Iceland, the unique land of fire, ice, and Icelanders. Why has Iceland become such a popular touristic destination recently? Its territory certainly is developed on 2 tectonic plates, here there are waterfalls at every corner and there is the largest glacier in Europe. These strange and interesting facts about Iceland may surprise you the most!
1 In Iceland there are no mosquitoes
… and it doesn’t depend on the climate: in Norway there are 28 species and so in Great Britain. It might be natural to think about the cold, but you must know that mosquitoes survive even in Siberia. So what’s the reason? Probably the cause lies in the mainly volcanic soil of the island: this ensures that there is not enough moisture to allow the larvae to survive.
2 Iceland has more than 200 volcanoes
…and Icelanders get 25% of their energy needs from volcanoes.
3 It is the land of the Elves
Many Icelanders believe in the existence of elves and protect them: in 2013 an elf defense committee has prevented the construction of a highway because this would have destroyed the habitat of the elves.
4 Icelanders publish and read more books than any other people
But Icelanders also write: it is estimated that one in 10 Icelanders has published or will publish a book.
5 The sun hardly rises in the summer
It is like a state of permanent sunset: for most of the “night”, the sun travels parallel to the horizon. It sets at midnight and rises at 3 in the morning.
6 Surnames are not used
The traditional Nordic naming system is the one used by the Icelanders, meaning that children add “son” or “dóttir” (daughter) to the father’s first name.
7 Among his records is that of having the oldest parliament: it dates back to 930 AD.
8 The inhabitants do not perceive any social divide and any difference between classes
… and social tensions are non-existent. This is confirmed by a study on the Icelandic class system made by the University of Missouri, according to which only 1.1% of Icelanders see themselves as an upper class, and 1.5% as a lower class. All the others, however, and they are over 97%, perceive themselves as “middle class”.
9 Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the world
According to a 2011 United Nations study, Iceland’s murder rate between 1999-2009 never went above 1.8 per 100,000 population.
10 The smallness of the population means that Icelanders are often related to each other
In order to avoid having relations between relatives, they use an app, “Islendingabók” (the book of Icelanders), which helps them understand the degree of kinship between them.
11 McDonald’s does not exist in Iceland
As rare as mosquitoes and water heaters: in Iceland, not even in the capital, you will find a McDonald’s burger.
12 Icelandic yogurt
On the shelves of Icelandic supermarkets, you will find packages that you might think are yogurt, but they are not. It’s called Skyr, it tastes of yogurt, similar to Greek yogurt, but it actually is a cheese made from pasteurized skimmed milk and bacterial culture.