Alaskan Town Plunges Into Darkness, Won't See Sun For 2 Months

Alaskan Town Plunges Into Darkness, Won't See Sun For 2 Months

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Alaskan Town Plunges Into Darkness, Won't See Sun For 2 Months

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Utqiagvik (oot·kee·aag·vuhk), Alaska (formally known as Barrow) is America’s northernmost city.

It resides well within the Arctic Circle, meaning it experiences long periods of darkness in the winter, and long periods of light in the summer.

The 5,000 residents enjoyed their last sunset of 2022 on November 19th, and they won’t see the sun rise again until January 23rd, 2023.

That’s 64 days, or 1,536 hours, without seeing the sun. Can you imagine?

The average high temperature is below 0 degrees Fahrenheit during this long period of darkness.

The majority of the residents are Iñupiat, and indigenous Inuit ethnic group. The Iñupiat have lived in the area for more than 1,500 years.

^This is as much light the residents of Utqiagvik will see for more than 60 days.

Utqiagvik’s residents work in various businesses that support nearby oil fields, and they rely on subsistence food sources like whaling, hunting, and fishing due to their extremely remote location.

Tourism has risen in recent years as many wish to see the midnight summer sun, and to watch Utqiagvik’s bustling polar bear population feast on whale carcasses left by fishermen on the beaches.

Do you think you could survive two months of complete darkness in temperatures well below freezing? 

Header Image: Final sunset in Utqiagvik on November 19th

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