Greenland is the largest island in the world, with four different time zones. It was named on Lonely Planet’s top 10 destinations to travel to in 2016. But how much do you really know about Greenland? After reading our list of 7 things everyone should know about Greenland we’re sure it will be top of your bucket list!
1. Greenland is not very Green
Greenland was named by Viking Erik the Red because he wanted to create an idea of a green, lush land in an attempt to attract settlers . An immense ice sheet that spans ofe 1 million square km covers 85% of the country! Temperatures in Greenland are generally below freezing and July is the only month where the temperature actually goes about 0 Degrees Celsius! It may be super cold, but it’s probably one of the most stunning winter wonderlands on Earth.
2. The Midnight Sun and Polar Night
Greenland is dark all winter and bright all summer! For 3- 4 months of the year the sun never sets at all and this is called the midnight sun. During this period the bright sunlight dims slightly at night time to golden orange hues, which is a magnificent sight against the ice and snow.Then for 108 days of the year the sun never rises and Greenland is in darkness and this is called the polar night. This cool phenomenon happens because Greenland is within the Arctic Circle.
3. Greenland has a tiny population
Greenland is the largest island in the world but it’s also the least densely populated country on the planet. Roughly 56,000 people live on the Island of Greenland with 15,000 in the capital city of Nuuk. Most of Greenland is uninhabitable and most of the people live on the ice-free south-west coast where there are stunning fjords.
4. There are no roads in Greenland
Probably due to the ice and snow that covers the country; there are no roads between cities in Greenland. This unusual system has no train tracks, bus lanes and well, there is pretty much nothing.In the summer time people are transported by boat or plane and in the winter time people get around on dog-sleds.
5. Santa Claus lives in Greenland
Santa Claus is from Greenland! Children send their letters to Santa to a big red letter box in the town of Ilulissat. Every year thousands and thousands of letters and sent to Ilulissat. Although there are only 4,500 people in this town, some of the locals volunteer each year to reply to these letters!
6. There is a Greenland Shark
Greenland has its own shark! The Greenland shark can live up to 400 years and is also one of the biggest creatures on Earth (it can grow up to 10 meters!). Sharks usually avoid cold and icy waters, but not this guy! The Greenland shark lurks in the Arctic waters and only comes up to the surface to find food. Although Greenland sharks are blind, they other senses to move through the waters.
7. You can see the World’s Greatest Light Show.
Greenland’s winters are long, cold and dark. But, they are perfect to watch the Aurora Borealis, a.k.a. The Northern Lights. When electric particles from the sun collide with pieces in the Earth’s atmosphere this magical light show happens. You can see the colors of the lights nearly every night. This is one of the most stunning views on Earth and Greenland is the perfect place to take it all in.