February 09, 2004
June Allen Column
A Story of an Unfriendly Arctic Island
Wrangel Island, which
is located off the northern coast of Eastern Siberia and straddles
the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea.
Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
And the heroine who survived it
There is a desolate island
in the Chukchi Sea on the frigid top of the planet. It is 83
miles north of the coast of Siberia and it is named Wrangel Island
- Wrangel with one L. It is roughly kidney-shaped and said to
be about 80 miles long and 18 to 30 miles across, with a cluster
of low mountains at its center. During the warmth of its very
brief summer, rivers flow north and south over rolling tundra
to the sea. Along the frosty riverbanks are buried the bones
of a race of woolly mammoths, evidence of dwarfed survivors of
a larger race of Russian Steppe mammoths of perhaps 20,000 or
30,000 years ago. The island today is inhabited by a tiny Russian-Eskimo
settlement and is largely visited by polar bears, seals, foxes,
ducks and geese and the occasional scientist from around the
world. - Read
the rest of this story...
Monday - February 02, 2004 - 1:00 am
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