Ellesmere Island -You have to know



Ellesmere Island


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Ellesmere Island is a site frequented by scientists, tourists, and others looking for a quiet, clean-up or otherwise. Located about 1000 miles from the Eastern coast of Canada, Ellesmere Island is also considered the third most remote place on Earth. The island’s shape is triangular, so it looks like two fingers are stuck together. Researchers believe the island was formed by one of the crests of a glacier that had sunk due to the weight of ice. Many parts of the island are tagged with glaciers with different names like “Discovery”, “Medial”, “Thumb”, and “Deception.

Ellesmere Island


Ellesmere Island has been a place of human activity since the last glaciation, about 12,000 years ago. Over the centuries, people have inhabited and used Ellesmere island for a variety of purposes including hunting, fishing, camping, and visiting research facilities.

The earliest recorded visit to Ellesmere Island was in 1850 by John Rae who sailed north from Hudson Bay in search of answers to questions about North America’s arctic regions.

During the nineteenth century, Ellesmere Island was used as a refueling and resupply base for sea-going vessels en route to both Greenland and the Baffin Bay. In 1898 John Rae’s exploration party canoe landed on the western face of Deception Island (now found northwesterly in position 73°48’30″N 60°53’15”) trying to reach Hanson River by way of Iris Lake.



The island experiences a polar climate with very high latitude, arctic conditions, and little precipitation. Winters can be long, cold, and dark, while summers can be short but warm. Precipitation is extremely low – averaging only about 200 mm per year – which makes the island one of the driest places on Earth. Approximately one-third of the days are sunny.

The summer sun at low latitudes does not reach Ellesmere Island, so even July is dark for most of the month; it’s hard to get accustomed to this very short “daylight” period each year (46 minutes hours from late October through mid-February).

The coldest temperature ever recorded on Ellesmere Island was centrally calculated as -51 °C (-60 °F ) on December 19, 1982. The hottest temperature ever recorded was +6 °C (42 °F) on July 6, 1935.

It is generally possible to walk across the icy surface of Ellesmere Island during winter – although it can be a dangerous and involved process because many of the interior spaces are frozen water-filled pits. The island’s northern reaches and more glaciated parts around Mare Moon Bay in particular tend not to freeze during winters. 

During the last Ice Age, when sea levels were up to 120 meters lower than the current day (being ∼200 feet below the present level), large parts of Ellesmere Island was covered by an extensive sheet of pack ice that never melted despite days-long warm temperatures.


Ellesmere Culture

The island has a small but vibrant population of about 130 people, most of whom are descendants of the original HMCS arctic survey team in the 1920s and 1930s. There is one store, one post office, a church, and a few other services. The island can only be reached by air or ice road from Victory Bay on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut Canada.

In winter the community of about sixty residents receives mail three times a week from Resolute in Nunavut, by floatplane (July–October), or via ice road to and from Cape Dyer. In summer, supplies arrive every few weeks as part of an annual Arctic delivery program that also includes weather monitoring equipment on Ellesmere Island.

A small museum is located in the village center open by appointment only with no set opening time.

The museum displays models of the village, research equipment and keeps artifacts collected over the island’s history.



The island is a member of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. It was also a member for Canada on the International Decolonisation Committee (1948–1960); in 1989 it supported secession from CAQ with Arctic Sovereignty.

In 1995 voted against Resolution 1996-12, which called upon Rwanda to cease all forms of violence and pursue national reconciliation through negotiations among political parties based around civic education programs approved by its National Reconciliation Process Commission; this resolution not politically binding did not reach 2001 Senate floor as opposed to it was overwhelming.

The island elects one member to the legislative assemblies of both Nunavut and Canada at each regional general election; before May 26, 2011, it also elected two members to those legislatures. It is a single-member riding for elections for PM and Senate when all sections vote as a single region.

Government services

Government Services

Healthcare is provided by the Nunavut Health Services Corporation, which also provides social assistance. Electricity and water are supplied by the territorial government. The island has its own Nunavut Department of Justice and Community Safety that is responsible for public safety, handicapped accessibility issues, and building standards in the community. 

The assistant deputy minister is Patricia Weetangni Hivon. It has a detachment on Bathurst Island north to Cape Dyer which serves as an RCMP station with limited duties then including search & rescue, marine law enforcement since 2012. Its operational area includes the political districts called Baffinland and Natsilingmiut.


Ellesmere Tourism

There is a seasonal polar bear watching operation in the summer, and caribou can often be seen in the area. Fishing is also possible in nearby rivers and lakes. Hunting for caribou, walrus, ducks, geese can also be undertaken if authorized by license from the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. Occasionally whales migrate north off northern Baffin Island and the community of Pond Inlet (the southernmost settlement in Nunavut) sees rare sightings.


There is only one island-based transportation service, the Nunavut Route 1 ice road. Other regions of Nunavut can utilize this seasonal road passageway from late October through December, although the distance is too far for many to use it. It connects Pond Inlet’s Airport (the only airport in Nunavut) with Hall Beach on Baffin Island’s north shore via Seldom Arctic Side (SAS).


Ellesmere Cuisine

The traditional Inuit cuisine in the area is based heavily on caribou, marine mammals, seals and ice. There are also several local aboriginal festivals such as the Moosonee Moose Festival and the First International Polarbear Swim. This swim is a celebration of this once abundant mammal which has been on the decline since 2004 due to overhunting, predation (often by global warming), oil exploration, pollution, etc.


Ellesmere Island is a raised, volcanic island situated off the northern tip of Canada’s Ellesmere Island. The island was discovered by explorers searching for the lost Alexander Selkirk of the Arctic islands. For many years, Ellesmere Island has been studied and explored for its rich flora and fauna. A stellar explorer herself, Dr. Mae-Wan Ho has chronicled many remarkable experiences through her trek to this mysterious land.


What Lives on Ellesmere Island?

There are a variety of animals that live on Ellesmere Island, including caribou, polar bears, seals, and a wide variety of birds. Additionally, the island is home to a number of plant species that are not found anywhere else on Earth.

What is Ellesmere Island Known for?

Ellesmere Island is known for its rich wildlife, including the world’s largest population of polar bears. It is also home to the first human settlement in the Arctic, a Russian military post that was abandoned in the early 20th century. Ellesmere Island is also a key part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and is considered to be one of the most biologically diverse areas in the world.

The island is home to a vast array of plant and animal life, including caribou, muskoxen, polar bears, and a variety of birds. There are also several Geological features on the island, such as the Great Iceberg and the Saddle Mountains, that are worth exploring. The island is also known for its stunning landscapes and its crystal-clear waters.

Can I Go to Ellesmere Island?

Yes, you can visit Ellesmere Island! Ellesmere Island is located in the Arctic Ocean, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a popular tourist destination for those who enjoy nature and wildlife. The island is home to a wide variety of animals, including polar bears, seals, and caribou. Additionally, there are a number of glaciers, including the Franz Joseph Glacier, which is the largest glacier in Canada.

So, if you are looking for a place to visit that is far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Ellesmere Island may be the perfect destination for you!

Does Anybody Live on Ellesmere Island?

Yes, a small group of people lives on Ellesmere Island year-round, though the population is typically smaller in the winter. The community is made up of scientists, researchers, and operators of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, which is located on the island.

Why Do Some Americans Say They Don’t Have a Passport?

There are a few reasons why some Americans may say they don’t have a passport. Some may not have needed one when they were born, and others may have lost theirs in a fire or other accident. Additionally, there are some people who are not citizens of the United States but live here indefinitely and do not have a passport. Lastly, there are some Americans who may have had their passports revoked or who are currently in the process of having their passports revoked.

If you are an American citizen and you do not have a passport, it is important to file a request for a duplicate passport as soon as possible. If you cannot file a request for a duplicate passport within a certain timeframe, you may be subject to immigration penalties. Additionally, you may be unable to travel outside of the United States without a passport.

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