Okay, so you might be like us in the sense that all you know about the Arctic is that it’s very very cold and that it’s home to a lot of polar bears. But there’s so much more to know about this frozen destination that might surprise you, including some seriously shocking records of its lowest temperature and a certain animal that loves to travel 12,500 miles just to visit it…
1 – A whole eight countries are a part of the Arctic: places like Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, Finland and Alaska extend into it (who knew!)
2 – It was long thought that no non-oceanic life could exist in the Arctic however now, polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, gulls and hares can be found here!
3 – The word ‘Arctic’ comes from ‘arktos’ which is the Greek word for ‘bear’. This is because the two constellations that can be seen in the Northern sky refers to it: ‘Ursa Minor’ (Little Bear) and ‘Ursa Major’ (Great Bear).
4 – Due to the Earth’s tilt, for at least one day a year there’s an entire day of darkness and a full day of sunshine too- how backwards!
5 – Grey whales migrate a whole 12,500 miles from the Arctic to Mexico and back every year- now that’s commitment!
6 – The Arctic was once called the Frozen Ocean as it’s covered with ice 2-14ft thick! And if all of it melted, the global sea level would rise 24 feet.
7 – Temperatures as low as -70°C have been recorded here- now we feel bad about complaining about British weather…
8 – Despite the freezing cold temperatures, around 4 million people actually call the Arctic their home! These people are called the ‘Inuits’ and they’ve managed to find ingenious ways to survive in one of the harshest environments on our planet (we wish we could be this brave!)
9 – One species that is only found in the Arctic is the Narwhal (how very exclusive of the place). They’re often referred to as the ‘unicorn of the sea’ as they have a straight tusk coming out of their head that grows over 3 metres in length!
10 – Back in 1958, a submarine, called the USS Nautilus, sailed beneath the frozen ice of the Arctic ocean which proved that the enormous sheet of ice rests on water and not land (people really will go to extremes to prove what they want to as fact!)
That’s ten facts you (and us) never knew about the Arctic! Would you consider visiting? Do you want to say you’ve been to the most Northern part of our planet? Let us know in your comments below…