The first information about the mysterious Sannikov Land dates back to 1810. A merchant from Yakutsk, Yakov Sannikov, who was engaged in the extraction of arctic fox and mammoth bones in the area of the Novosibirsk Islands, said that he saw near the northern outskirts of the island of Kotelny a piece of land that was not mapped.
Another confirmation of the possibility of the existence of an unknown land north of the Novosibirsk Islands was the fact that birds flew there in the spring, returning with their offspring in the fall. So the land was fertile enough for the birds to feed the chicks.
Eight years later, a letter came to the Maritime Ministry stating that representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North confirmed the existence of Sannikov Land. Moreover, this land is inhabited by unknown tribes.
The Russian government took this information very seriously. To search for Sannikov Land, two expeditions were sent at once. One of them was led by the renowned polar explorer Ferdinand Wrangel, and the second was led by Peter Anjou, a young lieutenant in the Russian fleet who later became an admiral. Searches have yielded no results, no unknown land has been found.
Years passed, and in 1886, Arctic explorer Eduard Vasilyevich Toll wrote in his diary that he clearly saw the outlines of four mountains in the same area as Yaov Sannikov. Toll even argued that Sannikov Land could be safely mapped.
Seven years later, the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen set out in search of Sannikov Land on the Fram ship. He did not share Toll's optimism, reaching 79 degrees north latitude, Nansen was never able to find the mysterious Sannikov Land. True, the Norwegian did not completely deny its existence, but he was sure that if it did exist, it was only as a small island, but not a vast territory.
At the very beginning of the 20th century, the Russian Polar Expedition was organized. The indefatigable E. V. Toll never left his dream - to find the Sannikov Land. The expedition ended in tragedy, Toll, along with three companions, went to Bennett Island, and no one else saw them.
Interest in the search for Sannikov Land did not fade away even during the Soviet era. Academician V. A. Obruchev, author of the book "Sannikov Land", decided to continue the work of his predecessors. In the thirties of the last century, the Sannikov Land was searched for with the help of the "Sadko" icebreaker and polar aviation. But, nothing was found. An official conclusion was made - Sannikov Land does not exist.
So, everything that Sannikov and Toll saw was an ordinary mirage? Many scientists disagree. Sannikov's land, indeed, could have existed at the beginning of the 19th century, but it consisted, for the most part, of fossil ice. Under the influence of the wind, sun, sea waves, the ice gradually melted, and Sannikov Land was simply swallowed up by the sea.
In 1973, at Mosfilm, based on the book by V. A. Obruchev, the film “Sannikov's Land” was shot. The heroes of the picture, unlike real researchers, managed to find the mysterious Earth. True, the shooting took place on the ice of the Gulf of Finland and in the Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka.