The South Pole, also known as the Geographic South Pole or Terrestrial South Pole, is the southernmost point on the surface of the Earth. It lies on the continent of Antarctica. For most purposes, the Geographic South Pole is defined as the southern point of the two points where the earth's axis of rotation intersects its surface (the other being the Geographic North Pole). The Geographic South Pole is marked by a small sign and a stake in the ice pack, which are repositioned each year on New Year’s Day to compensate for the movement of the ice. The Ceremonial South Pole is an area set aside for photo opportunities at the South Pole Station. It is located a short distance from the Geographic South Pole, and consists of a metallic sphere on a plinth, surrounded by the flags of the Antarctic Treaty signatory states. The ceremonial marker is moved every two to three years to keep the walking distance to the Geographical South Pole minimal.
The Emperor Penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the tallest and heaviest of all living penguin species and is endemic to Antarctica. The species breeds in the coldest environment of any bird species; air temperatures may reach −40 °C (−40 °F), and wind speeds may reach 144 km/h (89 mph). Water temperature is a frigid −1.8 °C (30 °F).