Greenland is the largest island on our planet, the area of which is more than 2,000,000 square kilometers. At the same time, the population of Greenland is about 60,000 people. It is easy to calculate that for every islander accounts for more than 35 square kilometers.
13 interesting facts about Greenland
- One can only guess who were the first settlers of Greenland. Europeans first visited here at the end of the 10th century; these were the Vikings, led by Eric Torvaldson the Red. It is strange that the Vikings called this island Greenland, which means "green land." After all, most of the island is covered with eternal ice. Some researchers believe that this name was a purely advertising move, in order to attract settlers to this land. Even before the arrival of the Europeans, Arctic peoples lived here, but by the 10th century they were no longer on the island. But the descendants of modern Eskimos, who are called the indigenous population, appeared in Greenland much later than Europeans, only in the XIII century.
- The island of Greenland belongs to Denmark, despite the fact that it exceeds the territory of this country by 50 times. Greenland was once a Danish colony, but since 1979, Greenland has been granted autonomy in internal affairs. And since 1953, representatives of Greenland received seats in the Danish Parliament
- The largest settlement and administrative center of Greenland is the city of Gothob, the local population calls it more often Nuuk. It is home to 17,000 inhabitants. In the city is Greenland University, the only one on the island. In recent years, Gothob has become a tourist center; tourists from all over the world come to this exotic village.
- In 1995, the chess grandmaster Mads Andersen was born in this town. In addition, Gothob is home to some famous skiers and biathletes. For example, skier Yunas Olsen participated in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with the Danish national team. But, the real pride of the Greenlanders is the football player Jesper Grencier, who played 80 matches for the Danish national team.
- The Greenland National Museum operates in Gothob. It contains a unique collection of exhibits that testify to the centuries-old history of this island. Here you can see samples of the Eskimo folk costume, dog teams, kayaks, as well as works of decorative art.
- Another attraction of the capital of Greenland is the house of Santa Claus. Every year before Christmas and New Year, a huge number of letters from around the world come to the local post office, which contain a request to fulfill the most cherished desires.
- Greenland has long attracted the attention of the US government. In 1946, the Americans even tried to buy this island from Denmark, offering $ 100,000 million, but received a decisive refusal. However, in 1951, an American military base was opened in Greenland. Recently, the question of buying Greenland was again raised by US President Donald Trump. But, Greenland’s Prime Minister Kim Kilsen said the island is not for sale.
- In some areas of Greenland, ice thickness reaches three kilometers. If all Greenland ice melts as a result of global warming, then the level of the World Ocean will rise by 7 meters.
- It was from the Greenland glacier in Melville Bay in June 1910 that a huge iceberg weighing 420,000 tons broke off. This event could go unnoticed, but the ocean liner Titanic collided with this block in April 1912. Almost 1,500 passengers became victims of the disaster. And the iceberg itself ran aground near Franz Joseph Land and gradually melted.
- The harsh climate of Greenland does not allow local residents to fully provide themselves with food. Only fish is abundant here, but all other products have to be imported from other countries. Therefore, food prices are very high. It is not surprising that fish is part of most of the national dishes of the indigenous inhabitants of Greenland. Moreover, they eat it raw, without any heat treatment.
- Greenland transport links are rather poorly developed. There are four airports on the island, but only one of them is capable of receiving international flights. There are, of course, no railroads; the highway connects only two neighboring settlements - Ivittuut and Kangilinguit. But dog sledding is also common in the 21st century.
- The small town of Upernavik, located in the north-west of Greenland, has a harsh climate. Even in summer, the temperature here rarely rises above 5 degrees Celsius. Upernavik is one of the coldest settlements on Earth. But, its name is optimistic, from the language of the Eskimos it is translated as "spring place".
- At the beginning of the 21st century, Greenland remains one of the few corners of the planet that civilization has hardly affected. It is here that the largest National Park in the world is located, which is included in the list of nature reserves of world significance.