The Arctic and the Antarctic seem alike. Both are thought of as cold, barren, vast, lifeless expanses of ice. Although the similarities seem great, there are actually many differences. Differences include the animal and plant life, the climate, and people who inhabit the area, if they even inhabit the area.
The Arctic covers the northernmost part of the world including Greenland, Iceland, and the northern tips of Alaska, Russia, Norway and Canada. Animal life in the North varies. Huge herds of caribou and reindeer roam the arctic plains while snowy owls and the squaw duck police the skies. The North Pole is an ideal place for hunters and trappers who are in search of fox furs. Plants in the North include varieties of moss, grass, and some beautiful flowers. Nearly all of the Arctic is above the tree line, which is the northernmost point at which trees grow. The frozen ground cannot support big roots of trees; only shrubs and mosses with their smaller roots survive. The average winter temperature in the Arctic is around negative thirty degrees Fahrenheit. Although the North Pole seems perpetually cold and barren, it does have a summer. The warm season brings daylight and rare sixty degree temperatures for about a month. People take cross-country skiing and airplane expeditions to the North Pole during these summer months. The most sizable group of Arctic people are the Eskimos. The Eskimos are spread out among the different countries, living among other peoples in Russia, Norway, and Canada. The Arctic may seem lifeless, but many people and animals have made it their home.
Antarctica lies at the bottom of the earth. It is a huge expanse of ice and snow with craggy mountains scattered about. It is the coldest place on earth, and the ice is so thick that the solid land of Antarctica is buried a mile beneath the surface. No animals live on the land here, except for tiny insects. The climate is too cold for any mammal that normally lives on the land. All the animals in Antarctica depend on the ocean for survival. The seals, whales, and penguins all live by the sea. Birds such as the arctic tern, skua, and cape pigeon also live by the sea. The plant life in Antarctica is nearly nonexistent. Only a few mosses and grasses grow by the ocean; nothing else can survive. The average temperature in the South Pole is below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Antarctica's summer comes in December, although temperatures still remain below freezing. In June, which is the beginning of the winter months, the temperature hovers around negative one hundred degrees. The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth, negative one hundred twenty seven degrees, was in Antarctica. No one lives permanently in the southernmost continent, but it is a hot spot for mountain climbers, who set up various camps near mountains. There are a few military bases, which provide adventurers with air transport in and out of the South Pole. Antarctica is truly a huge, lifeless, and harsh continent.
The Arctic and Antarctic may have a few similarities, such as being intolerably cold, being situated at the ends of the earth, and attracting adventurers from all over the world. However, the two have many more dissimilarities. The Arctic is inhabited with various peoples and animals, and has a varied landscape. On the other pole, Antarctica is totally uninhabited with no animals except on the sea coast. The landscape of the South Pole is barren ice. In conclusion, the North and South Poles are unique and different.