Find out some of our favourite Arctic facts!
1. Polar bears are only found in the Arctic and are the largest land predators on Earth. The largest polar bear ever recorded was a male weighing 1,004 kg and was four meters long.
2. Despite being the smallest of the 5 Oceans, the Arctic Ocean covers about 14 million square kilometres, and is frozen for most of the year.
3. Today, the Arctic region is home to almost 4 million people, a majority of which are non-indigenous settlers. Indigenous people make up roughly 10% of the population of the Arctic and they continue to carry out traditional activities while adapting to the modern way of life.
Read more: 6 reasons to cross the Arctic Circle
4. Iceland is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity. 30 post-glacial volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with cheap, pollution-free heating.
5. Outside Antarctica, Greenland has the second largest ice cap in the world. 85% of the country is covered by inland ice, which rise up to 3000 m above sea level.
6. In Longyearbyen, Svalbard, at 78° north, for 125 days from mid-April until mid-August, the sun never fully sets creating the ‘midnight sun’.
7. Polar bears actually have black skin. the polar bear’s coat is made of clear, colorless hairs. The hairs scatter light, making it appear white (or sometimes yellow, depending upon the angle of the sun). The bears’ black skin absorbs the heat from the sun and the six-inch layer of fat under their skin insulates them from the extreme cold of the Arctic circle.
8. Penguins do NOT live in the Arctic, you’ll need to head south to see them!
10. The scientific name for walrus, Odobenus rosmarus, means “toothwalkers”. Walrus can stay underwater for up to 30 minutes. Walrus have extra blood to carry oxygen which makes up about 12 percent of their weight, compared to seven percent in humans