Of all the remote islands in the world, none are perhaps more elusive than a few off Greenland’s north coast. These remote islands are unique in that they have another distinction beyond that of “remote,” these islands, or rather one of these islands, is also the world’s northernmost island. They are elusive because once discovered, they have all disappeared within a few years. Thus these remote islands have also been called “ghost islands.”
In 1969 it was determined that Kaffeklubben Island was the world’s northernmost point of land, replacing Cape Morris Jesup. Then in 1978 a Danish mapping team discovered a new island north of Kaffeklubben Island, and in the following thirty years some half dozen islands have been found north of Kaffeklubben Island. These remote islands have all since disappeared. Some of these were seen again a year or two after their discovery, some were never seen again, and some may have been seen again, but misidentified.
In addition to being thought of as “ghost islands,” many of these remote islands have been referred to as “ultima thule.” In the fourth century BCE Pytheas claimed to have sailed to an unknown location on the edge of a frozen sea which he named “thule,” and ever since it has been a goal of many Arctic adventurers to reach “ultima thule.”
The remote ghost islands of northern Greenland meet the criteria for “ultima thule,” and my book Beyond the Edge tells the story of remote islands and those who search for them.
Interested in learning more about remote islands and ghost islands? Get your copy of Beyond the Edge today!