Geologically, speaking the gorgeous country of Iceland is amongst the world’s youngest islands and among the last places that humans settled in. Contrary to popular belief, Iceland does not boast large natural reserves of ice, unlike Greenland. There are several other interesting facts about this nation and the top 10 interesting facts about Iceland are listed below.
1- Unique naming tradition
Icelandic parents often choose traditional first names for their children, if however they wish choose a name that has not been previously used in the nation, the Icelandic Naming Committee is required to approve the name. The limited list of approved first names and the lack of family names is quite a unique feature of Icelandic names. Yes, Icelanders do not inherit family names which may define their lineage, which is why women cannot adopt the names of their husbands, as there isn’t any such name.
Second names of children generally comprise of the parent’s middle name apart from the word ‘daughter’ for women and ‘son’ for men, meaning Jón’s daughter will be addressed as Jónsdóttir and the son as Jónsson.
2- No Army, Air Force or Navy
Among the few nations of the world, which do not have an army is this marvellous nation of Iceland. Moreover, Iceland does not possess an air force or navy, as the coast guard is responsible for safeguarding and law enforcement. Being a member of NATO, Iceland participates in peacekeeping initiatives.
3-Coca Cola Consumption
Coca-Cola is popular globally; however when highest per capita consumption is considered Iceland tops the list.
The sole city of Iceland is its capital city named Reykjavík meaning Bay of Smokes and is inhabited by 60% of the country’s population, while the remaining resides in small villages.
5- Midnight Golf
Iceland experiences 24 hours of uninterrupted and absolutely brilliant sunlight in June and July, which means a time to indulge in outdoor activities. Icelanders use these months to play golf in the midnight, since it isn’t just enjoyable it is also a surreal experience.
Poll results achieved over an extended period of time make it apparent that a majority of citizens of Iceland believe in the existence of elves. These elves possess magical abilities and are said to reside in the rocky areas of the nation, where they may cause trouble if humans were to disrupt their lives. This belief is further strengthened by the fact that bulldozers malfunction in such sites.
7- The Yule lads
A majority of nations celebrate Christmas or a similar holiday/festival; however there are always some differences, which is why Iceland has the Yule Lads in place of Santa Claus. These descendents of trolls were mentioned by parents to scare their children. However, this technique employed by parents was made illegal in 1700, gradually making these lads a part of Christmas.
8- Icelandic cuisines
Traditional Icelandic cuisine is extremely unique since, it includes dishes such as súrsaðir hrútspungar i.e. cured and boiled testicles of rams, lundabaggi i.e. cured loins of sheep, hákarl i.e. rotten shark meat and svið i.e. signed sheep’s head.
9- No railways
Iceland is among the large countries that do not possess any public railway system.
10- Highest no. of writers per capita
The list of top 10 interesting facts about Iceland would remain incomplete without mentioning that this nation boasts the highest number of artists and authors per capita.