In the summer, anywhere north of the Arctic Circle is known as the land of the midnight sun. This is because the Earth is positioned in such a way that the sun can be visible late at night. However, when the change of season comes along, those sunny days fade away and dark winter skies settle in for the long haul in places like Barrow, AK.
Barrow is the northernmost city in the United States. It sits above the Arctic Circle in Alaska and has a population of around 4,200. Being the most northern city in the entire country already comes with it’s challenges, but the small Alaskan city can now add the title of “darkest city in America” to it’s repertoire. Talk about the cherry on top of a very, very cold and isolated sundae. The sun set in Barrow on November 18, 2016 and unfortunately for the residents, it won’t rise again again until January 22, 2017. For those of you who don’t want to whip out your calendars and calculators, that’s a whopping 64 days without sunlight! It’s cold, it’s dark, and to southerners it probably sounds torturous. What did this poor city do to deserve this?
The Earth’s rotation is the one to blame for Barrow’s dark days ahead. Earth’s axis is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the sun during winter, which means there is a lower amount of sunlight hitting places like Barrow. The location of the Alaskan city is positioned just so the light won’t reach it for a long period of time, hence why they won’t have sunlight until next year.
Would you be able to live without sunlight for 64 days? Get more on the story of Barrow, AK here: