Akpatok Island, Nunavut, Canada
Akpatok is a remote uninhabited Canadian Arctic island located in Ungava Bay, along the northern coast of Quebec. On approach, it resembles a gigantic tabular iceberg almost 220,000 acres (90,000 hectares) in size. Its sheer cliffs rise many hundreds of feet vertically from the sea, and waterfalls plummet dramatically from the flat-topped plateau above. The island gets its name from the Inuktitut word Akpat, meaning ‘murre’. Thick-billed murres and Brunnich’s guillemots breed here in great numbers. During the summer, almost a million auks nest on ledges corrugating the island’s limestone cliffs. Named a Canadian Important Bird Area as well as a Key Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat site, Akpatok is also home to numerous sea mammal species. Drifting ice floes attract walrus, seals, polar bears and whales, making Akpatok a traditional hunting ground for native Inuit people. As distant predecessors to the Inuit, Paleo-Eskimo Dorset people left the remains of one of their ancient settlements on the island.