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Arctic Circle Facts

Geography | 6-8 yrs | Interactive

What is the Arctic Circle?

The Arctic Circle is a parallel latitude that runs north of the equator. The exact position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed. As of 23rd May 2018, it runs 66 degrees 33’47.2″ north of the equator. The shifting of the circle is caused because the Arctic Circle is not a fixed mass of land like Antarctica. This shift in the position of the circle is known as Polar Shift Theory.

Everything north of this circle is known as the Arctic Circle. And the region just south of it is known as the Northern Temperate Zone.

Are the geographic North Pole and the magnetic North Pole the same?
The magnetic North Pole and the geographic North Pole are not the same. If you were standing at the geographic North Pole, with a compass, it would point to the magnetic North Pole.

The point at which the magnetic North Pole is situated is at Ellesmere Island, Canada. There is a difference of 500 km between the magnetic North Pole and the geographic North Pole. This is known as the magnetic inclination.

Who lives in the Arctic Circle?

Only about 4 million people live north of the Arctic Circle, due to the severe climate. 10% of the region’s population is made of indigenous people, who have inhabited the area for thousands of years. Several thousand years ago, waves of people migrated from eastern Siberia across the Bering Strait into North America.

The largest communities north of the Arctic Circle are situated in :

  • Russia – Murmansk
  • Norilsk
  • Vorkuta
  • Norway – Tromsø
  • Sweden – Kiruna
  • Finland – Rovaniemi
  • Greenland – Sisimiut
  • Alaska – Barrow

What is the climate in the Arctic Circle?

The Arctic Circle experiences extreme cold. The temperature can sometimes fall below – 50 degrees in winter. In some areas, summer temperatures can reach as high as 30-degree Celsius.

What is the midnight sun?

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon, that occurs in the summer months in places in the Arctic Circle. This means the sun is visible even at midnight. This occurs around the summer solstice, that is around June 22. This happens in the Antarctic circle around December 22.

What is polar night?

The Arctic Circle experiences a phenomenon where the sun is not visible throughout the day, in winters. This can last for more than 24 hours. This is known as polar night. In some places, it can last for a week and in some places, it can last for a couple of months.

What are the animals found in the Arctic Circle?

The animals found in the Arctic Circle are :
Land Mammals –

  • Arctic Fox
  • Arctic Hare
  • Arctic Wolf
  • Caribou / Reindeer
  • Dall Sheep
  • Ermine
  • Lemming
  • Musk Ox
  • Snowshoe Hare / Snowshoe Rabbit

Birds –

  • Arctic Skua
  • Arctic Tern
  • Bald Eagle
  • Canada Goose
  • Brunnich’s Guillemots
  • Ptarmigan
  • Puffin
  • Snowy Owl
  • Snow Goose
  • Other Animals
  • Arctic Woolly Bear Moth (caterpillar)
  • Beluga Whale
  • Greenland Shark
  • Narwhal
  • Orca
  • Bearded Seal
  • Harp Seal
  • Hooded Seal
  • Ribbon Seal
  • Ringed Seal
  • Spotted Seal
  • Walrus

What are the plants found in the Arctic Circle?

The plants found in the Arctic Circle are :

  • Arctic Plankton
  • Arctic Seaweed
  • Arctic Moss

Fun Fact about Arctic Circle

Santa Claus has a personal post office in the Arctic Circle. The address is Santa Claus Main Post Office. FI – 96930 Arctic Circle, Finland. This post office receives half a million letters from children around the world! And when you visit, you can send letters to your relatives, with a special Arctic Circle stamp.

For more such Geography articles and videos, visit: http://mocomi.com/learn/geography/