Abbreviated as AK by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Alaska is the largest state in land area in the United States. It is known as the « Seward Refrigerator », but despite the cold climate that prevails, it offers great climatic differences. The capital is Juneau and Anchorage is the largest city. It is the only territory on the American continent partially located in the eastern hemisphere.
Geographically, Alaska is located in the extreme northwest of the American continent, bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the south by the Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific Ocean, to the east by Canada, and to the west by the Sea and the Bering Strait (and taking Russia further, since the territorial waters of Alaska border the Russian territorial waters in that same strait), and the Chukostsk Sea. It is the largest state in the United States with 1,530,700 km2, more than twice the size of Texas and more than three times the size of Spain.
The first residents of the American continent arrived 14,000 years ago from Asia crossing the Bering Strait during the ice ages. Despite its difficult climate, it thus became the most formerly populated territory in America. When the Danish explorer Vitus Bering arrived in the region in 1741 on the orders of the Russian Tsar Peter I the Great, the population of Alaska consisted of Eskimo tribes who ate and dressed with the meat and skins of the mammals they hunted. Bering died on this trip, but his expedition certified the existence of numerous colonies of mammals such as seals, highly coveted by the Russians.
In 1897 the Americans found gold in the area, prompting the arrival of multitudes of adventurers and fortune seekers in what was a true gold rush. This populated the area with settlers and attracted the attention of the US Congress, which until then had abandoned the region, providing it with infrastructure and opening communication routes such as the Alaska Railroad. One of the highlights moments in the history of Alaska is the 3 of January of 1959, when it was included in the Union as the 49th state, with all rights and responsibilities as other states.
In the southern area, the most populated, the Kenai and Alaska peninsulas stand out. The central area is full of lakes and fertile valleys. To the north, already above the Arctic Circle, the frozen tundra, rich in oil resources, dominates the landscape. In addition, Alaska is made up of a large number of islands, such as the Kodiak to the south, the Aleutians, a continuation of the Alaska peninsula, and the Prifilob, located off the western coast and integrating the San Lorenzo, San Mateo or San Pablo, although the most important are those located near British Columbia in the Inside Passage, such as the one that houses the capital, Juneau, accessible only by sea and air. Approximately 5% of the territory is covered by some 100,000 glaciers, tongues of ice that descend from the snow-capped peaks through the valleys and break when reaching the sea in impressive cliffs. They are not the only geological peculiarity of the region. Its location north of the Pacific Ring of Fire They make it an area of significant seismic and volcanic activity, with 40 volcanoes located along the Alaska peninsula and the Aleutians, where most earthquakes, generally of low intensity, are also concentrated.
- CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Alaska, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Alaska.
The climate is very harsh throughout the year, although in the brief summer (June to late August) temperatures are mild on the coasts and south of the Brooks Range. The most extreme temperatures are between 25 ° C maximum and -50 ° C minimum. Above the Arctic Circle, sunlight is distributed throughout the year in a very peculiar way. During the three winter months they live in total darkness. At this time you can also enjoy the beautiful physical phenomenon of the Northern Lights. On the contrary, during the three summer months the sun does not set 24 hours a day.
Flora and fauna
Alaska is a Tundra in which the great variety of lichen species stand out, mosses and shrubs. It also has large deciduous forests, in which spruce and fir trees abound. In the Taiga area, fir trees mix with pines, lichens and large expanses of grass, dotted with lakes, create spectacular landscapes. In the southern area we can find a greater variety of trees, such as oak, pine, elm and hickory. The fauna is very rich and varied. In its waters live whales, seals, walruses and sea otters. You can also find the polar bear, brown bear and American black bear. There are large herds of caribou, followed by packs of wolves. Other mammals that can be found are the moose, beaver, wolverine, mink, otter, and muskrat.
Alaska is sparsely populated, with less than one person per square mile. Most of the population is concentrated in the cities and towns on the coast. The native population includes the Inuit, who live mainly on the coast of the Bering Arctic Sea; the Aleuts, who live in the islands of the western arm, and the Native Americans who live mostly in the eastern arm. The current population includes immigrants from the lower 48 states, Europe, and Asia.
Its economy, based on the exploitation of natural resources, began to transform from 1977, when oil extraction began in Prudhoe Bay, on the Arctic coast. In a particular way, the residents of the Aleutians are dedicated to fishing, hunting and raising sheep (sheep). The most prominent shopping center is Unalaska, located on the island of Unalaska.