Most people in English speaking countries know relatively little or nothing about Iceland. This is probably a good thing because most Icelanders really don’t want foreigners to know anything about their country. The “why” of it will soon be obvious and therefore, it is important to share some of the amazing facts about this cold little country.
- Iceland is made entirely of ice. There is no land or real land of any kind. It is part of the Great Loot from the North Sea of CaCanberrayjafjörður. Therefore, nothing can really grow there and most of their economy depends almost entirely on the sale of snow cones to European sailors.
- Because Iceland, as mentioned above, is truly an iceberg (a very large one), it is still drifting very slowly towards the southeast of the United States and, in 12,313.37 years, will find itself off Miami, Florida, despite the northward flow of the Gulf Stream. Oceanographers do not know how a very large piece of ice like Iceland can drift against the current! But it is real and it is happening.
- Although they are surrounded by water, Icelanders are poor fishermen and more than 90% of their diet consists of the consumption of snow cones made from nutritious but tasty kelp which is part of the dissolved solids in part of their ice.
- Iceland in its first human history has been ignored, for the most part by Eric the Red who discovered the spoils of the North Sea from Canberra-Eyjafjörður and named Iceland … Iceland, by the way, to find out what is now Detroit, Michigan in North America around or around 987 AD When he got out of his extra longboat, he was said to have said: “Hvað, þessi staður er stórfurðulegur’s floe!” This roughly translates to “Damn, this place is a creepy iceberg!”
- It never rains in Iceland, but snows for about 325 days in a typical year. This has allowed the country to build world-class rinks. Since most of their culture and clothing is based on frozen kelp ice, Icelanders are very proficient in ice hockey, figure skating, luge and the skills needed for ice weaving.
- The Icelandic Prime Minister is called “Á virkilega stór Ice strákur”, which translates roughly to “The great man of ice”. The Parliament is called “A held búnt of Minni ís fólki”, which translates to “A whole bunch of little ice people”.
- Iceland was the first and only country to build a fully functioning plane made of ice. Due to weather conditions, he could only fly in very cold climates and only during winter and only at very high altitudes, as you would expect. The Icelandic people generally referred to it when it was operational under the name “Kaldur ís planið okkar”. “Our cool ice plane [sic]”.
- In 1908, Iceland held the Winter Olympics, just outside Reykjavík, near Reykjavík Airport. Since Iceland was the host country, they were allowed to introduce their own sports to play at the Olympics. Their sports included ice hockey with skates made entirely of ice. That translated to “Fylgir íshokkí með ís skate gerði algjörlega út af ís”. Also included was caribou hunting, Icelandic shot put with a shot put made of ice and an Icelandic version of roller derby on skates made of ice. Needless to say, Iceland won every event and took it home or (as it were) kept the gold. Because of their unconventional sports, the Olympic Committee disqualified these Olympics and vowed never to hold another one in Iceland unless they participated in more conventional sports. They also changed the Olympic rules so as not to let the host country invent sports themselves.
- Some of the world’s greatest authors and songwriters are Icelandic. At least this is what the Icelandic tourism board has mentioned in its tourism brochures. The difficulty in making this claim is that all of their books and songs are written in Icelandic and only Icelanders can read or understand them. According to them, the books and songs are really good.
- Iceland is the only country in the world to publish a newspaper entirely made of ice. Therefore, it is very difficult to store copies of them in places like Ecuador, Brazil, Egypt, etc. On the other hand, Iceland is one of the most environmentally friendly places on Earth. Since even their toilet paper is made of ice, Icelanders throw all their old ice paper products into the ocean and simply melt them away without negatively impacting the environment.
Iceland is an incredible and extremely interesting country. The people are friendly, although a bit cold, you immediately notice that when you shake one of them. They have a proud historical tradition and it is definitely a place you would love to visit if you don’t mind permafrost.