.aq - The TLD for Antarctica

Did you know that there is a TLD for Antarctica?

.aq is the TLD for Antarctica, and it is free to register a domain. But you can only have one.

Also, there is no website or WHOIS server for the registry.

According to Alexa, the most popular .aq domain is com.aq, although there isn’t much there:

com.aq website

And com.aq is actually the only .aq domain in the Alexa top 1 million websites list.

There has only been one post to Hacker News using a .aq domain, and it was this one, almost exactly 4 years ago. It got one upvote, and it is the home page for the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA), which encompasses the largest ice-free region in Antarctica.

The registry is managed by Peter Mott of the Antarctica Network Information Centre Limited in New Zealand. I found his email from the iana.org website and sent him an email asking if I could register a .aq domain. He sent me the FAQ as a .txt file:

The .aq Antarctica TLD FAQ

The .aq ccTLD is a closed (moderated) TLD is administered by the Antarctica
Network Information Centre Limited located in New Zealand.

(1) Name Allocation

AQ domain names are available to government organisations who are 
signatories to the Antarctic Treaty and to other registrants who have a 
physical presence in Antarctica.

Due to the special nature of the Antarctic environment, the registrar will 
consider a "physical presence" to include:

* Unattended installations owned or operated by the registrant
* Short term visits to the ice by the registrant or its employees

A letter signed by the officer in charge of the base or expedition will be 
required to support your application.

Names are allocated on a first come first served basis.

(2) Dispute policy

No dispute policy exists for AQ domain names

(3) Registration fee

Registration is completed free of charge by the registrar

(4) Registration period

Registration is granted for a period of 24 months.  Upon receipt of
updated registrant contact information, the registrar will renew
the registration for a further 24 months.

(5) Registration renewal fee

Registration renewal is completed free of charge by the registrar

(6) Multiple domain names

As a general rule, registrants are only allocated a single .aq domain Name

.AQ does not currently have a web site or whois service

Complete the template below and email to info@icenic.aq

Any documentation supporting your application should be attached as plain 


Domain Name..............:

Registrant_Name .........:
Registrant_Address1 .....:
Registrant_Address2 .....:
Registrant_City .........:
Registrant_Province .....:
Registrant_Postcode .....:
Registrant_CountryCode ..:
Registrant_Phone ........:
Registrant_Fax ..........:

Registrant_Contact ......:
Registrant_Email ........:


NS1_HostName ............:
NS1_IPAddress ...........:
NS2_HostName ............:
NS2_IPAddress ...........:


I live in Philadelphia, so I probably won’t get one and I know it is a long shot, but I asked Peter if I could register a .aq domain in return for building the registry a website.