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Burrowing Under Luminous Ice to Retrieve Mussels

For eight months a year, the flat bay around the village of Kangiqsujuaq in far northern Quebec freezes beneath a white expanse of ice and snow, leaving ravens and foxes as rare signs of life, along with Inuit and their dogs. Throughout the winter the Inuit hunt seal and caribou, and they fish through the ice for arctic char.

But in the coldest months, when the ice is thickest, some venture beneath the ice to gather mussels. Every two weeks the pull of the moon combines with the geography of this region to create unusually large tides. The water falls as much as 55 feet in some places, emptying the bay under the ice along the shore for an hour or more. That’s when some Inuit climb aboard their snowmobiles and head out onto the bay.

Watch a 360 video of the mussel collecting mission.

One recent day I joined two of them, Tiisi Qisiiq, 51, and Adami Alaku, 61, who identified a void and chopped a hole into the ice.

Source: NYT > World

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