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DAILY ARCTIC FACT
A different fact every day - ALL YEAR LONG!
Akilia Island - This Greenland island has the oldest known rocks on Earth!
Alaska - The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867 and it became an American state in 1959.
Alaska Highway - When the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands during World War II, it emphasized the necessity of a road to the north.
Alaskan Inuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Alaskan Yuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Albatross - Found throughout the northern oceans, and are common in the area of the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.
Algae - These organisms are the first level of an important food chain in the Arctic.
Althing - Iceland boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly.
Amundsen, Roald - The Norwegian explorer was the first person to successfully navigate the fabled Northwest Passage.
Amundsen, Roald - The Norwegian explorer captured almost every polar geographical prize of his day.
Amundsen, Roald - When Amundsen set out to find the Northwest Passage, he decided to use different methods than the Royal Navy.
An Account of the Arctic Regions - Scoresby's book "An Account of the Arctic Regions" was the result of his experience travelling on and through ice.
ANIMALS - See our "Arctic Animals" section.
Animism - Traditional Inuit beliefs were that all objects and living things or beings have a spirit.
Annuraaq - The Inuktitut word (meaning "an article of clothing") for traditional skin garments.
Antarctica - The Greenland ice sheet is only about one-eighth the size of the Antarctic ice sheet.
ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) - Represents one of largest examples of intact wilderness left on Earth.
Archaeology - Archaeologists in the Arctic are faced with a number of unique challenges.
Archaeology LINKS - See our "Archaeology Links" section.
ARCTIC - See our "Arctic" section.
Arctic LINKS - See our "Arctic Links" section.
Arctic Circle - The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth.
Arctic Convoy - During the Second World War, ship convoys carrying vital war materials to the Russian port of Murmansk.
Arctic Fox - In the winter, the brownish grey coat of the Arctic fox changes to a thick, warm white coat.
Arctic Fox - The Arctic fox is both a hunter and a scavenger and will sometimes steal from a polar bear.
Arctic Hare - Live in the tundra and rocky mountainous areas of Northern Canada and parts of Greenland.
Arctic Hare - The biggest bunny in North America.
Arctic Myths - A magic aura surrounded the Arctic area in the fourteenth century.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Represents one of largest examples of intact wilderness left on Earth.
Arctic Ocean - The roughly circular Arctic Ocean is located entirely within the Arctic Circle.
Arctic Ocean Currents - There are two major ice circulation systems in the Arctic Ocean.
Arctic Small Tool Tradition - Named because the stone harpoon tips, arrowheads, and knives of the Paleo-Eskimo people were so small.
Arctic Submarine Laboratory - For almost 60 years, submarines have been operating in the Arctic Ocean.
Arctic Tern - Terns spend most of their lives at sea and migrate farther than any other bird.
Arctic Wolves - Year-round white coats and slightly shorter noses and ears distinguish Arctic wolves from other wolves.
Arctic Wolves - They live so far north that they're quite safe from the greatest threat of all - people.
Aristotle - In his book "Meteorology", written over 2,350 years ago, Aristotle described the Northern Lights.
Arktika - The first surface vessel to reach the North Pole was the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker.
Askja Volcano - Devastated the Icelandic economy and caused widespread hardship and famine.
Aurora Borealis - See our "Northern Lights" section.
Auroral Oval - When we look up and see the Northern Lights, we are only seeing a tiny section of a huge auroral oval.
Auroral Ring / Oval - Depending on the level of solar activity, there may or may not be auroral activity all the way around the ring.
Aurora, Goddess of Dawn - Pierre Gassendi (Also: Gassend) applied the name "aurora" to the Northern Lights, naming them after Aurora - the Goddess of Dawn in Roman mythology.
Baffin Island - Named for William Baffin, Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world.
Baker, Mt. - The world record for the most snow in one year is now held by Mount Baker.
Baleen - Baleen is an elastic, horny material forming fringed plates that hang from the upper jaw of baleen whales
Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site - Located at the U.S. Armed Forces' northernmost base in Thule, Greenland.
Balto - In 1925, a dog named Balto became a hero in a life-or-death race to rescue the children of Nome.
Banks Island Inuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Barents, Willem - The Dutch navigator sought the illusive north-east passage.
Barren Ground Caribou - One of three types of caribou.
Barrow, Sir John - A Secretary of the British Admiralty, he was convinced that a Northwest Passage existed. Finding it was his obsession.
Bartlett, Bob - Commander of Peary's ship "Roosevelt" and was to accompany him to the North Pole.
Beaufort Gyre - This ice circulation system swirls the waters of the Arctic basin, turning the ice cap with it.
Beluga Whales - Small, toothed whales that inhabit coastal waters in Arctic and Sub-Arctic areas.
Beluga Whales - Trapped by sea ice.
Bennet, Floyd. - The pilot of the plane in which he and Richard E. Byrd flew over the North Pole.
Bentley, Wilson - The discovery that "no two snowflakes are alike" was made by "Mr. Snowflake".
Bergy Bits - Small icebergs, rising between 1-4 meters / 3-13 feet out of the water.
Bering, Vitus Jonassen - Credited with discovering Alaska and the strait between it and Russia.
Bering Land Bridge - During the last Ice Age, the shallow seas in the Bering Strait dropped, exposing land linking Asia and North America.
Bering Strait - The Ice Challenger objective was to cross the strait from Alaska to Russia.
Big Dipper - The Big Dipper is part of the Great Bear constellation and it guides the way to the North Star.
Big Nail, The - Why reach the North Pole? The Inuit concluded that there must be a giant metal spike at the top of the world.
BIRDS - See our "Arctic Birds" section.
Block Heaters - In very cold places people either keep their cars in heated garages or use "block heaters" so they will start.
Blocky Iceberg - One of the basic categories of shapes for iceberg observations.
Blubber - To insulate them from the cold, Arctic mammals have a thick, dense layer of connective tissue and fat under their skin called blubber.
Blubber Experiment - See how blubber helps animals survive in the cold Arctic environment.
BOATS - See our "Boats" section.
Boat LINKS - See our "Boats & Ships" links section.
Bomb - The largest bomb ever exploded on planet Earth was exploded in the Arctic.
Booth, Felix - When the Navy refused to give John Ross a ship, Felix (who made a fortune from Booth's Gin) bankrolled the expedition.
Booties - Sled dogs are tough, but they can have sensitive feet. To safeguard them, mushers tie on booties.
Boots, Inuit - Certain footwear rules were followed when hunting.
Bowhead Whales - Close relatives of the northern right whales and also known as Greenland right whales - they are found only in the Northern Hemisphere.
Bowhead Whales, Whaling - In the 1800s a large population of bowhead whales was discovered in the Bering Sea.
Breathing Holes - As air-breathing mammals, seals must have a way to get back to air, or else they will drown.
Byrd, Richard E. - Byrd and his pilot, Floyd Bennett, claimed to be the first to fly over the North Pole.
Calving, Glacier - When a glacier loses material in the water, it is called "calving".
Canada - The Canadian Arctic covers three Canadian territories: the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Canadian Rangers - Use a combination of Inuit knowledge and modern military technique to patrol and protect the Far North.
Canned Food - Canning was a new method of preserving food when the Franklin Expedition set off for the Arctic.
Cannibalism - Some thought it improbable that British officers and men would resort to such "horrible means" to prevent starvation.
Caribou / Reindeer - Caribou migration routes are unpredicatable. Perhaps that's why reindeer are herded by many Arctic peoples in Eurasia.
Caribou / Reindeer Types - There are three types, or subspecies, of caribou with matching groups for reindeer.
Caribou Calves - Almost all of the calves are born within a ten day period in early June.
Caribou Herds - In Canada and Alaska the great caribou herds are all free-ranging.
Caribou Hooves - Caribou and reindeer have large special hooves with four "toes" on each foot.
Carvings, Inuit - This artistic expression has produced a number of "world class" artists.
Cave, Permafrost - In Alaska, there is a long tunnel bored into the permafrost.
Cave, Storage - A cave in Russia is used to store ivory and other mammoth remains found is Siberia.
Central Inuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Christmas - Christmas of 1845 found the ships of the Franklin Expedition wintering in the ice off Beechey Island in the Arctic.
Chukchi - The largest group of indigenous people in the Asian Arctic.
Churchill, Canada - So many bears pass by this town that they call it the "Polar Bear Capital of the World".
Cities - Since the middle of the last century, more than 200 cities were established in the Russian Arctic.
Climate - When Europeans began to explore the Arctic, the climate in Northern North America and Europe was colder than it is at present.
Clothing - Inuit clothing has been essential to their survival.
Clothing - When the Inuit lived exclusively from the land, caribou and seal were the main sources of clothing material.
Clothing Decoration - Access to trade goods, such as glass beads, thread, fabric and steel needles, added a new dimension to clothing decoration.
Clothing, Exploration - It was not until after the Franklin Expedition tragedy that Europeans seriously adopted the Inuit ways.
COLD - See our "Cold/Cold Places" section.
Cold Car - Starting your car in cold weather can be a big problem.
Cold Places Game - Guess the places that are either partially or completely within the Arctic Circle.
Colors of Northern Lights - Have you ever wondered how the Northern Lights get their different colors?
Constellations LINKS - See our "Constellations" links section.
Cook, Dr. Frederick - One of the most controversial figures in polar exploration.
Cook vs Peary - Who was first to the North Pole?
Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) - Near the Poles, lines of longitude are too close together to be practical as time zones, so UTC is used.
Copepods - The pinkish-white parasites attach themselves to the cornea of the Greenland shark's eye.
COUNTRIES - See our section on Arctic "Countries/Places".
Crevasse / Crevice - A "crevice" cannot be a "crevasse" unless it is in a glacier.
CryoSat - The satellite is designed to measure changes in the Earth’s terrestrial and marine ice fields.
Currents, Arctic Ocean - There are two major ice circulation systems in the Arctic Ocean.
Currents, World Oceans - The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt carries cold water from the poles throughout the world's oceans.
Curse of the Arctic Regions - Scurvy was an ugly disease and the onset was quick.
Desert - The Arctic is a cold desert because it gets very little precipitation - about the same amount as the Sahara.
Desk - Queen Victoria had a desk made from the timbers of HMS Resolute and presented it to the American President.
Devon Island - With land and glacial features like those found on Mars, it's an ideal location to train for a space mission.
DEW Line - The "Distant Early Warning" sites were a first line of defence to warn of an airborne invasion from "over the Pole".
Diamonds - Arctic diamonds now make Canada the third largest diamond producing country in the world.
Dinosaurs - Fossils of a carnivorous dinosaur have been found in the Canadian Arctic.
Dip Circle - Used to measure the vertical or "dip" angle of the Earth’s magnetic field.
Dirigible - Umberto Nobile, Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth fly airship over the North Pole.
Discovery Service - British pay was intended to be enough to make a man forget he could well be dead before he earned it.
Disease - In addition to trade goods, Europeans also brought infectious diseases to the Arctic.
Doctors - There was a great difference between doctors and surgeons in the nineteenth century.
Dome Iceberg - One of the basic categories of shapes for iceberg observations.
Dorset Period - Inuit history: 1000-3000 years ago.
Drift Stations - Research stations on the ice cap are constantly moving with the ice.
Drydock Iceberg - One of the basic categories of shapes for iceberg observations.
Egingwah - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
Electrical Power - The solar wind commonly generates billions of watts of electrical power in an auroral display.
Ellsworth, Lincoln - He, Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile flew over the North Pole in a dirigible.
ENVIRONMENT - See our "Environment/Atmosphere" section.
Environment LINKS - See our "Environment" links section.
Equiano, Olaudah - In 1773 he became the first black person to go to the Arctic when he joined an expedition to find a passage across the North Pole.
Equinox, Fall - The Autumn Equinox is the first day of the Season of Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.
Equinox, Spring - The Spring Equinox is the first day of the Season of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Erebus & Terror - The ships of the Franklin Expedition were designed to go where no ships had gone before.
Erebus & Terror - Where are Franklin's ships? Did they drift with ice floes and icebergs into the North Atlantic?
EURASIA - See our "Eurasia" section.
Evans, James - Created a syllabic script system now used by Canadian Inuit.
Exploration - Which countries were the most active in Arctic exploration?
EXPLORATION - See our "Arctic Exploration" section.
Exploration Map - Routes of Arctic explorers.
Exploration Methods - When Amundsen set out to find the Northwest Passage, he decided to use different methods than the Royal Navy.
Exploration, Victorian Era - No spectacle stirred the British public so much as Arctic exploration.
Exploration, Norse - Vikings settled in Iceland about 1,150 years ago, and in the process, discovered the key to the New World.
Evenki - The Evenki people number about 30,000 and occupy a huge territory in north eastern Siberia.
Exxon Valdez - The tanker spilled nearly 11 million gallons / 42 million liters of oil into Alaskan waters.
Fata Morgana - An optical illusion (or mirage) of solid, well-defined coastal features that appear where there are none.
Finger Rafting - Sometimes colliding ice becomes interlocked, with sections of one floe going both over and under the other.
Finland - Arctic Finland, also called Lapland, covers about one-third of Finland, about the same portion as lies north of the Arctic Circle.
Fjords - Long, narrow arms of the sea, often very deep and extending well inland.
Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station - The Arctic has land and glacial features like those found on Mars, making it an ideal location to train for a space mission.
Floeberg - Massive piece of sea ice composed of hummocks that has separated from the ice pack.
Flowers - During a very short growing season, spectacular displays of wildflowers occur.
Fogbows - Similar to rainbows, but have little color because of the very small size of the water droplets.
Food Chain - The Arctic may look pristine, but its inhabitants contain high levels of heavy metals, organic pollutants, and radiation.
Food Chain - Tiny organisms, algae and zooplankton are at the bottom of the cahin in the Arctic Ocean.
Food Poisoning - Canning was a new method of preserving food when the Franklin Expedition set off for the Arctic.
Forest Reindeer - One of three types of reindeer.
Fox Fires - In Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights are called "revontulet" (fox fires).
Fram - Nansen froze his crush-resistant ship in the waters off Siberia and then drifted northward with the moving ice cap.
Franklin, Lady Jane - Sir John's widow spent a fortune on private searches.
FRANKLIN EXPEDITION - See our "Franklin Expedition" section.
Franklin Expedition LINKS - See our "Franklin Expedition" links section.
Franklin, Sir John - See our "Franklin Expedition" section.
Frazil - Ice crystals that form in very cold water that is moving around too much to let them form into a sheet.
Freshwater Ice - Icebergs are frozen "freshwater" - unlike the sea (salt) water that they float around in.
Frobisher, Martin - One of the first explorers to search for the Northwest Passage.
Frost - Frost crystals grow on window panes, blades of grass, or just about any other solid surface.
Frostbite - Frostnip and chilblain are the first phases of freezing. Here's what to do to prevent frostbite.
Frostbite - Here's what to do if you get frostbite.
Furrows - Icebergs often run aground, leaving deep gouges where the huge masses of ice have ploughed into the seafloor.
Games, Inuit - The skills required often represent those necessary for survival in the harsh Arctic environment.
Gangline Team / Hitch - A single line to which each sled dog is attached, usually in pairs.
Gassendi, Pierre - Gassendi (Also Gassend) applied the name "aurora" to the Northern Lights, naming them after Aurora - the Goddess of Dawn in Roman mythology.
Geographic North Pole - Located at 90° North latitude, it is the northernmost point on the Earth's surface.
Geomagnetic Pole, North - The North Geomagnetic Pole is the north end of the axis of the magnetosphere.
Geysers - Some hot springs spout springs or geysers, the most famous being Geysir in south Iceland.
Gilbert, Sir William - His book on magnetism was a thorough review of what was known in 1600.
Gjøa - It took Amundsen three years in his little sloop, the Gjøa, to find the Northwest Passage.
Gjoa Haven, Nunavut - Formerly Amundsen's Arctic base (Gjøahaven) on his voyage through the Northwest Passage.
Glacial Melting - The ice fields are melting, and as they melt they give us a glimpse into ancient life.
Glacial Surge - Finding the reasons for a glacier surge can be difficult.
GLACIERS - See our "Glaciers" section.
Glacier LINKS - See our "Glacier" links section.
Glaciers Retreating - Retreating glaciers are a sign that global warming and climate change are real.
Globe Theatre - An ice replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is not in London (not cold enough), but in Sweden.
Goggles, Snow - Used to keep from going "snow blind" from the reflection of the sun's light off the ice.
Governments - Many indigenous peoples in the Arctic favor a move to self-governance.
Great Bear - The constellation Ursa Major appears in the northern sky.
Great Circle Route - The shortest course between two points on the surface of that sphere.
Great Ocean Conveyor Belt - Dense, cold water at the poles sinks and travels throughout the world's oceans.
Great Woolly Mammoth - Preserved for 23,000 years in the frozen wastes of Siberia.
Great Woolly Mammoth - Their remains left behind so much ivory in Asia that a trade in mammoth tusks began in the Middle Ages.
Greater Snow Geese - The most northerly breeding geese in the world.
Greenland - The largest island in the world is located primarily within the Arctic Circle.
Greenland Colonies - Aboriginal peoples came into contact with the Norse colonists.
Greenland-Eskimo Vocabulary for the Use of the Arctic Expeditions - In England, a young Inuit man helped in the preparation of a guide.
Greenland Ice Sheet - Greenland has the only permanent ice sheet in the Arctic.
Greenland Ice Sheet - After drilling through the Greenland ice sheet, scientists found millions of microbes.
Greenland Ice Sheet, Melting - A recent study suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is doomed.
Greenland Inuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Greenland Rocks - West Greenland has the oldest known collection of rocks on Earth!
Greenland Shark - One of the largest sharks in the world, rivaling the Great White in size.
Greenland Shark - Cruising the frigid waters beneath the ice, the sharks hunt in near darkness.
Greenpeace - Reports that the glaciers of Svalbard are rapidly disappearing.
Grise Fiord - To ensure sovereignty in the North, the Canadian government resettled Inuit families on Ellesmere Island.
Grizzly Bears - Two species of bears inhabit the Arctic - polar bears on the coasts and ice pack, and grizzly bears inland.
Growlers - Very small chunks of floating ice that rise only about 1 meter / 3 feet out of the water.
Gulag - Millions of prisoners were "exiled" to forced labor camps in Siberia.
Gyrfalcons - The most northerly of the falcons, making their home in Arctic Europe, Asia, North America and Greenland.
Halloween - The Halloween Polar Alert is in effect around the town of Churchill to protect "trick or treaters" from polar bears.
Haloes - Haloes around the sun sometimes occur in cold areas when sunlight interacts with ice crystals.
Hammerfest - This Norwegian city is the northernmost city in Europe - well above the Arctic Circle.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival - The festival is one of the largest ice and snow spectaculars in the world.
Hare, Arctic - Live in the tundra and rocky mountainous areas of Northern Canada and parts of Greenland.
HEALTH - See our "Health/Safety" section.
Heimaey Island - This Icelandic island is an example of ongoing volcanic activity.
Henson, Matthew - Accompanied Peary to the North Pole, but as a black man, got little recognition.
Horse, Yakut - Some think the Yakut horse is related to a creature that existed before the last ice age.
Hot Springs - Iceland's volcanic base contributes to its geothermal activity, giving it more hot springs than any other country in the world.
Hubbard Glacier - A glacier that is prone to surging.
Hudson, Henry - Made several voyages in search of a passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Hummocks - Masses of broken ice are caused by the pressure of ice floes jamming and crushing against each other.
Hunter's Boat - The Inuit invented the kayak, a one person boat used for hunting and transportation
Hunting - As soon as the ice is solid enough, hunters, like the polar bears, set out after the seals.
Hunting - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Huskies - The original "huskies" were Siberian huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, used by native peoples in Alaska and Siberia.
Hypothermia - Exposure to cold can cause the chilling of the inner core of the body.
Ice Age - At the peak of the last glaciation or "Ice Age", most of North America was covered by ice.
Ice Age - The shallow seas in the Bering Strait dropped, creating a land bridge linking Asia and North America.
Ice Age - The weight of the ice was so great that it depressed the Earth's crust by as much as 700 meters / 2,300 feet.
Ice Age LINKS - See our "Ice Age" links section.
Ice and Snow Festival - The festival in Harbin, China, is one of the largest ice and snow spectaculars in the world.
Ice Blink - White glare seen on the underside of low clouds indicating the presence of ice in the distance.
Ice Challenger - Crossing the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia.
Ice Circulation Systems - There are two major circulation systems in the Arctic Ocean.
Ice Changes - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Ice Drillng - Drilling deep into the Greenland ice sheet, scientists have recovered what seem to be bits of plants.
Ice Drilling - By drilling into the ice, scientists can learn about past air quality, temperature changes, and types of vegetation.
Ice Floes - Frozen masses of seawater that float on the surface of the sea and is free moving - unlike pack ice.
Ice Habitat - Where there is Arctic sea ice - there are polar bears. Where sea ice is absent year round - there are no polar bears.
Ice Hotel - A hotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is made from thousands of tons of ice and snow.
Ice Patrol - There has not been loss of life or property with vessels that have heeded the patrol's warnings.
Ice Road - About 87% of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road is over frozen lakes.
Ice Safety - When walking on ice with water underneath, always observe minimum thicknesses for safety on clear, solid ice.
Ice Sheet - Greenland has the only permanent ice sheet in the Arctic.
Ice Sheet - After drilling through the Greenland ice sheet, scientists found millions of microbes.
Ice Sheet, Antarctica - The greenland ice sheet is only about one-eighth the size of the Antarctic ice sheet.
Ice Sheets - A continental ice sheet is a vast expanse of ice which completely covers all underlying terrain.
Ice Sheets, Melting - A recent study suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is doomed.
Ice Shelf - A floating ice sheet that is attached to the coast and usually extends out over the water.
Ice Theatre - An ice replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is not in London (not cold enough), but in Sweden.
Ice Tunnel - In Alaska, there is a long tunnel bored into the permafrost.
ICEBERG - See our "Icebergs" section.
Iceberg Alley - Where bergs from the glaciers of Greenland drift down to Newfoundland and Labrador.
Iceberg Colors - Bergs are ususally white because the ice is full of tiny air bubbles, but blue streaks can appear.
Iceberg Drifting - Before some icebergs completely deteriorate, they may travel great distances.
Iceberg Floating - Only 1/7 to 1/8 of an iceberg can be seen above water.
Iceberg Furrows - Icebergs often run aground, leaving deep gouges where the huge masses of ice have ploughed into the seafloor.
Iceberg Instability - The highly random shape and non-uniform melting can lead to frequent shifts.
Iceberg Layers - The stripes and different colored layers in the ice represent different periods of snowfall.
Iceberg LINKS - See our "Iceberg" links section.
Iceberg Shapes - The basic categories of shapes that are used for iceberg observations.
Iceberg Size - The International Ice Patrol uses various size categories to identify icebergs.
Iceberg Source - The vast majority of North Atlantic bergs come from the major glaciers of West Greenland.
Iceberg Towing - When bergs just drift along without navigators, they can be a serious danger to ships or harbors.
Icebreakers - How icebreakers break ice.
Icebreaker Tours - Since the 1980s, trips to the North Pole on icebreakers have increased in popularity for tourists.
Icebreakers - The "Polar Sea" and "Polar Star" are the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers.
Iceland - The country boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly - the Althing.
Iceland, Volcanoes - Iceland, like Hawaii, was formed by volcanoes.
Icelandic Annals - Indicate that Europeans were venturing into the Arctic and regularly trading with Iceland by the 1300s.
Iditarod - The "Last Great Race" covers some of the toughest terrain on earth.
Igloo - The igloo is a snowhouse that was used by the Inuit as a temporary shelter.
Industry - Oil, minerals, diamonds, and tourism are bringing people to the Arctic.
Industry - See our "Industry" section.
Insects - Insects in the Arctic bring misery to its inhabitants.
International Date Line - 0° longitude divides the Earth into the west and eastern hemispheres.
International Ice Patrol - There has not been loss of life or property with vessels that have heeded the patrol's warnings.
INUIT - See our "Inuit" section.
Inuit History - See out "Inuit" section for information on the Paleo-Eskimo, Dorset, Thule and Historical Periods.
Inuit Beliefs - Traditional Inuit beliefs are a form of animism, according to which all objects and living things or beings have a spirit.
Inuit Carvings - This artistic expression has produced a number of "world class" artists.
Inuit Explorers - The first Arctic explorers in North America were the Inuit who have been exploring for thousands of years.
Inuit LINKS - See our "Inuit" links section.
Inuksuk - An Inuit monument used for communication and survival that is usually made of un-worked stones.
Inuktitut - A language unique to the Inuit culture.
Inuvialuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Irish Monks - Irish monks may have settled in Iceland as early as the 8th century, then left upon the arrival of the pagan Norsemen.
Isotherm - The Arctic can also be defined as being the area where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10°C / 50°F.
Ivory - Both male and female walruses have long ivory tusks.
Kallihirua, Erasmus Augustine - One of the few Inuit to become internationally known in the 19th century, and probably the first to leave the Arctic.
Kamiks - The Inuit followed certain footwear rules when hunting.
Kane, Elisha Kent - His book "Arctic Explorations" was the first introduction that many had to the Arctic and the "esquimeaux".
Kayak - The Inuit invented the kayak, a one person boat used for hunting and transportation
Khatanga - Great Woolly Mammoths preserved for 23,000 years in Siberia.
Kudlik - A crescent-shaped stone lamp fuelled by the oil from animal blubber.
Kutiah Glacier - Holds the record for the fastest glacial surge.
LAND - See our "Arctic Land" section.
Land Bridge - During the last Ice Age, the shallow seas in the Bering Strait dropped, exposing land linking Asia and North America.
Land of the Midnight Sun - Why doesn't the Sun set?
Lapland - Arctic Finland covers about one-third of Finland, about the same portion as lies north of the Arctic Circle.
Last Great Race - The Iditarod covers some of the toughest terrain on earth.
Latitude - For well over 2,000 years, navigators have known how to determine both direction and latitude by using the North Star.
Latitude - Between the Equator and the North Pole, the angle of Polaris above the horizon is a direct measure of latitude.
Lead Poisoning - Canning was a new method of preserving food when the Franklin Expedition set off for the Arctic.
Leads - Movement caused by currents pulls sections of the ice cap apart, creating open lanes of water called "leads".
Leads - Cracks in the moving pack ice that can open up without warning.
Legends - Every northern culture had legends about the auroras, often associating them with life after death.
Lemming Colonies - These little critters live in colonies that are mazes of tunnels and passageways through the tundra.
Lemming Cycles - Lemming populations rise and fall dramatically, usually peaking about every 4 years.
Lemming Suicide - The stories about these critters committing mass suicide by jumping off cliffs are not factual.
Lightning - A dramatic result of climate change has been the introduction of electrical storms to the Arctic.
Little Ice Age - The Little Ice Age (1560-1850) brought bitterly cold winters to parts of northern Europe and North America.
Little Ice Age - When Europeans began to explore the Arctic, the climate in Northern North America and Europe was colder than it is at present.
Longitude - How did early explorers determine their east-west position on the Earth's surface?
Magnetism - The magnet (as part of a compass) was one of the few things that could help keep early explorers from getting lost.
Magnetosphere - The North Geomagnetic Pole is the north end of the axis of the magnetosphere.
Magnetosphere - One of the things that produces the Northern Lights.
Malaspina Glacier - The largest "piedmont" glacier on the continent.
Mammoth, Great Woolly - Preserved for 23,000 years in the frozen wastes of Siberia.
Mammoth, Great Woolly - Their remains left behind so much ivory in Asia that a trade in mammoth tusks began in the Middle Ages.
Manhattan, SS - The tanker set out to test a route for the shipment of Alaskan crude oil through the Northwest Passage.
MAPS - See our "Arctic Maps" section.
Map LINKS - See our "Arctic Maps" links section.
Marathon - The North Pole Marathon is run on the frozen Arctic pack ice over the Arctic Ocean.
Marine Reindeer - One of three types of reindeer.
Mars - Devon Island has land and glacial features like those found on Mars, making it an ideal location to train for a space mission.
Medicine - An old medicine chest from the Franklin Expedition contains the powders and pills that were used to treat sick or injured sailors.
Meteorites - Scientists search for micro-meteorites that may have fallen on the Greenland ice sheet.
Meteorology - In his book "Meteorology", written over 2,350 years ago, Aristotle described the Northern Lights.
McClure, Robert - He and his crew were credited for finding the route of the Northwest Passage.
Microbes - After drilling through the Greenland ice sheet, scientists found millions of microbes.
Mid-Atlantic Ridge - A split in the Earth's crust dividing the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate.
Midnight Sun - Why doesn't the Sun set?
Migratory Birds - In summer, thousands of migratory birds come to the Arctic to feed and raise their young.
Mirage - The "arctic" or "superior" mirage occurs when an image of an object appears above the actual object.
Mirage - An optical illusion (Fata Morgana) of solid, well-defined coastal features that appear where there are none.
Mityushikha Bay - The largest bomb ever exploded on planet Earth was exploded over this Russian Arctic area.
Morgan le Fay - An optical illusion of solid, well-defined coastal features that appear where there are none.
Moscow Zoo - Polar bears play in "snow" that comes from a high-tech compressor in their enclosure.
Mosquitoes - Why are there so many mosquitoes in the Arctic?
Mosquitoes - They appear in late spring, just as the caribou shed their long winter hair.
Mountain Caribou - One of three types of caribou.
Murmansk - During the Second World War, Arctic convoys carrying vital war materials to the Russian port of Murmansk.
Murres - Members of a group of black and white, duckshaped seabirds called auks.
Mushers - To a sled dog, mushers are the "leader of the pack", so they must be strong leaders.
Mushing - Mushing is a term for using one or more dogs to pull a sled on snow. Here's how to hitch them up.
Mushing Commands - The most common commands for a dog team.
Muskox - Muskoxen roam wild throughout Arctic North America in small herds.
Muskox - Their coat consists of two parts: long, coarse outer hairs, and a soft, dense, wool-like underhair.
Myths - A magic aura surrounded the Arctic area in the fourteenth century.
Nansen, Fridtjof - Norwegian explorer of the Arctic, oceanographer, and Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian.
Narwhal - The narwhal is one of the rarest whales, with only between 25,000 and 45,000 remaining in the world.
Narwhal Tusk - The tusk is actually a tooth - one of a pair in the Arctic whale's upper jaw.
Nautilus - The world's first nuclear submarine made the first trip to the North Pole by going under the ice cap.
Nenets - These Siberian reindeer herders travel the Yamal Peninsula.
Nenets - Interaction with non-indigenous people had negative effects on the Nenets in the 19th century.
Nipped - When a ship finds itself in a situation where ice is forcibly pressing on both sides, it is said to be "nipped".
Nobile, Umberto - Pilot and designer of the airship in which he, Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth flew over the North Pole.
Nordenskjold, Nils Adolf Erik - The Swedish explorer first completed a voyage through the Northeast Passage.
Norrland - Swedish Lapland is one of the last wilderness areas of Europe.
Norse - Vikings settled in Iceland about 1,150 years ago, and in the process, discovered the key to the New World.
Norse Settlements - The Vikings met "Skraelings", their word for Aboriginal peoples who crossed over to Greenland.
North Greenland Ice Core Project - Drilling deep into the Greenland ice sheet, scientists have recovered what seem to be bits of plants.
North Magnetic Pole - Magnetic compasses point to the NMP, but it's at a different location than True North.
North Magnetic Pole - Gilbert's book, On the Magnet, brought a new understanding of the magnetic pole.
North Magnetic Pole, Discovery - James Clark Ross claimed the discovery on the west coast of Boothia Peninsula in 1831.
North Pole, Alaska - The town of North Pole, Alaska is nowhere near the North Pole. It isn't even north of the Arctic Circle!
North Pole, Geographic - Located at 90° North latitude, it is the northernmost point on the Earth's surface.
North Pole of Inaccessibility - The point on the surface of the Arctic Ocean which is the farthest distance from any coastline.
North Pole Marathon - The race is run on the frozen Arctic pack ice over the Arctic Ocean.
North Pole Sovereignty - Canada claimed sovereignty of the Pole but that is now being challenged.
North Pole Tours - Since the 1980s, trips to the North Pole on icebreakers have increased in popularity for tourists.
North Pole View - When Peary arrived in 1909, he photographed four different directions to provide a record that he saw no land.
North Slope - A flat, oil-rich tundra plain that extends north from Alaska's Brooks mountain range to the Arctic Ocean.
North Star - Also called Polaris, polar star and polestar, it never changes its place in the sky. When you face it, you are always facing North.
Northeast Passage - Icebreakers first navigated the passage in the 1900s, and in the 1930s the "Northern Sea Route" was established.
NORTHERN LIGHTS - See our "Northern Lights" section.
Northern Lights LINKS - See our "Northern Lights" links section.
Northern Sea Route - Icebreakers navigated the Northeast Passage in the 1900s, and in the 1930s the "Northern Sea Route" was established.
Northwest Passage - It was hoped that a Northwest Passage through the Arctic provide a shorter route from Europe to Asia.
Northwest Passage LINKS - See our "Northwest Passage" links section.
Northwest Passage Maps - The Northwest Passage is a famous sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Norway - Famous for its fjords, Norway has one of most rugged and longest coastlines in the world.
Note - The only knowledge we have of the Franklin Expedition ships comes from clues found by numerous searchers.
Novaya Zemlya - The largest bomb ever exploded on planet Earth was exploded over this Russian island.
Nunavut Flag - A flag to represent the home of the Inuit.
Nunavut Government - Ensures that Inuit culture and values are represented.
Nunavut Population - The territory of Nunavut is one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth.
Ocean Currents, Arctic - There are two major ice circulation systems in the Arctic Ocean.
Oil - Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is a US port on the Beaufort Sea that is known for its nearby oil reserves.
On the Magnet - Gilbert's book was a thorough review of what was known about magnetism in 1600.
Ooqueah - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
Ootah - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
Orca - Killer Whales are found in all oceans of the world, but are most common in the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
Oymyakon, Siberia - One of the coldest places in the world.
Paleo-Eskimo Period - Inuit history: 3000-5000 Years Ago.
Pancake Ice - free floating and mainly circular pieces of ice that form when surface slush accumulates into floating pads.
Parry, Sir William - Led a number of British expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage.
Paws - The polar bear's paws are marvelously adapted to life in the Arctic.
Peary, Robert Edwin - Claimed to be the first to reach the North Pole on April 6, 1909.
Peary vs Cook - Who was first to the North Pole?
Peary Caribou - One of three types of caribou.
Peary's North Pole Pictures - When Peary arrived in 1909, he photographed four different directions to provide a record that he saw no land.
Peck, Edmund - Introduced a syllabic script system to the Canadian Inuit.
Penguins - They DO NOT live in the Arctic and polar bears do not eat penguins.
PEOPLE - See our "People" section for information about explorers and others.
Permafrost - Soil or rock that remains below 0°C / 32°F throughout the year.
Permafrost - There are several types of permafrost.
Permafrost - Above-freezing temperatures can turn frozen ground into a soft, slurry-like material that can cause damage to structures.
Piedmont Glacier - Occur where steep valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto flat plains or lowlands.
Pingo - A mound or hill, consisting of an outer layer of soil covering a core of solid ice.
Pinnacle Iceberg - One of the basic categories of shapes for iceberg observations.
Plankton - These organisms are the first level of an important food chain in the Arctic.
Plants - About 1,500 species of Arctic flora have developed that somehow manage to survive in difficult conditions.
Polar Bear Capital of the World - There are about 15,000 polar bears in northern Canada, and 1,200 or so of them pass by or through Churchill.
Polar Bear Cubs - Pregnant polar bears usually enter their dens around November and give birth to cubs about two months later.
POLAR BEARS - See our "Polar Bear" section.
Polar Bears, Hunting for Seals - This is how they catch their favorite meal.
Polar Bears, Sharing - Bears who observe proper manners are frequently allowed to share a kill.
Polar Bears, Territories - Once thought to be aimless wanderers, it is now believed that polar bears have distinct territories, or home ranges.
Polar Sea & Polar Star - Two of the largest ships in the U.S. Coast Guard and the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers.
Polaris - Also called North Star, polar star and polestar, it never changes its place in the sky. When you face it, you are always facing North.
Poles - There are four "North Poles" that can be defined in the Arctic.
Poles - Why are the Poles cold?
Poles - The Arctic isn't quite as cold as Antarctica, and here are some reasons why.
Pollution, Air - Soot in areas with ice and snow may play an important role in climate change.
Pollution, Water - The Arctic may look pristine, but its inhabitants contain high levels of heavy metals, organic pollutants, and radiation.
Polygons - A honeycomb of ice walls beneath the surface of permafrost soils.
Polynyas - Areas of ice-free water in the Arctic ice pack that stay clear for up to 9 or 10 months of the year.
Pony, Yakut - Some think the Yakut horse is related to a creature that existed before the last ice age.
Population, Arctic - There are now approximately 4 million people living permanently in the Arctic.
Population, Inuit - Altogether, about 120,000 Inuit live in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Siberia.
Population LINKS - See our "Population" links section.
Population, Nunavut - The territory of Nunavut is one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth.
Predator - Polar bears are the world's largest land predators and top the food chain in the Arctic.
Pressure Ridges - When the great sheets of ice collide, ridges of ice build up at the point of collision.
Prime Meridian - Divides the Earth into the west and eastern hemispheres, and runs through Greenwich, England.
Prudhoe Bay, Alaska - The US port on the Beaufort Sea is known for its nearby oil reserves.
Ptarmigan - These birds live year round in the Arctic. In winter, their feathers change to white to blend in with the snow.
Puffins - They can swim underwater so well that people used to claim that they were a cross between a bird and a fish.
Puffins - Arctic puffins live along the sea coasts of the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
Pytheas - Ancient records suggest that the Greek navigator Pytheas visited the Arctic about 2,330 years ago.
Quadrant - Ancient mariners used a quadrant to determine latitude.
Rafting - When ice floes collide and the edges are pushed together, the edge of one floe is sometimes pushed up on top of the other.
Rangers - Canadian Rangers use a combination of Inuit knowledge and modern military technique to patrol and protect the Far North.
Rangifer Tarandus - The species we know as caribou and reindeer.
Rasmussen, Knud - Knud was the first person to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled.
Record Low Temperatures - How cold can it get in the Arctic?
Reindeer / Caribou - Caribou migration routes are unpredicatable. Perhaps that's why reindeer are herded by many Arctic peoples in Eurasia.
Reindeer / Caribou Types - There are three types, or subspecies, of reindeer with matching groups for caribou.
Reindeer - Why Santa picked them for his team.
Reindeer Stone - Tugtupite, a beautiful, soft, deep red mineral found only in the Arctic.
Research Station - Devon Island has land and glacial features like those found on Mars, making it an ideal location to train for a space mission.
Resolute, Nunavut - "Resolute is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."
Resolute, HMS - The ship got stuck in the ice, was abandoned, and later found by an American whaling ship.
Resolute, HMS - If this ship could drift out of the Arctic on its own, could Franklin's ships do the same thing?
Revontulet - In Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights are called revontulet, which means "fox fires".
Rocks - West Greenland has the oldest known collection of rocks on Earth!
Roosevelt - Peary's ship was the most practical ship to enter Arctic waters.
Ross, James Clark - Was one of the most seasoned of the British Polar explorers and a member of the British "Arctic Council".
Ross, Sir John - He was thought to have perished, but was knighted in honour of the four Arctic winters he endured, and for bringing his men through with few losses.
Royal Navy - By 1818, Britain had conquered Napoleon and the War with the United States was over, so the navy decided to vanquish the polar regions.
Royal Observatory - A seafaring people, the British recognized the need for accurate navigation.
Runestone - A message found in Minnesota might indicate that European explorers may have made it all the way to the Great Lakes by 1362.
Russia - Extending nearly halfway around the world, Arctic Russia stretches over two continents and nine time zones.
Sami / Saami - One of the indigenous peoples of Europe and often referred to as Laplanders.
Sami / Saami / Saemieh - Long before the Swedish, Finnish or even the Viking culture had developed, the Scandinavian peninsula was populated by the Saemieh.
Sami Parliament - Norway, Finland and Sweden have structures that represent the Sami people.
Santa Claus - Why Santa picked reindeer for his team.
Sapporo Snow Festival - Snow sculptures turn Sapporo, Japan into a winter dreamland.
Sassat - Swimming pool-sized breathing holes in the solid sea ice.
Satellite - CryoSat is designed to measure changes in the Earth’s terrestrial and marine ice fields.
Saunas - The Finns are famous for their saunas - used for bathing as well as mental and physical relaxation.
Schools - Modern schools in Nunavut teach the preparation of traditional foods, and even the construction of the sleds used for hunting.
Scoresby, William - His book "An Account of the Arctic Regions" was the result of his experience travelling on and through ice.
Scrimshaw - The delicate art of carving or engraving intricate designs on whalebone, whale ivory or walrus tusks.
Scurvy - This ugly disease was referred to as "the curse of the Arctic regions".
Seal Hunt - Ice floes provide a birthing place for seals that is safe from natural predators, but not from seal hunters.
Seal Pups - Seals mate in the spring and give birth in the spring of the following year.
Seals - Why have seals always been important to the Inuit way of life?
Seals, Breathing Holes - As air-breathing mammals, seals must have a way to get back to air, or else they will drown.
Seals, Whitecoats - Harp seal pups are born with a fluffy white coat that makes them look as cute as can be - but seal hunters want it.
Seasonal Snow - Seasonal snow covers up to 33% of the Earth's total land surface.
Search - Although the search for the lost Franklin Expedition ended in failure, it did have some indirect benefits.
Seegloo - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
Shaman - The central religious figure in traditional Inuit culture.
SHIPS - See our "Ships" section.
Ship LINKS - See our "Boats & Ships" links section.
Siberian Cities - Since the middle of the last century, more than 200 cities were established in the Russian Arctic.
Siberian Gulags - Millions of prisoners were "exiled" to forced labor camps in Siberia.
Siberian Yuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Skraelings - Norse word for Aboriginal peoples who crossed over to Greenland and came into contact with the Norse colonists.
Sled / Sledge - To withstand the rugged conditions encountered on the Arctic ice cap, exploration sledges have to be very strong.
Sled / Sledge Runners - Before plastic was available, sledge runners had to be kept smooth by other means.
Sled Dog Commands - The most common commands for a dog team.
Sled Dog Treatment - Early European and American explorers did not often treat their sled dogs with care or compassion.
SLED DOGS - See our "Sled Dogs" section.
Sledge Hauling - In the days of early British Arctic exploration, the standard navy method of travelling was the "sledge-hauling crew"
Sleet - Snow is not frozen rain. Sometimes raindrops freeze as they fall, but this is called "sleet".
Sludge - Ice the consistency of thick honey that is in an early stage of freezing and has not yet become solid.
SNOW - See our "Snow" section.
Snow - Seasonal snow covers up to 33% of the Earth's total land surface.
Snow Blind - Temporary loss of vision caused by exposure of the eyes to bright sunlight reflected from snow or ice.
Snow Caves - Caves can provide both an emergency and recreational winter shelter.
Snow Crystals or Snowflakes - A snow crystal is a single crystal of ice, but a snowflake can be as many as 200 stuck together.
Snow Geese - Greater Snow Geese are the most northerly breeding geese in the world.
Snow Goggles - Used to keep from going "snow blind" from the reflection of the sun's light off the ice.
Snow Knives - Used to both cut and trim blocks of snow, particularly for the building of igloos.
Snow Words - The Inuit, Aivilik and Igloolik languages have over 30 words for snow.
Snowbird 6 - Name of the vehicle used to cross the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia.
Snowfall Record - The world record for the most snow in one year is now held by Mount Baker.
Snowflake Bentley - The discovery that "no two snowflakes are alike" was made by Wilson Bentley.
Snowflake Categories - Their forms usually fall into several basic categories.
Snowflake Types - Ukichiro Nakaya created a system to classify snowflakes as to 41 individual types.
Snowflake Watching - It's easy. All it takes is a magnifying glass, a little patience, and some nice warm clothes.
Snowy Owls - These owls are found only in the Arctic - living and breeding on the tundra.
Solar Wind - One of the things that produces the Northern Lights.
Solstice, Summer - First day of the Season of Summer when the Sun is farthest north.
Solstice, Winter - The Winter Solstice is the first day of the Season of Winter when the Sun is farthest south.
Soot - Soot in areas with ice and snow may play an important role in climate change.
Sovereignty - Claims to the North Pole are being challenged.
Space - The Northern Lights begin at about the edge of space.
Space Warning Squadron - Located at the U.S. Armed Forces' northernmost base in Thule, Greenland.
SpaceShipOne - It won the X-Prize for being the first privately funded spacecraft to go into space - about where the Northern Lights start.
St. Roch - The second ship to navigate the Northwest Passage, and the first to go from west to east.
St. Roch II - Recreated in 2000 the famous voyage of the St. Roch in 1940-42.
Standing-ups - The Arctic can also be defined as being the area above the "treeline" - where no "standing-ups" grow.
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur - Canadian ethnologist and explorer who discovered many previously unknown native tribes and territories.
Striations - Grooves or scratches left behind in the bedrock after a glacier has passed over it.
Submarines - For almost 60 years, submarines have been operating in the Arctic Ocean.
Submarines - See our "Boats/Ships/Submarine" section.
Sun - Why doesn't the Sun set?
Sun, Leaves the North Pole - On September 24 the last edge of the Sun disappears below the horizon.
Sun, Return to North Pole - On March 18, the leading edge of the Sun peeks over the horizon at the Pole.
Sun Dogs - Sometimes appear as two bright points on each side of the sun.
Sunrise/Sunset LINKS - See our "Sunrise/Sunset" links section.
Surgeons - There was a great difference between doctors and surgeons in the nineteenth century.
Svalbard - Because the islands are so close to the North Pole, Svalbard has been a popular "base" for Arctic exploration.
Svalbard Glaciers - Glaciers on the island began an almost continuous retreat starting around 1900.
Sverdrup, Otto - The Norwegian explorer discovered three islands in the Canadian Arctic and claimed them for Norway.
Sweden / Swedish Lapland - One of the last wilderness areas of Europe.
Tattooing, Inuit - Tattooing was practiced in the Arctic as early as 3500 years ago.
Temperature - The Arctic can also be defined as being the area where the average temperature for the warmest month (July) is below 10°C / 50°F.
Temperatures - The High Arctic is one of the coldest, driest and harshest environments in the world.
Terror & Erebus - The ships of the Franklin Expedition were designed to go where no ships had gone before.
Terror & Erebus - Where are Franklin's ships? Did they drift with ice floes and icebergs into the North Atlantic?
Thaw Lakes - Water that melts on top of the permafrost collects into shallow lakes.
Thirst - Thirst was as common in the Arctic as it was in the African deserts.
Throat Singing - Throat-singing has long been an important part of Inuit culture.
Thule - Today this Greenland outpost is the U.S. Armed Forces' northernmost base which includes a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site.
Thule Period - Inuit history: 300-1000 years ago.
Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road - About 87% of the road is over frozen lakes.
Tidewater Glaciers - Valley glaciers that end in sea, lake, or river water.
Tigi-su - Why reach the North Pole? The Inuit concluded there must be a giant spike there and called it Tigi-su - "The Big Nail".
Titanic - The biggest passenger liner in the world was no match for a North Atlantic iceberg.
Tokositna Glacier - A rumbling glacier that is prone to surging.
Tourism - Visits to the Arctic have increased considerably. Here are some tips if you plan to visit.
Tourism, Eco - Travel to the Arctic for the purpose of observing wildlife and learning about the environment.
Trans-Alaska Pipeline - Petroleum is transported from the Arctic coastal plain to Valdez, where it is transferred to tankers.
Trans-Alaska Pipeline - The pipleine crosses the entire state of Alaska.
Transpolar Drift - This ice circulation system carries water and ice from Siberia, across the pole and down the east coast of Greenland.
Treeline - As well as being the area within the Arctic Circle, the Arctic can also be defined as being the area above the "treeline".
Trypots - Whalers stripped the blubber and boiled it down into oil in large iron pots.
Tugtupite - A beautiful, soft, deep red mineral found only in the Arctic. Its Inuit name, Tuttupit, means "Reindeer Blood".
Tundra - Frost-molded landscapes, extremely low temperatures, little precipitation, poor nutrients, and short growing seasons.
Tundra Buggies - In Churchill, people watch polar bears safely by travelling in tundra buggies.
Tundra Reindeer - One of three types of reindeer.
Tunnel, Ice - In Alaska, there is a long tunnel bored into the permafrost.
Tusk, Narwhal - The narwhal tusk is actually a tooth - one of a pair in the Arctic whale's upper jaw.
Tusk, Walrus - Both male and female walruses have long ivory tusks.
Tuttupit - The Inuit name (meaning "reindeer blood") for Tugtupite, a beautiful, soft, deep red mineral found only in the Arctic.
Ultima Thule - The term of ancient geographers, referring to the farthest north land known to be inhabited by humans.
Ulu - The "woman's knife" is a crescent-shaped general-purpose cutting tool used for preparing skins, skinning, butchering, eating and sewing.
Umiak - Large open skin boat once widely used throughout the Arctic for whale hunting, or moving materials and people.
Ursa Major - The Great Bear constellation appears in the northern sky.
UTC - Near the Poles, lines of longitude are too close together to be practical as time zones, so Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is used.
Vegetation - Arctic vegetation is inactive for nine months as the plants snooze under snow blankets.
Viking Settlements - The Norse colonists met "Skraelings", their word for Aboriginal peoples who crossed over to Greenland.
Vikings - Vikings settled in Iceland about 1,150 years ago, and in the process, discovered the key to the New World.
Volcanoes - Iceland, like Hawaii, was formed by volcanoes.
Verkhoyansk, Siberia - One of the coldest places in the world.
Vostok Station - The lowest world temperature for anywhere.
Walrus - Calves are usually born on the ice, and by one month of age, they are strong swimmers.
Walrus - Very social animals and gather by the hundreds. They like to do everything in herds and seldom go out alone.
Walrus Tusks - Both male and female walruses have long ivory tusks.
Warble Flies - The fly lays eggs on the caribou’s legs and lower body that hatch into larvae.
Ward Hunt Ice Shelf - The biggest ice shelf in the Arctic along the northern coast of Ellesmere Island.
Water Sky - Dark streaks on the underside of low clouds, indicating the presence of open water in the distance.
Weather - Click the names to check out today's weather in some Arctic locations
Wedge Iceberg - One of the basic categories of shapes for iceberg observations.
Western Arctic Inuit - One of the Inuit population groups.
Wetland - There are five basic types of Arctic wetland: bogs, fens, swamps, marshes, and shallow open water.
WHALES - See our "Whales & Fish" section.
Whaling - Archaeological evidence tells us of ancient whale hunting societies in the North American Arctic.
Whaling - Whalers began hunting whales in the Arctic as far back as the 16th century.
Whitecoats - Harp seal pups are born with a fluffy white coat that makes them look as cute as can be - but seal hunters want it.
Whiteout - Whiteout occurs when the sky and snow are of a similar whiteness, making it difficult to distinguish a horizon.
Wildflowers - During a very short growing season, spectacular displays of wildflowers occur.
Wilkins, Sir Hubert - The Australian explorer flew over the Arctic Ocean by aircraft in 1927.
Wind - As the warmer air at lower latitudes rises, the cold polar air rushes down to take its place.
Wind Chill - The air on a windy day feels colder than that indicated by a thermometer.
Winter Road - About 87% of the Tibbitt to Contwoyto winter road is over frozen lakes.
Wintering - When a large sailing ship became ice-bound in the Arctic, the crew had to prepare it for the winter.
Wolves, Arctic - Year-round white coats and slightly shorter noses and ears distinguish Arctic wolves from other wolves.
Wolves, Arctic - They live so far north that they're quite safe from the greatest threat of all - people.
Women's Boat - Umiaks were once widely used throughout the Arctic for whale hunting, or moving materials and people.
Woman's Knife - The ulu is a crescent-shaped general-purpose cutting tool used for preparing skins, skinning, butchering, eating and sewing.
Woodland Caribou - One of three types of caribou.
Woolly Mammoth - Preserved for 23,000 years in the frozen wastes of Siberia.
Woolly Mammoth - Their remains left behind so much ivory in Asia that a trade in mammoth tusks began in the Middle Ages.
York, Erasmus - One of the few Inuit to become internationally known in the 19th century, and probably the first to leave the Arctic.
Yukon Quest - Toughest sled dog race in the world.
Yup'ik - Famous for their sea hunting culture, the Yup'ik maintained their traditional way of life well into the 20th century.
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