Stuck in the North Pole with nothing to do? No need to bingewatch Game of Thrones, again. Here are 5 great things to do in the Arctic Region:
Home to a panoply of wildlife, visitors can take in walruses, seals, whales, Arctic fox, and polar bears. For those who don’t sport a mammal bias, there are plenty of seabirds, fish and nuclear-armed Russian subs. The only penguin you’ll see is on the cover of your dinner companion’s copy of ‘Walden;’ the tuxedoed waddlers live at the other pole.
The North Pole Marathon, the self-dubbed ‘world’s coolest marathon,’ is an annual event taking place every 9 April, weather permitting. One can expect temperatures in the 20s-negative, that is- with wind chills in the -30s. Your €13,800 registration fee gets you chopper flights to the event, medical evacuation and, of course, a T-shirt.
Tour groups offer helicopter and hot air balloon excursions. If being at the top of the world isn’t exciting enough, hop into a basket held aloft by a bag of gas, then head for polar bear territory. Fun for the whole family!
If dangling like a cat toy over carnivorous bears isn’t exciting enough, try swimming with them. Iceberg diving is like cave diving, except the walls are constantly moving, the water is below freezing and has bears in it.
For oil, that is. The Arctic Region is an ice-covered ocean, and so follows maritime treaties and international law. This means that no one can own the North Pole, but they can own the land underneath. (Poor Santa really is North Polish) Currently, Canada, Russia and Denmark are vying for access to Arctic Region seafloors, hoping to find mineral riches. And the seabed is getting easier to get to: with warming temperatures, the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free during summer as soon as 2030.
The Land of the Fortress of Solitude may be elf-friendly, but humans should consider getting medical evacuation insurance. Medevac-ing you and your busted knee from the most remote place in the world can get pretty pricey.