An Introduction To: Greenland
When contemplating your next holiday – even, your next adventure trek, Greenland is seldom most people’s first idea. An explorer’s dream, in this vast country you’ll experience the Northern Lights, icebergs bigger than you can contemplate, unreal jagged landscapes, a quietness you never knew existed and more.
It is one of those places that is not often talked about or seen through the eyes of a tourist. It is as remote as remote can get, and you can understand how this old saying “When you’ve seen the world, there is always Greenland!” came into being.
The northeast Greenland ice sheet has lost more than 10 billion tons of ice a year since 2003, according to a Nature Climate Change study.
The sun does not set from May 25th to July 25th. June 21, the longest day of the year, is a national holiday. July is the only month when Greenland’s temperature reaches above freezing.
- Greenland has a population of roughly 57,000, about 15,000 of whom live in the capital Nuuk.
- With more sled dogs than people, the 3,500 inhabitants of East Greenland are settled into only two towns and six villages on the entire 1,600-mile coastline.
- The Greenland ice sheet, roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland, is the second largest ice body in the world, after the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
- It is the largest island in the world
- The name Greenland means “Land of People.”
- Almost 80 percent of the land mass is covered by an ice cap and glaciers. Though a minority of land, the ice-free area is nearly as large as Sweden.
- Sealing, whaling, hunting and fishing are the primary sources of income for inhabitants in Greenland. In recent years, the country’s tourism industry has been expanding as well.
- Scientists have estimated that the Greenland ice sheet is between 400,000 and 800,000 years old.
- Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953, when it became a country.
- The inhabitants of Greenland originated from Central Asia.
- The country is geographically part of North America, but politically is part of Europe.
- “Kayak” and “igloo” are Greenlandic words that have been adopted directly by other languages.
- The official languages of the country are Greenlandic and Danish, though English is widely understood.