The Earth is a huge, spinning ball of rock and ice, but the North Pole isn’t just the top of the world. It’s also home to some pretty amazing things.
When you think of the North Pole, you might picture a snowy landscape with a bright red Santa Claus standing on it – or at least something very similar to that. But, a little closer examination of this magical point of our planet shows that there is actually more than one North Pole.
There are three types of “north” poles: the True Geographic North Pole, Instantaneous North Pole and Magnetic North Pole – each one of them a completely different place to stand on our globe.
First of all, the True Geographic North Pole is a location on the Earth where lines of longitude (meridians) are aligned in a precise way. It’s also the location of our North Star, Polaris.
It’s not only the most famous of our planet’s poles, but it’s also an important part of how we orient ourselves in this big spinning ball we call Earth. It’s the spot where our compass needle points, which is aligned with the magnetic field that surrounds it.
The Magnetic North Pole is located on Ellesmere Island in Northern Canada. This is where our compass needle points because the small magnetic pin in the compass reacts to the natural magnetism of the Earth, which it’s shaped like.
That’s why it’s not a coincidence that we see a bright Santa Claus in the sky each year, or that the North Star can be seen in the sky all over the globe if you look right. That’s because our Earth’s magnetic field is incredibly powerful, and it’s a lot like a giant magnet.
Now, this all sounds a lot like science fiction – but it’s real, and the fact that there are more than one of these North Poles is proof that our planet is actually very special.
We can trace this fact back to a time before humans had any idea what we were doing on the surface of our planet, and when the first people who travelled around the world didn’t have any idea where they were going either.
Early geographers based their directions on the East, where the sun arose and set. That’s why they called it “north.” But this idea of north as the top of the world is really just an example of a more cultural bias than anything else, says Dr Michael Brotton from Oxford University.
It might have been because the Europeans were doing most of the exploring at that time, but it’s a lot more likely that we just picked this as the way to look at the world and that it stuck for centuries.
But now that we have better knowledge of the fact that our planet has more than one North Pole, we need to be a lot clearer about where this so-called “North Pole” actually is. That’s why we need to make sure that we never say – or even suggest – that there is only one North Pole anywhere in the world. the hill one north condo