What You Might Not Know About the North Pole

Around this time of year, we hear a lot about Santa and his elves working hard at the North Pole to make sure all the toys are ready for Christmas. However, we don’t always hear a lot about the place where all the magic happens. What you might not know is that, unlike Antarctica, there's no land at the North Pole. Instead it's all ice that's floating on top of the Arctic Ocean. NOAA — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — uses satellites positioned over the North Pole to give forecasters an idea of how fast weather systems will travel. Airlines also rely on the information because the wind speeds at the altitudes planes travel are very important. Another thing you may not be aware of is that right now the North Pole is experiencing total darkness. That’s because from early October to early March, the sun drops down to 12 degrees below the horizon. Finally, using a compass won’t necessarily take you due north if you’re traveling to the North Pole. That’s because there’s a difference between the geographic North Pole and the geomagnetic North Pole, which is what compasses and that handy GPS app on your phone use. So, if you were planning on tracking down Santa this Christmas, you should leave it to the experts at the NORAD. They've been tracking Santa’s journey from the North Pole for more than 60 years.