Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Worlds of Wonder: Jan Mayen

I've decided to make Worlds of Wonder a little more flexible, and feature places that are full of wonder for any reason, not just because they don't exist. With that, I bring you Jan Mayen, Norway.
Jan Mayen is a small volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean. Only 34 miles long, the island features a glacier, an isthmus and three lakes, in addition to between 18 and 35 people, depending on the season. These are mainly employees who work on the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and Norwegian military personnel. What is perhaps most appealing about the island, however, is the history of its possible discovery in the early 6th century by Saint Brendan of Clonfert, an Irish monk cum explorer, who reported that he'd gotten close to a fiery black island with a terrible noise. He thought it might have been the entrance to hell. It may also have been the actual Svalbarð as discovered by the Vikings. Also, there are polar bears, and I bet the aurora borealis is epic there. Need I say more?

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