The North Pole receives very few visitors each year and this is a shame, because there really is a lot to see and do there. Sure, it is covered in the ice and snow of endless winter, but don't let that put you off. Here are just some of the amazing things you'll see if you ever make your way to the beautiful North Pole!

RUPES NIGRA

Rupes Nigra (which means 'Black Rocks') is a 33 mile wide island located at the North Pole and made entirely of, you guessed it, black rocks. The black rocks, or 'rupes nigra', are magnetic and this is why all compasses point north. Rupes Nigra was first described in a book titled the Inventio Fortunata, which was written by a monk in the 14th century and has been lost ever since. Even though the unknown monk who wrote it never traveled to the North Pole, and his book about it has never been found, the people of the 14th and 15th centuries pretty much took his account of the geography of the North Pole as gospel. He was, after all, a monk.

The Arctic region described in the Inventio Fortunata is comprised of four large islands, each separated by a waterway which flows to the North Pole, where they drain into the Earth. At the center of this whirlpool lies the island of Rupes Nigra.


ASTRAGARD

Another island at the North Pole, which legend claims is the place "where whales go to die". Astragard is a land of green fields and tranquil landscapes, kept warm by the heat of an active volcano. It is inhabited by a colony of xenophobic Vikings who have never ventured from their island, believing the rest of the world to be covered by inhospitable ice shelves. Immortalized in the classic Disney film The Island at the Top of the World. The film casts talk show host David Hartman as Professor John Ivarssonn, who, in a complicated series of events, hires a French airship captain with a really cool zeppelin (the 'Hyperion') to take him to the high Arctic to find his lost son. Once there, they find the lost Viking civilization, take part in a few barbaric rituals and, as I recall, the boy gets the girl.

Remarkably, this film earned Academy Award Nominations for Best Art Direction and Best Set Decoration.


THE FORTRESS of SOLITUDE

Located inside a desolate mountain top at the North Pole is Superman's private sanctuary, the Fortress of Solitude. It was hollowed out of solid rock cliff by Superman with his bare hands. Entrance to the Fortress is achieved by means of a massive metal door set into the face of the ice-encrusted rock cliff. Sheltered from view by jutting rocks, the door is so heavy that no human on Earth could move it an inch. Opening the door Pointing toward the door, from atop a nearby peak, is a gigantic, golden, arrow-shaped key that fits neatly into a matching keyhole at the center of the massive door.

Inside the Fortress of Solitude are the myriad rooms, exhibits, and special facilities that combine to make the Fortress the world's most unusual superhero sanctuary. The 'super-gym'includes a private swimming pool filled with molten lava. However, the most prized exhibit is undoubtedly the bottle city of Kandor, a city of the planet Krypton which survived the destruction of its native planet and was shrunk and preserved in a large bottle.



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What The North Pole Really Looks Like ...

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