The North Pole, the Terrestrial North Pole, or the Geographic North Pole, is the specific point in the Northern Hemisphere where the axis of the Earth’s rotation meets its surface. It is situated in the middle part of the Arctic Ocean.
This part is called the True North Pole of our Earth to distinguish it from the Magnetic North Pole. Due to its inhospitable and remote location, it has fascinated scientists, explorers, and adventurers for centuries. So, in this article, we will explore some really amazing facts about the North Pole.
Facts About The North Pole:
This place was unexplored till 1909:
The North Pole is the northernmost part of Earth. It lies antipodally to the South Pole. Before the 20th century, the North Pole was largely unexplored, and its location was unknown. Many explorers attempted to reach the pole, but none were successful until 1909.
This place defines geodetic latitude 90 degrees North and also the direction of true north.
No time zone has been assigned to this area:
In the area known as the North Pole, all directions point south. Also, all lines of longitude converge there; hence, its longitude can be defined as any degree value.
Moreover, no time zone has been offered to the North Pole so that any time can be used as local time. Along with tight latitude circles, clockwise is west, and counterclockwise is east. The nearest land is mainly called Kaffeeklubben Island.
The first expedition to the North Pole:
The first undisputed expedition to locate the North Pole was performed by the airship Norge. This overflew the space in 1926, with 16 men on board, along with the expedition’s leader, Roald Amundsen.
Expedition leaders Frederick Cook, Robert Peary, and Richard E. Byrd led the three vital expeditions. They were once regarded as having reached the Pole.
However, the first confirmed expedition to reach the North Pole was led by Walt Pederson, Ralph Plaisted, Jean-Luc Bombardier, and Gerry Pitzl, in the year 1968, by using air support and snowmobiles.
Previous theory about the North Pole:
In 1800, the prevailing theory was that the North Pole was situated in an open sea surrounded by a ring of ice. This theory was based on observations of the Arctic Ocean and also the behavior of ice floes in that region.
In 1806, British Explorer Sir William Edward Parry led an expedition to the Arctic region that came within 10 degrees of the North Pole. This expedition of Parry was the first to systematically learn the weather patterns, geography, and also wildlife of the Arctic region.
Sir Willian Edward Parry’s expedition:
In 1827, British explorer William Edward Parry tried to reach the North Pole by sailing north from Spitsbergen in Norway. However, his ship was stopped by thick ice at 82 degrees north latitude, so he had to turn back.
Moreover, Parry’s observations helped to confirm the theory that the North Pole was a place that was located in an open sea. However, he also suggested that the ocean was not solid by seeing that his ship sailed northward due to the increased water temperature.
The expedition of Sir John Franklin:
In 1845, British explorer Sir John Franklin started an expedition searching for the Northwest Passage. It is a sea route connecting the Pacific and Atlantic oceans through the Arctic.
However, his ships became trapped in ice, and all expedition members died.
The Polaris expedition in 1871, led by Charles Francis Hall, also ended in disaster.
The exploration in 1879:
In 1879, American explorer George Washington De Long led an expedition to the Arctic that tried to reach the North Pole by sailing north from Siberia.
However, the ship got trapped in ice, and De Long and his crew were forced to abandon the ship and trek across the ice to try to reach civilization. However, most of the crew died of exposure and starvation.
The expedition in 1893:
In the year 1893, Norwegian explorer Fridtj of Nansen attempted to reach the North Pole by allowing his ship called the Fram to become trapped in ice. He hoped that the natural movement of the ice would carry his crew and him to the pole.
However, after three years, Nansen abandoned this attempt and made a dash for the pole on skis. He came within 4 degrees of the pole before turning back.
The first person who reached the North pole:
In 1909, American explorer Robert Peary became the first individual to reach the North pole. He and his team traveled over the ice, with the help of dog sleds, and reached the pole on April 6, 1909.
However, Peary’s claim to have reached the North pole has been disputed, with some historians arguing that he may have fallen short.
Expeditions after 1909:
In 1926, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first individual to fly over the North Pole. He and his team used a dirigible airship to make the expedition.
In 1958, the United States established a research station at the North Pole, known as the Arctic Station. The Station is used for scientific research and is equipped with staff year-round.
The weather condition at the North Pole:
The North Pole of our Earth experiences extreme weather conditions, with temperatures reaching as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit or -%0 degrees Celsius in the winter and as high as 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius in the summer.
This specific region also experiences a long period of darkness during the winter months and also long periods of sunlight during the summer months.
There is no trace of land at the North Pole:
The North Pole does not have any fixed land. This place is mainly a thick sheet of constantly shifting ice that floats on the surface of the Arctic Ocean. Also, this place is 4000 meters deep. Here, the ice is about 2 to 3 meters thick and almost a foot above sea level.
Though this place is full of ice, it is not as cold as you think. The average temperature of this place is almost -24 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, and in the holiday season, it may reduce to almost -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The North Pole remains completely dark for six months and wholly lit for the other six months:
The Earth rotates on a tilted axis while revolving around the Sun. Hence, this place always remains below the horizon in winter. Thus, from the months of October to early March, the North Pole remains forever dark.
In contrast, from the month of April to the end of September, here, the Sun remains above the horizon. Thus, during this period, known as the summer months, the North Pole sees 24 hours of daylight and always a sunny summer.
It is not the coldest place:
The North Pole is actually not the coldest place but the second coldest place on the Earth. The coldest place is the South Pole, located in Antarctica. The average temperature of the South Pole is almost -76 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the temperature at the North Pole in winter is -34 degrees Celsius on average.
The North Pole is just about one foot above sea level and can absorb heat from the Arctic Ocean. However, The South Pole is located almost 9000 feet above sea level. Also, in summer, the North Pole hits almost 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
In this place, the Sun rises and sets once:
Due to the tilt of our Earth’s axis, only one sunrise and just one sunset occur at the North Pole in a year.
Here, the Sun constantly remains above the horizon in the summer and during the March equinox. In contrast, the Sun remains below the horizon in winter and during the September equinox.
The fauna at the North Pole:
The North Pole is home to various wild animals, such as polar bears, narwhals, and arctic foxes. These animals have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Artic and play a vital role in the ecosystem of this region.
Narwhal is a smaller whale that lives here. The tusks of these whales grow between six and ten feet in length. Hence, these animals are known as the “Unicorns of the Sea.” In ancient times, such as the 16th century, these horns were believed to carry magical curative powers.
The Arctic Ocean is the shallowest:
The North Pole is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean, which is the shallowest and smallest of the world’s five oceans. Also, the Arctic Ocean is the most affected by climate change. Here, the warming temperatures lead to shrinking sea ice and also rising sea levels.
Another interesting fact about this place is that you won’t find any penguins here, as these animals live at the South Pole. However, you can see some other birds, like puffins, auks, and guillemots.
Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights:
The North Pole is home to a unique and amazing phenomenon known as the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis.
This light is caused by charged particles from the Sun colliding with the Earth’s magnetic field, eventually creating a stunning display of light in the sky.
The North Pole is not a permanent location:
The North Pole moves slightly over time due to the shifting of the Earth’s axis, and hence, it is not a permanent place. This phenomenon is called polar drift and is caused due to changes in the distribution of mass on the surface of the Earth.
Hence, the North Pole is a place whose geography and precise location remain a mystery to most of us. However, this place is still a site of importance and fascination.
At the end of this article, we learned about 19 really amazing facts about this remarkable region of the world. These facts give us a clear picture of this place’s interesting and unique features. To know more, you may visit our website.
- The North Pole is not located on land but on a constantly shifting ice pack.
- The Arctic region is home to diverse wildlife, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, and narwhals.
- American explorer Robert Peary led the first expedition to reach the North Pole in 1909.
- The effects of climate change are causing the Arctic ice pack to melt at an alarming rate, putting the delicate ecosystem and its inhabitants at risk.
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