica is considered one of the most unspoiled landscapes in the world and is used mainly as a center for scientific research. Because of that, when visiting the South Pole, there are some very strict rules and regulations.
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No pest allowed: Antarctica’s ecosystem is pretty fragile. Even though humans have tried over the years to protect it, error has made it that there are a number of non-native species in Antarctica. Most of these are plant species (roughly 121 including fungi), but somehow people have also introduced 72 invertebrates, eight mammals and three bird species. To make sure this list does not get longer than it already is, there are some very strict hygiene rules. Everything you take must be thoroughly washed, decontaminated, and inspected every day.
Penguins know their own way home: There is a specified distance while watching animals. The rules also include for you to be quiet and not feed them. There is one unusual rule when it comes to penguins. They sometimes accidentally launch themselves up from the sea onto small visitor boats. But penguins are pretty good at finding their way out of the boat and back into the sea, so you should keep quiet and not touch them. Despite their cute and cuddly image, most penguins could probably do you much body damage.
Leave the dolphins alone: The two rules applicable to the penguins also apply here plus one specific rule that’s enough to make you think that someone probably did this at some point. You are not to sail a boat into a pod(a group of dolphins) just because you want them to bow ride. If you’re lucky enough, both dolphins and whales have been known to do that on their own initiative.
No guns: Antarctica is a demilitarized zone which means that no military activity can take place on the territory, including establishing military bases. Also, no firearms or explosive devices are allowed without a special dispensation.
No souvenirs whatsoever: Everyone loves to bring back a souvenir from their travels. Sometimes, it’s usually something as simple as a seashell from the beach. This rule does not apply in Antarctica as taking anything is banned. This includes anything from rocks, feathers, bones, to eggs Taking anything man-made is also completely banned, as some might actually be for research. Take a picture of whatever you might find interesting but leave it there and go.
Those are 5 weird rules that you should definitely take note of if you plan on visiting Antarctica anytime soon.
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