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The northernmost island on the planet has just been discovered by chance

On the site of the University of Copenhagen, a research team announced at the end of August 2021 the discovery of a new island. But the latter is not classic: at present, it is the most northerly island on the planet.

The discovery was made by chance. It is the result of an expedition carried out in July 2021 by a team of scientists affiliated with this university. Originally, their objective was to collect samples from the farthest point – the most northerly precisely – from Greenland. It’s successful, but not quite as expected.

Scientists headed for Oodaaq, the most distant territory recorded so far in the North. Except that it was not Oodaaq, but an island located 780 meters even further north. The identification could have taken place in part thanks to participatory science. Expedition leader Morten Rasch posted pictures of the place on his social media, until island hunters noticed that it seemed highly unlikely that it was Oodaaq.The northernmost island ever discovered is 30 meters by 60 meters. // Source: Morten Rasch

Morten Rasch and his team then decided to contact an expert in the matter. They were able to see, thanks to the latter, that the field GPS was wrong in reporting this location as Oodaaq. They then checked with the helicopter’s GPS. This is how they were finally able to identify the territory they were standing on as a new island to add to the repertoire, and the most northerly ever discovered.null

For how long ?

This island, which does not yet have a name, is very small: it stretches 30 by 60 meters, with a thickness of 3 to 4 meters compared to the level of the pack ice. It has just extended Greenland and Danish territory by one iota.

The island was formed by the aggregation of mounds of gravel and silt (a rocky material forming certain soils, consisting of grains intermediate between sand and clay and sometimes mixed with these two other materials).  »  It may be the result of a great storm which, with the help of the sea, gradually gathered material from the seabed,   » suggest its discoverers.

It remains to be seen whether scientists will have the time to name this remote island. What a mighty storm has done, it can undo just as quickly before long.

Par Jules Bercy

A writer a blogger passionate about science, history politics, the general knowledge of our planet and the Universe...

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