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Peter I Island
Antarctica Peter I Island.png
Location Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica
Coordinates 68°50′S 90°35′W / 68.833°S 90.583°W / -68.833; -90.583Coordinates: 68°50′S 90°35′W / 68.833°S 90.583°W / -68.833; -90.583
Area 243 km²
Highest point Lars Christensen Peak (1,755 m/5,758 ft)
Population none

Peter I Island (Norwegian: Peter I Øy) is a volcanic island located near Antarctica. It was first sighted by Fabian von Bellingshausen off West Antarctica on January 21, 1821. The island was named after Tsar Peter I of Russia. The sailor Ola Olstad made the first successful landing on Peter I Island on February 2, 1929, and he claimed the island for Norway, which was an independent country by then. The only other Antarctic territory claimed by Norway is Queen Maud Land on the mainland of the continent. Peter I Island is the sole claimed area of Antarctica under the terms of the Antarctic Treaty that is not a sector of a circle, and it is the only claimed piece of land in the otherwise unclaimed sector or Antarctica between 90° W and 150° W and south of the Pacific Ocean, just west of the Chilean Antarctic Claim.



Peter I Island has an area of 243 km², and it reaches a height of 1755 meters above sea level at Lars Christensen Peak, which is a volcanic mountain. It is not known whether this volcano is extinct or not, because the upper part is apparently unmodified by glaciation - indicating an eruption several centuries ago. Peter I Island lies approximately 450 km north of the Eights Coast. The island is surrounded by pack ice except for a brief period in late summer, and it is 95% glaciated.

Peter I Island is so remote and nearly inaccessible (typically requiring a helicopter) that it has been quipped that more people have set foot on the Moon than on Peter I Island. However, this is highly unlikely, since at least 30 people have been on Peter I Island, most of them being either radio amateurs or Antarctic scientists.


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