The Myth of the Arctic Fox

22 August, 2019
By Marco Levi

The fox and the icy grapes

For a human being to be able to cover such a long distance, they would need some pretty strong motivation. The kind that only love can provide. Even so, they would most likely be dead long before reaching their destination. But the fox of this story —of course motivated by who knows what kind of “love”, or else just driven by survival instinct alone— managed to cover 3.500 kilometers in just 76 days. That is about the distance from America to Europe. The interesting thing is that the fox in question is, in a way, a colleague of Wim Hof’s, in that her entire journey took place among snow and ice. It is, of course, an arctic fox we are speaking of. A true wonder of nature: so little, yet so powerful.

 

A collar to say it all

The team monitoring this canine (named Ulysses) has gathered precise data. The researchers of the Norwegian Polar Institute have collected data for three hours every day: the fox moved at an average of 46.3 kilometers per day, and on one day travelled an astonishing 155 km when it was on the ice cap in northern Greenland, where it probably used the sea ice as a mode of transport. The research paper, signed by Eva Fuglei and Arnaud Tarroux, stated that it was one of the longest journeys ever recorded.

 

The greek tragedy of fox. And man.

Many a myth has arisen from the relationship between man and nature. The human mind struggles with nature’s ultimate limit: death. Therefore, death becomes a metaphor for every limit posed by life in the present, in the time of its actions. Must the hero accept his own condition or must he fight with himself in order to awake? In greek tragedy, nature becomes the fate that man can’t escape, yet he fights bravely to be stronger, more conscious, in order to reach the heels of the gods, or take back his secret essence. There is a strong ideal of growth within the catharsis of greek tragedy; growth that comes from going through fire and ice. And that requires fortifying the body, and getting smart, like a fox. And then embarking on a journey. In order to cover that great distance, maybe infinite, that separates each hero from love. From his destination.

 


Photo by Kelly Lund on Unsplash