From icebergs and Inuit legends to polar bear organs and exploration disasters,
50 questions to truly test your northern knowledge
By Nick Walker
1. Hudson Bay is the largest of the Arctic Ocean’s bays.
2. Of Canada’s 20 largest islands, 16 are in the Arctic Archipelago. Name the four located elsewhere.
Vancouver Island, Cape Breton Island, N.S., Manitoulin Island, Ont., Anticosti Island, Que.
Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Cape Breton Island, N.S., Anticosti Island, Que.
Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Graham Island (Haida Gwaii), B.C., Anticosti Island, Que.
Newfoundland, Vancouver Island, Cape Breton Island, N.S., Manitoulin Island, Ont.
3. What is the name of the most northerly point of continental (mainland) North America? (Hint: It’s no nadir.)
4. What record does Baffin Island’s Nettilling Lake hold?
It’s fed by more sources than any other island lake
It has the largest number of recorded fish species of any freshwater lake in the Arctic
It’s the world’s largest lake on an island
It's the largest freshwater lake frozen for more than 10 months of each year
5. Where is the North Magnetic Pole expected to fall by 2020?
Between Ellesmere Island and Greenland, in Nares Strait
Over mainland Canada (near its 1900 location)
Roughly over the geographical North Pole
On the Siberian side of the geographical North Pole
6. The Earth’s diameter (the distance straight through the core to the opposite side) from the geographical North Pole to the South Pole is 40 kilometres longer than its diameter at the equator.
7. What tiny Arctic island has long been claimed by both Canada and Denmark?
8. What is the closest permanent human settlement to the North Pole?
Station Nord, Greenland
Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Norway
9. When at the North Pole (and the same is true for the South Pole), explorers and scientists record events according to what time zone?
Polar Standard Time
Greenwich Mean Time
The time zone of the closest inhabited place
Any time zone they like
10. Nunavut has land well farther south than the northern regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.
11. About what percentage of Inuit still have a diet that is at least half country food (food from the land and sea, such as seal, fish, whale and caribou)?
15 per cent
25 per cent
65 per cent
85 per cent
12. Why have Inuit traditionally hunted bowhead whales rather than other large cetaceans?
The bowhead’s blubber is particularly rich in nutrients such as vitamins C and D
They float after they’ve been harpooned
There are no other large whale species in Canada’s Arctic Ocean waters
Bowheads rarely aggressively defend themselves
13. The distant ancestors of Canada’s Inuit crossed from Greenland into Arctic Canada and, over the next few thousand years, spread west to Alaska.
14. Inuit legends hold that the Northern Lights …
Will move closer to Earth if you whistle at them
Can swoop down and decapitate you, if you travel at night by dogsled
Are torches carried by the dead, to guide the recently deceased to heaven
All of the above
15. Grise Fiord, Canada’s most northerly community, has been inhabited only since 1953, when the government relocated several Inuit families there from elsewhere in the Arctic.