Weird and fun facts about Iceland
Weirdness is something that everyone possesses. In fact if you put things into perspective, everything is weird and that’s because human beings have a very profound way of viewing things. Specially travelers who have just begun to explore. If you fire up Google and search for “fun facts about Iceland” you’ll come across many topics about the strange and wonderful things you can do. While some people find it weird, for others it sparks up an intense feeling of curiosity.
WEIRD AND FUN FACTS ABOUT ICELAND
1. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe
While the rest of the world is lamenting over overpopulation, Iceland just breezes by fairly on its own. With only 300,00 inhabitants its considered the least populated country, however being the least populated has its advantages. For one thing space is not an issue, and because there are few people the beauty of nature is left untouched. So if you want to go for an extreme adventure without crowds of people suffocating you Iceland is the place to go.
2. Stay awake for 24 hours – it just doesn´t get dark
In the summertime day and night merge into one and it simply does not get dark at all. This is due to Iceland location on the planet. Some Icelanders do not see the point in sleeping at all when this period is. Instead they use the nights for e.g. midnight golf and they even have a International Arctic Open Golf tournament. The only limit is you own imagination what to do in these summer nights. In the picture you can see a idea what you can do – make balloons and put them on the roof!
3. Mosquitoes do not exist in Iceland
How often have you woken up in the middle of the night because of mosquitoes’? And for some reason they only get bigger as you go from one country to the next. In Iceland mosquitoes do not exist. Mostly because its too cold for them to thrive and partly because the locals are usually bundled up in fur that mosquitoes’ cant feed on them.
4.Local delicacies include fermented shark
In every country there is always food stuff that is considered gross and Iceland is no exception. In fact the smell of Hákarl (fermented shark) which is a traditional Icelandic food, is so strong that it may cause people to vomit. And if fermented fish is not enough to put you off, there’s always the sheep’s head sold whole in every super market. And if that doesn’t whet your appetite you can always order a side of sheep’s testicles. However if you get pass all appearances and smell Icelandic delicacies are actually extremely delicious what’s more if you’re the saucy type. There are a a hundred different sauces available for you to choose from.
5.Iceland is the best nation in the world, according to Icelanders
Every country is proud of itself but no country can ever compete with Iceland with regards its patriotism. Indeed every Icelander knows that Iceland is the best country in the world per capita and in some cases they’re correct. Its not that they’re arrogant, they just really, really love their own country. You can see for yourself in the beer commercial below what we are talking about!!!!
6.Names in Iceland are completely different
In Iceland people are called on a first name basis, since surnames do not exist in the country. Girls are the daughter of their father (for instance Anna Jónsdóttir – Anna, daugther of Jón), and boys are the sons of their fathers (for instance, Gunnar Guðmundsson – Gunnar, son of Guðmundur). Some people want to be named after both parents, such as Anna Tinnudóttir Gunnarsdóttir (Anna, the daughter of Gunnar and Tinna). Women keep their last names when they get married and when looking for someone in the phonebook, you always look under the first name. FIrst names are also pre-approved by the government and any new name should be submitted for consideration.
Everybody is related
In Iceland everyone is somehow related to each other. You can actually go online and look up in Islendingabok (The Book of Icelanders) how someone is related to you. People also try to keep a good contact with their ex-husband/ex-wife as you never know when he/she might turn up in a gathering as a friend of a friend or even as a relative. Icelanders are also very much into genealogy and no wonder when you live in a country with less than 400.000 inhabitants.
Because of the weather and short summers, it´s not really that much you can cultivate in Iceland, unless in greenhouses. Potatoes have though been cultivated in Iceland for centuries and people often have a small potato patch in their garden. Icelanders eat potatoes with almost everything – cooked, barbecued, oven baked, gratinated and pan fried. Icelanders also often grow in their back yards rhubarb, strawberries and other berries, carrots, lettuce and other types of veggies.
Geothermal tub talk
Icelanders love their swimming pools and hot tubs. They gather in the geothermal hot tubs and talk about the weather, politics and whatever comes to mind. It´s normal for strangers to join the conversation and people can sit there and chat for hours. Since we are on the subject of swimming pools, in every swimming pool in Iceland you must take a shower and wash properly before entering the pool and/or hot tub. If not, you will be asked to return to the shower to wash properly! These showers (separate for men/women of course!) are not private showers and foreigners often find it strange how Icelanders can just walk naked to the shower and wash themselves in front of others. Icelanders are used to go swimming from day one and swimming is a part of every kid´s timetable from the age of six to the age of 16, so they are used to this since childhood. Boys are allowed in the women´s locker rooms with an adult female until they turn six. The same goes for girls, they are allowed to go with an adult in the male locker rooms until the age of six.