Blue icebergs near Cuverville Island, Antarctica
© Mike Hill/Getty Image
The continent that belongs to all of us. Antarctica Day
At just over 600 miles from the tip of South America, Cuverville Island is closer to civilization than most of Antarctica. As such, this small isle off the northward-jutting Antarctic Peninsula is a hotspot for tourists to catch some cool scenery (while freezing their butts off, of course). Visitors can also chill on the rocky beach with the locals: a glut of gentoo penguins whose rookery here is the largest along the peninsula.
Today we're observing Antarctica Day, which commemorates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty on December 1, 1959. In the treaty, 12 of the world's most powerful nations agreed to dedicate Earth's southernmost continent to science—any military activity there was banned. The Antarctic Treaty still stands 62 years later as an important landmark in global relations and has expanded to include 54 countries.