2009-04-26

Svalbard

Holy cow!

Did you know about Svalbard?

(Feel free to sneer at this point that yes, because you paid more attention to geography in school than I did. In my defense, I mostly had horrid geography teachers.)

More than 2,000 people live in this archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole. The capitol, Longyearbyean, is at 78 degrees north. For comparison, the Antarctic continent starts at 66 degrees south.

It is the northernmost inhabited place on Earth. According to Wikipedia, they have "the world's northernmost school, church, hospital, bank, newspaper, airport with scheduled airline service, movie theater, kebab shop, and in-door swimming pool."

In North America, the northernmost settlement is Barrow, at the northernmost end of Alaska, with a population of 4,600 living at a geographic latitude of 71 degrees north.

Edited to add:

Trivia question.

Where is the easternmost land of North America?

Is it in Newfoundland? Or perhaps Greenland?

Thereabouts, if you were looking for the rightmost point, considering the bulk of the continent to be in the center. The geographical easternmost point, however, is the Semisopochnoi Island in the western Aleutian Islands - 23 minutes west of the 180th meridian. It is part of the United States.

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