The Arctic is a fascinating region. It is cold yet is home to some hearty animals and some plant life that can handle a challenging existence. Most people associate the arctic with being in essence, the top of the World. The top 5 Arctic facts are hard to narrow down because there are so many interesting things to know about the Arctic and its place in the world ecosystem. One interesting fact that movie goers will enjoy is that the ill-fated ship called Titanic struck an Arctic iceberg. Titanic was supposed to be an unsinkable ship and as Cameron’s movie demonstrated, many aboard perished because they waited too long to try and rescue themselves, thinking Titanic would stay afloat.
Other top Arctic facts include how the sun shines for several summer months all the time, even at midnight. Imagine trying to get any sleep if it was always bright and sunny. Scientists who study the Arctic and travel there during the summer months are careful to balance their exposure to the constant light so it interferes as little as possible with their bodily functions and balance. They must also deal with the constantly extreme temperature which averages about thirty below zero on most days of the year, or much colder with a bitter wind chill factor. It’s also interesting to note that the Arctic can get warm, so to speak, reaching fifty degrees in some places during the summer.
The Arctic is also known for its tundra. Tundra is essentially frozen ground. It’s hard to believe but there is actually one tree capable of growing in Arctic tundra and it is called the dwarf willow. It is generally a small, short tree that usually grows to about four or five inches tall. The nutrients in the tundra sustain this tree just enough for it to survive and grow to that small height. Another top fact about the Arctic is that it is the natural habitat for polar bears. So when you see a polar bear in a zoo located in a warm place, the bear will almost certainly have access to extremely cold water and ice in its designated area.
Another top fact about the Arctic is that the names of Arctic lands don’t describe their ability to support civilizations. The Vikings named an Arctic island Greenland, but it is not warm and green as the name implies. That area is very cold and covered by a frozen sheet of ice about a mile deep. There are areas of the Arctic that are basically hospitable, like Russia.