The Arctic Circle is a line of latitude located at the top of the globe. The word Arctic comes from a Greek word meaning 'near the bear'. It was given this name because of the two star constellations found in the Northern sky: Great Bear and Little Bear.

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The Arctic Circle is very cold and most of the time it’s completely covered in ice. It is rich in natural resources like fish, oil and gas.


What are latitude lines?

The globe is divided into imaginary lines which go from left to right and North to South. The lines that go from left to right are called latitude lines

Take a look at this picture

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Can you see the latitude line that goes through the middle of the globe? That line is called the equator. Now, can you see the line that is at the top of the globe? That line is called the Arctic Circle.


What countries are in the Arctic Circle?

The Arctic Circle is made up of the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole, which is located in the centre of the circle. 

Parts of these countries can also be found in the Arctic Circle: Russia, Canada, Alaska (USA), Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Greenland.

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How big is the Arctic Circle?

The Arctic Circle is around 5.4 million square miles in size.


Who lives in the Arctic Circle?

The Arctic Circle is home to animals like polar bears, seals, whales, reindeer, walruses and Arctic foxes. It’s also home to about 4 million people! 

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Did you know?

  • The Arctic has shrunk over the years from global warming.
  • Ice in the Arctic contains around 10% of the world’s freshwater.
  • The Vikings explored the Arctic.
  • In the Arctic, there are 6 months of daylight and 6 months of night. The Sun only rises once a year and sets only once a year too!
  • Santa Claus has a personal post office in the Arctic Circle. The address is Santa Claus Main Post Office. FI – 96930 Arctic Circle, Finland. 
  • The position of the Arctic Circle depends on the Earth’s tilt. It moves a little bit each year.