November 18 is the last day in 2020, people in Utqiagvik, Alaska saw the sun and its light lasted only 34 minutes and then disappeared. The sun set at 13:30. After that, the town began to sink in darkness for 66 consecutive days.
The “dark winter” by this popular call (because no sun appears) is expected to end on January 23, 2021. By that sunrise, Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the USA, according to the National Center for Meteorology and Hydrology.
From now until then, more than 4,000 inhabitants of the city have to experience a period of day and night, when the sun does not “tolerate” rise and the temperature is almost frozen. The reason why Utqiagvik lives in the dark during the winter months is that the city is located in the Arctic Circle. Before darkness fell, winter days in the city were also shortened. On November 1, people could only see daylight at 5:42 a.m. And also because it cannot distinguish day and night, the police station often receives calls from people with the same question: “What time is it now?”.
People prepare for this sun-deficient life every year by taking Vitamin D supplements or relying on “happy light”. They can rely on the light of the moon and the arctic aurora. In winter here, if you go out without gloves, your fingers can be frozen within minutes. Adults should never allow a child to be left unattended.
The only way to get to this place is by air, as there are no roads, according to Insider. Utqiagvik has 4 grocery stores, but food and everyday goods are sold at higher prices than elsewhere. A small bottle of blueberry juice costs $ 10. On average, a household could lose up to $ 500 in food bills each week. Most of the people here are government employees, scientists … Their average income per year is about 83,000 USD. Therefore, everyone can live comfortably at an expensive cost in Utqiagvik.
People here regularly eat three meals: breakfast – lunch – dinner. Their dishes are usually cakes, rice and fish. In addition, the town also has a number of restaurants serving people who do not like to cook. However, the price of food at the restaurant is also considered high, and the price of gas is similar.
There is a large church here. On days of minus 35 degrees Celsius, very few people come to listen to lectures. But when the weather is minus 25 degrees Celsius, the number of people coming is very large. Also because of the extreme temperatures, life in the town is pretty dull. A police officer said that many unfamiliar people may experience depression. “This place can be extremely difficult to live with people who are not born or raised here,” said a police officer Utqiagvik. He is from Oregon and said he really misses the trees and mountains.
Even so, the town has a united community. Most people know each other. Despite the inclement weather, locals believe this is a good place for them to raise their children. A local teacher said she is very happy that the children graduate from the school here and are raised in this community.
Remote location but tourism is a popular industry in the town. This place regularly welcomes visitors. People come here to study the indigenous Iñupiat people, the town’s whale hunting history and life in the Arctic. When coming to town, one of the activities that tourists often participate in is to buy tours to visit the tundra. After that, you can go to the Iñupiat Heritage Center, to Barrow Beach and jump in the cold water. This is an experience that many people are proud to tell their friends. If you arrive in June, you can participate in the Nalukataq festival. This is an activity to celebrate the end of the annual whale hunting season. The more successful the harvest season, the longer the festival lasts.
Point Barrow is a famous tourist spot in town. It is a cape located on the Arctic coast and is the most northerly point in the United States. The road to this place is warned by Insider as unsafe, visitors should be careful. Even so, many tourists are flocking to visit the end of this road closest to the north pole.
The town is divided into three parts: the southern part called Barrow, the most populated central part and called Browerville.
The third section to the north, smaller and more isolated, is called the NARL. It used to place the laboratory and research of the Navy. The only way to reach town is by air. There are two airlines that offer flights from other cities in the US to Utqiagvik.
Flat town terrain, convenient for sightseeing by road. You can walk, rent a taxi or drive by yourself.
Utqiagvik also experiences a night-day phenomenon, which is the same when summer comes. At that time, the sun was shining continuously for about 80 days, from May to August and was called Polar Day.