16 Things You Never Knew About The North Pole

The North Pole is a mythical region. Chances are that the one thing you do know is actually false.

The Arctic is usually associated with Santa Claus. But he is not the only legendary character who has a special connection to the place. It is a hotbed for international intrigue that has to do with anything from oil reserves and politics, to unique winter adventures and extreme environments.[slideshow:94096]

The North Pole is defined as the end of the Earth's axis of rotation, marking the northernmost point on the planet, lying diametrically opposite the South Pole. It is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean in waters that are almost always covered with 6-10 feet thick, shifting ice.

From the North Pole, all directions are south; all lines of longitude meet there. The Canadian territory of Nunavut lies closest to the North Pole, according to National Geographic. Greenland, the world's largest island, is also close.

The pole remains a mystery in many ways because the drifting ice makes it almost impossible and very costly for researchers to explore and study. There isn't land or a place for permanent facilities.

The moving ice has also made it unmanageable for people to establish a permanent community, so no one lives there. However, even if somehow they did settle, life would not be sustainable. 

Click here for 16 Things You Never Knew About the North Pole

More readings: 

The Best Countries for Americans to Visit by the End of 2016

Bodies of Water Too Dangerous for People to Touch

World's Longest and Most Dangerous Swims