NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Canada To Claim The North Pole As Its Own

In an initial submission to the United Nations, Canada requested its nautical border be extended by about 1.2 million square kilometers.

By Elizabeth Hagedorn | December 10, 2013

Move over, Santa Claus. Canada has set its sights on your backyard.

The Great White North wants a piece of the North Pole and its surrounding Arctic waters. In an initial submission to the United Nations, Canada requested its nautical border be extended by about 1.2 million square kilometers. (Via BBC)

 Currently no country has political sovereignty over the Arctic. Instead, the region is supervised by the United Nations. Under international law, coastal states can claim territory up to 200 nautical miles beyond their northern coasts. (Via Google

But if countries can prove part of their continental shelf extends beyond that, then the U.N. will consider expanding their current ownership. 

But Canada hasn’t gotten around to fully mapping out the area and officials admit they don't have the scientific evidence to back up their claim just yet. 

Plus, Russia and Denmark have also claimed parts of the North Pole as their own. They too, say an underwater mountain range known as the Lomosovov Ridge links the North Pole to their own countries. (Via Time, The Huffington Post

And Russia means business. It planted its own titanium flag on the seabed at the North Pole back in 2007. (Via RT

And now The Globe And Mail reports Russia President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s military boost its presence in the Arctic after hearing about Canada's move. 

Despite the remoteness, there’s a reason all these countries are so eager to lay claim to the North Pole. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, it's home to one-third of the world’s undiscovered natural gas, along with 15 percent of its oil. (Via YouTube / Quark Expeditions)

Then again, Canada’s bold assertion may have more to do with political ambition than it does resources. A professor at the University of British Columbia who specializes in Arctic sovereignty told The Verge:

"The North Pole has extreme emotional value; people have an image that's essentially of Santa's workshop …  So there's a huge domestic political angle to this, the idea of claiming the North Pole for your country."

But don’t expect a Canadian Christmas in the North Pole this year — Canada’s government says the material it submitted is only preliminary and experts say it could take up to 10 years before Canada completes the U.N. process.

  TRENDING IN World NEWS
Putin Obama handshakeWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla

Putin Says He And Obama Had A 'Constructive' Conversation On Syria

The four band members and their manager were killed in a car accident early Saturday morning.WATCHLIST
Facebook / Viola Beach

British Band Killed After Car Careens Off Of Bridge In Sweden

A Hellfire Missile mounted on an AH-64D Longbow Apache at Forward Operating Base Salerno, in the Khowst Province, Afghanistan.WATCHLIST
U.S. Department of Defense / Staff Sgt. Isaac Graham

Cuba Returns Hellfire Missile It Mistakenly Received From The US

Afghani FamilyWATCHLIST
U.S. Department of Defense

UN: Civilian Deaths And Injuries In Afghanistan Have Hit Record High

Egyptian doctors protest.WATCHLIST
Egyptian Medical Syndicate

Egypt's Doctors Protest Police Brutality, Could Go On Partial Strike

A mom breast-feeding at the Melbourne Zoo.WATCHLIST
Elizabeth Hunt Burrett

Breast-Feeding Mom Shares Moment With Orangutan At The Zoo

A group of cyclists travel through thick smog in China.WATCHLIST
Getty Images

Severe Air Pollution Might Have Killed Millions Worldwide

Dmitry MedvedevWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Lennart Preiss

Russian Prime Minister Claims We're Barreling Toward A 'New Cold War'

A person praying.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chung Sung-Jun

Belief In A 'Punishing' God Might've Helped Societies Get Bigger

RosesWATCHLIST
Bernhard Friess / CC BY ND 2.0

Is Valentine's Day Un-Islamic? This Pakistan District Says Maybe

Kim Jong-un emojiWATCHLIST
Kimunji / Ben Gillin

Will Kim Jong-un's Emoji Break The Internet Like Kim K.'s Did?

Edgar Latulip's Missing Person PageWATCHLIST
North American Missing Persons Network

Missing Canadian Man Remembers His Identity After 30 Years

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (R) listens to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a press conference following a meeting of the International Syrian Support Group.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Alexandra Beier

World Powers Try To Work Out Pause In Syrian Fighting

A mock-up picture of what the Titanic II will look like.WATCHLIST
Blue Star Line

If You Like Semi-Morbid Vacations, The Titanic II Is For You

Asian Elephant in IndiaWATCHLIST
Thangaraj Kumaravel / CC BY 2.0

Why Are Elephants Wandering Into Indian Towns?

RosaryWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Christopher Furlong

Reports Claim Catholic Bishops Aren't Required To Report Sexual Abuse

Two clowns in Lebanon next to a pile of trash.WATCHLIST
Clown Me In

Valentine's Day Is Such Garbage In Lebanon

Artist rendering of newly researched galaxies.WATCHLIST
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Hundreds Of Galaxies Were Hiding Behind The Milky Way

Medical MarijuanaWATCHLIST
Getty Images / David McNew

Medical Marijuana Might Be Legalized In Australia Really Soon

A church aid organizer packs $65 billion Zimbabwean dollars (just over $2,000 USD) into a briefcase March 21, 2008 in Bulawayo, ZimbabweWATCHLIST
Getty Images / John Moore

Severe Drought Has Zimbabwe Seeking $1.6B To Feed Millions

BBC presenter Jason Mohammed poses on the red carpet at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award at Odyssey Arena on December 20, 2015 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Carrie Davenport

That Awkward Moment When A Mugshot Looks Just Like The Reporter

Police received a call about a man acting suspiciously early Tuesday morning. When they arrived, the found a man in his 40s on fire.WATCHLIST
longplay / CC BY 2.0

Man Dies After Setting Himself On Fire In Front Of Kensington Palace

Rescue workers stand near the wreckage of two trains that collided head-on several hours before in Bavaria on February 9, 2016 near Bad Aibling, Germany.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Alexander Hassenstein

Head-On Train Collision Kills At Least 9 In Southern Germany

Former president Felipe Calderon speaks at a summit.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Leigh Vogel

Former President Says Mexico Won't Pay For Trump's 'Stupid' Wall

A little girl poses for a photograph next to a stranded sperm whaleWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Ben Pruchnie

Scientists Offer Theory As To What Killed 30 Sperm Whales

A rare albino green sea turtle leaves its nest.WATCHLIST
Facebook / Coolum District Coast Care Group

Surprise! This Baby Green Turtle Isn't Green At All

A zoo warden protects visitors from an employee dressed as an escaped mock gorilla during a training exercise at Ueno Zoo February 21, 2006 in Tokyo, Japan.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Christopher Jue

Tokyo Zoo Simulates Animal Escapes ... With Costumed Humans

Prince Charles holds a bald eagle.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chris Jackson

British Police Are Thinking Of Using Eagles As Drone Hunters

eople watch a television screen showing a breaking news on North Korea's long-range rocket launch at Seoul Station on February 7, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea.WATCHLIST
Getty Images / Han Myung-Gu

North Korea Rocket Launch Sparks Concerns Over Missile Testing

Syrian refugees at Turkish borderWATCHLIST
Getty Images / Chris McGrath

Violence Forces Thousands Of Syrian Refugees Toward Turkish Border