Antarctica is Earth’s southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14,200,000 square kilometers (5,500,000 square miles), it is the fifth-largest continent. For comparison, Antarctica is nearly twice the size of Australia. At 0.00008 people per square kilometer, it is by far the least densely populated continent. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages 1.9 km (1.2 mi; 6,200 ft.) in thickness, which extends to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula. Every year thousands of individuals take up this challenge to reach one of the most extreme and coldest corners of the world. Once there they will have the opportunity to see magnificent glaciers, staggeringly beautiful icebergs, epic mountains and an abundance of wildlife surrounded by breathtaking scenery.