You’re intent on making it. You’ve dreamt of it all your life and you intend to see the place for yourself at least once in your life. If you make it there and back, you would have accomplished something that few have actually done on this earth and just like that you will join the elite few and would forever be able to call yourself an explorer and adventurer of sorts.
You ride the dog sled, the beautiful huskies running before you, winding over the difficult snow and ice that can give way at any moment. But you mush on and risk your very life just to accomplish this task you’ve set your mind to the temperate cold and dangerous environment do nothing to deter you, nor your loyal band of dogs.
What was it that makes us so obsessed with the North, particularly The North Pole? Is it the adventure? Is it the mystery of it all? The truth is not too much is known about the mysterious North Pole and if the average person is asked, you’d be surprised how little they actually know.
Well, we here at The Travel have found out all you’ll ever want to know about the beautiful North Pole. And you’ll be surprised at the stuff we found. Interesting to say the least and at the same time a little creepy too.
So, hop onto the sled dear reader, and let’s go off into the cold, desolate environment that is the arctic North Pole.
25 CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, NO PENGUINS
There are indeed penguins in regions of heavy and extreme amounts of ice and snow. They number in the thousands and flock atop many glaciers, but not in the Northern Hemisphere.
So contrary to popular belief, no, there aren't any cute, adorable penguins like this little guy pictured here in the North Pole, or anywhere in the arctic Northern Hemisphere.
The truth is, the land is so unstable even for an animal so adept to living in an icy cold region. There are many other creatures in the North Pole that can more than handle the temperate arctic environment, but not our little buddies here.
24 THE WONDER THAT IS AURORA BOREALIS
The conditions of the North Poles tell us a great deal about the rest of the planet as well. Another great importance and a huge tourist attraction, is that the incredible phenomena known as Aurora Borealis is at its strongest directly over the Geomagnetic North Pole.
According to aurora-service.eu, particles with an electric charge released from the sun enter the atmosphere of earth and mingle with gases such as nitrogen and oxygen. It is this phenomena which can be seen in the form of Aurora Borealis or The Northern Lights.
23 IT IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE FOR THE NORTH AND SOUTH POLE TO FLIP!
Now, if the Global Warming talk and the melting icebergs or even the total darkness lasting for six months hasn't scared you enough, we've got some spectacularly scary information for you all, dear readers, and hold onto your chairs because this one might knock you for a loop and have you doing 180 degree turns right in your chairs ... literally.
It is possible for the world to flip, making the North Pole and South Pole switch positions.
That's right and according to theclever.com, it's already happened once before. 780 000 years ago to be exact.
However, scientists aren't as worried as you would think, claiming that modern technology would remain intact and the population wouldn't be that much affected, other than the fact that the climate change will definitely throw everybody for a loop.
22 UNICORNS IN THE NORTH POLE
Finally, the mystical creature from the thousands of stories has finally been found. For ages, many have believed in the fairy tale creatures from our childhood stories and the fantastic literature of the past, and not many people get the chance to actually see them, but they do exist!
They're in the North Pole! And they aren't actually unicorns, they're whales--known specifically as the Narwhal.
These whales are in fact a perfect example of animal adaptation. Their spikes or single horn is a perfect way of swimming their way through the iceberg rich area of the North Pole.
21 Santa's home!
For most children all over the planet, but particularly North America, Santa Clause was the man to ask if you wanted that all too special toy you had your eye on all year.
Most children even wrote him letters asking for the presents they expected to see under the tree on Christmas morning. And when they ripped all the wrapping paper off and saw that they had in fact received what they had asked for, they would look at the chimney, or out the window to the sky and say "Thank you, Santa."
So when my niece and nephew ask me about Santa, I tell them: "He lives in The North Pole, kids." And that'll always be my answer, no matter how old they get.
20 THE NORTH POLE is not a continent
This is an argument that many have had over the course of the last few decades, but unfortunately or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), this comment is as redundant as arguing the whole "Flat Earth" theory that social media has had quite a time with as of late.
And I know that arguments such as this are a great way to learn and discuss with others, but the North Pole isn't a continent of its own at all.
There is in fact no way to claim the land per se, and there's a very good reason for that, and we'll get to that in our next entry.
19 DESPITE ALL THE SNOW AND ICE, THERE ARE STILL DIFFERENT SEASONS
Often the popular misconception of this is that everyone up there is constantly living in igloos and fishing through a hole in the ice.
The truth is, that couldn't be farther from the reality of the situation. In fact, the Northern hemisphere experiences summer just like any other part of the world, only that experience is still much colder than the countries in the lower hemispheres. But the snow and ice does melt (and boy does it), some areas even flooding considerably.
But the warmer months are indeed one of the better times to visit, particularly the months of April to about October, which is a tourist's best chance to see a Polar Bear.
18 ANNUAL DOG RACES
Of course, as we've mentioned, the North is definitely the place where traveling by dogsled is a very popular means of getting around all that ice and snow.
Huskies, in general, are a very loyal and incredibly strong breed of dog and they can carry large loads when paired up with anywhere from 2 to 13 dogs per sled (depending on load size).
But, getting around isn't only the only reason for dog sledding up there. As it turns out, the dog sled race has become quite the sport up there and many flock to the North to get but a glimpse of all the action, and of course many dedicate themselves and their dogs to the task, living up there all year round.
Popular races are: The Iditarod, which goes from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, and of course The North Pole Championships held in North Pole, Alaska.
17 THERE ARE ACTUALLY FOUR NORTH POLES
When you hear someone talking about the North Pole, most people are probably thinking that there's only one. Makes sense. After all, there's only one Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one Turin, Italy and a single Montreal, Quebec.
But as it turns out, there are actually four distinct North Poles, geographically speaking:
The Terrestrial North Pole, The North Dip Pole, The Geomagnetic North Pole and of course, The North Pole in Fairbanks, Alaska. And they're all scattered across the top of the planet.
We'll take a look at them all here, so read on.
16 THE TERRESTRIAL NORTH POLE & THE NORTH DIP POLE
According to discovermagazine.com, The Terrestrial North Pole is actually a fixed spot--geographically speaking--that is exactly opposite the spot where the South Pole is situated, all the way on the south end of the globe. So essentially, the Terrestrial North Pole is the very top of this planet of ours.
It isn't necessarily a piece of land, ice or what have you and the spot might very well be at sea level, as this is a geographical marking as opposed to an actual place.
On the other hand, The North Dip Pole (an odd name), is when the geomagnetic location is perpendicular to the surface of the earth. Essentially, it's where the planet's magnetic field points downward.
15 THE NORTH DIP POLE ISN'T STATIONARY
That being said, the North Dip Pole isn't stationary at all. Considering that this wonderful world of ours is always moving, in orbit and in rotation, the magnetic field is always in motion.
So this spot here, as opposed to the Terrestrial North Pole, which is always smack dab at the top, is always in motion.
It can definitely get confusing, but just remember that The North Dip Pole has nothing to do with an actual location but rather Earth's magnetic field, and the Terrestrial North Pole is all about a specific point on our world map at the utmost top.
14 THE GEOMAGNETIC NORTH POLE
Now, once again, according to discovermagazine.com, the Geomagnetic North Pole, our third Pole, is a totally different thing than our first two Poles.
Apparently, it is discovered or was discovered, using mathematical equations. Now I don't know about any of you, but if the calculations were up to me, I'd probably never find the place (I've always been terrible at Math), but there are rather capable people figuring this stuff out.
As it turns out, The Geomagnetic North Pole is found when calculations are done on the imaginary line that runs through the planet.
13 THE NORTH POLE MOVED FROM GREENLAND TO CANADA
Did the residents of the Geomagnetic North Pole just up and move from Greenland, which was the location of the Geomagnetic Pole, and migrate to Canada, the new location of the Geomagnetic Pole? Not likely.
As we said before, these locations are constantly moving and in motion, as is our planet. All except for two of the Poles (The Terrestrial and the only other which we'll get to in a tiny spell), and it's perfectly normal for this specific spot to have come slightly Westward over the last century.
12 NORTH POLE, FAIRBANKS, ALASKA
And now for the fourth and final location of The enigmatic and mysterious North Pole, we needn't go far than our very own backyard, well the backyard to the North that is.
Fairbanks, Alaska, USA is the most populated of all the North Poles. It has the biggest community and calls to it the most travelers from around the world.
It was incorporated in 1953, which makes it fairly young and it stretches hundreds of kilometers and/or miles south of the other three locations we just went through.
11 Where does the compass point?
The question that's probably nagging over and over in your brain is: "Where's my compass pointing then if there are four North Poles up there?"
Well, as it turns out, there's only one that attracts the sensitive needle of your trusty compass and that's the North Dip Pole, folks.
That kind of makes sense since that is the only pole with such a magnetic force strong enough and is where the magnetic field points downwards from, wouldn't you say?
10 WAS THE HOME OF THE "DOC SAVAGE" CHARACTER
Doc Savage was a fictional character of a super-heroic sort that first appeared in the old pulp magazines of the 1930's and 1940's. It sure makes him a classic of the genre, but interest in him has been resurfaced with the rumors of a film being in the works and the likes of either Dwayne Johnson or Chris Hemsworth playing the title role. If you ask us, either would do, as they're both pretty awesome and would each do the role justice, we're sure.
As it turns out, the character actually calls the North Pole home.
Pretty original, since back then, most superheroes lived in the inner city. According to discovermagazine.com, Savage's "Fortress of Solitude" is close to the Terrestrial North Pole.
9 A RUSSIAN SUB ONCE PLANTED A FLAG AT THE TERRESTRIAL NORTH POLE
There are actually shots and videos that can be seen of this online, but most images are pretty grainy. But it's true, there was once a submarine, a Russian Submarine that planted a flag at the bottom of the sea floor up at the Terrestrial North Pole in 2007, and no, that doesn't mean that The North Pole is in Russia.
It just means that they traveled there and the accomplishment merited a marking of some sort.
It was done by bots, as there is no way to dive in there as it's so cold. But it is pretty neat and in a way is almost as neat as going to the surface of the moon, at least for some that is.
The USS Nautilus actually floated over the surface of the spot back in 1959, but the Russians were the first to do it at sub-sea level.
8 ROBERT E. PEARY WAS THE FIRST TO TRAVEL THE AREA BY DOG SLED
By now, everyone knows that the place to be for dog sled racing is the north. And yes, there is a great deal of dog sledding that goes on in other portions of the north, like Northern Quebec, The Northwest Territories, The Yukon and of course other parts of Alaska.
Author Jack London made the sport rather famous in his multitude of stories about the unforgiving north.
But according to discovermagazine.com, Robert E. Peary was the first to hit the Terrestrial North Pole by dog sled way back in 1909. Here he is pictured here, and no he doesn't look all that proud for such an accomplishment, but then again, maybe his cheeks are frozen.
7 A BOUNTY OF OIL
Many wonder if the arctic regions of the north, particularly the North Poles are rich in the natural resource that most world economies have been in search of since the dawn of the automobile and the combustion engine.
The fact is, that a study conducted in 2008 claims that there is in fact 20% of the world's undiscovered deposits of oil up there.
The issue is, it's extremely dangerous to dig for oil up there, as the climate and the terrain is so unstable, considering that most of it is in fact ice.
6 "WE ALL FLOAT UP HERE, RICHIE!"
Beneath all of that beautiful crystal like ice you see when looking at shots of the North Pole, there is only water, lots and lots of water and nothing else.
Facts are facts, friends and this fact is as interesting as it is disquieting. The North Pole is primarily made out of ice--glaciers actually--that float on the surface of the water, and all the wildlife and/or humans that make it up there are actually all just floating atop the glaciers.
Scary thought indeed, considering the issues of global warming brought up over the last few decades.
5 WHAT'S UP WITH THE TIME ZONE?
Does humanity share time? Are we all just lost in time, or do we experience the minutes together, just at different times?
Sound confusing? That's because it is. The mysteries of the time/space continuum are indeed very hard to understand, unless you're a scientist who specializes in that field of course. But seeing that we aren't and we're just reading this for fun, we'll stick to the basics.
And talk about the mysteries of time, according to theclever.com, The Terrestrial North Pole has no timezone whatsoever!
Now how about that for mysterious time/space relations? Is the spot some kind of Bermuda Triangle of the north?
4 MANY STILL FLOCK TO THE AREA EACH YEAR
And the area has reported many travelers flocking to the area each year ... particularly Fairbanks, Alaska, where people can experience The North Pole and all it has to offer while still being relatively comfortable.
But yet there are still those more adventurous types that will be willing to go much further north. They'll travel by dogsled and "rough it" and all to experience the true North and all its glory.
It sure isn't as easy as it looks in the movies--even when they try to make it look hard--but there are many tourists who take on the challenge.
3 THE SIZE OF THE AREA CHANGES OFTEN AND DRASTICALLY
The issues of Global Warming have been worrying the masses for quite some time now. Of course not everybody is taking it as seriously as some are and that's frightening in and of itself.
The glaciers are melting and a lot faster than you'd expect.
This is why the shape of the area is always changing. Remember, they are made of ice, so if it melts today, tomorrow when the cold returns, the glaciers formed will be not only displaced but also a different size.
Scientists still urge the world to remember that the Ozone Layer still matters and we'd have to agree. Let's keep those polar bears happy and give them lots of room to play and do our part.
2 WHO DISCOVERED IT FIRST?
What is a story of discovery without a wee bit of controversy? I mean all the greatest discovery stories has a little controversy attached.
As far as the North Pole is concerned, remember before we told you that Robert E. Peary was the first to reach the area by dog sled. As it turns out, some other person claimed that he did it first, and in 1908, supposedly a year before Peary claimed to have arrived.
This particular person, named Frederick Albert Cook, said he made the trip first, but failed to document his trip by navigational means, according to theclever.com.
1 HALF THE YEAR IN DARKNESS, HALF IN LIGHT
The arctic and the North Pole are definitely exceptional places. If we haven't proven that already we apologize. But the area is rich with so many phenomena, cultures and of course different kinds of wildlife.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the far north, specifically the North Pole, is that the place spends half its time in the dark. That's right, no sunlight at all. And the rest of the time, it spends its time in the light. No darkness at all. Probably makes sleeping difficult.
So it's on September 25th that the sun disappears from the sky for six long months of darkness up in the North Pole, according to livescience.com.
Sources: discovermagazine.com; earthnworld.com; aurora-service.eu; livescience.com