Arctic Facts

Arctic Facts
The polar region of Earth's most northern part is called the Arctic. The Artic contains parts of Alaska, Greenland, Finland, Canada, Norway, Russia, Sweden, Iceland, as well as the Arctic Ocean and its adjacent bodies of water. The land contained in the Arctic is snow and ice cover with permafrost with makes it almost treeless. There are some cultures that have lived in the Arctic region while having adapted to the extremely cold temperatures and freezing conditions that exist. Other life in the area includes marine mammals, land animals, plants life, fish, phytoplankton, and zooplankton. The term Arctic is derived from a Greek word Arktos meaning bear. The name does not refer to polar bears but instead to the constellations of the northern Arctic sky called Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, which mean Great Bear and Little Bear.
Interesting Arctic Facts:
Weather in the Arctic is cool in the summer and cold in the winter, with most precipitation in the form of snow.
The high winds in the Arctic often make it appear like it is snowing when in fact it is simply stirring it up.
Plants that grow in the Arctic include herbs, lichens, moss, dwarf shrubs, graminoids, as well as some grasses. A plant called the Arctic poppy also grows in some places.
Animals found in the Arctic can include caribou, muskox, lemmings, the Arctic hare, and polar bears, as well as moose, Dall sheep, wolverines, Arctic ground squirrels, and ermines.
Marine mammals found in the waters of the Arctic include killer whales, narwhals, baleen whales, walruses, and seals.
Narwhals are also called the 'unicorn of the sea' because the males have a tusk protruding as long as 3 meters from their heads.
Scientists often refer to the Arctic region as the Arctic Circle - with an imaginary line that encircles the top of the earth.
The Arctic experiences at least one full day a year of complete darkness due to the tilt of the Earth. It also experiences at least one full day of light due to the same reason.
Approximately 4 million people live within the Arctic region. The indigenous people that live in the region are called the Inuits. They have learned how to survive in one of earth's harshest environments.
The USS Nautilus, a submarine, sailed below the Arctic Ocean's frozen surface in 1958, proving that there is water under the ice and not land as many believed.
The Arctic ice is protective for the planet as it reflects some of the harsh sun's rays back into space, which in turn helps to regulate the temperature of the earth. Global warming and melting of the ice cap threatens the earth because of this.
The Arctic region covers roughly one-sixth of the planet's total surface area.
The glaciers and icebergs are made up of frozen freshwater and account for 20% of the earth's freshwater.
The coldest temperature recorded in the Arctic was -90 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the sun can be seen at midnight during the Arctic summer it is called the Midnight Sun.


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