Where in the world is Mabel? Alaska

July 7, 2014


Can you guess where Mabel is this week? 



She is in Alaska, looking at the northern lights. 


Vibrant blues, pinks, greens and yellows sway in the sky, marking the path of the dancing aurora borealis. The shimmering opus can be seen swirling in Anchorage’s starlit skies as early as 8 p.m. during winter months. Also known as the northern lights, they can be incredibly bright, multihued and fast moving.


A little bit about Alaska: 

Vitus Bering, a Dane working for the Russians, and Alexi Chirikov discovered the Alaskan mainland and the Aleutian Islands in 1741. The tremendous land mass of Alaska- equal to one-fifth of the continental U.S.- was unexplored in 1867 when Secretary of State William Seward arranged for its purchase from the Russians for $7,200,000. The transfer of territory took place on October 18, 1867. Despite a price of about two cents an acre, the purchase was widely ridiculed as “Seward’s Folly”.


Alaska’s name originated from the Aleut word “alyeska”, meaning “great land”. Alaska is the largest of the 50 states. It is more than twice the size of Texas, the next largest state.


Situated at the northwest corner of the North American continent, Alaska is separated from the coterminous 48 states by Canadian territory. Life zones in Alaska range from grasslands, mountains, and tundra to thick forests. The annual daily mean temperature in Juneau (Alaska’s capital) is 41.5 degrees F.


Diverse and abundant wildlife are central to Alaska’s economy and people. Over 1,000 vertebrate species are found in the state, sometimes in huge numbers. More than 900,000 caribou roam in 32 herds across vast tundra landscapes. On the Copper River Delta alone, five to eight million shorebirds stop to forage and rest each spring on their way to arctic breeding grounds. Alaska has 32 species of carnivores, more than any other state.


 All of the languages but two found in Alaska today are related to two major language families. These two families are Eskimo-Aleut and Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit. The exceptions are Haida and Tsimshian. These are both languages of Native groups who lived in the Pacific Northwest.


The table below gives statistics from the 2000 census for language spoken at home for persons 5 years and over.


Population 5 years and over 579,740 100.0
Speak only English 496,982 85.7
Speak a language other than English 82,758 14.3
Speak a language other than English 82,758 14.3
Other Native North American languages 30,121 5.2
Spanish or Spanish Creole 16,674 2.9
Tagalog 8,934 1.5
Korean 4,369 0.8
German 3,574 0.6
Russian 2,952 0.5
Other Pacific Island languages 2,591 0.4
French (incl. Patois, Cajun) 2,197 0.4
Japanese 1,392 0.2
Chinese 1,295 0.2


Tune in next week to see where Mabel is headed next! 

Original image found on google.