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Arctic Library: Category List
Animals | Arctic | Birds | Boats/Ships/Subs | Cold/Cold Places | Countries/Places
Environment/Atmosphere | Eurasia | Exploration | Franklin Expedition | Glaciers
Health/Safety | Ice | Icebergs | Industry/Military | Inuit | Land | Maps | Northern Lights
People/Explorers | Polar Bears | Sky/Seasons | Sled Dogs | Snow | Whales/Fish

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Arctic Animals
Also see: BIRDS, POLAR BEARS, SLED DOGS, WHALES & Arctic Animal LINKS

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 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.
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.
Caribou, Warbles - The fly lays eggs on the caribou’s legs and lower body that hatch into larvae.
Dinosaurs - Fossils of a carnivorous dinosaur have been found in the Canadian Arctic.
DOGS - See our "Sled Dogs" section.
Food Chain - The Arctic may look pristine, but its inhabitants contain high levels of heavy metals, organic pollutants, and radiation.
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.
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.
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.
Penguins - They DO NOT live in the Arctic and polar bears do not eat penguins.
POLAR BEARS - See our "Polar Bears" section.
Reindeer / Caribou - Caribou migration routes are unpredicatable. Perhaps that's why reindeer are herded by many Arctic peoples in Eurasia.
Reindeer / Caribou Reindeer Types - There are three types, or subspecies, of reindeer with matching groups for caribou.
Reindeer - Why Santa picked them for his team.
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.
Walrus - The food that walruses like to eat is in deep water - they usually make short dives of 5 to 8 minutes.
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.
WHALES - See our "Whales" section.
Yakut Horse - Some think the Yakut horse is related to a creature that existed before the last ice age.

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Arctic
Also see: ARCTIC LINKS

Archaeology - Archaeologists in the Arctic are faced with a number of unique challenges.
Arctic Circle - The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth.
Arctic Circle Map - Shows the imaginary line around the Earth that defines the boundary of the Arctic.
Arctic Map - Our big map of the Arctic including current weather reports.
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.
Cold and Dark - The Arctic stays dark and fiercely cold for months on end.
Desert - The Arctic is a cold desert because it gets very little precipitation - about the same amount as the Sahara.
Eco-tourism - Travel to the Arctic for the purpose of observing wildlife and learning about the environment.
Geographic North Pole - Located at 90° North latitude, it is the northernmost point on the Earth's surface.
Governments - Many indigenous peoples in the Arctic favor a move to self-governance.
Myths - A magic aura surrounded the Arctic area in the fourteenth century.
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 Pictures - When Peary arrived in 1909, he photographed four different directions to provide a record that he saw no land.
North Pole, Sovereignty - Canada claimed sovereignty of the Pole but that is now being challenged.
Ocean Currents - There are two major ice circulation systems in the Arctic Ocean.
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.
Population - There are now approximately 4 million people living permanently in the Arctic.
Temperatures - The High Arctic is one of the coldest, driest and harshest environments in the world.
Temperatures - Arctic isotherm and winds. As warmer air at lower latitudes rises, cold polar air rushes down to take its place.
Temperature Map - Showing the Arctic isotherm.
Treeline - As well as being the area within the Arctic Circle, the Arctic can also be defined as being the area above the "treeline".
Treeline Map - Guess what? A map of the Arctic treeline!
Tourism - Visits to the Arctic have increased considerably. Here are some tips if you plan to visit.

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Arctic Birds
Also see: ARCTIC ANIMALS

Albatross - Found throughout the northern oceans, and are common in the area of the Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands.
Arctic Tern - Terns spend most of their lives at sea and migrate farther than any other bird.
Gyrfalcons - The most northerly of the falcons, making their home in Arctic Europe, Asia, North America and Greenland.
Migratory Birds - In summer, thousands of migratory birds come to the Arctic to feed and raise their young.
Murres - Members of a group of black and white, duckshaped seabirds called auks.
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.
Snow Geese - Greater Snow Geese are the most northerly breeding geese in the world.
Snowy Owls - These owls are found only in the Arctic - living and breeding on the tundra.

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Boats / Ships / Submarines
Also see: BOAT & SHIP LINKS

Arktika - The first surface vessel to reach the North Pole was the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker.
Erebus & Terror - The ships of the Franklin Expedition were designed to go where no ships had gone before.
Fram - Nansen froze his crush-resistant ship in the waters off Siberia and then drifted northward with the moving ice cap.
Gjøa - It took Amundsen three years in his little sloop, the Gjøa, to find the Northwest Passage.
Icebreaker Tours - Since the 1980s, trips to the North Pole on icebreakers have increased in popularity for tourists.
Icebreakers - How icebreakers break ice.
Kayak - The Inuit invented the kayak, a one person boat used for hunting and transportation
Manhattan, SS - The tanker set out to test a route for the shipment of Alaskan crude oil through the Northwest Passage.
Nautilus - The world's first nuclear submarine made the first trip to the North Pole by going under the ice cap.
Nipped - When a ship finds itself in a situation where ice is forcibly pressing on both sides, it is said to be "nipped".
Northern Sea Route - Icebreakers navigated the Northeast Passage in the 1900s, and in the 1930s the "Northern Sea Route" was established.
Polar Sea & Polar Star - Two of the largest ships in the U.S. Coast Guard and the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers.
Resolute, HMS - The ship got stuck in the ice, was abandoned, and later found by an American whaling ship.
Roosevelt - Peary's ship was the most practical ship to enter Arctic waters.
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.
Submarines - For almost 60 years, submarines have been operating in the Arctic Ocean.
Submarines - Sometimes surface through polynyas - areas of ice-free water in the ice pack.
Titanic - The biggest passenger liner in the world was no match for a North Atlantic iceberg.
Umiak - Large open skin boat once widely used throughout the Arctic for whale hunting, or moving materials and people.
Wintering - When a large sailing ship became ice-bound in the Arctic, the crew had to prepare it for the winter.

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Cold / Cold Places
Also see: COLD PLACES LINKS

Block Heaters - In very cold places people either keep their cars in heated garages or use "block heaters" so they will start.
Cold Car - Starting your car in cold weather can be a big problem.
Cold and Dark - The Arctic stays dark and fiercely cold for months on end.
Game, Cold Places - Guess the places that are either partially or completely within the Arctic Circle.
Harbin Ice and Snow Festival - The festival is one of the largest ice and snow spectaculars in the world.
Poles - Why are the Poles cold?
Sapporo Snow Festival - Snow sculptures turn Sapporo, Japan into a winter dreamland.
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.

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Countries & Places
Also see: EURASIA

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.
Antarctica - The Greenland ice sheet is only about one-eighth the size of the Antarctic ice sheet.
Arctic Exploration - Which countries were the most active in Arctic exploration?
Baffin Island - Named for William Baffin, Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world.
Canada - The Canadian Arctic covers three Canadian territories: the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
Churchill - There are about 15,000 polar bears in northern Canada, and 1,200 or so of them pass by the "Polar Bear Capital of the World".
Churchill - The Halloween Polar Bear Alert is in effect around the town to protect "trick or treaters" from polar bears.
Finland - Arctic Finland, also called Lapland, covers about one-third of Finland, about the same portion as lies north of the Arctic Circle.
Game, Know Your Arctic Countries - Guess the countries that are either partially or completely within the Arctic Circle.
Governments - Many indigenous peoples in the Arctic favor a move to self-governance. Norway, Finland, Sweden and Canada are examples.
Greenland - The largest island in the world is located primarily within the Arctic Circle.
Greenland, Rocks - West Greenland has the oldest known collection of rocks on Earth!
Grise Fiord - To ensure sovereignty in the North, the Canadian government resettled Inuit families on Ellesmere Island.
Hammerfest, Norway - This Norwegian city is the northernmost city in Europe - well above the Arctic Circle.
Iceland - The country boasts the world's oldest functioning legislative assembly - the Althing.
Iceland, Settlements - Irish monks may have settled there as early as the 8th century, then left upon the arrival of the pagan Norsemen.
Iceland, Volcanoes - Iceland, like Hawaii, was formed by volcanoes.
Lapland - The Sami/Saami are one of the indigenous peoples of Europe and often referred to as Laplanders.
Moscow Zoo - Polar bears play in "snow" that comes from a high-tech compressor in their enclosure.
Murmansk, Russia - During the Second World War, Arctic convoys carrying vital war materials to the Russian port of Murmansk.
North Pole, Alaska - The town of North Pole, Alaska is nowhere near the North Pole. It isn't even north of the Arctic Circle!
Norway - Famous for its fjords, Norway has one of most rugged and longest coastlines in the world.
Nunavut - The territory of Nunavut covers nearly one-fifth of Canada.
Russia - Extending nearly halfway around the world, Arctic Russia stretches over two continents and nine time zones.
Siberian Cities - Since the middle of the last century, more than 200 cities were established in the Russian Arctic.
Svalbard - Because the islands are so close to the North Pole, Svalbard has been a popular "base" for Arctic exploration.
Sweden - Swedish Lapland, or Norrland, is one of the last wilderness areas of Europe.
Thule, Greenland - Today this outpost is the U.S. Armed Forces' northernmost base which includes a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site.

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Environment / Atmosphere
Also see: ENVIRONMENTAL LINKS

Climate - When Europeans began to explore the Arctic, the climate in Northern North America and Europe was colder than it is at present.
Fata Morgana - An optical illusion (or mirage) of solid, well-defined coastal features that appear where there are none.
Haloes - Haloes around the sun sometimes occur in cold areas when sunlight interacts with ice crystals.
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 - At the peak of the last glaciation or "Ice Age", most of North America was covered by ice.
Ice Blink - White glare seen on the underside of low clouds indicating the presence of ice in the distance.
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.
Fogbows - Similar to rainbows, but have little color because of the very small size of the water droplets.
Geomagnetic Pole, North - The North Geomagnetic Pole is the north end of the axis of the magnetosphere.
Great Ocean Conveyor Belt - Dense, cold water at the poles sinks and travels throughout the world's oceans.
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.
Magnetic Field - The Earth's magnetic field is shaped somewhat like that of a bar magnet and it has North and South magnetic poles.
Mirage - The "arctic" or "superior" mirage occurs when an image of an object appears above the actual object.
North Magnetic Pole - Magnetic compasses point to the NMP, but it's at a different location than True North.
Pollution, Air - Soot in areas with ice and snow may play an important role in climate change.
Pollution, Oil - The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled nearly 11 million gallons / 42 million liters of oil into Alaskan waters.
Pollution, Water - The Arctic may look pristine, but its inhabitants contain high levels of heavy metals, organic pollutants, and radiation.
Sun Dogs - Sometimes appear as two bright points on each side of the sun.
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.
Thirst - Thirst was as common in the Arctic as it was in the African deserts.
Water Sky - Dark streaks on the underside of low clouds, indicating the presence of open water in the distance.
Whiteout - Whiteout occurs when the sky and snow are of a similar whiteness, making it difficult to distinguish a horizon.

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Eurasia
Also see: COUNTRIES & PLACES

Chukchi - The largest group of indigenous people in the Asian Arctic.
Cities - Since the middle of the last century, more than 200 cities were established in the Russian Arctic.
Evenki - The Evenki people number about 30,000 and occupy a huge territory in north eastern Siberia.
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.
Northern Sea Route - Icebreakers navigated the Northeast Passage in the 1900s, and in the 1930s the "Northern Sea Route" was established.
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.
Vikings - Vikings settled in Iceland about 1,150 years ago, and in the process, discovered the key to the New 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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Exploration
Also see: PEOPLE & FRANKLIN EXPEDITION

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.
Cannibalism - Some thought it improbable that British officers and men would resort to such "horrible means" to prevent starvation.
Climate - When Europeans began to explore the Arctic, the climate in Northern North America and Europe was colder than it is at present.
Clothing - It was not until after the Franklin Expedition tragedy that Europeans seriously adopted the Inuit ways.
Discovery Service - British pay was intended to be enough to make a man forget he could well be dead before he earned it.
Drift Stations - Research stations on the ice cap are constantly moving with the ice.
Exploration - Which countries were the most active in Arctic exploration?
Inuit Explorers - The first Arctic explorers in North America were the Inuit who have been exploring for thousands of years.
Irish Monks - Irish monks may have settled in Iceland as early as the 8th century, then left upon the arrival of the pagan Norsemen.
Latitude - For well over 2,000 years, navigators have known how to determine both direction and latitude by using the North Star.
Longitude - How did early explorers determine their east-west position on the Earth's surface?
Map - Routes of Arctic explorers.
Mars - Devon Island has land and glacial features like those found on Mars, making it an ideal location to train for a space mission.
Methods - When Amundsen set out to find the Northwest Passage, he decided to use different methods than the Royal Navy.
Northwest Passage - It was hoped that a Northwest Passage through the Arctic provide a shorter route from Europe to Asia.
Northwest Passage Map - Routes of explorers seeking the Passage.
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.
Runestone - A message found in Minnesota might indicate that European explorers may have made it all the way to the Great Lakes by 1362.
Sledge Hauling - In the days of early British Arctic exploration, the standard navy method of travelling was the "sledge-hauling crew"
Victorian Era - No spectacle stirred the British public so much as Arctic exploration.
Vikings - Vikings settled in Iceland about 1,150 years ago, and in the process, discovered the key to the New World.
Wintering - When a large sailing ship became ice-bound in the Arctic, the crew had to prepare it for the winter.

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Franklin Expedition
Also see: FRANKLIN EXPEDITION LINKS

Barrow, Sir John - The commander of the expedition was a man Barrow did not want - Sir John Franklin - but there was no other choice.
Canned Food - Canning was a new method of preserving food when the Franklin Expedition set off for the Arctic.
Cannibalism - The British public thought it improbable that British officers and men would resort to such means to prevent starvation.
Christmas - Christmas of 1845 found the ships of the Franklin Expedition wintering in the ice off Beechey Island in the Arctic.
Erebus & Terror - Where are Franklin's ships? Did they drift with ice floes and icebergs into the North Atlantic?
Erebus & Terror - The ships of the Franklin Expedition were designed to go where no ships had gone before.
Medicine - An old medicine chest from the Franklin Expedition contains the powders and pills that were used to treat sick or injured sailors.
Note - The only knowledge we have of the ships' whereabouts come from clues found by numerous searchers.
Search - The search for Franklin was unnecessarily long (almost 15 years), very often inept or even farcical, and expensive.
Search - Although the search for the lost Franklin Expedition ended in failure, it did have some indirect benefits.

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Glaciers
Also see: ICE, ICEBERGS, SNOW & GLACIER LINKS

Calving, Glacier - When a glacier loses material in the water, it is called "calving".
Crevasse / Crevice - A "crevice" cannot be a "crevasse" unless it is in a glacier.
Glacial Melting - The ice fields are melting, and as they melt they give us a glimpse into ancient life.
Glacial Striations - Grooves or scratches left behind in the bedrock after a glacier has passed over it.
Glacial Surge - Finding the reasons for a glacier surge can be difficult.
Glaciers Retreating - Retreating glaciers are a sign that global warming and climate change are real.
Malaspina Glacier - The largest "piedmont" glacier on the continent.
Piedmont Glacier - Occur where steep valley glaciers exit a mountain range onto flat plains or lowlands.
Tidewater Glaciers - Valley glaciers that end in sea, lake, or river water.
Valley Glaciers - Often starting from "mountain" glaciers or ice fields, these glaciers spill down the valleys.

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Health / Safety

Canned Food - Canning was a new method of preserving food when the Franklin Expedition set off for the Arctic.
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.
Hypothermia - Exposure to cold can cause the chilling of the inner core of the body.
Ice Safety - When walking on ice with water underneath, always observe minimum thicknesses for safety on clear, solid ice.
Medicine - An old medicine chest from the Franklin Expedition contains the powders and pills that were used to treat sick or injured sailors.
Scurvy - This ugly disease was referred to as "the curse of the Arctic regions".
Snow Blindness - Temporary loss of vision caused by exposure of the eyes to bright sunlight reflected from snow or ice.

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Ice
Also see: GLACIERS, ICEBERGS, SNOW & LINKS

Changes, Ice - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Drift Stations - Research stations on the ice cap are constantly moving with the ice.
Drillng - Drilling deep into the Greenland ice sheet, scientists have recovered what seem to be bits of plants.
Drilling - By drilling into the ice, scientists can learn about past air quality, temperature changes, and types of vegetation.
Finger Rafting - Sometimes colliding ice becomes interlocked, with sections of one floe going both over and under the other.
Floeberg - Massive piece of sea ice composed of hummocks that has separated from the ice pack.
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.
Frost - Frost crystals grow on window panes, blades of grass, or just about any other solid surface.
Greenland Ice Sheet - Greenland has the only permanent ice sheet in the Arctic.
Hummocks - Masses of broken ice are caused by the pressure of ice floes jamming and crushing against each other.
Ice Changes - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Ice Floes - Frozen masses of seawater that float on the surface of the sea and is free moving - unlike pack ice.
Ice Hotel - A hotel in the village of Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, is made from thousands of tons of ice and snow.
Ice Pack - In winter, seawater freezes and forms a crust of ice called "pack ice".
Ice Patrol, International - 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, 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 Thickness - When walking on ice with water underneath, always observe minimum thicknesses for safety on clear, solid ice.
International Ice Patrol - There has not been loss of life or property with vessels that have heeded the patrol's warnings.
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.
Microbes - After drilling through the Greenland ice sheet, scientists found millions of microbes.
Nipped - When a ship finds itself in a situation where ice is forcibly pressing on both sides, it is said to be "nipped".
Pack Ice - In winter, seawater freezes and forms a crust of ice called "pack ice".
Pancake Ice - free floating and mainly circular pieces of ice that form when surface slush accumulates into floating pads.
Polynyas - Areas of ice-free water in the Arctic ice pack that stay clear for up to 9 or 10 months of the year.
Pressure Ridges - When the great sheets of ice collide, ridges of ice build up at the point of collision.
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.
Sassat - Swimming pool-sized breathing holes in the solid sea ice.
Sludge - Ice the consistency of thick honey that is in an early stage of freezing and has not yet become solid.
Travel - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.

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Icebergs
Also see: ICE, GLACIERS, SNOW & ICEBERG LINKS

Bergy Bits - Small icebergs, rising between 1-4 meters / 3-13 feet out of the water.
Calving, Glacier - When a glacier loses material in the water, it is called "calving".
Freshwater Ice - Icebergs are frozen "freshwater" - unlike the sea (salt) water that they float around in.
Growlers - Very small chunks of floating ice that rise only about 1 meter / 3 feet out of the water.
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 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.
International Ice Patrol - There has not been loss of life or property with vessels that have heeded the patrol's warnings.
Map - Source of North Atlantic Icebergs.

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Industry / Military

Alaska Highway - When the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands during World War II, it emphasized the necessity of a road to the north.
Bomb - The largest bomb ever exploded on planet Earth was exploded in the Arctic.
Canadian Rangers - Use a combination of Inuit knowledge and modern military technique to patrol and protect the Far North.
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.
Great Circle Route - The shortest course between two points on the surface of that sphere.
Industry - Oil, minerals, diamonds, and tourism are bringing people to the Arctic.
Oil - Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, is a US port on the Beaufort Sea that is known for its nearby oil reserves.
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.
Whaling - Whalers began hunting whales in the Arctic as far back as the 16th century.

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Inuit
Also see: INUIT LINKS

Beliefs - Traditional Inuit beliefs are a form of animism, according to which all objects and living things or beings have a spirit.
Boots - Certain footwear rules were followed when hunting.
Canadian Rangers - Use a combination of Inuit knowledge and modern military technique to patrol and protect the Far North.
Carvings - This artistic expression has produced a number of "world class" artists.
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.
Disease - In addition to trade goods, Europeans also brought infectious diseases to the Arctic.
Explorers - The first Arctic explorers in North America were the Inuit who have been exploring for thousands of years.
Food - Modern schools in Nunavut teach the preparation of traditional foods, and even the construction of the sleds used for hunting.
Food - Why have seals always been important to the Inuit way of life?
Games - The skills required often represent those necessary for survival in the harsh Arctic environment.
Government - the Nunavut Territorial Government ensures that Inuit culture and values become an important part of government operations.
Grise Fiord - To ensure sovereignty in the North, the Canadian government resettled Inuit families on Ellesmere Island.
History: 3000-5000 Years Ago - Paleo-Eskimo Period.
History: 1000-3000 Years Ago - Dorset Period.
History: 300-1000 Years Ago - Thule Period.
History: Present-300 Years Ago - Historical Period. During this period, explorers, whalers, traders and missionaries began to appear.
Hunting - As soon as the ice is solid enough, hunters, like the polar bears, set out after the seals.
Igloo - The igloo is a snowhouse that was used by the Inuit as a temporary shelter.
Inuksuk - An Inuit monument used for communication and survival that is usually made of un-worked stones.
Inuktitut - The language unique to the Inuit culture.
Kayak - The Inuit invented the kayak, a one person boat used for hunting and transportation
Kudlik - A crescent-shaped stone lamp fuelled by the oil from animal blubber.
Language - Inuktitut is the language unique to the Inuit culture.
Map - The territory of Nunavut with current weather reports.
Nunavut - The territory of Nunavut covers nearly one-fifth of Canada.
Nunavut Flag - A flag to represent the home of the Inuit.
Nunavut Population - The territory of Nunavut is one of the most sparsely populated places on Earth.
Population - Altogether, about 120,000 Inuit live in Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Siberia.
Rangers - Canadian Rangers use a combination of Inuit knowledge and modern military technique to patrol and protect the Far North.
Schools - Modern schools in Nunavut teach the preparation of traditional foods, and even the construction of the sleds used for hunting.
Shaman - The best equipped to control spirits, the shaman was the central religious figure in traditional Inuit culture.
Skraelings - Norse word for Aboriginal peoples who crossed over to Greenland and came into contact with the Norse colonists.
Sled / Sledge Runners - Before plastic was available, sledge runners had to be kept smooth by other means.
Snow Goggles - Before sunglasses, the Inuit wore goggles made from bone, ivory or wood.
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.
Tattooing - Tattooing was practiced in the Arctic as early as 3500 years ago.
Travel - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Throat Singing - Throat-singing has long been an important part of Inuit culture.
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.

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Land

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge - Represents one of largest examples of intact wilderness left on Earth.
Desert - The Arctic is a cold desert because it gets very little precipitation - about the same amount as the Sahara.
Fjords - Long, narrow arms of the sea, often very deep and extending well inland.
Flowers - During a very short growing season, spectacular displays of wildflowers occur.
Geysers - Some hot springs spout springs or geysers, the most famous being Geysir in south Iceland.
Hot Springs - Iceland's volcanic base contributes to its geothermal activity, giving it more hot springs than any other country in the world.
Ice Tunnel - In Alaska, there is a long tunnel bored into the permafrost.
Land Bridge - During the last Ice Age, the shallow seas in the Bering Strait dropped, exposing land linking Asia and North America.
Mosquitoes - Why are there so many mosquitoes in the Arctic?
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.
Pingo - A mound or hill, consisting of an outer layer of soil covering a core of solid ice.
Plants - About 1,500 species of Arctic flora have developed that somehow manage to survive in difficult conditions.
Polygons - A honeycomb of ice walls beneath the surface of permafrost soils.
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.
Rocks - West Greenland has the oldest known collection of rocks on Earth!
Striations - Grooves or scratches left behind in the bedrock after a glacier has passed over it.
Thaw Lakes - Water that melts on top of the permafrost collects into shallow lakes.
Treeline - As well as being the area within the Arctic Circle, the Arctic can also be defined as being the area above the "treeline".
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.
Vegetation - Arctic vegetation is inactive for nine months as the plants snooze under snow blankets.
Volcanoes - Iceland, like Hawaii, was formed by volcanoes.
Wetland - There are five basic types of Arctic wetland: bogs, fens, swamps, marshes, and shallow open water.

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Maps of the Arctic
Also see: ARCTIC MAP LINKS

Arctic - Big map of the Arctic with current weather reports.
Arctic Circle - The Arctic defined by the Arctic Circle.
Cold Places & Cold Winds - Compare today's temperatures.
Exploration - Routes of Arctic explorers.
Icebergs - Source of North Atlantic Icebergs.
Northwest Passage - Routes of explorers seeking the Passage.
Nunavut - Map of the territory with current weather reports.
Temperature - Map showing the Arctic isotherm.
Treeline - Guess what? A map of the Arctic treeline!

ARCTIC LIBRARY MAPS: Countries with land or territories within the Arctic Circle.
Alaska (USA), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Denmark), Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden

ATHROPOLIS ARCTIC LIBRARY PAGES WITH MAPS:
A Alaska, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Arctic Convoy, Arctic Ocean, Arctic Ocean Currents, Arctic Winds, Askja Volcano , Auroral Ring/Oval B Baker, Mt., Beaufort Gyre, Bering Land Bridge, Bering Strait C Canada D Davis, John E Erebus & Terror F Finland, Franklin Search G Geographic North Pole, Geomagnetic Pole, Great Circle Route, Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, Greenland, Greenland Shark, Gyrfalcons H HMS Resolute I Iceland, Iceland Volcanoes, Ice Age, Ice Age Globe, Ice Challenger, Ice Circulation Systems, Iceberg Alley, Iceberg Drifting, Iceberg Source, Iditarod, Isotherm L Lapland, Longitude M Magnetic Field, Magnetosphere, Mid Atlantic Range, Mount Baker, Murmansk, Mythical Arctic N Nautilus, Norrland, North Magnetic Pole, Northern Sea Route, Norway O Ocean Currents P Polar Bear Territories, R Resolute, HMS, Russia S Seasonal Snow, Snowfall Record, Solstice:Summer, Solstice:Winter, Svalbard, Sverdrup Claim, Sweden T Terror & Erebus, Treeline, Thule, Tundra Y Yukon Quest, Yup'ik

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Northern Lights
Also see: Northern Lights LINKS

Aristotle - In his book "Meteorology", written over 2,350 years ago, Aristotle described the Northern Lights.
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.
Auroral Oval - When we look up and see the Northern Lights, we are only seeing a tiny section of a huge auroral oval.
Best Places - The best places to see the Northern Lights are, naturally, in an area around the North Geomagnetic Pole.
Causes - What causes the Northern Lights? A simple explanation.
Colors - Have you ever wondered how the Northern Lights get their different colors?
Description - These mesmerizing, dynamic displays of light appear in the nighttime Arctic skies.
Energy - The solar wind commonly generates billions of watts of electrical power in an auroral display.
Fox Fires - In Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights are called "revontulet" (fox fires).
Height - The Northern Lights begin far above the Earth's surface - at about the edge of space.
Legends - Every northern culture had legends about the auroras, often associating them with life after death.
Legends & Myths - For as long as there have been people, there have been legends, myths and superstitions about the Northern Lights.
Revontulet - In Finnish Lapland, the Northern Lights are called revontulet, which means "fox fires".
What Produces the Northern Lights? - Basically three things - check it out.

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People / Explorers
Also see: EXPLORATION

Amundsen, Roald - The Norwegian explorer captured almost every polar geographical prize of his day.
Amundsen, Roald - The Norwegian explorer was the first person to successfully navigate the fabled Northwest Passage.
Amundsen, Roald - When Amundsen set out to find the Northwest Passage, he decided to use different methods than the Royal Navy.
Amundsen, Roald - It took Amundsen three years in his little sloop, the Gjøa, to find the Northwest Passage.
Baffin, William - British navigator and map maker who piloted two expeditions to the Arctic.
Barents, Willem - The Dutch navigator sought the illusive north-east passage.
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.
Bentley, Wilson - The discovery that "no two snowflakes are alike" was made by "Mr. Snowflake".
Bering, Vitus Jonassen - Credited with discovering Alaska and the strait between it and Russia.
Booth, Felix - When the Navy refused to give John Ross another ship, Felix (who made a fortune from Booth's Gin) bankrolled the expedition.
Byrd, Richard E. - Byrd and his pilot, Floyd Bennett, claimed to be the first to fly over the North Pole.
Cabot, John - He first proposed the existence of a Northwest Passage as early as 1490.
Cook, Dr. Frederick - One of the most controversial figures in polar exploration.
Cook vs Peary - Who was first to the North Pole?
Davis, John - British scientist, cartographer, and writer who made extensive explorations in the Arctic.
Egingwah - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
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.
FRANKLIN, Sir John - See our "Franklin Expedition" section.
Frobisher, Martin - One of the first explorers to search for the Northwest Passage.
Gilbert, Sir William - His book on magnetism was a thorough review of what was known in 1600.
Hall, Charles Francis - In his time, he was considered to know more about living in the Arctic than any non-Eskimo (Inuit).
Henson, Matthew - Accompanied Peary to the North Pole, but as a black man, got little recognition.
Hudson, Henry - Made several voyages in search of a passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Kallihirua, Erasmus Augustine - One of the few Inuit to become internationally known in the 19th century, and probably the first to leave the Arctic.
Kane, Elisha Kent - His book "Arctic Explorations" was the first introduction that many had to the Arctic and the "esquimeaux".
McClure, Robert - He and his crew were credited for finding the route of the Northwest Passage.
Nansen, Fridtjof - Norwegian explorer of the Arctic, oceanographer, and Nobel Peace Prize-winning humanitarian.
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.
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.
Parry, Sir William - Led a number of British expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage.
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's North Pole Pictures - When Peary arrived in 1909, he photographed four different directions to provide a record that he saw no land.
Pytheas - Ancient records suggest that the Greek navigator Pytheas visited the Arctic about 2,330 years ago.
Rae, Dr. John - Learning from aboriginal peoples, he became an authority on Arctic survival and travel.
Rasmussen, Knud - Knud was the first person to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled.
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.
Seegloo - One of the Inuit guides who accompanied Peary to the North Pole.
Scoresby, William - His book "An Account of the Arctic Regions" was the result of his experience travelling on and through ice.
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur - Canadian ethnologist and explorer who discovered many previously unknown native tribes and territories.
Sverdrup, Otto - The Norwegian explorer discovered three islands in the Canadian Arctic and claimed them for Norway.
Wilkins, Sir Hubert - The Australian explorer flew over the Arctic Ocean by aircraft in 1927.

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Polar Bears
Also see: ANIMALS & Arctic Animal LINKS

Comparison: Polar vs Grizzly - Two species of bears inhabit the Arctic - polar bears on the coasts and ice pack, and grizzly bears inland.
Cubs and Birth Dens - Pregnant polar bears usually enter their dens around November and give birth to cubs about two months later.
Fur - The fur is not actually white. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and transparent with a hollow core.
Halloween - The Halloween Polar Alert is in effect around the town of Churchill to protect "trick or treaters" from polar bears.
Hunting for Seals - This is how they catch their favorite meal.
Ice Habitat - Where there is Arctic sea ice - there are polar bears. Where sea ice is absent year round - there are no polar bears.
Marine Adaptations - The polar bear is the only bear considered to be a marine mammal.
Moscow Zoo - Polar bears play in "snow" that comes from a high-tech compressor in their enclosure.
Paws - The polar bear's paws are marvelously adapted to life in the Arctic.
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.
Predator - Polar bears are the world's largest land predators and top the food chain in the Arctic.
Protective - Mother bears are capable of driving off much larger males if they think their cubs are threatened.
Sharing - Bears who observe proper manners are frequently allowed to share a kill.
Territories - Once thought to be aimless wanderers, it is now believed that polar bears have distinct territories, or home ranges.
Tundra Buggies - In Churchill, people watch polar bears safely by travelling in tundra buggies.

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Sky / Seasons
Also see: CONSTELLATION LINKS

Big Dipper - The Big Dipper is part of the Great Bear constellation and it guides the way to the North Star.
CryoSat - The satellite is designed to measure changes in the Earth’s terrestrial and marine ice fields.
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.
Great Bear - The constellation Ursa Major appears in the northern sky.
Land of the Midnight Sun - Why doesn't the Sun set?
Latitude - For well over 2,000 years, navigators have known how to determine both direction and latitude by using the North Star.
Longitude - How did early explorers determine their east-west position on the Earth's surface?
Meteorites - Scientists search for micro-meteorites that may have fallen on the Greenland ice sheet.
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.
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.
Sun Leaves the North Pole - On September 24 the last edge of the Sun disappears below the horizon.
Sun Returns to North Pole - On March 18, the leading edge of the Sun peeks over the horizon at the Pole. It is officially "up".
Ursa Major - The Great Bear constellation appears in the northern sky.

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Sled Dogs
Also see: ANIMALS

Balto - In 1925, a dog named Balto became a hero in a life-or-death race to rescue the children of Nome.
Exploration Sledges - To withstand the rugged conditions encountered on the Arctic ice cap, exploration sledges have to be very strong.
Huskies - The original "huskies" were Siberian huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, used by native peoples in Alaska and Siberia.
Iditarod - The "Last Great Race" covers some of the toughest terrain on earth.
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.
Sled Dog Treatment - Early European and American explorers did not often treat their sled dogs with care or compassion.
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.
Travel - Global warming is changing the Arctic sea ice that is essential for both travel and hunting.
Yukon Quest - Toughest sled dog race in the world.

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Snow
Also see: ICE, ICEBERGS & GLACIERS

Baker, Mt. - The world record for the most snow in one year is now held by Mount Baker.
Frost - Frost crystals grow on window panes, blades of grass, or just about any other solid surface.
Igloo - The igloo is a snowhouse that was used by the Inuit as a temporary shelter.
Insulation - Snow is a good insulator, making it a very good material for building a shelter.
Seasonal Snow - Seasonal snow covers up to 33% of the Earth's total land surface.
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 Words - The Inuit, Aivilik and Igloolik languages have over 30 words for snow.
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.

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Whales & Fish
Also see: ANIMALS & Arctic Animal LINKS

Beluga Whales - Small, toothed whales that inhabit coastal waters in Arctic and Sub-Arctic areas.
Beluga Whales - Trapped by sea ice.
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.
Bowhead Whales - Close relatives of the northern right whales and also known as Greenland right whales - they are found only in the Northern Hemisphere.
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.
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.
Orca - Killer Whales are found in all oceans of the world, but are most common in the Arctic and Antarctic waters.
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.


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