Facts about the Arctic

We are focusing on the Arctic this month on Squizzes following the fantastic competition from the LEGO City Arctic Expedition Map Competition! 

Do you know what Arctic means?  It comes from the Greek word “arktos” which means “bear.” You might think that this something to do with the polar bears that live there, but it actually has to do with the stars. Two constellations found in the northern sky are called “Great Bear” and “Little Bear” so the Arctic was named after them. The North Star, which is called Polaris, is part of these constellations.

When you are in the  North Pole you would be in every time zone at once, most visitors just use the time zone of the country they are traveling from.

Due to the Earth tilting as it orbits the sun at certain times of the year the Arctic gets very few hours of sun. During the winter months it is nighttime all day, or the sun will rise and then set again within a couple hours. In the summer the opposite happens with the sun shining all night. That’s why the Arctic is sometimes called the land of the midnight sun.

The Arctic Ocean is almost entirely covered in drifting sea ice during the winter. In the summer, around 50% of the Arctic Ocean remains frozen.

By international law, the North Pole, and the region of Arctic Ocean surrounding it, do not belong to any country.

Early humans began to explore these northern lands 10,000 years ago. The hunters and anglers of the Proto-Eskimo tribe were the first native residents of the Arctic Region. The native minorities of the North still live in the traditional settlement areas of their ancestors and preserve their traditional way of life, economic practices and trades.

Although the Arctic Ocean is covered by an ice cap, the ice cap is decreasing in size due to global warming and pollution. If it continues to melt it is possible that eventually there will be no more ice in the Arctic Ocean. This may happen by the year 2040.

The Titanic sank because it ran into an iceberg that had broken away from a glacier from the Arctic Ocean.

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