If you are planning a trip to the South Pole, you might want to think again. The South Pole is in Antarctica and the warmest temperature recorded there was a chilly -12.3C, while the coldest was -82.8C. Around 98 percent of Antarctica's land is covered in a polar ice cap, so nobody spends much time there apart from a few brave scientists. What many people don't realise is that there are actually four different south poles.
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Geographic South Pole
A stake and a sign mark the site of the Geographic South Pole, which was first reached by two different exploration parties led by the now famous explorers Roald Amundsen in December 1911 and Captain Robert Scott in January 1912. On New Year's Day each year, the stake and the sign marking the spot are repositioned around 33 feet, due to the movement of the ice sheet on which they sit.
Ceremonial South Pole
The Ceremonial South Pole is used for ceremonies and photographs. It has the recognisable red and white striped pole that many people associate with the marking of the South Pole and is within walking distance of the Geographic South Pole. It also has to be moved each year, due to the movement of the Antarctic ice sheet.
Magnetic South Pole
If you were to take a compass and set out for the point furthest south, the Magnetic South Pole is where you would arrive. There are no markings, because this South Pole is quite far north, outside of Antarctica and in the Southern Ocean.
Pole of Inaccessibility
Unsurprisingly, the Pole of Inaccessibility is the place within Antarctica that is furthest inland and the hardest to reach. A group of Russian scientists and explorers reached the point in 1958 and set up a research base there. They also set up a visitors' book and placed a bust of Lenin facing Moscow to oversee the scene.
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