March 30, 2007 in Nation/World

Watch buried at North Pole found 1,800 miles away

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
 

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – A wristwatch buried in the ice at the North Pole three years ago was found by a boy more than 1,800 miles away after it floated ashore on the Faeroe Islands.

Niels Jakup Mortensen, 11, spotted a black box near his home on Suduroy, the Faeroes’ southernmost island, his mother Anna Jacobsen said. Inside, she said, was a watch that had been buried at the North Pole by Joergen Amundsen, a descendant of Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen.

Jacobsen said the watch discovered by her son earlier this month was still working, and was accompanied by a letter from Joergen Amundsen. “It was so unbelievable,” she said. “It had been buried in the North Pole.”

Hjalmar Hatun, an oceanographer with the Faeroese Fisheries Laboratory, said the watch likely drifted south with one of the chunks of ice that frequently break away at the North Pole and are carried off by ocean currents.

The Faeroes, an 18-island Danish territory, are located halfway between Scotland and Iceland.

Hatun said the ice breaking off is not related to global warming, as the phenomenon was first observed more than 100 years ago. “So in that sense, the fact that objects from the North Pole can drift south is old news,” he said.


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