SSoP Podcast Episode 28 — Arctic: Otherworldly Beauty That Might Kill You

SSoP Podcast Episode 28 — Arctic: Otherworldly Beauty That Might Kill You

Monday, 27 September, 2021

The Arctic is the northernmost region on Earth, defined by scientists as the area within the Arctic Circle, a line of latitude about 66.5° north of the Equator. That circle at the top of the world includes the Arctic Ocean and a few bits of land: northern parts of Russia, the state of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and the northern tips of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Teeming with wildlife — polar bears, puffins, whales, seals, arctic foxes, and narwhals — the land and sea blend, ice reaching to the horizon and the sky in vast stretches of blue and white. It can seem quite romantic, this part of the globe with months of darkness and light at opposite ends of the calendar.

But as history tells, it’s also perilously dangerous, a place where humans are likely to lose their way, to freeze, or to simply disappear.

In this episode, we take a quick romp through the Arctic expeditions of the 19th century and get curious about the archipelago of Svalbard (150 islands off the coast of Norway). Then we discuss five books that transported us to the Arctic Circle, including lyrical nonfiction, adventure tales, and one ghost story that would make the bravest soul shake in their fur-lined boots.

Books, Transcript, and More

For a complete roundup of all the books we recommend, plus a full transcript and the other cool stuff we talked about, visit the Episode 28 show notes.


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The Arctic has fascinated humans for centuries. For the right kind of person, its ethereal beauty and challenging climate are irresistible. For others, it's the polar bears and puffins. Bundle up, we're heading north.
Looking at photos of the Arctic has us wishing (at least a little) that we could chuck our everyday lives to stow away aboard a research vessel cutting through the sea ice. Polar bears! Northern lights! Salty stories!
This post has everything good: Arctic adventure, polar bears, Arctic hares, tundra-inspired cuisine, and comfy accommodations. We encourage you to browse the stunning photos and bake this cake as soon as possible.

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