Meighen Island

Coordinates: 79°59′N 099°30′W / 79.983°N 99.500°W / 79.983; -99.500 (Meighen Island)[1]
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Meighen Island
Meighen Island, Nunavut
Meighen Island is located in Nunavut
Meighen Island
Meighen Island
Meighen Island is located in Canada
Meighen Island
Meighen Island
LocationArctic Ocean
Coordinates79°59′N 099°30′W / 79.983°N 99.500°W / 79.983; -99.500 (Meighen Island)[1]
ArchipelagoSverdrup Islands[2]
Queen Elizabeth Islands
Arctic Archipelago
Area955 km2 (369 sq mi)
Length56 km (34.8 mi)
Width30 km (19 mi)

Meighen Island is an uninhabited member of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, part of the Arctic Archipelago, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.

Features and history[edit]

Closeup of Meighen Island

Located at 79°59′N 099°30′W / 79.983°N 99.500°W / 79.983; -99.500 (Meighen Island)[1], it measures 955 km2 (369 sq mi) in size and is topped with an ice cap. The island is permanently icebound, and its northwestern coast faces onto the open Arctic Ocean.

Unlike many Canadian Arctic islands, no traces of Inuit or Thule camps have been found, suggesting the island has never been inhabited, likely due to its extreme northern latitude.

In 1909, two Inuit who had participated in Frederick Cook's polar expedition provided a map to Robert Peary that showed they had travelled and spent a night on a then unknown island with the position of Meighen Island. The map and testimony of the Inuit in question were published in an article by Peary in the Chicago Daily Tribune.[3] In 1916, Vilhjalmur Stefansson's Canadian Arctic Expedition sighted and landed on Meighen Island.[3] Stefansson at first believed that he had been the first European to discover Meighen Island, but later read Peary's article on the Cook expedition and surmised that Cook had in fact discovered Meighen Island prior to himself.[3]


The island was later named after Arthur Meighen, Canadian prime minister 1920-21 and 1926.

Neighbouring islands[edit]

Meighen Island has few neighbours. It is about 40 km (25 mi) west of the next nearest major island, Axel Heiberg Island. About 4 km (2.5 mi) to Meighen's north, across the Hose Strait, lies small crescent-shaped Perley Island. The Fay Islands lie between Meighen Island and Axel Heiberg Island within the Sverdrup Channel.


  1. ^ a b "Meighen Island". Geographical Names Data Base. Natural Resources Canada.
  2. ^ Mills 2003, p. 421.
  3. ^ a b c Mills 2003.


External links[edit]