The long Arctic night ended earlier this week, with the sun rising for the first time in months over Greenland’s most westerly town, Ilulissat.
Residents staggered out of their doors, blinking and deeply regretting that last beer; and feeling that surely it wasn’t quite time to get up yet.
And it wasn’t. The sunrise, beautiful as it was, came at about one in the afternoon on Tuesday. All very well, but they’d not been expecting it until yesterday.
There are, of course, conflicting theories about how this could have happened. Those notorious treehuggers at the Daily Mail have the frankly ludicrous explanation that it’s the horizon that’s changed. The icecaps have shrunk, its ‘experts’ suggest, so the sun peeks over the top a little sooner.
But others have more insight.
“If the sun has arrived 2 days early, then surely this is proof that the pole has shifted. Shifted quite a lot to cause Greenland to be 2 days further south,” says one bright spark on the David Icke forum.
Over at Tinfoil Palace, meanwhile, they’re pointing out that the sun is setting late in Montana. “I arrived home from work at 5:20pm. It should have been pitch dark outside, but the sun was still hovering on the horizon,” says Periol.
And it’s doing other weird things too, says Pamela:
“Something about the light is wrong. I noticed it this summer past. Several times I had to go inside because it made me nervous,” she says. “I think ‘they’ know what’s happening and are keeping it a secret.”
In fact – you guessed it – it’s all our fault. We keep a small herd of mammoth near Ilulissat, you see, and they’re used to being milked just after dawn.
The TechEye secretary’s astrolabe was on the blink, and she booked the wrong flights, meaning we’d get there too early. Changing flights is always a bit of a bugger, so we thought it easiest to speed up the Earth’s rotation for a bit instead.
If you check your sunset against the times in the paper tonight, you’ll find we’ve straightened it out.