Antarctica is the coldest continent on earth. The farther from the coast one goes the higher and colder it becomes. In most coastal regions the mean annual temperature is around −12°C, at 1000 metres −20°C, and in the highest parts near 4000m it falls to −60°C. The lowest surface temperature ever recorded in nature was −89°C at the Russian Vostok station, within the Australian Antarctic Territory.
The video shows the unusual effect of throwing boiling water into the air when the temperature is below about −25°C. Because of the cold dry Antarctic air and the increased surface area of the boiling water droplets when thrown, the water evaporates and then forms a mist of ice and supercooled water droplets.
Hypothermia (lowering of body temperature below the normal) is the most dangerous risk when expeditioners are in the field. This is why it is so important to keep warm and dry — taking the correct clothes and equipment with you is essential.
When people go out in the field they either live in fibreglass huts called apples or special tents. Polar Pyramid tents sleep two comfortably. These tents can survive very strong winds, one having survived at Ardery Island over the entire 1998 winter season.
Expeditioners undergo special training to make sure they stay safe in the field.