The North Pole -- Where Time & Direction Have No Meaning

This is from week ago but I thought it was interesting.

The unique nature of the poles is well understood by mariners but an interesting take from someone having spent some time there.

None of this really applies at the North Pole. Weeman notes that “at the North Pole, 24 time zones collide at a single point, rendering them meaningless. It’s simultaneously all of Earth’s time zones and none of them. There are no boundaries of any kind in this abyss, in part because there is no land and no people. The sun rises and sets just once per year, so “time of day” is irrelevant as well.”

The spinning planet can be thought of as a giant clock.

While I haven’t been to either of the poles yet, I got to experience the proximity of the northern one when we sailed from Alaska to Norway along the Northern Sea Route some years ago. Every other day was 26 hours long as the clocks were turned back on alternating days. It was perfect - there was finally enough time to get everything done AND sleep enough.


Not easy to earn that tattoo.

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I don’t anticipate getting that tatoo !!, I did cross the equator and date line once, There wasn’t much out there to indicate it of course but nearby one day after a few weeks at sea without smelling so much as a coconut I went topside and was surprised to see a white ship on the horizon, later i learned it was suppose to be some french research ship.

With the dateline just next door you get used to it. The Dateline Hotel in Nukulofa sits on the 180th meridian.

A nice explanation! However, the North Pole is an infinitesimal small point on the earth.

When someone, standing exactly on the North Pole, has his toes looking to, say, New York, then his heels look to Singapore, his left arm to Italy and his right arm to Dutch Harbor.

Programming a high precision (far beyond the needs of sailors or aircraft pilots) geographic and astronomical application, I discovered some ‘division by zero’ problems, either my program showed results of the opposite pole or it just crashed.
The problem was with the sine/cosine at the quadrants possibly being zero or undefined. Intermediate results inside the formulae led to the Div/0 crash.
Not only for input at the poles, but also for ‘usual’ distances: between longitudes 47.5W and 42.5E the angular distance is 90°, too.

For the North Pole, I captured the input and displaced the latitude by one mas (= MilliArcSecond) to the South. As distance, this is 31 mm or a bit more than an inch.
The computer was happy…