In July 2021, a group of scientists found themselves on a small island in Northern Greenland, which they believed was Oodaaq, the world’s northernmost piece of land. But to their surprise, they were actually standing on a previously unknown island that is even closer to the North Pole.
The tiny island features mounds of gravel and silt and is 98 feet wide and 197 feet long, making it smaller than a traditional American football field. It is located at about 2,560 feet from the island of Oodaaq and stands 10 to 13 feet above sea level.
A Social Media Post Helped for the Discovery of the Island
Expedition leader, Morten Rasch, a senior consultant at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, shared in a statement that he and his group were convinced they were standing on Oodaaq until a number of American island hunters pointed out on social media that they were wrong.
Island hunters, as their name suggests, are people looking for unknown islands as a hobby. After seeing Rasch’s post on social media, they found inconsistencies with the landscape and the island coordinates. The group decided to contact a specialist at the Technical University of Denmark, who quickly realized that their GPS system had made a mistake.
The Kingdom of Denmark Is Getting Closer to the North Pole
The expeditioners then used their helicopter’s GPS to confirm that they had indeed discovered a new island, which is the closest piece of land to the North Pole. The island is technically an expansion of the territory of Greenland and the Kingdom of Denmark and was most likely formed by powerful storms that push seabed mud, moraine, and rock together.
Unfortunately, scientists believe that sooner or later, Oodaaq will once again be the closest island to the North Pole as the newly found land is too brittle and can disappear as soon as the next powerful storm.