The North Pole is the northern end of the Earth’s axis and is located in the Arctic Ocean, about 725 kilometers north of Greenland. But who discovered the North Pole?
This geographic North Pole does not coincide with the magnetic North Pole, the one towards which compasses point and which, at the beginning of the 21st century, was north of the Queen Elizabeth Islands in the extreme north of Canada, at approximately 82°15′ N 112°30′ V (migrates steadily to the northwest); or with the geomagnetic North Pole, the northern end of the Earth’s geomagnetic field (approximately 79°30′ N 71°30′ W), according to Britannica.
The geographic pole, located at a point where the ocean is about 4,080 meters deep and covered with drifting ice, has six full months of sunlight and six months of total darkness each year.
Who discovered the North Pole?
Now let’s find out who discovered the North Pole.
American explorer Robert E. Peary claimed to have reached the Pole by dog sled in April 1909, and another American explorer, Richard E. Byrd, claimed to have reached the Pole by plane on May 9, 1926; both men’s claims were later questioned.
Three days after Byrd’s attempt, on May 12, the North Pole was safely reached by an international team consisting of Roald Amundsen, Lincoln Ellsworth, and Umberto Nobile, who crossed the polar region in an airship.
Notable expeditions to the North Pole
The first ships to visit the pole were the American nuclear submarines Nautilus (1958) and Skate (1959), the latter surfacing through the ice, and the Soviet icebreaker Arktika was the first surface ship to reach there in 1977.
Other notable surface expeditions are: the first to reach the pole by snowmobile, in 1968; the first to cross the polar region, from Alaska to Svalbard, in 1969, by dog sled; and the first to travel to the Pole and back without supplies, in 1986, also by dog sled; the last expedition also included the first woman ever to reach the North Pole, the American Ann Bancroft.