30+ Interesting Facts About Greenland

  1. Along with Antarctica, Greenland is the only ice sheet area on earth. Ice sheets are areas permanently covered by ice with a size of more than 50,000 km2
  2. Greenland is also the world’s largest island. It covers an area of more than 2.1 million sq. km. The size of the second largest island, New Guinea, is only 821,400 sq. km.
  3. More than 80% area of Greenland is covered by permanent ice, the largest ice mass in the Northern Hemisphere. It contains nearly 12% of glacier ice in the world. 
  4. According to research, the Greenlandic ice sheet is more than 400,000 years old. Some part of this ice is nearly one million years old. (Source)
  5. The Greenland ice sheet is melting at around 240 cubic km per year. The complete melting of Greenlandic ice will cause the sea level to rise by more than 7 meters (23 feet).
  6. Despite being one of the world’s largest countries by area, the population of Greenland is just over 55,000. Its population density (around 0.03 people per square km2) is the lowest in the world. (Source)
  7. Greenland has the highest suicide rate in the world. The annual suicide rate in Greenland is 100 people per 100,000 inhabitants. This rate is around double that in Japan (51 per 100,000). In contrast to other parts of the world, more suicides are committed by teenagers and young adults in Greenland. Alcoholism, depression, and loneliness are the main causes of these suicides. (Source)
  8. Due to several fjords, roads do not connect different cities in Greenland. Usually, boats are used to cover long distances.
    Glacier and fjord in Greenland
    Boats are the main form of transport due to fjords in Greenland

  9. Narsarsuaq Airport in Greenland is the most dangerous airport in the world. The stormy weather and ice on the runway make landing and takeoff extremely difficult for pilots. (Source)
  10. Greenland is an autonomous constituent country and part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Denmark is only responsible for the defense of Greenland.
  11. Currently, direct flights to Greenland are only available from Iceland and Denmark. Visitors can also reach Greenland through cruise ship. (Source)
  12. In 2017, a rare red Gemstone was discovered in Greenland. These red rubies are the most ancient gemstones on earth, around 3 billion years old. (Source)
  13. More than 90% of the export of Greenland is composed of fishing (shrimp and fish). Greenland exports 85% of its products to Denmark. (Source)
  14. Ilulissat Icefjord is the sea mouth of Sermeq kujalleq in Greenland. Sermeq kujalleq is one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world, which produces more calf ice than any other glacier outside Antarctica. (Source)
  15. The whole of inner Greenland is an ice sheet. The population resides only in coastal areas that constitute tundra climate (ice-free in the summer season).
  16. Northeast Greenland National Park (972,000 km2 in northeast Greenland) is the largest national park and protected land area in the world.
  17. According to estimates, Greenland was initially inhabited by Paleo-Eskimo people around 2500 B.C. Modern Eskimo people (Greenlandic Inuit that constitutes around 90% of Greenland's population) settled here between 1000 and 1400 A.D.
  18. The economy of Greenland depends on whaling and fishing. Commercial fisheries provide more than 90% of income to the country, while whaling ensures meat supply for the domestic market.
  19. According to research, HIV has been introduced in Greenland 25 times. It was introduced initially in the mid-1980s by a Greenlandic homosexual man infected in Denmark. There are at least 174 patients with HIV/AIDS in Greenland out of a total population of 55,000. (Source)
  20. In 1946, the USA offered to purchase Greenland by paying $100,000,000. Denmark rejected this offer.
  21. However, Denmark allowed the USA to establish an airbase in Thule (northwestern Greenland). The USA secretly launched its mobile nuclear program (Project Iceworm) in Greenland to counter USSR. This project failed in 1966 due to the unstable ice conditions of the area, but the Danish government got information about this secret program in 1997.
  22. The highest-ever temperature recorded (Greenland started official weather records in 1958) in Greenland is 26 C. This temperature was recorded on Greenland’s southwest coast in July 2013. (Source)
  23. There are several hot springs in Greenland where the temperature remains around 100 0F. These hot springs are different from such places in Iceland, which formed due to volcanic activity. These Greenlandic hot springs developed due to the rubbing of deep layers of the earth’s crust. (Source)
  24. Thjodhilde Church in Greenland is known as the first church in North America. More than 20 people can pray in this church. (Source)
    21st Century reproduction of Thjodhild church
    First church in North America was established in Greenland

  25. Greenland has been hosting the World Ice Golf championship since 1999. This golf tournament is held on Greenland’s first golf course on the island of Uummannaq.
  26. Greenland is one of the four countries in the world without any trees. The extremely cold climate of Greenland does not support the growth of trees and other plants.
  27. According to a study, Greenland was once green with boreal forests. It happened sometime between 450,000 and 800,000 years ago. (Source)
  28. The Midnight sun is visible in the northernmost towns of Greenland between late April and late August.
  29. Northern lights are visible in Greenland from late August to the beginning of April. These natural lights are observable from various places in Greenland.
  30. There are 3 UNESCO world heritage sites in Greenland. All these sites are near coastal areas on the western and southern parts of the country. (Source)
  31. Suaasat (soup made from seal meat, vegetables, and spices) is the national dish of Greenland. The Greenlanders also like to eat the flesh of narwhals, shrimps, cod, and other fish.
  32. June, July, and August are the warmest months in Greenland. During these months, the temperatures can go above 20 Celsius in southern parts of the country. The air in Greenland is drier than most of the other countries. (Source)
  33. The warmer season is becoming longer in Greenland, thanks to climate change. It can bring more grass for grazing animals but also result in frequent droughts. (Source)


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