North Pole vs. South Pole: The Rainbow Bridge

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Difference between North Pole and South Pole

The North Pole and the South Pole are as different as two places could possibly be; one might even say that they are poles apart! For all their differences however, they do have a lot more in common than you would think beyond the obvious physical and temperature similarities. The designations of ‘North’ and ‘South’ refers largely to their magnetic properties. In terms of the body of the Earth itself, the North Pole is credited with expressing a negative polarity and thus draws in energy from the Sun. The South Pole, conversely, exhales the Earth’s energy which pours into the various levels of her atmosphere. Although some buzz has been created about the next solar cycle causing a pole shift, this is a highly speculative theory drawn from historically significant scientific data but should not be used to conjure up fear. In all likelihood, 2012 will not see this event come to pass. This comparison article takes a look at some other characteristics of each of the Earth’s magnetic pole regions.

In Brief

The North Pole is located in the Arctic region, an area that is comprised by several islands, including Greenland, Franz Josef Land, Wrangel Island, Victoria Island, and many others. These islands fall within the borders of Russia, Canada, Alaska and Greenland. The region was disc\overed thousands of years ago by Phoenician sailors, who named it after Arktos, a polar star that served as their guide to the area. The South Pole is located in Antarctica, which itself was discovered only fairly recently in the nineteenth century. The name itself simply comes for the fact that it is located opposite the Arctic.

Natural Features

The North Polar is surrounded by ocean that is covered ice caps all year. These ice caps may extend south for quite a distance, particularly during the Arctic winter. All told, these formations consist of approximately 16 million square kilometers of ice. The North Pole is the northernmost point of the Earth and it is just slightly higher than the surrounding water, with an average temperature of 0 °F. The South Pole is located in Antarctica, which itself is a huge ice shelf surrounded by water. Here, icebergs are formed throughout the year, which is why the area has more ice than the North Pole. The area is 9,300 feet higher than sea level with temperatures that can go as low as 58 °F.

Flora And Fauna

One key difference between the two regions is the flora and fauna. The Arctic is home to polar bears, which are entirely absent from the Antarctic, which itself is where many penguins can be found. The North Pole is also home to various other types of mammals such as walrus, seals, whale, and terrestrial mammals such as wolves, foxes, lemmings, and reindeer. There are also more trees and plant life in the North Pole than in the South Pole, which has almost no vegetation with the exception of lichens. The South Pole does have certain marine mammals such as penguins, whales, and seals, although the region is entirely devoid of human settlements with the exception of scientists.


North Pole

  • Slightly warmer than the South Pole
  • Has more vegetation and animal and human life
  • Is where polar bears can be found
  • Surrounded by 16 million kilometers of ice

South Pole

  • Very few plants aside from lichens
  • Is quite a but colder than the North Pole
  • Almost devoid of human life except for occasional scientists
  • Is where penguins can be found


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