Canada is home to some wild places and even wilder animals, which is why it remains much of a mystery as to what's actually out there in that vast woodland. The size of Canada is roughly the same size as the entire US, making it one of the largest counties in the world. It also expands over several different landforms and traverses through various temperature regions and elevations, which also give it a wide array of weather patterns as well. Interestingly enough, its citizens have been deemed as some of the happiest in the world and that makes us wonder -- What's so special about the seemingly undiscovered parts of Canada?
We're taking a closer look at all of the off-the-map, uncharted destinations in the most uninhabited parts of this northern territory. The Canadian wilderness isn't always friendly to the inexperienced, but it's fascinating and enticing all the same. Out of any other country, Canada reigns supreme in their environmental protection laws, which are essentially what keeps their wilderness alive and thriving. What lives and grows in it, well... That's what we're getting to the bottom of. From humbling mountain summits to ruthless predators and everything in between, these are some of the craziest facts about Canada's untouched lands.
20 In Canada, Bigger Is Better As Far As Animals Go
Both in the water and out, Canada is home to some massive creatures. Since much of it is untamed and untouched by human hands, creatures that live in the barrens are free to roam, prey, reproduction, and survive just as they were intended. If you happen to be a hiker or camper, you don't venture into the woods without being thoroughly versed in how to deal with wildlife encounters, because they're likely to happen. Of these animals, you could run into grizzlies, black bears, and even polar bears if you're far enough north. The wood bison also roams the forests and is the largest animal in North America, no unlike the moose, which can grow to be tremendous in size and brute force. Large creatures inhabit the waters surround this country as well -- the blue whale calls Canada its home much of the year.
19 It's Home To The Largest Concentration Of Snakes In One Area
Surprised? While you're busy worrying about the risk of a bear sighting, what you might not know is that Canada also has plenty of reptile life. The Narcisse Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba has the largest concentration of snakes not just North America but in the entire world. It's estimated that roughly 70,000 snakes -- that's more than any one person could see in a lifetime -- regularly come to this spot to hibernate throughout the winter. When the warm weather begins to poke its head around the corner, sometime in mid-May, all 70,000 of these snakes return to the surface. Those are interested in reptile life come here to watch the event unfold.
18 The Trees Know No Limits When It Comes To Height
The "Cheewhat Giant" is the name that has been lovingly given to Canada's tallest tree. This tree is of the red cedar family and topped out at an astounding 56 meters, which is roughly 184 feet tall. The taller a tree gets, the wider its trunk needs to be in order to support its size and keep it steady, meaning the trunk of this tree rounds out to roughly 20 feet in diameter. Many come from all over to see the spectacle and it's truly one of nature's gifts, as it's rare to find any tree in North America that could give a skyscraper competition such as that. This is yet another result of Canada's untouched land, allowing nature to do as it pleases with little interference.
17 Canada's Backcountry Is Home To A Number Of Predatory Animals
We mention some of them before, but now we can go in-depth on the deets about Canada's wild animals. You're not likely to find tame black bears as you would in the US and rather, animals are respected and given their space when encountered. Grizzlies can be aggressive and if a black bear sow is protecting her cubs, she, too, can become agitated easily. Polar bears are the largest bear species in North America, but it's less likely you'll run into them unless you're near the Arctic circle. Grizzly bears are by far the most aggressive on this list and have been known to continue attacking prey even after it has already been efficiently wounded. If you pay close enough attention, you might even find Spirit Bears in British Columbia -- They're naturally off-white black bears that are incredibly important in the legends told by the indigenous people of Canada... And yes, they do exist!
16 You'll Find More Lakes Here Than Anywhere Else In The World
Part of this is due to the fact that Canada shares four finger lakes with the US, however, this doesn't mean that you can devalue their own lakes. Almost 9% of Canada is made up of lakes which doesn't sound like that drastic of a percentage but considering that's almost a tenth of the entire country, it's much more than any other in the world. These consist of anything from lakes to rivers and are avidly used by outdoor sports enthusiasts. Not surprisingly, much of this water is pure and Canada is also home to the purest spring water in the world. Throw in the fact that their air quality is second to none, and it's almost like the country, as a whole, is flawless.
15 Canada Is Home To The Northernmost Collection Of Sand Dunes In The World
They're called the Athabasca Sand Dunes and they can be found northwest of Saskatchewan, in the Athabasca Provincial Park. These dunes are a spectacular sight as it's a bit of a miracle that they even exist at all. Considering how far north they are, these dunes were likely covered by glacial activity at some point and as the ice melted, sediment was pushed down, causing these to massive, sandy hills. You're not likely to get any picture-worthy opportunities with these dunes, however; they're not very easy to get to unless you're traveling via boat or plane. Even from an aerial viewpoint, this unusual natural phenomena is a sight to behold.
14 Forest Land That Is Cut Down Must Be Regenerated
This isn't just a rule in Canada, it was actually signed into law. Any use of wood from protected land must be regenerated in order to pass as a legal obtainment. Many of the aboriginal peoples of Canada use this to support their livelihood and the process has been working -- Canada has not suffered a loss via deforestation nor have they encountered any wildlife issues by cutting down the homes of native species. Much of the country consists of national parks and protected lands, so it comes as no surprise that they uphold and strictly enforce this law. With roughly 81% of the country's total population living in cities, this also limits their need to take from natural resources in order to build homes outside of designated city territory.
13 Boreal Forests Are Incredibly Important
So what exactly is the boreal forest, anyway? It's an area of forest that sits within the boreal zone, which is the mass of land that spans between Canada and the Arctic. It's essentially the middle-ground between the parts of Canada that are inhabited and those that aren't and within it lies an entire wealth of wildlife. These forests account for nearly 1.5 billion acres alone between Canada and parts of Alaska. Within this zone, you have a myriad of various landscapes and woodland creatures that call it their home. Without this zone, there would be devastating effects on the ecosystem not just in Canada, but worldwide. For this reason, the boreal forest is maintained and protected, allowing it to go on as naturally as possible in order to maintain the ecological homeostasis.
12 The Lowest Temperature Ever Recorded Was Well Below Zero
This should come as no surprise but since Canada is cold, after all, the country has seen its fair share of debilitating temperatures. The coldest ever recorded, however, was back in 1957. This temperature was recorded in Shag, an area in the Yukon that's known for its frigid weather. At -63-degrees Fahrenheit, it continues to be the coldest temperature Canada has ever seen. Conditions in the Arctic can reach below -80-degrees Fahrenheit, so to compare the Yukon territory of Canada to the freezing conditions of the Arctic in the middle of winter would not be so far of a stretch. While this temperature is nerve-wracking, don't worry -- Much of Canada also sees beautiful summers with nearly perfect temperatures throughout.
11 Canada's Scariest Predator Is Actually A Bird
Despite all of the images of grizzly bears and giant moose that we've put into your head, there's one creature that you should be on the lookout for, and yes -- it is of the bird species. The peregrine falcon is feared because of its speed rather than its tenacity to be aggressive, and they fly at such an incredible velocity that you likely won't even see it coming. These falcons attack their prey from above and can swoop down at a whopping 300 kilometers, which is roughly 186 miles per hour. That's faster than most cars on the road today and the fastest-ever recorded peregrine falcon came down at a stunning 241 miles per hour. When it comes to being attacked, this bird is not something you'd want to come into contact with when it's hungry.
10 They Have Their Own Version Of The Loch Ness Monster
Of course, there has been no scientific evidence of this while lake monster who is affectionately called Ogopogo. However, there was a video taken in September of this year that supposedly proved the existence of the snake-like monster. There were plenty of sightings reported in the weeks following, drawing more attention to what was once a simple urban legend. Whether or not this sea monster actually exists will likely always be a mystery, but Canada is no stranger to wild folklore. Lake Memphremagog has also seen its fair share of storytelling and according to Native Americans, the Memphre serpent is still very much a part of these lakeside waters. There have been plenty of documented sightings of these strange, otherworldly creatures, but none have ever been enough to prove their existence.
9 Banff National Park In Alberta Is Particularly Special
The Banff National Park in Alberta is likely one of the most beautiful, if not the most, stunning protected land in all of North America. This park is home to towering mountains, lakes that are so blue they almost look photoshopped, and an entire host of wildlife that has been undisturbed. Many people flock to Alberta to hike, kayak, climb, and camp in this natural wilderness and this part of Canada really is known for it. Alberta itself is barren and somewhat desolate as far as human life goes; not too many people venture to this wild territory to make a home or start a life. Banff National Park is just about as natural as it gets, and even their overpasses have been covered in grass and trees, just to avoid disturbing the wildlife and ensure that the ecosystem comes before well-traveled roadways.
8 The "Not Since Moses" Run Is Nature At Its Finest
Nova Scotia has been voted the most welcoming place to live for those looking to move to Canada but it's also home to an interesting race. The Not Since Moses 5k and 10k has been going on for some number of years now, and nature is to thank for that. The run takes place in an unusual spot that's only free of water once a year -- The Bay of Fundy leads out to the Atlantic Ocean and during this rare time, it's completely free of water that would normally prevent anyone from running along, let alone touching, its muddy floor. This is due to a miraculous low tide that drains the bay of water for a substantial amount of time... long enough for runners to make their way across, that is! Runners need to navigate muddy conditions and time constraints as they push their limits to make it before the ride rolls back in.
7 Hudson Bay Lacks Some Gravity
It was discovered back in the 60s that specific areas of Canada suffered from a lack of gravity. While this seems incredibly unnatural and quite the mystery to be sorted out, there's actually a logical explanation. These areas were reported to be much lower than the surrounding land, meaning that earth's mass in those areas is slightly less. With this lack of mass comes a lack of gravity, since not as much is needed when it comes to holding things in place if you will. These indents in the earth were caused by glaciers that once sat atop them and as the ice melted, the land was left in the shape it's still in, to this day. Due to the earth's natural process of trying to level out and fill in these gaps, gravity has had a slow time catching up, therefore leaving the area with a slightly different reading than the rest.
6 The Town Of Churchill Rarely Lock Their Cars For This Strange Reason
In Manitoba, the town of Churchill has less than 1,000 residents, and they all live in a somewhat unique community. This town has managed to live simultaneously with its massive polar bear population, which is seemingly much larger than the human popular that resides there. During "bear season", as it's referred to be the locals, it's not uncommon to see up to 60 polar bears in one day. Since these bears are fairly aggressive by nature, it becomes a necessity for survival for each resident to constantly be alert, aware, and vigilant if they see a bear in town -- something that happens more often than most people would ever be comfortable with. The town even has 24/7 bear control for this reason, whose job it is to scare off or relocate each animal. However, in the event that there is a close call, most if not all residents leave their car doors unlocked -- just in case someone needs shelter and needs it fast.
5 It Is Possible For The Atlantic Ocean To Freeze And Sometimes, It Does
Newfoundland is fairly far north and this explains why it's actually possible for a saltwater body, such as the Atlantic, to freeze at its shores. The Atlantic empties into several bays and this is the part of the ocean that freezes which is not at all uncommon during a brutal winter. Back in 2014, it had been nearly a decade since locals had seen part of the ocean freeze over and the ice was so thick that residents actually played hockey on it. After all, what else would you do in typical Canadian fashion? While it doesn't happen every year, it's a cool sight to see if you happen to be around during the deep freeze. If you're lucky, maybe the locals will even let you in on a game or two -- As long as your skills are up to par,
4 Mount Logan Is The Tallest Peak In North America Following Denali
As you've probably guessed, Canada is home to some pretty striking mountain ranges. The tallest peak in the country is Mount Logan, whose highest summit reaches 19,551 feet. While Alaska still holds the title of having the tallest mountain in North America (Denali), this mountain tops out as the second-highest peak on the continent. It can be found in the Yukon and towers a spectacular 14,000 feet above the Seward Glacier, providing breathtaking views of both Canada and Alaska. One outstanding fact about this mountain is that it is the most massive in the world, based on the circumference of its base. This makes it alluring to alpine hikers who come from all over the world to summit its peak.
3 The Snowiest Place In Canada Is Cape Dyer
You haven't really seen snow until you've traveled to Cape Dyer. Nunavut, where Cape Dyer is located, sees some of the most spectacular snow totals over the course of a year in all of Canada. The annual snowfall happens over a span of 144 days -- almost half the year -- and tops out with roughly 114 inches of snow per year. The only months they don't see snow are in July and August, but anything in between is fair game, even if it's only a few inches for the month. The frigid environment that comes with being one of the northernmost tips of the country is responsible for this crazy snow amount, but those who live there are used to it. This area sees similar weather to Greenland, which is directly across the ocean from this Arctic tundra of a territory.
2 Iceberg Alley Is An Amazing Sight
Newfoundland is a popular spot for tourists expecting to see everything Canada has to offer and iceberg alley is one of them. One town, in particular -- Easter -- has a direct view into this waterway where passersby can watch as icebergs make their way down from the Arctic on the water's natural downward current. It's an intriguing yet eerie sight to watch as this enormous masses of ice and snow drift along, their bases just barely illuminated underneath the water's surface. These icebergs, "bergs" as referred to by the locals, are carried along quickly or slowly depending on the winds that day. This year alone has seen over 600 of the icy masses making their way past the shores of Newfoundland, due to a combination of substantial winds and global warming.
1 They See Some Of The Most Diverse Weather In The World
Since Canada does span so far north and is so wide, it sees some fairly unusual weather phenomena. Anything from whiteout blizzards with insane ice structures to intense thunderstorms is fair game, and its residents have seen it all. Many of these weather happenings are due to Canada's chilly temperatures, which interfere with thunderstorms, resulting in the type of weather that Windsor sees annually. Here, it's not uncommon for lighting to strike over 250 times due to frozen raindrops within the thunderclouds. Alternately, the prairies, found in Regina, Saskatchewan, are subject to both brutally hot temperatures as well as miserably cold temperatures depending on the atmosphere.
References: https://matadornetwork.com, https://www.canadiangeographic.ca, https://www.amusingplanet.com, https://www.britannica.com