The North Pole, Geography


The North Pole


Santa’s North Pole is not the magnetic North Pole.  This geographic or terrestrial North Pole is opposite to the South Pole and is the farthest North you can get.  The South Pole is on Antarctica, one of the 7 continents of the world, while the North Pole is surrounded by shifting sea ice, right in the middle of the Artic Ocean.  Several manned but drifting stations have been constructed there, but the most famous resident is, of course, Santa Claus.


Water at the North Pole goes to a depth of 13,980 feet.  An island off the coast of Greenland, Kaffeklubben, is thought to be the closest land to the North Pole.  Alert, which is in Nunavut in Canada, is the closest place which is permanently inhabited.  Santa Claus is said to inhabit the North Pole in many Western cultures.  With a play on words, the Canada Post has given the postal code of H0H 0H0 to the pole, in deference to Santa’s favorite expression.  Henry Corbin said that the North Pole plays a key role in the world’s view of Iranian mysticism and Sufism.  Iran is  a long way from the North Pole.


In 1944, Bon and Bernice Davis drove to Fairbanks  and arrived on April 7th.  They stopped at a spot and decided to make the town of North Pole right then and there.  They cleared some timber and brush off their 160 acres and started to build a city.  They couldn’t think of  a name at first.  As the homes grew, it was called Sequoia Subdivision.  Then, folks already there thought they could attract more settlers and residents and visitors if they named the place the North Pole.  A toy manufacturer, if they build a plant there, could truly say that their toys were built at the North Pole.  They also conceived of a theme park to be called Santa Land.


They petitioned to have the town name changed from Davis to the North Pole.  A U.S. district judge agreed to the name change and it became official.  The two subdivisions there didn’t like the idea and refused the name change.  The actual town size was reduced and the town became the North Pole in 1953.  One of their goals failed, in that they couldn’t attract anyone to make products “made at the North Pole”.  They did continue on with developing a Christmas theme in the town.


Along with a lot of Santa Claus themed items, there are streets named Snowman Lane, Holiday Road, and North Star Drive.  Santa Claus House is the official home of Santa in the city and the town hosts a Winter festival  with fireworks, Christmas In Ice ribbon cutting, candle lighting ceremony, and tree lighting ceremony during the first week in December.


There have been a lot of movies made and books written about Santa and the North Pole.  He lives there and has a workshop staffed by elves and other Santa’s helpers.  Every year at Christmas he and those 8 tiny reindeer take off to circle the globe and leave presents for good boys and girls.  The North Pole has also been the center of a lot of controversial and mystical thought, such as being the entrance and exit for an underground base for UFOs.  One might assume that this UFO city exists under the ocean bed at the North Pole.


Because it’s hard to reach and quite mysterious even today, the North Pole has been at the center of many myths and legends and fanciful stories.  It’s reputation is earned, as because it’s so remote, we are all interested in what it’s really like up there.  Entice Santa to stay for a few minutes at you house this Christmas, and perhaps he’ll fill you in…  In any case, be sure and practice your Ho Ho Hos to get ready for the upcoming Christmas season.