Sub Crew Plants Russian Flag
Expedition reaches North Pole seabed in quest to get jump on turf battle
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2007 4:57 PM CDT
Russian legislator Artur Chilingarov, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, seen during a welcome ceremony at the residence of South African President in Cape Town, in this Tuesday, Sept....   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – A Russian expedition reached the North Pole today and symbolically called dibs on the Arctic in the race to secure the oil-rich territory. Explorers sank a titanium Russian flag into what the team leader called the "yellowish mud" of the sea floor 3 miles deep, which a spokesman likened to "raising a flag on the moon."

But as global warming opens the international waters to economic exploitation, the debate over who gets what is also heating up, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The region is thought to contain 25% of the world's untapped energy resources, motivating Canada, Scandinavian nations, and the US to pass legislation and pour money into competing initiatives.