Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen is a Norwegian volcanic island located in the Arctic Ocean . It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest) and 373 km 2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers (an area of ​​114.2 km (71.0 mi) around the Beerenberg volcano ). Dubious – the Chat ] It has two parts: larger Northeast North-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide isthmus . It lies 600 km (370 mi) northeast of Iceland (495 km (305 mi) NE of Kolbeinsey ), 500 km (310 mi) east of central Greenlandand 1,000 km (620 mi) west of the North Cape, Norway . The island is mountainous, the highest summit being the Beerenberg volcano in the north. The Sørlaguna (South Lagoon), and Nordlaguna (North Lagoon) are two of the largest islands in the island . A third lake is called Ullerenglaguna (Ullereng Lagoon). Jan Mayen was formed by the Jan Mayen hotspot .

Although separately, Svalbard and Jan Mayen are collectively assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code “SJ”.

Natural resources

Jan Mayen Island has one exploitable natural resource, gravel , from the site at Trongskaret. Other than this, economic activity is limited to providing good services for employees of Norway ‘s radio communications and meteorological stations Located on the island. Jan Mayen has one unpaved airstrip , Jan Mayensfield , which is about 1,585 m (5,200 ft) long. The 124.1 km (77.1 mi) coast Has No ports or harbors , only offshore Anchorages.

There are important fishing resources, and the existence of Jan Mayen establishes a wide exclusive economic zone around it. A dispute between Norway and Denmark concerning the fishing zone between Jan Mayen and Greenland was settled in 1988 granting Denmark the greater area of ​​sovereignty. Significant deposits of petroleum and natural gas by Jan Mayen’s surrounding seafloors . [1]


Jan Mayen Island is an integral part of the Kingdom of Norway . Since 1995, Jan Mayen has been appointed by the County Governor ( fylkesmann ) of the northern Norwegian county of Nordlandto which it is closest. However, some of these authorities have been assigned to the command of the Norwegian Defense Logistics Organization, a branch of the Norwegian Armed Forces .


The only inhabitants on the island are staff working for the Norwegian Armed Forces and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute . Eighteen people spend the winter on the island, but the population may be double (35) during the summer, when heavy maintenance is performed. Staff serve six months or one year, and are exchanged twice a year in April and October. The support crew, including mechanics, cooks, and a nurse, are among the personal military. The personal military operated at Loran-C based , until it closed at the end of 2015. [2] [2] Both the LORAN transmitter and the meteorological station are located a few miles away from the settlement Olonkinbyen (Olonkin City), where all staff live.


Transportation to the island is provided by C-130 Hercules military transportation planes operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force That land at January Mayensfield ‘s gravel runway. The planes fly in from Bodø Main Station Air eight times a year. Since the airport does not have any instrument, it is not uncommon for the planes to have to return to Bodø , two hours away, without landing. For heavy goods, the ships must anchor, but there are no harbors, the ships must anchor.


The island has no indigenous population, but is assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code SJ (together with Svalbard ). It uses the Internet country code top-level domain ( ccTLD ) .no ( .sjis allocated but not used) [4] and data code JN. Jan Mayen, using Norwegian telephone numbers (country code 47). Its amateur radio call sign prefix is JX. It has a postal code, NO-8099 JAN MAYEN, but delivery time varies, especially during the winter.


Unverified “discoveries” of a terra nullius 

Between the Fifth and Ninth Centuries (400-900 AD / CE), numerous communities of monks originating in west Ireland ( Papar ) navigated throughout the north Atlantic in leather boats, exploring and sometimes settling in remote islands where their monastic communities could be separated from close contact with others. Strong indicators exist of their presence in the Faroe Islands and Iceland before the arrival of the Vikings , and medieval chronicles such as the famous Voyage of St. Brendan the Abbottestify to the extensive interest in exploration at the time. A modern-day trans-Atlantic voyage proved the ability of the early navigators to reach all the continents of the north Atlantic even more than that of Jan Mayen-and, given favorable winds, at a speed roughly equal to that of modern yachts. [5] Though quite feasible, there is still no direct physical trace of medieval landings or settlement on Jan Mayen.

The land named Svalbarð (“cold coast”) by the Vikings in the early medieval book Landnámabók may have been Jan Mayen (instead of Spitsbergen , renamed Svalbard by the Norwegians in modern times); The distance from Iceland to Svalbarð mentioned in this book is two days sailing, with 550 km (340 mi) to Jan Mayen and the minimum 1,550 km (960 mi) to Spitsbergen. [6]However much Jan Mayen may have been known in Europe at that time, it was later forgotten for some centuries.

In the 17th century, many claims of the island’s rediscovery were made, spurred by the rivalry on the Arctic whaling grounds, and the island received many names. According to Thomas Edge, an early 17th-century whaling captain who was often inaccurate, “William [sic] Hudson” discovered the island in 1608 and named it “Hudson’s Touches” (or “Tutches”). However, Henry Hudson could only have come by on his voyage in 1607 (if he had made an illogical detour) and he made no mention of it in his journal.[6] Douglas Hunter, in Half Moon (2009), believes Hudson may not have mentioned his supposed discovery of the island because he was “loath to address a crew insurrection that might well have erupted at that time, when the men realized where he was trying to take them.” This is, however, merely speculation on Hunter’s part. There is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim.

According to William Scoresby (1820: p. 154), referring to the mistaken belief that the Dutch had discovered the island in 1611, Hull whalers discovered the island “about the same time” and named it “Trinity Island”. Muller (1874: pp. 190–191) took this to mean they had come upon Jan Mayen in 1611 or 1612, which was repeated by many subsequent authors. There were, in fact, no Hull whalers in either of these years, the first Hull whaling expedition having been sent to the island only in 1616 (see below). As with the previous claim made by Edge, there is no cartographical or written proof for this supposed discovery.[7]

Jan Mayen during the Golden Age of Dutch exploration and discovery

In the Age of Discovery (Age of Exploration), the Dutch were the first (non-native) to undisputedly exploring the world, including Jan Mayen and the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean .

First verified discoveries: mapping and naming

A map of Jan Mayen during the Golden Age of Dutch Exploration and Discovery (c.1590s-1720s). This is a typical map created by Dutch cartographers from the Golden Age of Netherlandish cartography .

The first verified discoveries of Jan Mayen, by three separate expeditions, occurred in the summer of 1614, probably within one month of each other. The Dutchman Fopp Gerritsz, while in the English John Clarke, of Dunkirk , (1631) to find the island on June 28 and named it “Isabella”. [7] [8] [9] In January the Noordsche Company (Northern Company), modeled on the Dutch East India Company , had been established to support Dutch whaling in the Arctic. Two of ict ships, financement by merchants from Amsterdam and Enkhuizen , atteint Jan Mayen in July 1614. The captains of thesis ships-Jan Jacobszoon May van Schellinkhout on the Gouden Cath (Golden Cat), and Jacob de Gouwenaer on the Orangienboom (Orange Tree) – named Joris Eylant after the Dutch cartographer Joris Carolus who was on board and mapped the island. The captains acknowledged that a third Dutch ship, the Cleyn Swaentgen (Little Swan) captained by Jan Jansz Kerckhoff and financed by Noordsche Company shareholders from Delft , had already been at the island when they arrived. They HAD ASSUMED the lathing, Who named the island Maurits Eylandt (or Mauritius) after- Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orangewould report their discovery to the States General . However, the Delft merchants had decided to keep the discovery secret and returned in 1615 to hunt for their own profit. The ensuing dispute was only settled in 1617, so both companies were allowed to whale at Jan Mayen in the meantime. [7]

In 1615, Robert Fotherby went ashore. Apparently thinking he had made a new discovery, he named the island “Sir Thomas Smith’s Island” and the volcano “Mount Hakluyt”. [6] [10] On a map of c. 1634, Jean Vrolicq renamed the island Richelieu Island . [11]

Jan Mayen first appeared on Jan Jansen Blaeu ‘s 1620 edition map of Europe, originally published by Cornelis Doedz in 1606. Blaeu, who lived in Amsterdam, named it “Jan Mayen” after Jan Jacobszoon May of the Amsterdam-financed Gouden Cath . Blaeu made the first detailed map of the island in his famous “Zeespiegel” atlas of 1623, establishing its current name. [7]

Dutch whaling base

From 1615 to 1638, Jan Mayen was used as a whaling by the Dutch Noordsche Company , which had been given a monopoly on whaling in the Arctic regions by the States General in 1614. Only two ships, one from the Noordsche Company , and the other from the Delft merchants, were off Jan Mayen in 1615. The following year has been tested. The Noordsche Company feels eight ships escorted by three warships under Jan Jacobsz. Schrobop; While the merchants are under the influence of Adriaen Dircksz. Leversteyn, its one of the above merchants. [12] There were also two ships from Dunkirk sent by John Clarke, from London and Hull.

Heertje Jansz, master of the Hope , of Enkhuizen, wrote a day-by-day account of the season. Jan Mayen, arriving early in June. On 15 June they put the two English ships, which Schrobop allowed to remain, on condition they gave half their catch to the Dutch. [13] The ships from Dunkirk were given the same conditions. By late July the first ship with a full cargo of whale oil ; the rest left early in August, several filled with oil. [14]

That year 200 men were seasonally living and working on the island at six temporary whaling stations (spread along the northwest coast). During the first decade of whaling more than ten times visited Jan Mayen each year, while in the second period (1624 and later). With the exception of a few ships from Dunkirk, which came to the island in 1617, they were either driven away or forced to give a third of their catch to the Dutch, [13] only the Dutch and merchants from Hull [15] felt up ships to Jan Mayen from 1616 onward. In 1624 ten wooden houses were built in South Bay. Steam Bay, South Bay and the other, South Bay and the other in the North Bay . In 1628, two forts were built to protect the stations. [7] Among the sailors active at Jan Mayen was the later admiral Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter . In 1633, at the age of 26, he was for the first time listed as an officer aboard of Groene Leeuw (The Green Lion). He went back to Jan Mayen in 1635, aboard the same ship.

In 1632 the Noordsche Company expelled the Danish-employed Basque whalers from Spitsbergen. In revenge, the latter sailed to Jan Mayen, where the Dutch had left to the winter, to the Dutch equipment and burn down the settlements and factories. Captain Outger Jacobsz of Grootebroek was asked to stay here (1633/34) on Jan Mayen with six shipmates to defend the island. Spitsbergen, all seven on Jan Mayen died of scurvy or trichinosis combined with the harsh conditions.

During the first phase of whaling the hauls is generally good, some exceptional. For example, Mathijs Jansz. Hoepstock caught 44 whales in Hoepstockbukta in 1619, which produced 2,300 casks of whale oil. During the second phase the hauls were much lower. While 1631, only eight whales were caught. In 1633 eleven ships managed to catch just 47 whales; while a meager 42 Were caught by la même number in 1635. [7] The bowhead whale Was locally hunted to near-extinction around 1640 (Approximately 1000 HAD-been killed and processed on the island), [7] at qui time Jan Mayen Was abandoned and stayed uninhabited for two and a half centuries.

19th and 20th centuries

During the International Polar Year 1882-1883 the Austro-Hungarian North Pole Expedition stayed one year at Jan Mayen. The expedition performed extensive mapping of the area, their maps being of such quality that they were used until the 1950s. The Austrian polar station on Jan Mayen Island was built and equipped in 1882 fully at Wilczek’s own expense.

Polar bears appear on the Jan Mayen, [16] . Between 1900 and 1920, there was a number of Norwegian trappers spending winters on Jan Mayen, hunting Arctic foxes in addition to some polar bears. But the exploitation soon made the profits decline, and the hunting ended. Polar bears are genetically distinguished in this region of the Arctic from those living elsewhere. [17]

The League of Nations, Norway, 1921 Norway opened the first meteorological station. [18] The Norwegian Meteorological Institute annexed the island for Norway in 1922 and the island in 1926 when Hallvard Devold was head of the weather observations base on the island. clarification needed ] On 27 February 1930, the island was made de jure a part of the Kingdom of Norway.

During World War II , Germany was invaded and occupied by Germany in spring 1940. The four-man team on Jan Mayen stayed at the United Kingdom instead of Norway. The British codenamed Jan Mayen ‘Island X’ and attempted to reinforce it with troops to counteract any German attack. The Norwegian patrol boat HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen ran aground on Nansenflua, one of the islands’ many uncharted lava reefs and the 68-man crew abandoned ship and joined the Norwegian team on shore. The British expedition command, prompted by the loss of the gunboat, decided to surrender Jan Mayen until the following spring and radio for a rescue ship. Within a few days arrived and evacuated the oven Norwegians and their would-be reinforcements after demolishing the weather station to prevent it from falling into German hands. The Germans attempted to land on the island on 16 November 1940. The German naval trawler carrying the team crashed on the rocks Jan Mayen after a British patrollingdestroyerhad picked them up on radar. Reviews This was not a coincidence as the German plane HAD beens Compromised From The Beginning with British wireless interceptors of the Radio Security Service Following The communication of the Abwehr (the German intelligence service) concernant the operation and the destroyer HAD been waiting. [19] Most of the crew struggled ashore and were taken prisoner by a landing party from the destroyer. [18]

The Allies returned to the island on 10 March 1941, when the Norwegian ship Veslekari , escorted by the Honningsvaag patrol boat , dropped 12 Norwegian weathermen on the island. The team’s radio transmissions soon betrayed its presence to the Axis , and German planes from Norway began to bomb and strafe Jan Mayen when they would not weather it. Soon supplies and reinforcements arrived and some anti-aircraft guns, giving the island a garrison of a few dozen weathermen and soldiers. By 1941, Germany had given up hope of evicting the Allies from the island and the constant air raids stopped.

On 7 August 1942, a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 “Condor”, probably on a mission to bomb the station, smashed into the nearby mountainside of Danielssenkrateret in fog, killing all 9 crewmembers. [20] In 1950, the wreck of another German was discovered on the southwest coast of the island. [21] In 1943, the Americans established a radio locating station named Atlantic City in the north to try to locate German radio bases in Greenland .

After the war, the meteorological station was located at Atlantic City, but moved in 1949 to a new location. Radio Jan Mayen also serves as an important radio station for the Arctic Ocean . In 1959, NATO decided to build the LORAN-C network in the Atlantic Ocean, and one of the transmitters had to be on Jan Mayen. By 1961, the new military facilities, including a new airfield, were operational.

For some time, scientists may be in the volcano, but in the volcano erupted, and another 3 km 2 (1.2 sq mi) of land mass to the island during the three-to-four weeks it Lasted. It had more eruptions in 1973 and 1985. During an eruption, the sea temperature around the island may increase from just above freezing to about 30 ° C (86 ° F).

Hoyberg, Vera, Olsbu, Puppebu (cabin), Gamlemetten or Gamlestasjonen (the old weather station), Jan Mayen Radio, Helenehytta, Margarethhytta, and Ulla (a cabin at the foot of the Beerenberg).


Nature reserve

A regulation dating from 2010 renders the island to nature reserve under Norwegian jurisdiction. [22] The preamble of this regulation is to ensure the preservation of a pristine Arctic island and the nearby marine life, including the ocean floor. Landings at Jan Mayen can be done by boat. However, this is only a small part of the island, named Båtvika (Boat Bay). As there is no business operating in the island, one can get there by plane except by chartering one. Admission for landings by plane has to be obtained in advance. Admission to stay on the island has been obtained in advance, and is limited to a few days (or even hours). Putting up a tent or setting up camp is prohibited. There is a separate regulation for the stay of foreigners.[23]

Geography and geology

Jan Mayen consists of two geographically distinct parts. North-Jan has a round shape and is dominated by the 2,277 m (7,470 ft) high Beerenberg volcano with its large ice cap (114.2 km 2 or 44 sq mi), which can be divided into 20 individual outlet glaciers. The largest of those is Sørbreen , with an area of ​​15 km 2 (5.8 sq mi) and a length of 8.7 km (5.41 mi). South-Jan is narrow, comparatively flat and unglaciated. Highest elevation is Rudolftoppen at 769 m (2,523 ft). The station and living quarters are located on South-Jan. The island lies at the end of the Jan Mayen Microcontinent . The microcontinentwas originally part of the Greenland Plate , but now forms part of the Eurasian Plate . In terms of land area, it is approximately twice the size of Lichtensteinwith the addition of San Marino .

Important Bird Area

The island Was APPROBATION have an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International Because It is a breeding website for large numbers of seabirds , Supporting populations of northern fulmars (78.000 to 160.000 pairs), little auks (10.000 to 100.000 peers), thick- billed guillemot (74,000-147,000 pairs) and black guillemots (100-1,000 pairs). [24]


Jan Mayen has a hyperoceanic polar climate, similar to Greenland and Svalbard, with a Köppen classification of ET . The Gulf Stream’s powerful influence makes seasonal temperature variations extremely small considering the latitude of the island, with ranges from around 6 ° C (43 ° F) in August to -6 ° C (21 ° F) in February, but also makes the island extremely cloudy with little sunshine even during the continuous polar day. The deep snow cover permafrost the average annual temperature slightly below freezing.

[ hide ]Climate data for Jan Mayen (1961-1990, extremes 1921-present)
month Jan Feb Mar Apr may Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec year
Record high ° C (° F) 9.5
Average high ° C (° F) -3.0
Daily mean ° C (° F) -5.7
Average low ° C (° F) -8.4
Record low ° C (° F) -26.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 56
Average precipitation days (≥ 1 mm) 12.6 11.1 12.1 9.1 7.6 7.6 9.2 11.1 13.3 14.6 12.9 13.0 134.2
Average relative humidity (%) 83 83 84 83 85 87 89 87 83 83 81 82 84.2
Mean monthly sunshine hours 0 28 62 120 155 150 124 93 60 31 0 0 823
Source # 1: Norwegian Meteorological Institute [25]
Source # 2: The Weather Network (humidity), [26] World Climate Data (sunshine hours) [27]

In popular culture

Jan Mayen Island is featured in various popular media, especially video games.

The island is featured as a sort of even in the game EU4 and can be activated in game using the command console “bearhaslanded”. Also in EU4 the player gets a unique culture and a negative relations towards all other nations. The island is also featured in other games, such as Victoria 2 , Jan Mayen as a nation.

In the game Tomb Raider Underworld, the island is featured as one of the main settings.

See also

  • Geography portal
  • Europe portal
  • Norway portal
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Svalbard
  • List of islands of Norway
  • List of islands of Norway by area


  1. Jump up^ “Oil eye oil majors, gas off Arctic Jan Mayen island” . reuters . Retrieved 2013-08-25 .
  2. Jump up^ “Archived copy” . Archived from the original on 2015-10-14 . Retrieved 2015-11-11 .
  3. Jump up^ “Loran C er historie” (in Norwegian).
  4. Jump up^ “The .bv and .sj top level domains” . Archived from the original on February 7, 2009 . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  5. Jump up^ Severin, Tim (2000) [1978], The Brendan Travel , Random House
  6. ^ Jump up to:c J. Mr. Wordie (1922), “Jan Mayen Island”, The Geographical JournalVol 59 (3), pp. 180-194
  7. ^ Jump up to:g Louwrens Hacquebord, “The Jan Mayen Whaling Industry” in Jan Mayen Island in Scientific Focus Stig Skreslet, editor, Springer Verlag 2004
  8. Jump up^ Holland, Clive (1994). Arctic Exploration and Development, c. 500 BC to 1915: an encyclopedia . New York: Garland.
  9. Jump up^ Hart, S.From eerste Nederlandse tochter ter walvisvaart(1957), p. 50. Hart says it occurred in 1613.
  10. Jump up^ King Alexander, JN Jennings: The Imperial College Expedition to Jan Mayen Island. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 94, No. 2 (Aug. 1939), pp. 115-131
  11. Jump up^ Among others: Henrat, P. 1984.French Naval Operations in Spitsbergen During Louis XIV’s Reign. Arctic 37: 544-551, p.544. Conway, William Martin (1906). No Man’s Land: A History of Spitsbergen from Its Discovery in 1596 to the Beginning of the Scientific Exploration of the Country . Cambridge, At the University Press, p. 79. He called it “Pico” according to Dalgård, Sune (1962). Dansk-Norsk Hvalfangst 1615-1660: Studying over Danmark-Norges Stilling and Europæisk Merkantil Expansion. GEC Gads Forlag, p.160
  12. Jump up^ Samuel Muller. 1874.Geschiedenis van de Noordsche Company. Gebr van der Post.
  13. ^ Jump up to:b Sune Dalgard. 1962. Dansk-Norsk Hvalfangst 1615-1660: In Study over Danmark-Norges Stilling and Europæisk Merkantil Expansion . GEC Gads Forlag.
  14. Jump up^ “Journaal van schipper Heertgen Jansz d anno 1616” (in Dutch) . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  15. Jump up^ Appleby, John C. “Conflict, cooperation and competition: The rise and fall of the Hull whaling trade during the seventeenth century”. The Northern Mariner, XVIII No. 2, (April 2008), 23-59.
  16. Jump up^ Michael Jones and Kenneth Olwig. 2008.Nordic Landscapes: Region and Belonging on the Northern Edge of Europe, University of Minnesota Press,ISBN 0-8166-3914-0,ISBN 978-0-8166-3914-4
  17. Jump up^ Hogan, C. Michael (2008). Stromberg, N, ed. “Polar Bear: Ursus maritimus” . globaltwitcher.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-24 . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  18. ^ Jump up to:b Rigge, Simon (1980), War in the Outposts , pp. 24-25. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books.
  19. Jump up^ TNA HW 19/37 ~~~~
  20. Jump up^ “The crash site at Danielssenkrateret” . Archived from the original on 2012-10-04 . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  21. Jump up^ “Jan Mayen History” . Retrieved 2014-05-29 .
  22. Jump up^ “FOR 2010-11-19 nr 1456: Forskrift om fredning av Jan Mayen naturreservat” (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  23. Jump up^ “FOR 1962-06-01 nr 01: Forskrifter om utlendingers adgang til Jan Mayen” (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2012-08-04 . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  24. Jump up^ “Jan Mayen island” . Important Bird Areas factsheet . BirdLife International. 2013 . Retrieved 2013-08-22 .
  25. Jump up^ “NORWAY – JAN MAYEN” . Retrieved 7 May 2014 . dead link ] (registration required )
  26. Jump up^ “Statistics: Jan Mayen, Norway” . The Weather Network . Retrieved 2012-07-11 .
  27. Jump up^ “Jan Mayen Climate Guide” . Retrieved 2014-05-29 .

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