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Facts about Iceland

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Until the twentieth century, the Icelandic population relied on fisheries and agriculture, and was from 1262 to 1944 a part of the Norwegian and later the Danish monarchies.

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An Air Defense radar network, known as the Iceland Air Defense System (IADS) or Нslenska Loftvarnarkerfiр is operated by Ratsjбrstofnun.

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Iceland is a member of the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), European Economic Area (EEA), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Icelandic women are surprisingly good at soccer compared to the size of the country; the national team ranked the eighteenth best by FIFA.

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In 1949, Iceland became a founding Member of NATO.

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Iceland maintained its independence for the next 300 years, an era also marked by exploration and attempts at settling in what became North America.

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Iceland has four national parks: Jцkulsбrgljъfur National Park, Skaftafell National Park, Snжfellsjцkull National Park, and Юingvellir National Park.

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Iceland is one of the world's most technologically advanced and digitally-connected countries.

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The southwest corner of Iceland is the country's most densely populated region.

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The Hvнtб, among many other of the Icelandic glacial rivers, attracts kayakers and river rafters worldwide.

image: c.pxhere.com
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Iceland has very few mineral or agricultural resources.

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Iceland, a NATO member, has not had a standing army since the nineteenth century, although it has an expeditionary military peacekeeping unit known as the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit or Нslenska Friрargжslan.

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Iceland has extensive genealogical records about its population dating back to the age of settlement.

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The two countries had long been closely allied; Norse mythology and even the language were enshrined in the legendary Icelandic sagas that marked the times.

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After the formation of the Kalmar Union, Denmark took control of Iceland.

image: i.ytimg.com
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Iceland's stock market, the Iceland Stock Exchange (ISE), was established in 1985.

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Today, the closest language still in existence to Icelandic is Faroese.

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Glima is a form of wrestling that is still played in Iceland, though originating with the Vikings.

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Iceland's modern parliament, called "Alюingi" (English: Althing), was founded in 1845 as an advisory body to the Danish king.

image: wto.in.ua
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Without other natural resources (except for abundant hydro-electric power and geothermal power), Iceland's economy is vulnerable to changing world fish prices.

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Iceland is the fifth most productive country in the world based on GDP per capita at purchasing power parity.

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The animals of Iceland are mainly agricultural and include Icelandic sheep, cattle, and the sturdy Icelandic horse.

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Iceland's economy has been diversifying into manufacturing and service industries in the last decade, and new developments in computer software production, biotechnology, and financial services are occurring.

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Many varieties of fish live in the ocean waters surrounding Iceland, and the fishing industry is a main contributor to Iceland’s economy, accounting for more than half of Iceland’s total exports.

image: gingason.is
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The only native tree in Iceland is the northern birch Betula pubescens, whose forests were devastated over the centuries for firewood and building supplies.

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Women retain their names after marriage, since Icelanders generally do not use surnames but patronyms or (in certain cases) matronyms.

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Egil's saga, Laxdaela saga, Grettis saga, Gнsla saga and Gunnlaugs saga are also notable and popular Icelanders' sagas.

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The small island of Grнmsey, off Iceland's northern coast, lies atop the Arctic Circle.

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Iceland joined the United Nations in 1946 and is a founding member of the OECD (then OEEC), the EFTA, and the EEA, as well as subscribing to the GATT.

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Iceland is divided into eight regions, six constituencies (for voting purposes), 23 counties, and 79 municipalities.

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The economy of Iceland is small but well-developed, with a gross domestic product estimated at US$10.57 billion in 2005 (and a per capita GDP of $35,600, which is among the world's highest.

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W. H. Auden and Louis MacNeice wrote Letters From Iceland (1937) to describe their travels through that country.

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Like the other Nordic countries, Iceland has a mixed economy that is mainly capitalistic but supports an extensive welfare state.

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The first people said to have inhabited Iceland were Irish monks, who probably settled there in the eight century.

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The island of Grнmsey on the Arctic Circle contains the northernmost habitation of Iceland.

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Team handball is often referred to as a national sport with Iceland's team one of the top ranked teams in the world.

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In 1940 it was occupied by British forces and in 1941, by invitation from the Icelandic Government, U.S. troops replaced the British.

image: cdn.mbl.is
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Icelanders place a great deal of importance on their Nordic heritage; independence and self reliance are valued as outgrowths of that heritage.

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Currently, Iceland is split up among 26 magistrates that represent government in various capacities.

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Iceland's agriculture industry consists mainly of potatoes, turnips, green vegetables (in greenhouses), mutton, dairy products and fish.

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The main source of information about the settlement period in Iceland is the Book of Settlements (Landnбmabбk), written in the twelfth century, which gives a detailed account of the first settlers.

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The government remains opposed to European Union membership, primarily because of Icelanders' concern about losing control over their fishing resources.

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The original population of Iceland was of Nordic and Celtic origin.

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Iceland has been inhabited since about the year 874 when, according to Landnбmabуk, the Norwegian chieftain Ingуlfur Arnarson became the first permanent Norwegian settler on the island.

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The two countries still shared a ruler, and special trade agreements with Denmark still held for 40 more years until Iceland became a full Republic in 1944.

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The first professional secular painters appeared in Iceland in the nineteenth century.

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Iceland's literacy rate is among the highest in the world, and the nation is well–known for its literary heritage which stems from authors from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries.

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Most Icelanders are either very liberal in their religious beliefs or uninterested in religious matters altogether, and do not attend church regularly.

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The President of Iceland is a largely ceremonial office that serves as a diplomat and head of state.

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Chess is a popular type of recreation favored by the Icelanders Viking ancestors.

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Icelanders enjoy freedom of religion as stated by the constitution; however, church and state are not separated and the National Church of Iceland, a Lutheran body, is the state church.

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Asmundur Sveinsson, a twentieth century sculptor, was also from Iceland.

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Over the next centuries, people of Nordic and Gaelic origin settled in Iceland.

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Today, Iceland is a highly developed country, the world's fifth and second in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and human development respectively.

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The Icelandic National Police consists of over 700 officers; unpaid volunteer Rescue and Civil Defence Units have more than 4,000 active members and 18,000 registered members overall.

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Iceland elected the first female president ever, Vigdнs Finnbogadуttir in 1980; she retired from office in 1996.

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Юorramatur (food of the юorri) is the Icelandic national food.

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Iceland controls Surtsey, one of the youngest islands in the world, which rose above the ocean in a series of volcanic eruptions between November 8, 1963 and June 5, 1968.

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The Althing, Iceland's legislative assembly and court, dates from this era (930 C.E.

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Large-scale construction projects in the east of Iceland (see Kбrahnjъkar Hydropower Project) have also brought in many people whose stay is expected to be temporary.

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The island's spoken language is Icelandic, a North Germanic language.

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Modern Icelandic remains close to the Old Norse spoken in the Viking Age.

image: cdn.mbl.is
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Iceland is situated on a geological hot spot, thought to be caused by a mantle plume, and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

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When humans arrived, birch forest and woodland probably covered 25-40 percent of Iceland’s land area.

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Restrictive trade agreements were instituted between Iceland and Denmark; aggravated by agricultural and natural disasters, resultant famines, and epidemics, the effects of Danish control resulted in misery for the Icelandic people.

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Icelandic society has a high degree of gender equality, with many women in leadership positions in government and business.

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During the last Ice Age almost all of the country was covered by permanent snow and glacier ice, the likely explanation for the low number of living species in Iceland.

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About 8,000 Poles now live in Iceland, 1,500 of them in Reyрarfjцrрur where they make up 75 percent of the workforce who are building the Fjarрarбl aluminium plant.

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Iceland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean just south of the Arctic Circle, 178 miles (287 km) from Greenland, 496 miles (798 km) from the United Kingdom, and 603 miles (970 km) from Norway.

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Iceland was initially a neutral state during the Second World War.

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Among the most popular tourist attractions in Iceland are the geothermal spas and pools that can be found all around the country, such as Blбa Lуniр (The Blue Lagoon) on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

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Many political groups use the Internet to achieve a whole new method of organizing, in order to carry out Internet activism.

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Iceland's best-known classical works of literature are the Icelanders' sagas, prose epics set in Iceland's age of settlement.

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Iceland is a member of the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), European Economic Area (EEA), and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Iceland is stunningly beautiful and unique. In fact, the Vikings who happened upon Iceland thought it was so special; they cleverly named it Iceland in order to detract other settlers from coming to the island. They then named their neighbor to the north, which is made mostly of ice, Greenland.Jan 13, 2009

The Best Time To See The Northern Lights In Iceland. Guaranteed darkness is the first important factor. The best season to see the northern lights in Iceland is from September to mid-April – these are the months where there are full dark nights.Jul 23, 2014

Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice” Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world's most active volcanoes. Iceland is also the land of light and darkness. ... Icelandic authors publish more books per capita than in any other country in the world.

The daylight in Iceland is from mid-May to mid-August and the sun only sets for around 3 hours per day, and there is effectively light for the whole 24-hour period. In midwinter, there are around 5 hours of effective daylight. These long and short periods of daylight add drama to the atmosphere with lingering twilight.

According to the National University's information page, Visindavefur.is, the sun is visible for about 21 hours in Reykjavík on that day. During the winter solstice, on the other hand, the days are dramatically shorter, with only 4 hours of daylight in Reykjavík and a mere 2 hours and 45 minutes in the Westfjords.Mar 21, 2014

Before you ask: No, there is no Uber or Lyft in Iceland so you will have to rely on good old-fashioned taxis for that kind of transportation. ... The taxis all have yellow taxi signs on top of them, except in October when the signs are pink (for breast cancer awareness month).Oct 8, 2016

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