The windiest, coldest, and driest continent on Earth—Antarctica—was officially discovered in 1820. In the following decades, several countries organized expeditions to reach and explore the Antarctic ice sheets. The southernmost continent had no indigenous population and various nations claimed ownership. But in 1959, 12 countries signed the Antarctic Treaty, banning military activities and setting Antarctica aside for scientific research. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of this treaty, which now has 56 parties.