Daily Archives: December 24, 2013

Water for the North Pole or at least for Santa Claus

frozen Benson Bubbler

With record lows like 9 degrees farenheit on December 8, 2013, Portland has felt like the North Poke .  Most of us imagine the North Pole to be a place that is freezing with fluffy snow and quiet music thanks to all of the Christmas movies we see.

They almost all show Santa Clause at the North Pole and give their own interpretation of how toys get to all boys and girls in one night. In the movies the North Pole residents drink divine hot chocolate instead of water.

However at the real North Pole…wait where is the real North Pole?  The Magnetic North Pole is where the magnetic fields points down vertically; in other words it has a 90° “dip” toward the Earth’s center. Because the Earth’s magnetic field is not perfectly symmetrical, the magnetic fields are not antipodal.  The North Pole is somewhere in the Canadian Artic.  So if anyone lived at the Magnetic North Pole they may drink water by melting snow or by digging a well, desalting the water in the Artic Ocean.

Santa Claus HouseIn North Pole, Alaska roughly 30,000 people drink water from wells, some of which have been polluted with Sulfolane, a solvent used in the refinement of gasoline.  The City continues to monitor these levels and provides alternatives like bottled water when the Sulfolane levels are too high.

The settlers that named North Pole, Alaska thought it would attract business.  They reasoned that some toy manufacturer might be induces to locate a plant there so his products could be advertised as having been made in North Pole.  They also thought someone might start a theme park called “Santa Land,” which would become a northern version of Disneyland.  The City’s website boasts that the spirit of Christmas lives there year round. 

There is another town, in the lower 48, that claims to be America’s Christmas Hometown. Santa Claus, Indiana was named by a child in 1852 after the residents had deliberated over a name for some time.  In Santa Claus, about 2,500 people  receive water from wells in the area.  Christmas with Frozen Jungle RacerWhen vising you can play in the water or ride on roller coasters at Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. The people of Santa Claus generously give discounted water to Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari so that everyone can enjoy water slides in the spirit of Christmas. 

So whether you are drinking comically high concentrations of hot cocoa or just a refreshing cup of ice-cold water, we hope you have a happy holiday season.