Iceland is a Nordic Island Country, located at the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Ocean. It is the most sparsely populated country in Europe, and its capital city, Reykjavik is the most northern capital in the world. Read some interesting facts about Iceland below:
# 1-Iceland’s Glaciers
Iceland is a small state, about the size of Ohio. About 11% percent is covered by glaciers, and 8% of that is covered by one glacier: Vatnajökull. Three of the five glaciers are the largest ones in Europe.
#2- Iceland or Greenland?
Apparently, the name of Iceland isn’t as accurate as you might have thought. It seems that Iceland should have been called Greenland and the other way around. In winter, it doesn’t get as cold as in New York, for instance.
#3- Midnight Sun
During summer days, the sun can shine up to 24 hours a day due to the country’s northerly position. This phenomenon is known as Midnight Sun.
#4- Aurora Borealis
This area experiences Aurora Borealis during winter, mostly on clear nights. The sun shines only 4-5 hours a day.
#5- Geologically Active
Iceland is one of the most geologically active spots, because it sits at the joint of the Eurasian and North American continental plates. Iceland has some geologically unique places such as the rifts at Thingvellir and Geysir and daily mini earthquakes.
It has hundreds of waterfalls, out of which Gullfoss and Dettifoss are the most powerful in Europe.
#7- Surtsey Island
Is the youngest place on Earth and can be found in the Westman Islands in Iceland. It came up from the ocean floor during a volcanic eruption in 1963 and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Is the home of over 130 volcanoes, out of which only 40 have erupted in the past 1000 years. On average, a volcano erupts every 5 years. Though Hekla caused massive destruction in the past, the last volcano to have erupted is Grímsvötn in May 2011.
Between the years of 1915 and 1989, beer was banned on this territory. In 1915, an alcohol prohibition was established, which lasted until 1935. However, beer remained prohibited.
It is the unofficial national beverage. It’s also called “The Black Death” and it contains 40% alcohol. It’s slightly ironic that Icelanders banned beer, as opposed to this drink.
The Icelandic language has stayed the same for over 1000 years. It derives from a old Norse language. Instead of borrowing new words from other languages, new words are made from existing phrases. There is no Icelandic word for Please.
Icelanders have some odd delicacies in their menu, such as whale, puffin, sheep head, ram testicles, horse and shark.
#13- Healthy Food
Typically, Icelandic food is really healthy and organic. There, eating organic isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle. For instance, they have a really thick yogurt with high level of protein and no fat called Skyr.
#14- Old McDonald had a farm…
But not in Iceland! There are no McDonald’s in Iceland anymore. The last 3 were closed in 2009. You’ll find however KFC and Taco Bell.
#15- Coca Cola
Icelanders consume the most Coca Cola than any other nation on Earth. They claim to do so because it tastes better than in other countries because it’s made with Icelandic water and not corn syrup.
Tipping isn’t necessary, as it is added in the total check. However, they’re not offended if you still offer them a tip.
#17- Santa Claus
In Iceland, Santa has 13 brothers called the Yule Lads. They bring small gifts to children during the last 13 days till Christmas.
Most Icelanders believe in Elves and other mystical creatures such as trolls. They even constructed roads that don’t go through the places in which Elves are believed to live, in order to not disturb them.
Is the national clothing article. It’s a woolen sweater that has its origins around the 20th century.
#20- Excellent Quality of Life
Icelanders have the longest work weeks in Europe. However, they also have the longest life expectancy and was ranked in 2007 as the number one most developed country.
Iceland was the last of the European countries to be settled, in the 9th or 10th century when Scandinavian sailors discovered it. The first inhabitants were Irish monks and Vikings.
#22- Viking Heritage
Icelanders are very proud of their Viking heritage and they have preserved it in their art, music and festivals.
Is the main industry in Iceland. The most commonly caught fish is the Cod. However, Iceland also allows commercial whaling.
Iceland harnesses hydro and geothermal energy to power more than 80% of the country. They most probably will sustain themselves entirely by 2050.
#25- Human Rights
Iceland culture is based on a high level of gender equality and civic rights. In 1996, a law that permitted same sex partnership was passed, and in 2006 gay couples received all the rights of heterosexual couples. In 2010, gay marriage was made legal.
#26- Crime Rate
The crime rate in Iceland is very low, and guns are illegal. ( except those used for hunting). Even the policemen don’t carry guns.
There are no surnames in Iceland. A child will have the father’s name with the adding of “son” and “dottir” ( daughter). For example a man whose father’s name is Jon would be called Jonsson and a woman would be called Jonsdottir. Ocassionaly the mother’s name is used.
#28- Phone Books
List Icelanders by their name, in alphabetical order. To help disambiguation, they also list people’s professions.
Iceland doesn’t have an army, navy or air force. If an Icelander wants to join the army, he can do so in the Norwegian Army.
Iceland’s flag has 3 colors: white for snow, blue for the ocean and red for fire.
Photos Source: pinterest.com
Top incoming search terms:
- iceland rift
- Strong viking
- rift iceland