Sun over arctic ocean
By Photographer: Patrick Kelley, U.S. Coast Guard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Description: The sun above the Arctic Ocean horizon Sept. 9, 2009.
Because it is winter in my part of the world, my thoughts have drifted toward lands of ice and snow. I do not actually plan to visit the cold regions of the world I cover in my posts, but I am attracted to them because of their beauty and their primeval quality. This week’s post features photos from one of the coldest areas on Earth: the Arctic.
To help you understand where these pictures were taken, I have included a map of the Arctic region. As you can see, the Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean surrounded by parts of several countries: Canada, Russia, United States (Alaska), Denmark (Greenland), Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic Ocean includes several seas and other water bodies bordering the previously mentioned countries, such as Barents Sea, Beaufort Sea, East Siberian Sea, and Baffin Bay.
Originally from the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook
Ice Almost Everywhere
The Arctic is known for its icebergs and other fantastic ice formations. Although some parts of the Arctic experience a short summer with average July temperatures ranging from about −10 to +10 °C (14 to 50 °F), other parts of the Arctic remain icebound all year.
Poling a small boat through the Ice Floes in the Beaufort Sea
Courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/bigs/theb0030.jpg
1024 Nordpolausflug- Nordostgrönland-05052012222
5th May 2012: North Polar flight with Air Berlin – Flight back to Northeast Greenland (Photographer: Basti, Editor: Hedwig)
Iceberg with hole near sanderson hope 2007-07-28 2
Iceberg with a hole in the strait between Langø and Sanderson Hope south of Upernavik, Greenland.
Greenland-fjord ice2 hg
Iceberg in Rødefjord (Scoresby Sund), Greenland
Not Completely Devoid of Life
Despite the extreme cold and lack of vegetation, there is life in the Arctic, but mostly animals and invertebrates inhabit this part of the world. Perhaps the best known life form in the Arctic is the polar bear, but walruses, whales, and some other animals live there as well.
Polar bears near north pole
By Chief Yeoman Alphonso Braggs, US-Navy [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Three Polar bears approach the starboard bow of the Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Honolulu (SSN 718) while surfaced 280 miles from the North Pole. Sighted by a lookout from the bridge (sail) of the submarine, the bears investigated the boat for almost 2 hours before leaving. Commanded by Cmdr. Charles Harris, USS Honolulu while conducting otherwise classified operations in the Arctic, collected scientific data and water samples for U.S. and Canadian Universities as part of an agreement with the Arctic Submarine Laboratory (ASL) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). USS Honolulu is the 24th Los Angeles-class submarine, and the first original design in her class to visit the North Pole region. Honolulu is assigned to Commander Submarine Pacific, Submarine Squadron Three, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
The lion’s mane jellyfish or hair jelly is an example of an invertebrate found in the Arctic Ocean.
By Dan Hershman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Largelionsmanejellyfish.jpg
A Lion’s mane jelly. Photo by Dan Hershman.
Over the years, ancient marine fossils have been found in the Arctic, including a “sea monster graveyard” on an Arctic island chain in Norway.
By Brocken Inaglory https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arctic_fossils.jpg
Marine Fossils at Beechy Island, Canadian Arctic
Category:Images of the Arctic
Learn More about the Arctic
If you would like to see more Arctic photos and read more information about the Arctic, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) website has an “Arctic theme page”. This page has links to a photo gallery as well as North Pole Webcams and Arctic You Tube videos.