Norway experiences a natural phenomenon known as the midnight sun. The country acquired the name as the Land of Midnight because in the summer months, some parts of the country experience sunshine throughout the day. Norway is situated on the northern end of Europe. It borders Sweden to the west, Finland, and Russia to the North. A small part of Norway is situated north of the Arctic Circle. This northern part of Norway experiences the midnight sun during the summer.
The Midnight Sun Phenomenon
The midnight sun is a natural occurrence that takes place in the summer period in the northern parts of the Arctic Circle and the southern parts of the Antarctic Circle. These places have the sun shining at midnight for some days. Places that are closest to the pole experience the highest number of days with the midnight sun. For instance, Cape Nordkinn in Norway, which is the northernmost region of continental Europe, experiences the midnight sun from around May 14th to July 29th. Svalbard, an area further north of the Arctic Circle, has the midnight sun from April 20th to August 22nd. The North Pole enjoys the midnight sun for half the year from March to September. Similarly, the South Pole has the midnight sun for half the year from September to March.
Norway as the Land of the Midnight Sun
It is estimated that 37,000 square miles of Norway lies north of the Arctic Circle. In some cities in Norway such as Tromso, the residents enjoy sunshine throughout the day for almost 60 days. These northern regions enjoy the sun for close to 20 hours a day from mid-May to Mid-July. As a result, Norway is rightly denoted with the name the Land of the Midnight Sun. The population of Norwegian residents who live in the North of the Arctic Circle is estimated at 393,000 people. It is the highest concentration of people who live in the Arctic region. Besides Norway, many other countries in the north of the Arctic Circle enjoy the midnight sun. However, Norway has been actively marketing itself as the nation of the midnight sun.
Other Countries That Enjoy the Midnight Sun
Most countries in the northern regions of the world have the midnight sun during summer time. Parts of countries such as Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and Canadian territories of Yukon and Nunavut experience the midnight sun phenomenon. Additionally, some regions in the American state of Alaska that lie north of the Arctic Circle have sunshine late into the night during summer. These regions that enjoy the midnight sun also experience polar nights during the winter. Polar nights are days when the sun does not rise in some areas. Polar nights could last from one day to a few months depending on the proximity to the poles.
Benefits of the Midnight Sun
Countries that enjoy the midnight sun such as Norway benefit from tourists who come to experience the unique event every year. Norway’s tourism industry is quite big mainly due to the natural phenomenon of sunshine at midnight. Additionally, the regions can utilize the excess solar energy from the sun to power their homes and industries. Lastly, places that have the midnight sun can maintain 24-hour economies that generate more income for their country.