Discover the Antarctic installation of the Oceanogràfic Aquarium

Oct 4, 2012

On this day in 1991 The Madrid Protocol designates Antarctica as a ‘natural reserve, devoted to peace and science’
Discover the Antarctic installation of the Oceanogràfic Aquarium

The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty (The Madrid Protocol) was adopted on 4 October 1991 in Madrid, Spain, and designates Antarctica as a ‘natural reserve, devoted to peace and science’, establishes environmental principles for the conduct of all activities, and prohibits mining.

The Oceanogràfic, the Aquarium of the City of Arts and Sciences invites to discover Antarctic: a colony of King and Gentoo penguins is the attraction of this reproduction of a rocky cliff with nesting and breeding areas; in its underwater section they can be watched swimming effortlessly. The public observes specimens of King and Gentoo Penguins at the exhibit. The King Penguin is the second largest living penguin. This species measures about 90 centimeters long and weighs about 15kg and can reach 95 centimeters. Juanito or Papua penguins are easily recognizable by the white patch on the top of their head behind the eyes, and their orange bill. Since 2006, the Oceanogràfic has been working in Antarctica to protect its marine wildlife together with other institutions such as the 'Ejercito de tierra' and the “Universidad Complutense de Madrid'.

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The Antarctic is the continent in the extreme south of the Earth. It extends around the South Pole and is circumscribed by the Antarctic Circle. Its land area is about 14 million km², though it is not visible. A layer of ice of considerable thickness, which barely leaves the highest peaks of land visible, covers the whole of it. Often the thick ice covers beyond even the coast, going into the sea and forming large offshore platforms, which when they break off are at the mercy of ocean currents. Since its discovery, which is fairly recent (in about 1820), the Antarctic has become one of the most coveted natural havens for the scientific community. Life in the Antarctic lands is subject to the harsh climate characteristic of these latitudes. Temperatures on the Antarctic continent remain below freezing throughout the year and during the winter season sometimes even reach -60º C or colder. There are not many species that can adapt to these extreme weather conditions. Those that have done, often flee to the ocean with the arrival of the winter season.

- What you always wanted to know about... the penguins of the oceanogràfic Interviewing César Pérez, the man in charge of the Birds at the Oceanogràfic

- What you always wanted to know about...the Antarctic ? Interview with the naturalist Antonio Mirabella, participant in the 2010 Antarctica Campaign