Baffin Island

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Baffin Island (Inuktitut: ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ, Qikiqtaaluk, French: Île de Baffin, Old Norse: Helluland) in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the largest member of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. It is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world, with an area of 507,451 km2 (195,928 sq mi) and has a population of 11,000 (2007 estimate). Named after English explorer William Baffin, it is likely that the island was known to Pre-Columbian Norse of Greenland and Iceland and may be the location of Helluland, spoken of in the Icelandic sagas (the Saga of Erik the Red (Eiríks saga rauða) and the Grœnlendinga saga).

Contents

Geography

Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut, is located on the southeastern coast. Until 1987, the town shared the name Frobisher Bay with the bay on which it is located.

To the south lies Hudson Strait, separating Baffin from Quebec on the mainland. To the south of the western end of the island is the Fury and Hecla Strait separating the island from the Melville Peninsula on the mainland. To the east are Davis Strait and Baffin Bay, with Greenland beyond. The Foxe Basin, the Gulf of Boothia and Lancaster Sound separate Baffin Island from the rest of the archipelago to the west and north.

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