The North Pole
The North Pole is known as Santa’s home. This is because people believe that the North Pole is just a vast area of ice and snow. This assumption is wrong. There are some bizarre things going on that you may not even know about.
Why Not a Continent?
Most people know that seven continents make up the world, and the North Pole isn’t one of them. The reason that this area doesn’t get the respect that it deserves is that it isn’t made up of enough solid ground to be considered a landmass. Most of the North Pole is made of water and sheets of ice.
Not The Coldest Place On Earth
The weird fact about the temperature at the North Pole totally defies common sense. All of the water and ice at the North Pole makes it very cold there, but it isn’t the coldest place on Earth. The South Pole is actually the coldest. The ice is on land, not water. This means that there is less ambient heat.
The Temperature at the North Pole
The temperature at the North Pole isn’t as cold as the temperatures in Antarctica, but it still gets really cold there. The average high temperature in the North Pole is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low is a staggering -76. These temperatures are strange when you consider where the North Pole is located.
Two North Poles
Most people think that there is one North Pole, but this isn’t the case. There are actually two. The first is the magnetic North Magnetic Pole, and the other is the North Geographic Pole. The magnetic pole is where your compass points, and it is not in a consistent location. It moves a little bit every year. Currently, it is resting near Ellesmere Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Every year, it will drift toward the west by about 50 kilometers. The Geographic North Pole marks the extreme northern point of the Earth’s rotational axis. It is located at the top of the planet.
Away From Civilization
The North Pole is a very remote place. The closest landmass is Kaffeklubben Island, which is over 410 miles away from Greenland on the northern side. The nearest inhabited place is even further than that. It is a place called Alert, Nunavut, and it is far from being a metropolis. The area is home to an observatory, a weather station, and 60 residents.
Why the North Pole?
Considering how cold and remote the North Pole is, it makes you wonder why people would want to go there. There are actually two reasons. The first is oil. About 30 percent of the planet’s oil is found below the water and ice in the region. The second reason is for the annual North Pole Marathon. You wouldn’t think so, but it is surprisingly popular. Competitors go to the North Pole to run 26.2 miles across the solid arctic ice. The race is held every year, and people actually train for it and look forward to it.
Most people think that penguins live at the North Pole, but they don’t. They live in the South Pole. Polar bears don’t live in the South Pole; they live in the North Pole. There is one animal that calls the North Pole and the South Pole home. It is the Arctic tern. This bird spends the winter in the South Pole and then migrates to the North Pole to breed. Every year, it goes back and forth, which makes it spend most of its life flying.
The first person to ever reach the North Pole was Robert Peary. He made the trip back in 1909. When he returned to civilization, he got some bad news. He returned home expecting to get a hero’s welcome, only to find that a man named Frederick Cook claimed to have reached the North Pole a year earlier. It took a while and plenty of deliberation, and in the end, Robert was officially given credit for making the trek first.
What If the Ice Melts?
If the ice melts completely, it will create a northwest package that will link Europe to Asia. This is the same passage that Columbus was looking for. If this were to happen, the big question would be who would control the passageway? Canada believes that the water would be under their naval control. The United States and several European countries think that it would be part of International Waters. Since it could be a very long time before all of the ice melts, this isn’t something we need to worry about anytime soon. One last fun fact about the North Pole. For six months, it is entirely dark. For the other six months, it is constant daylight.