From Pole to Pole: Exploring the Untamed Beauty of the Arctic - 01

by Laine Ye on May 30, 2024

From Pole to Pole: Exploring the Untamed Beauty of the Arctic - 01

In this issue, we venture into another mysterious and beautiful polar world—the Arctic. The Arctic Ocean is the largest ocean in the world, covering most of the Arctic region. Unlike Antarctica, over two-thirds of the Arctic is covered by the ocean. The Arctic region is one of the coldest places on Earth, with most areas covered in ice and snow, including ice caps, sea ice, and icebergs. The ice and snow reflect sunlight, resulting in less absorption of solar heat in the Arctic. Winter temperatures are extremely low, often dropping below -40°C, and even in summer, temperatures rarely exceed 10°C. The Arctic region is covered in ice and snow almost year-round.

On Earth, there is a point where, standing there and looking around, all you can see is the south. This point is the northernmost point on Earth—the North Pole. It is shrouded in mystery, and since its discovery, countless explorers have sought to conquer it. Many sailors and adventurers have attempted to reach the North Pole, but despite their hardships, none have succeeded.

The historical exploration of the Arctic region can be traced back to early adventurers who bravely ventured into this extreme and mysterious region in search of new sea routes, resources, and scientific knowledge. After Marco Polo's travelogue and the discovery of the New World, European countries were filled with great aspirations for the mysterious and wealth-filled East. In the early 19th century, British naval officer Sir John Ross conducted a series of Arctic expeditions. Between 1818 and 1833, he made several attempts to find the Northwest Passage to Asia. Although he did not succeed in finding the passage, his expeditions provided valuable experience for later explorers.

The disappearance of Sir John Franklin, a British explorer, greatly enriched knowledge about the North American Arctic region and led to a better understanding of ocean currents and the drifting of ice caps in the Arctic. Explorers realized that only by learning from the indigenous people of the Arctic region could they better adapt to the local environment.

Between 1893 and 1896, the Norwegian Nansen Expedition used a specially designed ship to drift through the ice in the Arctic Ocean, aiming to reach the North Pole. Although they did not reach the geographical North Pole, they came close in 1895 and conducted extensive scientific research and measurements during their drift.

It wasn't until 1909 that an American explorer named Robert Peary, after ten years of arduous effort, became the first person to reach the North Pole. Peary had a dream since childhood to be the first person to walk to the geographic North Pole. He spent four years in the Arctic region, befriending the Inuit people, the local indigenous population, and gaining their support for his plan. From the Inuit, Peary learned valuable skills for survival in the Arctic, including navigation techniques, the ability to travel by dog sled, and adaptation to the cold environment, which made his expedition more successful.

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