The ancient Greek word for "bear" was άρκτος.

The Arctic is named after the animal; it's the place where bears are.

Naturally, when you find a place at the opposite side of the globe from the Arctic and where there are no bears, it's the anti-Arctic - in other words, Antarctica.

So the Arctic is Bears Place, and Antarctica is Not Bears Place.

(This has the feel of a shitpost, but it's actually true!)

@noelle I love it when that happens, it makes people feel like I’m shitting them.

@noelle You say this, but I feel like it could still be a shitpost

@noelle I was going to say "the arctic bear is the bear-bear" but they named it the polar bear :oldmancloud:

@InspectorCaracal And tragically, the polar bear is Ursus maritimus - the "sailor bear". The brown bear and its cousins, on the other hand, are Ursus arctos - bear bears!

@noelle @InspectorCaracal
I’m pretty sure the Eurasian brown bear is Ursus arctos arctos. So it’s a bear bear bear, which is as much bear as any bear can be.

Mathematically, you could call it a bear^3.

@noelle @InspectorCaracal Or "the bear from the land of bears". I like that reading because there's a subspecies "Ursus arctos horribilis" which is then clearly "the horrible bear from the land of bears".

@vegetablegremlin @noelle i believe the antibear is typically referred to as Spheniscidae, or penguins

This is the best piece of knowledge I encountered today! 🐻♥️ I want to move to Bears Place.


@noelle the modern Greek word αντάρτες also means rebels (funny coincidence, unrelated to bears)

@noelle i feel like there should be more ants in antarctica though

or maybe anteaters


climate change 

@noelle 🤯 🤩 this is now my favourite piece of trivia!

@noelle It's actually named after the bear constellations (Ursa Minor & Major indicate where the north is), but it also works with polar bears.

@noelle Why were the greeks in the artic and fooling around with bears though?


There might also be a connection to the constellation Ursa Major, the one containing the north star. It has been used for guiding travelers since before Greek was spoken.

@noelle I find this highly relatable because I, too, divide locations between Places Where There Are Bears and Places Where There Are No Bears.

@Dayglochainsaw @noelle this list also contains the worst Star Wars themed brothel that can exist

@noelle I like this explanation because it extends the negation contained in "anti-" ("opposite to") to the existence of bears, which is funny; but as I understood it the name comes from the fact that the Antarctic is opposite to the Arctic regarding its position on the globe, not the presence of the latter's namesake. (v. ; correct me if I'm wrong, ofc).

@noelle Still, shitpost or not, I'm all for calling the Antarctic "An-arctic" (literally No Bears Place).

@noelle found This very discriminated speech for 🐧's why it is not vice versa southpole penguenic north pole antipenguenic.

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