Cosmas Indicopleustes wrote of large islands on the other side of the arctic which would perhaps correspond with North America.
If that is the case, then he was mistaken to assert that they are uninhabited.
However, ancient Greek geographers believed in hyperborea which was a land located "beyond the north wind in a region of eternal sunlight".
The other possibility is that the lands which he spoke of are actually located in the arctic and remain uncharted in recent centuries.
The famous sixteenth century cartographer Gerhard Mercator wrote about islands of mountains in the arctic and included them in his chart of the North regions. MERCATOR ARCTIC CHART (DETAIL)
Complete Chart: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-l4zG_gVZEmo/TsZKPwmkxVI/AAAAAAAACKs/TjggPDc5ehU/s1600/Meru+%252811%2529.jpg
Both Cosmas Indicopleustes and Aethicus of Istria wrote of a great mountain in the arctic around which the sun, moon, and stars orbited. The shadow cast by this mountain creates night upon the parts of the world opposite to the sun. The eighteenth century Russian scientist Lomonosov tried to find the location of this mountain, and Catherine the Great of Russia sent a fleet of ships to the arctic seek out this mountain.Russian Scientist Finds Paradise at North Polehttp://english.pravda.ru/science/mysteries/29-11-2006/85697-paradise-1/
This is the basis of the old view of a land mass in the North. It is the view reflected in the Bible in the Book of the prophet Isaiah 14 when Satan declares his intention to ascend to the top of the great mountain in the recesses of the North.
The great arctic mountain is as common to the most ancient histories of every nation and cosmographical tradition as the flood of Noah.
'The King of the World
' by Rene Guenon reproduces details of ancient traditions about the arctic mountain amd what it is called in various religions and traditions. It is called Mehru by the Hindus and Buddhists. The zoroastrians and later the Sufis have traditions about it as well.
The tabernacle of Cosmas Indicopleustes.
A degree of mystery and imprecision surrounded the arctic for most people until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when the self-contradictory claims of Robert Peary and Frederck Cooke became widely accepted. The widespread acceptance of their manifest lies ended realistic thinking about the arctic region.
I do not endorse the belief of Marshall Gardner that the world is a hollow globe, but he did an excellent job of refuting the claims of Peary and Cooke which cannot withstand scrutiny. Was the North Pole Discovered? http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/jei/jei12.htm Two Congressional Opinions on Peary and Cooke http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/jei/jei13.htm
The logical conclusion is that uncharted regions of the arctic remain inspite of the artifical and inadequate coordinate system superimposed upon the north, and both the farthest North and other regions have not been reached by modern explorers.