No, Antarctica is not an ice wall hiding 20 continents | Fact check

The claim: Antarctica is a wall hiding 20 more continents

A Feb. 10 Facebook video (direct link, archive link) shows renderings of Earth, maps and mountains of ice and snow.

“What if Antarctica is simply a giant ice wall that prevents us from seeing the rest of the continents?" a narrator says. "And what if, once you pass through this ice barrier, you discover the 20 continents that are actually hidden from us? What if there exists a map that shows them? There are theories that suggest these continents harbor prehistoric animals, extraterrestrials and advanced civilizations."

The video was shared more than 600 times in two weeks.

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Our rating: False

Antarctica is a continent, not an ice wall. It has been extensively explored. Satellite images show there are only seven continents.

Satellite images show Earth’s seven continents, including Antarctica

Up-to-date satellite images available on NASA's website show Antarctica is a landmass, not a giant ice wall, a claim USA TODAY has already debunked. While there are some differences of opinion about what exactly should be considered a continent, there are not 20 hidden continents, as the Facebook video claims.

Glacial geologist Bethan Davies previously told USA TODAY it would be impossible for such an ice wall to exist without being attached to some landmass.

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Antarctica "is fringed by floating ice shelves, which have previously been mistaken by flat earth theorists as these ice walls," Davies said. "Ice shelves have to be attached to the mainland. ... A circular ice wall would be unstable and due to lack of inflowing glacier ice would rapidly thin and disintegrate."

Antarctica has also been widely explored, and tourists and scientists regularly travel there. There's no hidden ice wall to be breached.

The NASA Worldview tool shows satellite images of the entire globe as it appears each day. But it shows no extra continents, just North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Antarctica, Asia and Australia.

However, some other countries and entities put the tally at fewer than seven due to varying definitions. Babbel Magazine reports that some consider a continent to be “one continuous tract of land." By that logic, Europe and Asia would be Eurasia, and North and South America would be the Americas.

Students in Europe learn there are six continents, according to HowStuffWorks: Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/Oceania, and Europe. The Olympic rings represent only five continents: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

USA TODAY reached out to the user who shared the post for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: No, Antarctica is not an ice wall hiding 20 continents | Fact check