Jan Mayen is a unique mountainous volcanic island located 400 miles northwest of Iceland, 300 miles east of Greenland and 600 miles west of Norway. The land which makes up Jan Mayen belongs to Norway. Here are some interesting facts about this island.
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The island's only inhabitants are 18 Norwegians who man live at the Norwegian Defense Communication and Data Services Administration station under NATO control, which is located near the 5 kilometer airstrip on the island's southeastern shore. The men serve either six month or a year tour and are transported to the island by one of the twelve yearly flights of C-130 Hercules military transport that land on the island's graveled airstrip.
Legend says that the island was first discovered by an Irish monk named Brendan in the 6th century. Upon returning to Ireland from one of his trips he reported being close to a black island. He reported that the island was on fire and that he could hear a horrible sound. He felt that he had discovered the entrance to Hell.
The island was named by the first mate Joris Carolus, for his captain Dutchman Jan Jacobs May van Schellinkhout in July, 1614. Jan Jacobs May van Schellinkhout was exploring the area for the Noordsche Compagnie, a cartel for whaling, which disbanded in 1642. Jan Jacobs May van Schellinkhout owned a major portion of the Noordsche Compagnie and earned profits from the whaling operation. The Artic Sea surrounding Jan Mayer was fought over by the Dutch and the Danish empoyed Basque whalers for the Greenland right whale which was hunted to near extintion by 1640.
The island is home to the Haakon VII Toppen/ Beerenberg volcano. This volcano is the northernmost active volcano on earth. The volcano's crater is about a half mile wide and is filled with ice. The volcanos upper slopes are also covered with ice that form five glaciers which flow into the Artic Sea. The longest of these glaciers is Weyprecht Glacier flowing 4 miles down to the Artic Sea from the northwest corner of the rim.
The island's most famous inhabitant was Admiral Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter who was responsible for the Dutch victory at the Raid of the Medway during the Dutch-Anglo Wars.
Map of Jan Mayen
Languages spoken in Jan Mayen
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Animals in Jan Mayen
Coordinates (in Latitude & Longitude) of Jan Mayen
71 00 N, 8 00 W
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