An expedition accidentally discovered the northernmost island in the world

In Denmark, a university said it had discovered the northernmost island in the world. This kind of discovery is important enough to be underlined, especially since it was made by chance. However, the island in question is said to be very fragile and may not exist for very long.

A completely different initial objective

We tend to think that despite its vast size, the world no longer holds any real secrets from humanity. And yet, it is still possible to discover still unknown lands. According to a press release from the University of Copenhagen on August 27, 2021, one of its teams made just this kind of discovery. It is an island that has the distinction of being the most northerly in the world.

The team of researchers came face to face with the island during an expedition in July 2021. However, the initial objective was quite different. Indeed, it was to collect samples from the northernmost point of Greenland. The expedition is therefore a success, but it obviously did not go as planned.

The team set off for Oodaaq, a gravel, sand and silt bank in northeast Greenland. Until now, this place was considered to be the most distant known. And yet, the newly discovered island is still 780 km further north.

Oodaaq North GreenlandLocation of Oodaaq, the place considered until today to be the most northerly.
Credits: Google Maps

A new and fragile place to list

The identification of the island was made possible thanks to participatory science. Indeed, Morten Rasch, the expedition leader, posted photographs on social networks, which caught the attention of several island seekers. According to the latter, it was almost impossible that the island the researchers thought they had reached was Oodaaq. Then, the expedition contacted an expert in the field, who felt that the field GPS had made a major error. Indeed, the device had reported this location as Oodaaq. Finally, the island was designated as a new place to be listed, which is more the most northerly in the world.

You should know that the island does not yet have a name. Its surface area is only 1,800 m² (30 x 60 m) for a thickness of 3 to 4 m compared to the level of the pack ice. The formation of this place was probably made by aggregation of mounds of gravel and silt. According to the researchers, the formation of the island may have been the result of a storm that gradually gathered material from the seabed with support from the sea. Finally, scientists do not know how long this island could hold. Indeed, what one large-scale storm helped to create, another could destroy.

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