20 Fun Facts About? ICELAND!
1. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe.
2. 71.7% of all energy used in Iceland is produced from own resources. 53.9% of all energy needs in Iceland are met by geothermal energy production (hot springs), while 17.8% off all energy needs are met by hydro-electric production, which comes from the big waterfalls.
3. Life expectancy is 81.3 years for women and 76.4 for men– one of the highest in the world.
4. Many Icelanders believe in elves. Certain roads have been re-routed to avoid disturbing areas where elves are thought to live.
5. Icelandic culture fosters a high level of gender equality and civil rights.
6. An international study done in 2006 ranked Iceland as the “Fourth Happiest Nation” in the world.
7. The popular Nick, Jr. television show Lazy Town was created and is produced in Iceland and is shown in 98 different countries.
8. Among OECD nations, Iceland has the highest number of broadband internet connections per capita.
9. Iceland was the last European country to be settled—sometime during the 9th or 10th centuries when Scandanavian sailors discovered it.
10. Iceland’s first inhabitants were Irish monks, who regarded the island as a sort of hermitage until the early 9th century.
11. More than 90% of Icelanders follow Lutheranism.
12. More than 13% of Iceland is covered by snowfields and glaciers.
13. Icelanders have unique superstitions such as: “If the first calf born during the winter is white, the winter will be a bad one” and “If you sneeze three times before breaking fast on a Sunday, you will gain something in that week.”
14. Iceland’s main industry is fishing.
15. Icelander’s are extremely proud of their Viking heritage and have preserved it in art, music and festivals.
16. The eccentric pop star Bjork hails from Iceland.
17. Iceland has one of the longest work weeks in Europe. Icelander’s are renowned for their dedication productivity.
18. Icelanders value literacy and hold the world record for number of books per capita.
19. In 1980, Icelanders elected Vigdis Finnbogadottir as the world’s first female head of state.
20. Icelandic language has been virtually unchanged for the past 1000 years.
Photo Credit: Niklas Sjöblom
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