King George Island is the largest of the South Shetland Islands, situated 120km off the coast of Antarctica in the Southern Ocean.
The Island is claimed by the United Kingdom as part of the British Antarctic Territory. The Island is named after King George III. It is also claimed by Argentina as part of Argentine Antarctica, who call the Island, Isla Veinticinco de Mayo in honour of their National day.
Over 90% of the island's surface is permanently glaciated. In 1821, 11 men of the sealing vessel Lord Melville survived the Antarctic winter on the island, the first men to do so.
The coastal areas of the island are home to a comparatively diverse selection of vegetation and animal life, including Elephant Seals, Weddell and Leopard seals, and Chinstrap and Gentoo penguins.
Human habitation of King George Island is limited to research stations belonging to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, South Korea, Peru, Poland, Russia, and Uruguay. Most of these stations are permanently manned, carrying out research into areas as diverse as Biology, Ecology, Geology, and Palaeontology.
In 2004, a Russian Orthodox church, Trinity Church, was opened on the island near Russia's Bellingshausen Station. The church, the southernmost in the world and one of the few permanent structures in Antarctica, is permanently manned by a priest.