The country with the most incorrect name, or 10 interesting facts about Iceland

1. Paradoxical name

The name of the island translates as "ice country." Ironically, the name of neighboring Greenland means "green land. These names should be changed, and there would be a complete match for the climate of each island. But it turns out that the country, where glaciers occupy only 11% of the territory is called icy, and Greenland, where barely 15% of the territory is green, is called green.


2. Smooth climate

Iceland's climate is what they call "one color winter and one color summer." Icelanders can wear the same clothes all year round. And all because winters are warm (temperatures rarely fall below -5 ° C), and summers, on the contrary, are cold (maximum you can count on is +22 ° C). But you will not feel the heat in any case - the wind on the island is incredibly strong and blows all year round. Therefore, a hat on his head - is an indispensable detail of every Icelander's clothing.


The winds blow on the island all the time / Photo: ©

3. only a quarter of the territory is habitable

Iceland is the largest volcanic island in the world. Active, dormant and extinct volcanoes occupy more than half of the territory. The whole middle of the island is deserted and uninhabitable. People are settled only along the coast and valleys of mountains adjacent to the shoreline.


4. No mosquitoes or trees in Iceland

The reason for the absence of mosquitoes on the island is very simple - the mosquitoes simply do not have time to complete their life cycle in conditions of sharp and frequent changes in the weather. What a paradise for a typical average Russian. 😊


And as for trees, there are very, very few of them. They do not grow in the middle of the island because of volcanic activity and specific soil composition. And in the relatively rich and fertile coastal part there are no trees because they were cut down by the Vikings in the Middle Ages, so they still can't grow. The government of the country, of course, is taking all the efforts to restore the forest cover, but so far without success.


5. Unique nature

Nature is Iceland's greatest treasure. Everyone has heard of geysers. The most famous of them the Great Geysir just gave the name to all the hot springs of the planet. The concentration of volcanoes per unit area of the island is impressive. And what are the names of these volcanoes! Only Eyjafjallajökull, which made a stir in Europe in 2010, what is worth. The pride of the country and a dream of every tourist is also a unique geothermal lake "Blue Lagoon", a huge pool of hot water in the middle of the lava field, the temperature of which is +37 ° C all year round.


6. High life index

Icelanders, along with the Japanese, are the planet's top long-livers. Average life expectancy in Iceland is 83.2 years, and it is a very decent result. Only the Japanese live longer - 84.4 years. Interestingly, the Icelanders themselves can not explain the reason for their longevity. But scientists are inclined to two factors, the same in Japan and in Iceland. The first is the climate, due to the fact that it is an island. The second is the fish-rich diet.

The unique climate and nature contribute to longevity. 


7. Iceland is one of the 10 safest countries in the world

There is no crime here. In the word no crime at all. The prison in the capital Reykjavik is always empty and the police walk the streets unarmed. You can leave your wallet on the table in the bar and come back for it in an hour. The wallet will be waiting for you. House doors here, if they are even locked, the key is placed under the mat. Children go to school unaccompanied, and parents quietly leave strollers with sleeping babies on the sidewalk to have coffee at a nearby coffee shop.


8. Iceland has no army.

The army, as a permanent armed organization, is simply non-existent. The largest paramilitary force is the Coast Guard, which patrols the coastal waters. Iceland does not need armed forces, as it is a member of NATO and in case of any aggression (I wonder who would think of attacking it?), fellow allies would be obliged to help.


9. The Icelandic language is unique

The amazing fact is that Icelanders speak in breath. Try saying any word, even a short one, with your breath. It's funny, isn't it? And for Icelanders it is normal. Moreover, the Icelandic language has not changed for centuries and the Icelanders are proud of the fact that they can read ancient sagas about the Vikings.


10. Icelanders have no family names.

Instead of surnames, patronymics are used, which are formed as the father's name plus an ending: "son" if a son; "dottir" if a daughter. For example, the name of the world-famous Icelandic singer Björk sounds like Björk Gudmundsdottir (daughter of Gudmund).


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