The North Pole is home to 13% of the world's undiscovered oil reserves, and roughly a third of natural gas deposits lie under the Arctic. These U.S. Geological Survey figures might explain why a group of countries known as the Arctic Five -- Russia, Norway, Canada, the U.S. and Denmark are strategically battling out the future of the natural resource-rich waters.
The most recent to eye the delicate region? Denmark, Greenland, and the Farou Islands. AFP reports the Danish government Monday presented its "Arctic Strategy" from 2011-2020, laying out its intentions to claim the North Pole seabed by 2014 at the latest. Business Insider explains the plan would extend their current ownership to northern Greenland, a self-governing Danish territory.
Under international law, no country actually owns the Arctic Ocean or the North Pole. But, according to the U.N. Convention Of The Sea, countries bordering the Arctic are currently entitled to a 200 nautical mile economic zone from their coastlines, and if a country can prove an extended continental shelf, they'll gain sovereignty of up to 350 miles.