Am I at the North or South Pole?


If you ever thought that the only difference between the North and the South Poles are their locations on the map then this article is for you! We have put together a  “how to guide”  so if you find yourself lost at one of these poles you can tell whether you are in the Arctic (North pole) or Antarctica (South Pole).

globe arctic and antarctica


Now that you have landed at one of the poles the first thing you should do is check the temperature, pull out that thermometer that any trusty adventurer has with them and see just how cold you really are. The Arctic is the warmer of the two with an average temperature of -34, while Antarctica’s average temperature is -49 (degrees Celsius). Brrrr! Let’s hope you brought your hat and mitts!

Land and Water

Time to explore your surroundings, take a look at the land and water and see if you can tell where you are. The Arctic is a frozen ocean surrounded by land while Antarctica is the opposite –
land, including mountain ranges and lakes, surrounded by an ocean.  Antarctica also has 90% of the world’s ice, while the Arctic has thinner ice and is more sensitive to climate change.


Now that we know the temperature and landscape you might want to see what animals will be keeping you company. The Arctic is home to polar bears while Antarctica is home to penguins, if you see both at the same time you are probably at the zoo!


Time for the really bad news, if you are trying to huddle with the penguins in harsh temperature of -49 then you are probably in Antarctica and your chances of a rescue just got a little trickier. That’s because Antarctica can be a lonely place, no one lives here nor does anyone control it. Although research groups visit this area it isn’t occupied by any country, instead  it is governed by the Antarctic Treaty. Things would be different if you were at the other pole, there are 4 million people living in the Arctic Circle and many countries split it, including Canada, The USA, Russia and Norway.

Earth Rangers is a non-profit organization that works to inspire and educate children about the environment. At kids can play games, discover amazing facts, meet animal ambassadors and fundraise to protect biodiversity.