Antarctica-"last of lands," "the seventh continent," "the bottom of the world." These are just some of the descriptions found in the literature and on the pages of Antarctic tourism brochures that describe the world's most remote continent. Although these definitions are all worthwhile in their particular contexts, for the purposes of this book it is important to provide a more detailed background for Antarctica, the resource used by the Antarctic tourism industry. This chapter, therefore, provides an overview of the physical aspects of Antarctica and introduces the reader to human endeavors in the Antarctic context ranging from the early days of exploration to the various commercial uses of Antarctic resources. The chapter also addresses the unique territorial and political situation of the continent.