Ginnungagap (emptiness, yawning abyss) was the vast, primordial void that existed prior to the creation of the manifest universe, corresponding (both in etymology and in meaning) to the Greek notion of Chaos.
Around 1600, several Icelandic and Scandinavian cartographers applied the name to parts of the Arctic Ocean. 17th century Icelandic bishop Guðbrandur Thorlaksson, for example, used the name Ginnungegap to refer to a narrow body of water, possibly the Davis Strait, separating the southern tip of Greenland from Estotelandia, pars America extrema, probably Baffin Island.
In the northern part of Ginnungagap lay the intense cold of Niflheim, and to the southern part lay the equally intense heat of Muspelheim. The cosmogonic process began when the effulgence of the two met in the middle of Ginnungagap.