Geographers discover unknown island near Novaya Zemlya
© RIA Novosti. Valerij Mel'nikov

Geographers discover unknown island near Novaya Zemlya

The expedition team in Remember the War, a joint expedition under the Russian Geographical Society and the Russian Defense Ministry to the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, discovered a new island in the area of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and added it to their maps.

As documentary director and traveler Leonid Kruglov said, the discovery was made during the team’s landing on Novaya Zemlya, near Cape Zhelaniya.

“Near the Rykachev Glacier in Zayachy Bay, a new island, just over a kilometer in diameter, was discovered. Hydrographers put the new geographical feature on their maps. Surrounded by floating icebergs, this beautiful island is covered by a small glacier. We spotted a polar bear there, eating a seal,” noted Kruglov.

Sometime earlier, researchers landed on Wilczek Land Island, the same place discoverers landed 150 years ago. This second largest island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago is named after traveler, philanthropist, polar explorer Johann Nepomuk Wilczek, who financed the expedition of Karl Weyprecht and Julius Payer that discovered the island in 1873. The expedition members erected a flagpole with the Russian flag and held a ceremony to mark the 150th anniversary of discovering this remote archipelago hidden in Arctic Ocean ice.

Next, the Romuald Muklevich hydrographic vessel headed towards the largest island in the Franz Josef Land archipelago, George Land. In the south of the island, near Gray Bay, researchers used a drone to photograph the location where a group of travelers led by Valerian Albanov, who left the St. Anna schooner trapped in ice, apparently disappeared. Perhaps more information about the polar explorers’ route will appear after reviewing the photos. In addition, hydrographers measured and mapped the depths of the mouth of the previously unexplored Gray Bay, thereby removing another blank spot from the hydrographic map of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation.