Hudson Bay - Misnamed Because It's A Sea

Canada, she's such a vast country, eh?

Not too many people realize this about Canada but it has the second largest inland sea in the world, Hudson's Bay, smack dab in the middle of the country. It is two thirds the size of the Mediterranean Sea.

To the north of Canada, we are bound by the Arctic Ocean. To the west, the Pacific and to the east, the Atlantic. This body of salt water, which freezes easily, (not as salty as the ocean) encompasses some 1,230,000 square kilometres (470,000 sq. miles) and actually has no name, the largest part of it we know as the Hudson Bay which is not correct, it's not a bay at all, it's a sea.  

Hudson Bay includes; Hudson Bay, James Bay, Foxe Basin, Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay which drains a large vast area of the continent, which includes Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta and most of Manitoba, southwest Nunavut, plus many American states, North & South Dakota, Minnesota and Montana.

Hudson's Bay is shallow compared to other seas of the world with an average depth of about 100 metres, (330 ft.) If we insist on calling Hudson's Bay a Bay, it would be second in size to the Bay of Bengal of India and we mistakenly consider it part of the Arctic Ocean despite the fact the water empties into the Atlantic. It's surrounded by boreal forest and the Canadian tundra.

It was named after Henry Hudson, who explored the area in 1610 sailing his ship the Discovery into uncharted waters until one day the boat became trapped in the ice and his men mutinied on June 22, 1611. Hudson and his men were set adrift in a small life boat and were never heard from again.

The bay is near the centre of a major gravity anomaly. The land to the west is rising 17 millimetres per year, almost an inch. Some scientists believe the bay was formed by a meteor impact, the Precambrian Extraterrestrial Impact but it's still not proven.

There are only a few dozen villages lining its coast, habituated mostly by Cree and Inuit people, remnants left over from the fur trade, making some of them the oldest known settlements in Northern Canada, today mostly inhabited by Cree and Inuit peoples and Polar Bears.

Yes, Churchill, Manitoba has become a tourist destination. Polar Bear capital of the world. We may not like the temperatures but the Polar Bears do.

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