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Traditional Eskimo Life
Map of Alaska
Map of Alaska with Bering sea region highlighted.
Bering Sea Environment

Unlike the more rugged Arctic lands farther north, most of the area around the Bering Sea is flat open tundra, where grass, moss, and shrubs grow. Swamps, mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests also occur in some places within this vast area.

For six months of the year, the climate is wintry and harsh, marked by fierce snowstorms, high winds, and sub-zero temperatures. From early November until the end of April, ice and snow cover the ground. In the deep cold of winter the days are so short that the sun barely makes an appearance.

Spring arrives full force in May. A rainbow of wildflowers, rye grass, and berries carpets the tundra during the lengthening days. On land, caribou (a kind of deer) graze on the tender young plants. At sea, walruses, seals, and many other animals thrive. In the lakes and rivers, fish teem and ducks and geese abound.

Spring and summer pass quickly, and by October snow begins to fall again. Land animals, such as the fox, grow white coats so as to blend in with the winter landscape. In the ocean, seals make breathing holes in the ever-thickening ice. By November, the icy grip of winter returns to the land of the Bering Sea.


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