Duration: 1st January – 31st March 2021
Number of books: 26
Hosted by: Crazy Challenge Connection
Winter 2020 Scavenger Challenge – Antarctica
Duration: Jan 01 2021 – Mar 31, 2021
If this was any year but 2020, now is the time you’d book your tickets on a cruise line to see penguins in Antarctica. But since it is 2020, you get this challenge instead.
This challenge consists of 26 random facts about Antarctica (mostly included because I got fascinated by them as I researched for this challenge). Choose any 16 and do the task associated with them. You do not have to choose before you start. And you can do all of them if you want.
CHALLENGE RULES – PLEASE READ!
See this thread for more detailed rules for CCC challenges.
❖ If you want to participate in a challenge, sign up by posting at least a partial list of the challenge requirements. This gives us a post to link you to, which you can use to update your books as the challenge progresses.
❖ Books must be at least 150 pages long (unless they are graphic novels, see below) and may only be used for one task in this challenge, but cross-challenge posting is encouraged.
❖ Graphic novels must be at least 300 pages long, but two books can be combined to make up the page count as long as they both meet the same criteria.
❖ For each book you read, please post a link to the title and mention the author and the date you finished reading it. If a challenge task gives several options, make it clear which option you’ve chosen. If the task calls for an item/color on the cover, include a link to the book cover.* If it’s not obvious from the book title or cover, be sure to explain how your book fits the task. If you don’t, you won’t get credit for completing that task.
❖ If you want the challenge moderator to verify those books as you post them, please copy/paste your update into a new message. If you do this while you still have the Edit window open, it will copy all of your formatting, etc. too. It will make it easier on the moderators if we won’t have to scroll back through the entire thread looking for “message #15,” or to follow links back to an original post.
❖ When you complete the challenge, please post your entire list as a new message to make it easier for everyone to see what you’ve read 🙂 If you don’t repost your list, your name will not be added to the list of those who have completed the challenge.
❖ Rereads are allowed, as long as you read the entire book and not just skim the best portions! 🙂
* If you don’t know how to post a link to the book title, cover or author, see the instructions HERE.
1. Antarctica is cold (and water is wet). The coldest temperature ever recorded on Earth was minus 128.56 degrees Fahrenheit, registered on July 21, 1983, at Antarctica’s Vostok station. Unfortunately, it also recorded a new all-time high (for Antarctica), this year, when temperatures reached 69.35 degrees Fahrenheit.
🐧 Read a book which has the word COLD in its title (compound words are okay).
2. Antarctica is a desert. There is little to no precipitation in Antarctica. The Dry Valleys are the driest place on Earth, with low humidity and almost no snow or ice cover. They occupy about 1% of the continent and they are thought to be the world’s harshest deserts. It is estimated that these areas haven’t seen rain or snow in almost 2 million years. According to one study led by Australian scientists, due to climate change, ice-free areas in Antarctica could expand up to 25% by the end of 21st century. This could drastically change the biodiversity of the continent.
🐧 Read a book that has a landscape without water on the cover (post the cover).
3. Antarctica is windy. Antarctica is one of the windiest places on Earth and is home to unusual katabatic and downslope winds (katabatic wind is a wind that carries high-density air from a higher elevation down a slope under the force of gravity). The strong winds are influenced by cold temperatures and the shape of the continent. The highest recorded wind speed was 200 miles per hour, at a French base back in 1972. Even though it doesn’t snow often in Antarctica, the winds can pick up the snow on the ground and create whiteout conditions.
🐧 Read a book whose cover is almost completely white (post the cover).
4. Antarctica has a ton of ice, and so, a lot of water. The Antarctic Ice Sheet is the largest single mass of ice on Earth. 99% of Antarctica is covered by ice. It is home to about 70% of the planet’s fresh water, and 90% of the planet’s freshwater ice. Unfortunately, this means that if the West Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, it would raise global sea levels by 16 feet.
🐧 Read a book that is mostly set in a coastal town/city (tell us where the book is set).
5. Antarctica has several lakes hidden under ice. Lake Vostok is a pristine freshwater lake buried beneath 2.5 miles of solid ice. It is about the size of Lake Ontario, and is the largest of more than 200 liquid lakes strewn around the continent under the ice. These lakes are absolutely teeming with microscopic life. Scientists can use water samples to learn about how these minuscule creatures survive in such a harsh environment. This could even give researchers an idea for how life might survive on other planets, such as below the ice found on Mars.
🐧 Read a non fiction book that teaches you something (it doesn’t necessarily have to be science, even language or history is okay as long as it is informative. Tell us what you learned).
6. It has a creepy waterfall called “Blood Falls”. Five million years ago, as sea levels rose, East Antarctica was flooded and a brine lake was formed there. After millions of years, glaciers formed on top of the lake. As they froze, the water below became even saltier. Today, the subglacial lake under Blood Falls is three times saltier than seawater and, therefore, is too salty to freeze. The water beneath Taylor Glacier, which feeds the Blood Fall, contains a lot of iron (picked up from the underlying bedrock) and when iron-rich water comes in contact with air, the iron oxidizes and takes on a red coloring, leaving blood-like stains on the ice.
🐧 Read a book with blood on the cover (post the cover).
7. It also has a rift the size of the Grand Canyon. A rift that could rival the Grand Canyon was discovered beneath the Antarctic ice during an expedition conducted during 2009-2010. It is roughly 6 miles across and at least 62 miles long, possibly far longer if it extends into the sea. It extends nearly a mile down at its deepest.
🐧 Read a book first published in 2009 or 2010 (tell us when).
8. There are mountains above and below the surface. Antarctica’s Gamburtsev Mountains are a range of steep peaks that rise to 9,000 feet and stretch 750 miles across the interior of the continent and are completely buried under 15,750 feet ice. Above the surface, the Transantarctic Mountains divide the continent into East and West sections. At 2,175 miles long, this range is one of the longest mountain ranges on Earth. The highest point on Antarctica is the Vinson Massif at 16,362 feet.
🐧 Read a book that is divided in two in some way (it could be divided into two timelines, two narrators, two parts and so on. Tell us how your book fits).
9. It has two active volcanoes. There are plenty of extinct volcanoes in Antarctica, but there are two active ones as well. One of these is at Deception Island, and is an incredibly interesting and rare type of volcano. Located far beneath Antarctica’s ice, it has subglacial eruptions, which means that all of Deception’s activity happens below the surface of the ice. Antarctica’s other active volcano is Mount Erebus. It is the southernmost active volcano in the world and is home to the only known ‘lava lakes’, which have held liquid magma for eons despite the continent’s frigid conditions.
🐧 Read a book whose author’s first and last initial is in the word EREBUS (ignore middle initials, if any).
10. Antarctica was once a tropical continent and it can become one again due to greenhouse gases. Antarctica was once a green, tropical paradise with furry mammals like possums and beavers. Scientists say that it is only in the quite recent geological past it got so cold there. Around 52 million years ago, the concentration of carbon dioxide was more than twice as high compared to today and the climate was much hotter. However, according to scientists, if the current carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise due to burning of fossil fuels, we might hit the levels of 52 million years ago within a few hundred years.
🐧 Read a book with a furred animal in the story (let us know what kind).
11. The entire continent is dedicated for research. The Antarctic Treaty was signed on December 1, 1959, after more than a year of secret negotiations by 12 countries. It dedicates the continent to peaceful research activities. 48 nations have now signed the treaty. 29 countries operate 70 research stations on the continent. The researchers who occupy these facilities number around 4,000 during the summer months and only around 1,000 during the long, harsh winters.
🐧 Read a book in which a document of some sort is signed (tell us what). – The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
12. It has no official Time Zone. As Antarctica is mostly uninhabited, the continent is not officially divided into time zones. However, a number of existing research stations use either the time zone of the country that operates or supplies them, or use the local time of countries located nearby. For example, McMurdo Station observes New Zealand Standard & Daylight Time (NZDT &NZST). Palmer Station keeps Chile Summer Time (CLST) as Chile is the closest country to their station.
🐧 Read a book that has a time related word in the title. (For the purpose of this challenge, choose from these: Time, Second, Minute, Hour, Day, Night, Afternoon/Noon, Evening, Week, Month, Year. Compound words are okay).
13. Glaciology is the scientific study of glaciers. Glaciologists study glaciers, usually by extracting tubes of ice (called ice cores). Like year-rings on trees, ice cores can be used to trace the glacial history and therefore, the planet and its climate.
🐧 Read a book in which the main character has a profession that fascinates you (tell us which profession).
14. You are not allowed to work in Antarctica unless you have your wisdom teeth and appendix have been removed, whether they have anything wrong with them or not. This is because surgeries are not performed at any of the research stations on the continent.
🐧 Read a book in which a surgery is performed.
15. Babies have been born in Antarctica. In January 1979, Emile Marco Palma became the first child born on the southernmost continent. Argentina sent Palma’s pregnant mother to Antarctica in an effort to settle a sovereignty dispute. The child was born in the claimed Argentine Antarctica. This is a sector of Antarctica claimed by Argentina as part of its national territory, but is not internationally recognized (and is in dispute with Britain and Chile). Ten people have been born in Antarctica since, but Palma’s is still the southernmost birth.
🐧 Read a book set in South America (bonus for Argentina. Tell us where it’s set).
16. Antarctica has the midnight sun phenomenon just like the Arctic circle. South of the Antarctic circle, there is a period of months when the sun never sets. Summers near the south pole are perpetually bright. Researchers who stay all year round also experience the opposite – permanent Antarctic darkness. However, tourists can only see this astronomical event in the Arctic circle, as Antarctica’s tourist season ends after summer.
🐧 Use a book that kept you reading at night. – Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
17. There are no reptiles in Antarctica, but there are penguins! Penguins are the most common birds in the Antarctic. They live in colonies and survive in the harshest conditions. Out of the seventeen existing different species of penguins, two of them are permanent residents on Antarctica – the emperor and Adélie penguins. Others, like the macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap, breed on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, where the conditions are not that harsh. King penguins only breed on the warmer northern islands.
🐧 Read a book with an object that is both black and white on the cover (if the whole cover is only black and white, that works also. Post the cover).
18. Roald Amundsen was the first person to reach the South Pole. It took him and his team two tries to achieve this feat. The first attempt, started on September 8, 1911, had to be abandoned due to extreme temperatures. The second attempt consisted of Amundsen and a team of four others. They departed base on October 19, using four sledges and 52 dogs. Using a route along the previously unknown Axel Heiberg Glacier, they arrived at the edge of the Polar Plateau on November 21, after a four-day climb. The team and 16 dogs arrived at the pole proper on December 14, 1911. Amundsen named their South Pole camp Polheim and renamed the Antarctic Plateau as King Haakon VII’s Plateau.
🐧 Read a book whose title has been renamed for whatever reason. Tell us both titles.
19. But reaching the South Pole was a race and the losing party lost everything. Robert Falcon Scott was planning a South Pole expedition himself and wanted to beat Amundsen, but that was not to be. The Scott Expedition reached the South Pole on 17th January 1912, five weeks after Amundsen’s group. On their return journey, they battled poor weather, poorer health and troubling lack of supplies along their route. One by one, they succumbed to frostbite and starvation, until Scott and two remaining team members made their final camp just 12.5 miles short of their main supply depot. But blizzard conditions made further travel impossible, and as their supplies ran out and the storms didn’t abate, all three died. Scott was the last surviving member of the group, and he might have died on March 29, 1912. Their bodies were found in November of the year.
🐧 Read a book in which a tragedy occurs (using spoiler quotes if needed, tell us what it is).
20. Non-native species are not allowed on Antarctica. Sled dogs were used to haul supplies for the Norwegian explorers and they were kept and used in Antarctica for years. But in 1994, they (along with other non-native species) were banned due to fear that they might transmit canine distemper to the Antarctic seals or would escape and disturb the local wildlife.
🐧 Read a book with a canine (the animal, not the teeth) on the cover (post the cover).
21. Meteorites are everywhere! The continent has earned a reputation for being perfect for finding fallen space rocks. It’s not that it attracts falling meteorites more than any other place in the world. There’s an equal probability of meteorites landing anywhere. But there are two main characteristics that make Antarctica so great for meteorite enthusiasts: the white expanse and the ice drifts. The monochromatic landscape makes the dark rocks stand out, and the ice drifts tend to drop them all off in the same area. The freezing temperatures and extreme aridity also keep the meteorites more or less intact.
🐧 Read a book set in space.
22. The Circumpolar Current circles around Antarctica. It flows clockwise (as seen from the South Pole) from west to east around Antarctica. An alternative name for the Circumpolar Current is the West Wind Drift. It is the largest ocean current and is circumpolar due to the lack of any landmass connecting with Antarctica. This keeps warm ocean waters away from Antarctica, enabling it to maintain its huge ice sheet. Associated with the current is the Antarctic Convergence, where the cold Antarctic waters meet the warmer waters of the sub-Antarctic, creating a zone of upwelling nutrients. These nurture a huge food chain that support fish, whales, seals, albatrosses and many other species.
🐧 Read a book that has a donut/ring shape on the cover (post the cover).
23. There is a point called the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. It is the point on Antarctica most distant from the Southern Ocean. A variety of coordinate locations have been given for this pole. The discrepancies are due to the question of whether the “coast” is measured to the grounding line or to the edges of ice shelves, the difficulty of determining the location of the “solid” coastline, the movement of ice sheets and improvements in the accuracy of survey data over the years, as well as possible topographical errors. It is far more remote and difficult to reach than the geographic South Pole. There is a Soviet Station in the general vicinity (called the Pole of Inaccessibility Station), and that location is what is commonly referred to whenever a fixed point is needed for a sport expedition.
🐧 Use a book that feels inaccessible for any reason (for example, there are a few books that make me feel very dim, because they’re too clever, too dense or written in not easily understandable way. Tell us why your book felt inaccessible).
24. Antarctica hosts marathons. Each November/December, runners gather at Union Glacier for the Antarctic Ice Marathon and Half Marathon. Runners endure strong winds and cold temperatures to compete in this race, which is the southernmost marathon on Earth. To prepare for the extreme conditions, some runners exercise on treadmills in walk-in freezers or run on sand. An even more extreme challenge is the Antarctic 100k, held in January.
🐧 Read the last book from a long running series (>15 published books. If the series isn’t complete, read the last published book. Tell us the series and the position of your book).
25. The hole in the ozone layer first formed over Antarctica. The term ozone hole refers to the large springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone around Earth’s polar regions. This “hole” in the ozone layer grows and shrinks with the seasons and is largely caused by chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, once widely used in air conditioners, aerosol sprays and refrigerators, reacting with ozone in the polar stratospheric clouds. The hole has wide negative consequences, such as increased cancer risks.
🐧 Read a book with a main character whose name (first or last) begins with an O (tell us the name).
26. We cannot talk about Antarctica without talking about climate change. In the past 25 years Antarctica has lost more than 3 trillion tons of ice. Sadly, the ice loss process has accelerated dramatically over the last few years. While analyzing data from multiple satellite surveys from 1992 to 2017, a group of 84 international researchers has found that Antarctica is currently losing ice about three times faster than it did before 2012. In fact, Antarctica has lost so much ice so quickly, it has caused a shift in the Earth’s gravitational pull.
🐧 Read a book set on apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic Earth (bonus for climate change end times).