From 24/7 Wall Street: The continent closest to Antarctica is South America, particularly at its southern tip which includes parts of Argentina and Chile. These areas, southwest of the Falkland Islands, have little population. Argentina and Chile have vied to be home to the southernmost city in the world. Recently, Chile took the lead as it named Puerto Williams as a city. Previously, Ushuaia in Argentina held the spot as the southernmost city on Earth. Chile did not exactly cheat, but Puerto Williams was not called a city before May 2019.
Puerto Williams started as a town in 1953 and became a base for the Chilean Navy. Over time, it has become a tourist destination, and home to scientific communities because of its proximity to Antarctica.
For the most part, Puerto Williams posts low daily temperatures throughout almost the entire year. Over 12 months, temperatures usually run between 50 degrees F and 5 degrees F. Global warming could change that substantially over the next few decades.
Because the city is so far south, there are very few hours of daylight from May through July.Well, Mr. Mike and I visited Ushuaia, Argentina back in 2009, on our quest to drive the country of Chile from top to bottom. Ushuaia, like much of the southern part of South America, has strong German influences, in both culture and architecture. German immigrants were valuable in helping Chile and Argentina developed their mining resources, primarily silver, some gold, and now, lithium.
We were there in September, still ski season, and had to do a little sidestep to find a hotel. Lots of tourists and skiers in the city, but not much else. I was cold, so I bought a cheap cashmere sweater, which I donated once we went further north. We got our fill of cured meats, beer and wine. Oh, and the residents are very friendly, though I could never be sure if they were Argentine or German.
Probably the funniest thing happened on the main street. We saw a young American kid trying to help some local (young and female, of course) Ushuaians change a flat tire. Since he seemed like a novice, we had to pitch in and change the tire. Little did we know that once we reached Patagonia, we would have a similar tire issue. Anyway, he was quite embarrassed that he could not change the tire and become better acquainted with the two cute snow bunnies/skiers. They offered to buy us lunch, but we declined.
A day later, we are on the famous Beagle Channel (you know why it is named Beagle, right?) in search of penguins or any other living plants or animals. It was both icy cold and windy out in the Channel. Three layers of skiwear, gloves, caps, masks, scarves were not enough! They allowed us to explore a few of the islands, just to warm up a little.
Ushuaia was still the southernmost city in the world when we were there in 2009. Forget Puerto Williams (population less than 3,000), it has no charm or cute ski bunnies!
Besides the claim, why does it even matter?