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Countries where the Sea Freezes

Can you name the countries where sea ice usually forms by the coast in winter?
Includes an external territory of a country.
Sources: NSIDC maps of the 1981-2010 median ice edge, these maps by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (1996-2016), Wikipedia.
Quiz by georgekotz
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Last updated: November 24, 2017
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First submittedNovember 6, 2017
Times taken53,210
Average score87.5%
Rating4.91
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Country
Canada
China
Estonia
Finland
Germany
Greenland (Denmark)
Japan
Latvia
Country
Lithuania
North Korea
Norway
Poland
Russia
Sweden
Ukraine
United States
+26
Level 73
Nov 5, 2017
It is not very clear from the NSIDC maps whether the sea around North Korea freezes in winter. However, given the very low winter temperatures, the presence of sea ice near the coast on several Google Earth satellite images, and the obvious difficulty of finding any further data, it was included in the quiz.
+7
Level 68
Jan 22, 2018
Yeah, Korea Bay develops a sea-ice cover consistently over the years. There may be an ice-free season in an exceptional year but North Korea counts.
+2
Level 72
Nov 6, 2017
Hard to find information about that but there must be some freezing happening in Iceland. They do get a lot of ice but that gets "imported" from Greenland.
+23
Level 73
Nov 6, 2017
This article contains some information about this, and confirms what you said about ice occasionally arriving from Greenland. However, sea water freezing around Iceland must be a very rare occurence. Iceland is strongly affected by the warm North Atlantic Current, meaning that, not only are its winters exceptionally mild for its latitude, but the sea also remains relatively warm in spite of occasional cold spells.
+9
Level 80
Nov 24, 2017
Thanks for that explanation. My instinctive reaction was totally wrong! :)
+6
Level 70
Nov 24, 2017
Is the fact that Iceland so volcanic a contributing factor, did you get the impression? And cool quiz, George! (<– See what I did there?)
+7
Level 77
Mar 18, 2019
Fascinating. Now I've learnt something new about ICEland!
+1
Level 75
Nov 25, 2017
Iiiiiiinteresting!
+2
Level 58
Nov 26, 2017
How about the UK and Iceland?
+7
Level 73
Nov 26, 2017
Take a look at the discussion above for Iceland. For the same reasons, in addition to the more southerly location, winters on the British coast are even milder, with average temperatures well above freezing!
+1
Level 67
Jun 26, 2022
i believe you but i can say that winters in the uk are still freezing, i have to put on like 5 layers
+23
Level 76
Dec 6, 2017
If this wasn't alphabetical, I would have NEVER gotten Ukraine.
+1
Level 66
May 21, 2019
I didnt get the us(a)...
+2
Level 59
Dec 14, 2019
because of Alaska
+2
Level 60
Aug 1, 2020
Thanks to your comment, I got Ukraine
+17
Level 69
Sep 2, 2021
Do people read the comments BEFORE taking the quiz? Surely this is not much different to Googling the answers
+1
Level 48
Jun 25, 2022
I have read comments while taking the quiz but never before.
+6
Level 67
Dec 7, 2017
The way the question is asked, and the addendum that territories are included, the UK, Chile, Argentina, France New Zealand, and Australia should be included.
+4
Level 73
Dec 7, 2017
Although there are (occasionally overlapping) territorial claims by the countries you mentioned in Antarctica, no single country has control over any part of the continent, as it is governed internationally under the Antarctic Treaty. Most of the world's countries don't recognize territorial claims in Antarctica either. So, lacking both a practical meaning and international recognition, I don't think Antarctic territories should be included. I guess a caveat could be added, but the Quizmaster should decide on that.
+3
Level 69
Jan 20, 2018
What about St. Pierre & Miquelon, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands, Prince Edward Island, etc. Do they not get ice?
+6
Level 72
Jan 20, 2018
Isn't Prince Edward Island part of Canada?
+3
Level 73
Jan 20, 2018
South Georgia and the south coast of Newfoundland (where St. Pierre and Miquelon is) are usually ice-free year-round according to the NSIDC maps. The Prince Edward Islands, Kerguelen Islands etc. are also too far north for the Antarctic sea ice pack to reach them. The South Sandwich islands are indeed somewhat further south than South Georgia, but they are too small to be depicted on the maps I used as a source, so I can't tell for sure. If anyone is aware of a source I can use for these islands, let me know. In the absence of one, I feel inclined to leave these tiny islands out for now.
+1
Level 81
Jan 20, 2018
PEI is part of Canada - has been a province since 1873.
+5
Level 37
Jan 21, 2018
I think the comment was referring to the South African island chain.
+2
Level 37
Jan 21, 2018
It's not only limited to Antarctica...the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and New Zealand all have many overseas territories.
+1
Level 69
Jul 31, 2020
Yes, I did mean South Africa's Prince Edward Islands. Wasn't aware that it was an island group.

I'm also wondering about Tierra del Fuego. No ice there? I can only see maps for the Baltic sea in the source given. :S

+3
Level 73
Mar 7, 2021
@Zefyrinus: You can see the September average and year-by-year Antarctic sea ice extent (generally the maximum in a given year) in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm0yhOXY8Sk There are more maps on the NSIDC website.

The continental infuence of the South American mainland is generally not enough for sea ice formation in and around the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, as average winter temperatures remain above zero even in the southernmost and/or most sheltered coastal towns (e.g. Ushuaia, Puerto Natales).

+7
Level 68
Dec 22, 2017
Ukraine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????????
+1
Level 22
Jan 20, 2018
ikr
+9
Level 87
Jul 3, 2018
Time for a new keyboard.
+1
Level 48
Jan 9, 2018
I've seen the sea freeze in Scotland on more than one occasion
+4
Level 73
Jan 9, 2018
Does this 'usually' happen in winter though? In the countries included in the quiz, sea ice forms off parts of their shores in more than roughly 50% of winters. I think that makes more sense than including countries where the sea only freezes during extremely rare severe cold spells (even a small gulf in Greece froze last winter!).
+2
Level 65
Jan 20, 2018
More snakes in many of these countries than I would care for. Those slippery critters are adapting. We must fight back.
+5
Level 64
Jan 26, 2022
Huh?
+1
Level 47
Jan 20, 2018
Ukraine Poland Russia.. and what about Belarus ?
+22
Level 81
Jan 20, 2018
I don't think that Belarus has a coastline.
+9
Level 76
Jul 31, 2020
If Belarus had a coastline, I'm sure it would freeze. However, the lack of coastline kind of prevents sea ice from forming.
+1
Level 45
Jan 20, 2018
Got 19/20, guess who I missed....if you guessed Canada, you are right
+4
Level 22
Jan 20, 2018
how did you miss Canada
+2
Level 86
Jun 25, 2022
"Anyone can miss Canada, all tucked away down there." - Homer Simpson
+1
Level 60
Jun 30, 2022
I missed Norway (and Ukraine) -- and I've lived there for 40 years.
+1
Level 64
Jan 20, 2018
Ukraine a true outlier on 56% vs 81-99 range!
+5
Level 61
Jan 20, 2018
Didn't think of the Black Sea freezing.
+1
Level 27
Jan 20, 2018
Nor did I
+6
Level 55
Jan 24, 2018
Nor me, but I have found this: "Ice formation in Sea of Azov occurs annually. The freeze lasts for 2-5 months"#

You live and learn!

+1
Level 68
Jul 11, 2021
It is called black ice by the local fishermen.
+6
Level 72
Jan 20, 2018
Sorry for nitpicking but Greenland isn't a country. And since the quiz asks for countries, I think the answer should be "Denmark (Greenland)" and not "Greenland (Denmark)".
+1
Level 56
Jan 22, 2018
I disagree. The reason it was put that way was to show that Greenland gets the ice, not the mainland
+3
Level 73
May 21, 2019
The mainland in Denmark has frozen coastlines every few years. some years you can walk from island to island on the frozen sea. We even lost a war to sweden beacuse they could walk all the way.
+7
Level 72
Aug 11, 2020
I stand by my comment, @Insaniot. Putting Greenland in parentheses also makes it clear that that's why Denmark is included. It should be "Denmark (because of Greenland)", and not "Greenland (which is part of Denmark)". In other words: "Country (reason)", and not "Reason (Country)".
+3
Level 59
Mar 2, 2021
Denmark is a territory of Greenland now.
+1
Level 37
Jan 21, 2018
Iceland? Mainland Denmark?
+3
Level 88
Jan 22, 2018
Very surprised that the eastern extremes of mainland Denmark aren't normally frozen but Germany's are.
+1
Level 45
Jan 23, 2018
United Kingdom should be on the list due to their Oversea Territories in the Antarctic primarily South Georgia and Sandwhich Islands where the sea does freeze around it. And it does not form part of the Antarctic Treaty.
+2
Level 73
Jan 23, 2018
Αs I wrote in a comment above, South Georgia is visible on the maps of the NSIDC as being ice-free throughout the year. The South Sandwich islands are too small to be shown on the map. If anyone cares to provide a source that shows that the sea freezes there, I'll resubmit the quiz.
+2
Level 40
May 21, 2019
Wiki says the sandwich islands generally remain free of pack ice in winter, though ice may form in bays, and icebergs are common. Sea temperatures drop to around 0 Celsius in August and rise to around 4 Celsius in April. Not saying it should be included on the quiz though.
+3
Level 42
Jan 28, 2018
Greenland is not a country!
+2
Level 72
Aug 11, 2020
Agreed. Thus my above commentary.
+1
Level 58
Jun 29, 2022
Greenland certainly is a country. Just not an independent or sovereign country.
+1
Level 50
Apr 2, 2018
But... but... Iceland?
+13
Level 78
May 2, 2018
That is some serious false advertising. I propose we start calling it just "Land".
+4
Level 66
May 21, 2019
I allready learned a long time ago, iceland is green and greenland has ice. Someone wasnt paying attention when naming these.
+2
Level 69
Jul 31, 2020
They have ice on the glaciers.
+6
Level 72
Aug 11, 2020
Well, it's not called Icesea...
+2
Level 21
Feb 9, 2019
冰岛不被接受?
+1
Level 67
Mar 18, 2020
Bīngdǎo méiyǒu dòngjié dì hǎi'àn. Zhèyàng zuò hái bùgòu lěng.
+2
Level 66
Jul 31, 2020
Schreibt's doch in Englisch, ansonstn vastäht jo kana wos! XD
+2
Level 61
Dec 5, 2019
Germany? Really? I have never seen or heard from, only stories about war...
+3
Level 73
Dec 5, 2019
The Baltic freezes quite easily, so especially bays and lagoons near the Polish border often freeze up in winter.
+2
Level 74
Jul 31, 2020
I got to walk on the ice at Churchill, Manitoba this winter. There are still cracks in the ice, from which seals can emerge, much to polar bears' delight.
+1
Level 57
Jul 31, 2020
No Iceland????
+1
Level 50
Jul 31, 2020
Watch comments above about the impact of the Gulf Stream on Iceland.
+1
Level 86
Jul 31, 2020
You can see why the myth arose that Iceland was so named to deter overpopulation. Greenland, on the other hand, may have actually been named by Erik the Red as a way to attract new settlers.
+1
Level 84
Aug 1, 2020
Iceland is still among the coldest countries in the world, even if the coastal waters are sometimes slightly above freezing.
+1
Level 81
Nov 18, 2020
Iceland has plenty of ice on land.
+1
Level 86
Jun 25, 2022
Yeah, like I said...it is a myth that Iceland is a warm place and was so named to deter overpopulation. It is actually quite cold.
+2
Level 66
Jul 31, 2020
I tried Croatia because of this image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senj#/media/File:Winter_bora_in_Senj.jpg This looks so fascinating in my opinion, seeing that I was there in summer and it was HOT
+1
Level 76
Jul 31, 2020
The Adriatic is still liquid behind the very cool frozen stuff.
+1
Level 52
Jul 31, 2020
I'm just wondering why Iceland is not on the list.
+1
Level 50
Aug 1, 2020
Ukraine is very surprising for me! Who would have that that Ukraine gets sea ice, but not the UK or Iceland?
+1
Level 46
Aug 4, 2020
Got all with 1:16 left
+5
Level 53
Aug 4, 2020
This quiz will probably get easier in the near future.
+5
Level 32
Aug 6, 2020
1. read the title of the quiz

2. find it interesting

3. open it

4. play it

5. time ends

6. UKRAINE?!

+4
Level 31
Aug 6, 2020
Only missed Cape Verde and Saint Kitts...
+1
Level 75
Oct 5, 2020
How could you?
+1
Level 36
Jan 1, 2022
Really China?!
+2
Level 43
May 24, 2022
Kinda shocking not Iceland...
+2
Level 72
Jun 25, 2022
I'm guessing the current prevents ice from forming in Chile and Argentina near Tierra del Fuego.
+1
Level 54
Jun 25, 2022
Wait... So you're telling me ICEland's water does not freeze? They should change the name for false advertising or something
+1
Level 26
Jun 25, 2022
ICEland it has ice in its name top 7th most northern country
+2
Level 72
Jun 27, 2022
I just happened to walk past the Finnish fleet of icebreakers the other day. There was some infographics next to the fence, at least in 2011 the Baltic Sea was almost frozen shut and the map showed plenty of ice around Zealand. Maybe this could be enough to take Greenland off and just leave Denmark so people wouldn't get confused.
+1
Level 55
Jun 29, 2022
Source ends in 2010 so I’m guessing that’s why.
+1
Level 73
Jun 30, 2022
The source for the Baltic ends in 2016, but Denmark had no ice along its coast in more than half the winters at the time of the yearly maximum extent over the 20 year period that was taken into account.
+2
Level 55
Jun 29, 2022
I’m honestly surprised that Germany freezes but none of mainland Denmark does.
+1
Level 58
Jun 29, 2022
The sea off Denmark does freeze in some winters, though whether it qualifies as "usual" is open to question.

It's a bit misleading to talk about "mainland Denmark" though as a good chunk of the country including the capital region is situated on islands.

+1
Level 16
Jul 4, 2022
This was hard but fun I got 4 wrong. :)
+1
Level 55
Sep 19, 2022
Ukraine definitely is a tricky one if you don't know that the black sea freezes
+1
Level 49
Dec 13, 2022
I'm surprised Iceland wasn't on this list.