The North Pole. Owned by no one, coveted by many. Despite its lack of natural resources, the North Pole has been the envy of various countries for decades. Russia, Denmark, and Canada have all made claims on the enigmatic North Pole, the ice-covered region at the very top of the world. Unlike the South Pole, located on the continent of Antarctica, the geographic North Pole is located on constantly shifting ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. There are no permanent habitations. It’s actually impossible to plant an official marker that’s long-lasting because the ice – which is 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 feet) thick – moves every year.
The ability to stand at the very top of the world lures travelers to the North Pole, which is considered by many as “terra incognita,” the unknown land. The closest permanent inhabited place is Alert, Nunavut, which is about 800 kilometres (508 miles) from the North Pole. Icebreaker and helicopter are the standard means of getting to the North Pole. There’s an otherworldly quality to the North Pole – where every direction you look is south. To reach the North Pole is to stand in awe of the immensity of the universe.