#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. We have collected 30 facts about Taimyr as an administrative unit and Taimyr as a unique geographical and natural territory.
1. The first people appeared on Taimyr in the Neolithic era. Their oldest settlements were found on the Popigai and Khatanga rivers.
2. The Taimyr Museum of Local Lore has got a taxidermied mammoth and its skeleton, known as the Sopkarga mammoth or mammoth Zhenya. Its well-preserved carcass was found eight years ago. Presumably this mammoth was killed by an ancient man. There are no such paleontological finds in any museum in the world.
3. Russian pioneers came to the peninsula in the XVI-XVII centuries as fur hunters and yasak collectors. 100 years later, the great natural scientist Middendorf passed through the Taimyr land. Later, other famous explorers of the Arctic also visited the sea shores of Taimyr: Nordenskjold, Toll, Nansen. In 1918 Amundsen wintered on the coast of the peninsula.
4. Many significant events on Taimyr are associated with the name of Nikifor Begichev. He discovered unknown islands in the Khatanga bay, later named after him, and was buried in the Taimyr land.
5. In the early 1930s, polar explorers Ushakov and Urvantsev first set foot on Severnaya Zemlya and described it in detail. Soviet history hid the fact that the Kolchak (a disgraced leader of the White Russians) government sent the expedition to Taimyr.
6. The territory of the modern municipal district has changed its registration several times. It was part of the Mangazeya province, the Tobolsk province, then – the Yenisey province.
7.On December 10, 1930, a new administrative-territorial unit appeared on the map of the USSR: the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) national district. The Soviet government decided to combine the industrial development of the North and the need to protect small nationalities by forming national districts.
8. Why in the name of the subject the titular ethnic groups were put in brackets, no one can explain. Taimyr became autonomy with the adoption of the Brezhnev’s constitution in 1977.
9. Since 2007, after the administrative reform, Taimyr has become the region of the Krasnoyarsk region, the largest in Russia. The capital of Taimyr, the port city of Dudinka, celebrated its 353rd anniversary this year.
10. Now Taimyr is inhabited by five indigenous ethnic groups – Nganasans (the most ancient northern people of Eurasia), Nenets, Dolgans, Evenks and Enets. Many have kept their traditional way of life: they roam and are engaged in reindeer herding. They use mobile and satellite phones, snowmobiles and GPS.
11. Few people remember that a significant part of the Taimyr Municipal District does not belong to the Taimyr Peninsula. It is located within the boundaries of the Dikson and partially Khatanga settlements. Dudinka and Norilsk geographically have nothing to do with the peninsula either – they are its closest southern neighbors. Nevertheless, the entire territory within the boundaries of the modern Taimyr municipal district is now called Taimyr.
12. Witness of the Ice Age, Taimyr keeps the memory of it in the form of permafrost. Many rivers and lakes here freeze to the bottom in winter, and the ice at the bottom of reservoirs does not melt even in summer.
13. There is rarefied air and low pressure, and daily temperature drops reach 20 degrees. In the morning it can be minus 35, and in the evening – already minus 15, and vice versa.
14. Taimyr is the world’s northernmost projection of the continental land, the largest peninsula in Russia and at the same time the northernmost point of the entire Eurasian continent and the only region of Russia that lies entirely beyond the Arctic Circle.
15. At the northernmost point of the continent on Cape Chelyuskin, the average temperature in May is minus 9.9 degrees, in June – minus 1.3, in July – plus 1.4, and in August – plus 0.9, which makes Cape Chelyuskin the coldest place in Northern Hemisphere at this time of the year. The polar night on the cape begins in October and lasts until February, the polar day begins in May and lasts until October.
16. Less than 10 percent of the subsoil has been explored in Taimyr, although almost all types of minerals have been found. Now Taimyr is considered one of the most promising areas for oil and gas production.
17. The area of the peninsula is about 400 thousand square kilometers. In size, it is larger than most European states. If we divide the area of Taimyr by the number of its inhabitants, each will have about 20 square kilometers of territory.
18. The words ‘the northernmost in the world’ can be said about many things here. For example, the northernmost museum in the world is the Mammoth Museum in Khatanga. The world’s northernmost curling ice arena. The northernmost – and the only in the world onshore – gas pipeline. The Big Arctic state reserve is the northernmost and largest one in the world: its area is 4 170 000 hectares. It is included in the system of the FSBI Reserves of Taimyr.
19. Taimyr is a place that cannot be reached by road or rail. The peninsula is connected to the mainland only by aviation and sea/river transport. Another way to travel around Taimyr is possible only in winter, on snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. In summer, it is prohibited to use all-terrain vehicles, as they cause irreparable damage to the tundra soil.
20. The climate of the Taimyr peninsula is arctic in the northern part and subarctic in the south. Many Atlantic cyclones end up in Taimyr, due to this fact the region is often called a cyclone cemetery.
21. Lake Taimyr is the second largest lake in Siberia, second only to Baikal. It is located at the foot of the Byrranga mountains and is connected to the Taimyra river.
22. The Byrranga mountain range is formed by a system of parallel or en-echelon chains and vast undulating plateaus. The Byrranga mountains are 1 100 kilometers long and over 200 kilometers wide.
23. Almost the entire territory of Taimyr is located in the Arctic tundra zone, only in the extreme south there is a small area of forest-tundra. In the area of the Novaya river, there is an area with the northernmost forests on the planet.
24. Animals and birds of Taimyr are adapted to the harsh climate and scarce vegetation of the peninsula. In summer, Taimyr is a kingdom of birds: partridges, loons, geese, snowy owls and other bird species nest here.
25. The coat of arms and flag of the Taimyr Municipal District depicts a red-breasted goose entered in the Red Book.
26. On the sea coast of Taimyr there is a polar bear – the symbol of the Arctic. The usual inhabitants of this land are various fur-bearing animals: arctic fox, wolverine, sable, ermine and others.
27. The coastal waters are inhabited by walruses, seals, and beluga whales. Inland waters are full of valuable salmon species. The most useful fish in the world, the Boganid char, also lives on Taimyr.
28. Reindeer – the basis of life of the peninsula’s indigenous inhabitants – is of particular importance for Taimyr. By the way, its fur was recognized as a reference material for winter clothing.
29. The rival of the reindeer for food resources is the musk ox. A few millennia ago, musk oxen lived here and became extinct, but in the 1970s, they brought were brought from Canada. Last year, the Taimyr Nature Reserves directorate celebrated the 45th anniversary of the experiment to restore the population of these animals on the peninsula. And this year in the Taimyr village of Volochanka, a local entrepreneur opened the first farm for breeding and domestication of musk oxen.
30. Tourism is actively developing in Taimyr nowadays. This year, despite the pandemic, the tourist flow has grown: more than five thousand tourists have visited the peninsula. And recently there was an info tour for bloggers.
Text: Victor Tsaryov, Photo: Dmitry Bykov, Nikolay Shchipko and open sources