The world’s “northernmost island” has been wiped off the map and scientists have discovered the reason

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The explanation couldn’t be simpler, and yet… It took several decades for scientists to finally unravel the mystery of the “ghost islands.” These territories, all located in the Arctic, seemed to appear and then disappear over the course of polar expeditions.⋙ The Tara Polar Station, both a ship and an Arctic climate change laboratory. Thus, last year, a small piece of land measuring thirty by sixty meters was discovered by a Swiss, Danish and Greenlandic team, and named “Qeqertaq Avannarleq”, ‘the northernmost island’ in the Inuktitut language of Greenland… before magically disappearing from the landscape. mysterious appearances and disappearancesAnd this is just the latest example of a long series of similar phenomena, recalls Professor Kevin Hamilton, a researcher in atmospheric sciences at the University of Hawaii (United States), in The Conversation. “Nearly a century ago, a pioneering aerial expedition led to the redesign of maps describing large areas of the Barents Sea (a sea in the Arctic Ocean located north of Norway and Russia, editor’s note),” he says. This pioneering expedition took place in 1931, at the initiative of the American William Randolph Hearst. Then the press magnate decided to use the “Graf zeppelin”, at that time the largest airship in the world, to fly over the North Pole, where a submarine would take over navigating under the ice.⋙ Who was l ‘polar explorer Paul-Émile Victor, creator of the French polar expeditions? Although the initial project was abandoned due to technical difficulties, the idea was nevertheless adopted by an international scientific committee, in search of great discoveries about the geography, meteorology and magnetism of the Barents Sea: the “American-German-Soviet expedition “Polarfahrt” (“polar journey” in German), Professor Hamilton reports. Thanks to the wide-angle cameras it was equipped with, the aircraft made it possible to photograph the area in detail. Surprise: two islands, Albert Edward Land and Harmsworth Land, although present on all Arctic maps of the time, remained absolutely impossible to locate. So much so that the scientists aboard the Graf Zeppelin concluded… that it was a mirage from earlier explorers! The secret of the ghost islands, finally revealed. Intrigued by these historical events as well as by the recent discovery of “Qeqertaq Avannarleq”, the researchers have come together to lead, during the summer of 2022, the “Leister Go North” polar expedition. By laser scanning the thickness of the ice as well as the seabed, scientists have finally been able to provide a clear answer to the mystery of the ghost islands. “Our work shows unequivocally that all these reported ‘islands’ are flat icebergs,” reveals Professor Rene Forsberg, researcher at the Department of Space Research and Space Technology (DTU Space) and member of this expedition, in a press release . .These icebergs. “they are generally 20 to 30 meters thick, with a thin surface layer of earth and pebbles”, specifies the specialist in geodetic measurements (study of the dimensions and shape of the Earth). Formed during the detachment of pieces of glaciers, or “pairs”, they would have been covered with mud and rock fragments during coastal landslides.⋙ Discovery of mysterious “giant” viruses in a rare Arctic lake These “islands of ice’, called ‘semi-stationary’, can persist for several years before melting. On board a helicopter, the researchers of this expedition have also identified new ghost islands, also doomed to disappear soon. And the real “northernmost island” is… Therefore, experts claim that the island of Kaffeklubben (Café club), or “Qeqertaat” in Inuktitut – officially discovered in 1921 and located in the northeast of Greenland – remains the northernmost land point in the world. . About 707 km from the North Pole, this island in the real sense (and not an iceberg covered with mud and pebbles) is devoid of inhabitants. A record that should never be questioned again!>> Create your tailor-made trip to Iceland with our partner Discover our partner’s tailor-made tours: Also read: The 10 most isolated islands in the world The island of Pheasants in the Basque Country, six months in France, six months in Spain Discover from Sentinel Island North, one of the most isolated places in the world
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