It is known as the “Crystal Eye” to the Inuit, Pingualuit Crater was once the destination, for diamond-seeking prospectors. But the important treasure is the stories its deep waters can tell. The plane banked to the proper, hard. As we took a primary sweep at the runway. – or, rather, the short stretch of bumpy land within the Arctic tundra that might function as one. – an alarm sounded, the lights above the emergency exits flashed red, and therefore the sound of the aircraft’s engines roaring back to action-filled the most cabin. My stomach lurched. It was an exhilarating introduction to the far north of Quebec, during a region referred to as Nunavik. Comprising the highest third of Canadian province (larger than the US state of California and twice the dimensions of Great Britain) fringed by frayed edges of a peninsula referred to as Ungava, most people don’t even realize it exists. But that wasn’t always the case. Back in 1950, this area was splashed across newspapers globally and pegged because the eighth wonder of the planet. Not due to the wilderness, and undue to any manmade structure, but due to the distinct land feature I used to be now flying over en route to require another shot at the runway: Pingualuit Crater. I looked out of the window to distract myself from our second landing attempt and thought how apt a moniker it had been.
Significantly, With a diameter of nearly 3.5km and a circumference overflow of 10km, it wasn’t only its size that distinguished it, but also its symmetry. Almost perfectly circular and crammed with water, the crater seemed as if an enormous had discarded a compact mirror on the bottom, which our small Twin Otter aircraft was now reflected in, appearing as no quite a small speck of dust.