Svalbard: Halfway Between North Pole and Norway

Oceans Poles

Svalbard is a Norwegian group of islands located in the Arctic Ocean north of continental Norway, about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) from the North Pole.

It is the northernmost year-round settlement on Earth, with a population of about 2,200. Recently, Svalbard has been trying to move its economy more toward tourism and scientific research, and away from coal mining, which supported much of the economy since the early 20th century. Tourist visits to Svalbard have been steadily rising, with amazing views and abundant wildlife—especially the polar bears—drawing visitors from around the world.

See more photos in the original article at The Atlantic.

Location:Svalbard

Colourful huts during Midsummer on June 21 2008 in Longyearbyen Spitsbergen. Location:Svalbard Source:Chris Jackson / Getty

Alexander Romanovskiy the Russian guard of the abandoned Russian mining settlement of Pyramiden poses on July 19 2015 in Pyramiden on the Svalbard archipelago. Pyramiden was bought by the Soviet Union in 1927 from the Swedish founders of the coal mine and abandoned in 1998 after the mine's closure. It once housed 1 200 Russians and had hospital a sports and culture center and a movie theater. With much of its infrastructure still in place efforts have been made since 2007 to make it a tourist attraction. Location:Svalbard Source:Dominique Faget / AFP / Getty

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