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Eight-Tonne Sphere Marks Arctic Circle on Grimsey

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Eight-Tonne Sphere Marks Arctic Circle on Grimsey

Grimsey Arctic Circle Marker

Photo: RÚV Screenshot

An eight-tonne, spherical stone marking the Arctic Circle was officially dedicated yesterday in a ceremony on Grimsey island, North Iceland, RÚV reports. The stone will have to move about a dozen metres each year to follow the circle, the position of which is gradually drifting north. The stone's movement is “a direct reference to nature’s progress and perpetual motion,” according to one of the marker’s creators.

The stone marker is the winning design of a competition held by the city of Akureyri, North Iceland, in 2013. Moving the eight-tonne sphere to its location on the north shore of Grimsey was not an easy task. The marker got stuck halfway on its journey across the island, but the inhabitants of Grimsey refused to give up and it is now in place on the Arctic Circle on Grimsey’s north coast.

Kristinn E. Hrafnsson, creator of the artwork alongside Studio Granda, explained its title, ‘Hringur og Kúla’ (Ring and Sphere). “The ring is of course the Arctic Circle itself and the sphere stands on it. And the idea is that the sphere shows its location every year.”

The position of the Arctic Circle moves in accordance with the Earth’s axial tilt, which fluctuates over time. The Arctic Circle first entered Grimsey 300 years ago and will move north off the island by 2050, to return in 20,000 years. “Grimsey is a very opportune place to enjoy this play of nature, or this force of nature really. The rock and roll of the earth,” stated Kristinn.

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