Seven Wonders of Canada
“What are pingos?” you may well be asking. Pingos grow from permafrost. They are small, cone-shaped hills with hearts of ice. These low mounds are the result of frozen ground being forced upward by the pressure of subterranean water. There are more than 14-hundred pingos in Tuktoyaktuk... some as old as a thousand years. And if you're not already convinced of their wonder quotient - what about this factoid: Hollow pingos were apparently used by Inuit hunters as meat freezers!
Lib Lowing (0:47)
Jack Whalli (1:11)
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...the pingos of our MacKenzie Delta… a true wonder of the world of nature.
In 2005, I paddled from Jasper Alberta to Tuktoyaktuk NWT in an 85 day canoe trip. The Athabasca, Slave and Mackenzie Rivers were Wonders in themselves but we ended the trip on the shores of the Beaufort Sea and were able to climb to the top of the giant PINGOS, huge hills made of pure ice that rise above the tundra and give a wonderful view of the tundra, sea and tuktoyaktuk.
The Pingos are unique for Canada. Only Russia has something similar to what we have in Canada but not as beautiful and unique as ours.
All these natural wonders of the Northwest Territories are not readily accessible by most Canadians, however, once viewed, prove to be life altering: they are permanently engraved in the mind and the joy imbedded in the heart.
They can reach up to 70 metres high and up to 2 kilometres in diameter. Pingos are a periglacial landform involving frozen ground. As many as 1000 or more are located around the Tuktoyaktuk area. In fact The Pingo National Landmark protects 8 of them.The largest pingo takes decades or even centuries to to form. Some pingos are used for ice houses to store food.”
“…There are plans for a national park to note this natural phenomenon.”
… Silent volcano shaped mounds of sand and ice rising on the horizon. A pingo named Ibyuk, located just south of Tuktoyaktuk, is the world's largest growing pingo. It is about 50 metres high and continues to grow at a rate of about 2 centimetres per year. Ibyuk is estimated to be more than 1,000 years old. Researchers can determine the age of a pingo by its rate of growth and by looking at the type of organic material growing on top of it.