Status: Incomplete


The official title of the party appears to have
been "Wrangel Island Detachment of the Stefansson Arctic
Expedition of 1921."


An 1823 Ferdinand Wrangel, a Russian, tried to locate
a rumored Arctic continent north of Siberia. As an explorer
he had heard native folk tales of such. He found nothing.

Actually the Island was first seen by the British
explorer, Captain Henry Kellett in 1849. He had considered
it an extension of the fabled Arctic continent and it became
generally known as Kellett's Land. In 1867 the U. S. had
purchased Alaska from Russia. Through this, Wrangel, (now a
baron), had become well known in the U.S. In that same year
a whaling ship captain, Thomas Long, sighted this land north
of Siberia and the Bering Straits and recognized it as an
island. Having been familiar with baron Wrangel's northern
explorations and his later governorship of Alaska, he suggested
to a journalist, hhat the island be named after Baron Wrangel.
Actually Wrangel had never seen it but map makers of that
time charted it as such and the name stuck.

The island, approximately 75 miles long and 35 miles wide,
lies abt. 100 150 miles North of Siberia and is well within the Arctic
Circle. In many parts broad flatlands or tundras separate
the sea from its stark and stony mountains which resemble
aomewhat those of the Little and Big Diomedes in the Bering
Straits. Though it sustains no trees, the island is unique
in that considerable driftwood gathers on its south shores.
an unusual feature in the Arctic.

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