Imagine a world where the sun never sets.

You don’t have to imagine it. That world is the Earth in the arctic during the summer. The following video is a looped time-lapse of a single day showing how the sun bounces across the horizon:

I can’t imagine trying to get any sleep there.

15 thoughts on “Imagine a world where the sun never sets.

  1. Maybe I am just nitpicking – and I could be wrong – but it seems like this is the time lapsed video of a single _week_ , not day.

  2. Watch it closely. The same clouds show up repeatedly at the same time each day. It’s the same sequence over and over again with different colored filters applied to it.

  3. 1.  “Nightfall,” by Isaac Asimov (1941)

    2.  I’ve done some business travel in Alaska.  Getting on a plane at 2 a.m. with the sun over the horizon is … trippy.

  4. As a little-travelled Yurpeen, I remember being surprised on a Malaysia trip – which I KNEW to be in the northern hemisphere – by seeing the noonday sun NORTH of me !

  5. I grew up in Alaska, and people always talked about the sun rising in the East and setting in the West.  I never could understand what they where talking about.

    I thought it was pretty cool when I moved down south and saw that, in some parts of the world, the sun really does rise in the East and set in the West.

  6. Living in Finland myself where this happens I can say that, weirdly, you don’t really get used to it. I live more to the middle part where it isn’t quite as drastic as on the movie but the sun doesn’t set for “real” during the summer. You just get slightly less light with a blueish hue. And that’s for just a few hours a night. I always have trouble sleeping the early weeks of summer but after that you kinda get into it.

    It doesn’t really help that during the winter it’s 24/7 darkness so you again get used to sleeping in total and utter darkness. But still I have to say that I love the summer time. You can do the most amazing walks here under the midnight sun.

  7. Reminds me of Super Mario Brothers 3, in the desert where the sun swoops down get you.

    Wow, I just saw a cool clip of nature and it just made me think of video games.  Time to put the controller down.

  8. I can’t imagine trying to get any sleep there.

    After all the years that I’ve worked in various “graveyard” shift jobs… Sunlight doesn’t really get in my way when it comes to sleeping anymore.

    It would still be strange to be in this kind of environment. Night is kinda’ like a pleasant escape from sunlight… it would make me a little sad to go so long without any real night time.

  9. German Tourists to Iceland have been known to complain about this.  Exactly what they expect the Icelandic tourist board to do about it is a question that puzzles the Icelandic tourist board.

  10. Sorry Les, it’s not a fake, although it’s possible he did use color filters in post production. I took screen captures as the sun passed over the same lake/bay 6 times, while the cloud formation didn’t change much, there are slight changes in positioning and shape.

    If you view the following NASA time lapse of the rotating earth looking at the south pole here:

    You will notice the cloud formation does not change or move around very much over the course of a day. The same effect would exist for the north pole as well. In the Summer, the Jet Stream moves further south and impacts northern cloud formations less, meanwhile further south along the jet stream storms and cloud just get dragged along by the upper winds.

    We who live closer to the equator are just not used to cloud formations hanging around for days on end, so it’s understandable for us to question the validity of something that doesn’t match our experiences.

    Oh, and yes, there are plenty of non-snow-covered spaces in Northern Greenland during summer that this video could have been filmed at.

  11. Sweet! I had no idea cloud formations would hang around for days at a time in the arctic. I just figured that seeing as the same pattern kept showing up it must be a looped day. I was aware that there’s plenty of places where there’d be no snow so that didn’t bother me, but the repeating clouds seemed odd.

  12. It can be unsettling the other way around as well.  Where I sit now in Canada, the summer months mean 18 hour days of warm delight.  After supper, there’s plenty of time to indulge in outdoor summer activities. 

    So, when I get those rare treats to holiday in the south (ie Hawaii last year), I felt very indignant and cheated when my body said it was summer, but the sun slammed down at 6:00!  I felt like a school kid being told to go to bed early on a Saturday night.

  13. Imagining a world when the sun never sets means never seeing the stars:


    1.  “Nightfall,” by Isaac Asimov (1941)

    A good story, was a movie made of this? Yes, back in 1988

    I’m curious though, during these week long days, is the moon visible? Do they ever get total eclipses at the poles?

  14. Yeah, you can see the moon occasionally on the blue sky. Which is kinda freaky to be honest. Not sure about what qualifies as total eclipsing nor have I watched that many eclipses either.

  15.   ***Dave

      1.  “Nightfall,” by Isaac Asimov (1941)

    @Logan: A good story, was a movie made of this? Yes, back in 1988

    Worst. Movie. Ever.  And I do not say that lightly It’s the only movie I have ever been seriously tempted to walk out of. 

    Not even bad in a funny fashion. I don’t even think the MST3K folks could get laughs out of it.

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