What does it take to survive life in an extreme environment?
Life Below Zero follows seven people as they battle for the most basic necessities in one of the least populated states in the US – Alaska.
Living in the middle of nowhere, miles away from the nearest road, they battle snow storms, man-eating bears, frozen terrain and limited resources through the long, cold and lonely winter. When spring comes, it's a race against the clock to collect enough food and supplies to see them through the next freeze.
Some of them battle the elements alone; others have their families beside them.
Only the mentally fit will be able to endure the extreme test of isolation and endless work required to survive in this remote and merciless land.
These are the stories of the everyday struggles of life below zero – where one wrong decision could cost you your life.
The word ‘arctic’ comes from ‘arktikos’, which is Greek for ‘near the bear’. It refers to the two constellations Ursa Major (Great Bear) and Ursa Minor (Little Bear), which can be seen in the northern sky.
The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude on maps of our planet.
The Arctic Circle is the farthest southern region that experiences polar day and polar night. A polar day is 24 hours of continuous daylight, and a polar night is 24 continuous hours of darkness.
Winter temperatures in the Arctic can drop to below −50 °C (−58 °F).
The position of the Arctic Circle is not fixed. This is because it directly depends on Earth's axial tilt, which fluctuates within a 2° margin over a 40,000-year period.
The land on the Arctic Circle is divided among eight countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, the United States (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (Greenland), and Iceland.
Very few people live north of the Arctic Circle due to the extreme conditions. Despite covering 6% of the Earth’s surface, the total population is only 4 million.
If all the Arctic ice melted, the sea levels would not rise considerably because the ice floats on the Arctic Ocean. However, if all the ice sitting on land melted, that would be a different story. Scientists predict that if Greenland’s ice sheet melted, the sea level would rise by 7.2 metres (24 feet).
Despite being the smallest of the world’s five oceans, the Arctic Ocean is larger than you may think. It spans 5.4 million square miles (14,056,000 km2) across Earth, which is almost the size of Russia.
Be curious. Be inspired. Be amazed.
South African audiences have access to five BBC TV channels: BBC Brit, BBC Lifestyle, BBC Earth, CBeebies and BBC World News.