The Arctic Lands

In 1707, while hunting whales in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, Dutch captain Gillis saw in the north of Spitsbergen the high winding banks of some unknown Arctic land with flat peaks. The large concentrations of ice Gillis did not allow to reach this land, but Gillis sketched its banks in detail and mapped it. Since then, the "land of Gillis" was searched by numerous seafarers.

In 1707, while hunting whales in the cold waters of the Arctic Ocean, Dutch captain Gillis saw in the north of Spitsbergen the high winding banks of some unknown Arctic land with flat peaks

In the 17-18 century. there were rumors that somewhere in the north from the mouth of the Kolyma River there is an unknown large land. In 1764, in search of this mysterious land of the Arctic, a special expedition departed from Anadyr, consisting of S. Andreev, F. Tatarnikov and Yu. Konovalov. North of the Bear Islands, S. Andreev saw in the distance an island, "considerable, about 80 versts or more in length". But due to the illness of one of his companions, Andreev had to return back. In the years 1769-1771. military geodesists Leontiev, Lisov and Pushkarev decided to get to the mysterious "land of Andreev". They three times carried out long trips to the ice north of the Bear Islands, however, no land was seen. They searched in vain for "Andreev's land" and other expeditions. In 1943, the Soviet expedition ship Smolny reached the area where they saw the land of Andreev. However, despite the good visibility that does not happen so often in the Arctic, the researchers did not notice a single hint of the existence of the earth. The mysterious land of the Arctic seemed to be wearing a fairy-tale invisible cap.

Even more interesting is the history of the "Sannikov Land". It was seen by several researchers. On the border of two seas that wash the Asian part of Russia - the East Siberian and the Laptev Sea - there are large Novosibirsk islands. Investigating them in 1810, industrialist J. Sannikov noticed the inexpressive outlines of the unknown land of the Arctic. He immediately went to her on the ice, but, bumping into a wide strip of water, forced to return back. The following year, Y. Sannikov again saw a mysterious land, located about 70 km north of the Novosibirsk Islands. After that, "Sannikov Land" appeared on the maps.

A well-known traveler, Lieutenant PF Anjou decided to visit and explore this land of the Arctic. Passing dozens of kilometers along the solid ice in the direction indicated by I. Sannikov, P. Anjou did not find the island, but noticed traces of wild deer that went ahead of him somewhere to the north. This testified that there is a land near. Several decades passed. In 1886, for the exploration of the Novosibirsk archipelago, the expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences headed by the outstanding geographer E. V. Tol. One August day the scientist saw in the distance the outlines of unknown mountains. Is this really another land of the Arctic? Yes, he really saw the earth. "Thus, Sannikov's reports were fully confirmed", Tol wrote in his diary. But to reach the mysterious land of the Arctic, E. V. Tol also failed: a brave explorer died somewhere in the ice.

At the end of the last century, F. Nansen's ship "Fram" was drifting near the alleged location of the "Sannikov Land". A glorious Norwegian came across the signs of the existence of the mysterious land of the Arctic, but the polar night had already begun, and nothing could be discerned around. When the polar day came, Nansen's ship was already far from these places.

The supporter of the existence of "Sannikov Land" was the outstanding researcher of Asia, Academician V. Obruchev - the author of the famous science fiction novel "The Land of Sannikov." At his suggestion, icebreakers Ermak, Georgy Sedov, and Sadko were sent to search for mysterious land for several years. Over the ice areas, airplanes of special air expeditions flew many times, searching for the lands of Gillis, Andreev and Sannikov, but none of them were found. It was finally proved that these lands of the Arctic do not exist. The earth, which for a long time intrigued the researchers with its "elusiveness", had to be "shut down".

But all the same, what lands of the Arctic have seen Gillis, S. Andreev, J. Sannikov and E. Tol? Modern geography has answered this question. Using materials from research on Arctic ice by drifting scientific stations, scientists concluded that all of the indicated "Arctic lands" were actually giant icebergs born near the Canadian archipelago. It is known that most of the icebergs are located under the water, only 1/6 or even 1/7 of them come to the surface. Therefore, the direction of their drift depends not so much on the winds as on the deep currents. Under the influence of heat, most of the icebergs have time to melt even before their passage from the Laptev Sea, but some of them last much longer. Such "Arctic lands" as Gillis, Andreev and Sannikov were giant ice islands that slowly floated across the Arctic Ocean.