People worldwide have been captivated by the sound of humpback whales singing, and whether members of this species sing as a means of communication with each other or some other purpose. Our Greenland expedition cruise participants often ask this very question. Interestingly, scientists have recently discovered that an important purpose of the humpback whale's song is to help them locate their next meal.
Imagine steaming across thousands of miles of frigid, poorly charted waters, many of them made all the more dangerous by icebergs and sea ice. Imagine finally reaching land and then dealing with one of the driest, windiest and coldest places on earth. One completely void of indigenous peoples, man-made infrastructure or vegetation.
We came out of the cave, we looked over the hill and we saw fire. We crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west.
The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration, and in 1873, a remote and forbidding archipelago that would soon be called Franz Joseph Land was next.
This story really happened more than 30 years ago.
In the Russian High Arctic, a convoy of over 50 Soviet-era ships became trapped in ice fields along the Northern Sea Route or "Northeast Passage." In those days, many Russian Arctic settlements were dependant on food and other neccessities that were typically delivered by these traditional convoys. This time, however, the convoy was unable to return after supplying the isolated settlements due to impassable ice.
As the situation became dire, it was agreed that a nuclear-powered icebreaker, the Lenin, would be pressed into service to lead the other ships out of their icy jail.
What makes this story special – and the Lenin the hero – was her power source: nuclear energy. It enabled the Lenin and her crew to prevent hundreds of seamen from being trapped in the ice for a prolonged period of time. It was one of the biggest and most successful rescue missions of its day.
This article was reposted from Boomer's Bucket List Travel
Do you wish you had been born over a century ago when the world was out there for the curious to explore? If you’ve watched the TV saga Vikings, keep explorers like Erik the Red in mind. He made his mark on the Arctic by founding the first Norse settlement in Greenland. Think Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Ernest Shackleton
Besides their legendary sled-towing capability – even through the sky – and their need to only work one day per year led by a unique red-nosed individual… what do we really know about reindeer in the Arctic? We’re talking about Rudolph’s cousins, found around the globe a bit south of the North Pole. (Oh, bonus fact… there really aren’t any reindeer at the North Pole! Just don’t tell your kids!)
Polar bears are among the cutest, and at first glance appear to be cuddliest animals on the planet. However like many wild animals they are actually quite ferocious. If you happen to be on a polar bear expedition in the arctic, you’d even have a chance to see a family up close and personal. (Just not too close.)
Now that we’re imagining the thought of actually going on a polar bear expedition, you may want to arm yourself with some fun facts to share with your travel mates!