Greenland is the largest island on our planet, with an area of over 2, 000, 000 square kilometers. At the same time, the population of Greenland is about 60, 000 people. It is easy to calculate that there are more than 35 square kilometers for each islander.
13 interesting facts about Greenland
- One can only guess who the first settlers of Greenland were. Europeans first visited here at the end of the 10th century, they 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 purely an advertising stunt, with the aim of attracting 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 the modern Eskimos, who are called the indigenous population, appeared in Greenland much later than Europeans, only in the 13th century.
- The island of Greenland belongs to Denmark, despite the fact that it exceeds the territory of this country 50 times. Once Greenland was a Danish colony, but since 1979, Greenland has been granted autonomy in internal affairs. And since 1953, representatives of Greenland have received seats in the Danish parliament.
- The largest settlement and administrative center of Greenland is the city of Gothob; the local population calls it Nuuk more often. It has 17, 000 inhabitants. The city is home to the University of Greenland, 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 settlement.
- Chess grandmaster Mads Andersen was born in this town in 1995. In addition, Gothob is home to some famous skiers and biathletes. For example, skier Jonas Olsen took part in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with the Danish national team. But, the real pride of the Greenlanders is the footballer Jesper Grenkjer, who played 80 caps for the Danish national team.
- The Greenland National Museum is located in Gothob. It contains a unique collection of exhibits that testify to the centuries-old history of this island. Here you can see examples of the Eskimo folk costume, dog sleds, kayaks, as well as works of arts and crafts.
- Another attraction in the capital of Greenland is the home of Santa Claus. Every year before Christmas and the New Year, a huge number of letters from all over the world come to the local post office, asking them to fulfill their most cherished desires.
- Greenland has long attracted the attention of the US government. In 1946, the Americans even tried to buy the island from Denmark by offering $ 100, 000 million, but they were resolutely refused. 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 Kielsen said the island was not for sale.
- In parts of Greenland, the ice is three kilometers thick. If all the 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 that a huge 420, 000 ton iceberg broke away in June 1910. This event could have gone unnoticed, but the ocean liner Titanic collided with this block in April 1912. Almost 1, 500 passengers were killed in the crash. And the iceberg itself ran aground near Franz Josef Land and gradually melted.
- Greenland's harsh climate makes it difficult for the locals to be fully self-sufficient in food. Only fish is obtained in abundance here, but all other products have to be imported from other countries. Therefore, food prices are very high here. It is not surprising that fish is included in most of the national dishes of the indigenous people of Greenland. Moreover, they eat it raw, without any heat treatment.
- Greenland's transport links are rather poorly developed. There are four airports on the island, but only one of them is capable of receiving international planes. Of course, there are no railways here, the highway connects only two neighboring settlements - Ivittuut and Kangilinguit. But dog sledding is common in the 21st century.
- The small town of Upernavik, located in northwestern Greenland, has a harsh climate. Even in summer, the temperature 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 has hardly been affected by civilization. It is here that the world's largest National Park is located, which is included in the list of reserves of world importance.