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10 Things You Might Not Know About Greenland

10 Things You Might Not Know About Greenland

Contemplating the big measurement of Greenland, it’s shocking how simply most individuals overlook that it even exists. This northern big ranks low in reputation because of the harsh local weather, darkness, isolation, and problem of reaching Greenland within the first place.

Nevertheless, in recent times, the island has attracted extra vacationers and companies than ever earlier than. Some companies have realized that there’s a lot extra to Greenland than snow and ice. And vacationers have found out that the island’s historical past, tradition, and pure magnificence are just some of its fascinating options.

10 Geography

Greenland is taken into account to be an unbiased territory inside the Kingdom of Denmark. Though Greenland principally operates by itself, it nonetheless depends on Denmark for some issues, corresponding to safety and a considerable subsidy which provides almost 60 % of presidency revenues.

With an space of two.2 million sq. kilometers (zero.84 million mi2), Greenland is the most important island on the planet. As a result of a comparatively small inhabitants of fewer than 57,000 individuals, it additionally has the world’s lowest inhabitants density. Round 30 % of the inhabitants lives within the capital metropolis of Nuuk.

Roughly 80 % of Greenland is roofed in ice. All of the cities are constructed on the shoreline as a result of that’s the solely ice-free space. Regardless of its relations with Europe, Greenland is geographically thought-about to be part of North America.[1]

9 Inhabitants

Greenland has two main languages—Greenlandic and Danish. Greenlandic accommodates many lengthy phrases and troublesome pronunciations which makes it one of many hardest languages to study. The island is known as Kalaallit Nunaat (“land of the individuals”) in Greenlandic.

The native inhabitants of Greenland are referred to as Greenlandic Inuits. In the present day, roughly 80 % of Greenland’s inhabitants is of Inuit or combined Inuit and Danish heritage. Foreigners typically mistake them for Eskimos, which a number of the inhabitants discover offensive.

The southwest coast, the place a lot of the Greenlanders stay, averages 10 levels Celsius (50 °F) in the course of the warmest months of summer time. In the meantime, winter temperatures within the space are likely to common -Eight levels Celsius (18 °F). Northern Greenland is far colder as compared.

Greenlandic Inuits are extraordinarily reliant on fishing, whaling, sealing, and attempting to find survival. In lots of villages, profitable hunters are seen as heroes. A big catch or a uncommon polar bear kill receives excessive reward and is a trigger for celebration. Fortunately, the chilly local weather and isolation haven’t stopped the locals from feeling real affection for the land on which they reside.[2]

Eight World’s Largest Nationwide Park

Two ministries involved with housing, searching, agriculture, fisheries, and setting share the obligation of nature conservation in Denmark and Greenland. The departments cooperate in regulating the exploitation of pure assets and making certain the security of protected areas.

The Northeast Greenland Nationwide Park was established in 1974. Later, in 1988, it was expanded to its present world report–holding measurement of zero.97 million sq. kilometers (zero.38 million mi2). The park protects huge areas of the Greenland ice sheet together with many animal species that reside there, together with the polar bear, arctic fox, arctic hare, beluga whale, walrus, and snowy owl.

Presently, probably the most vital menace to the park is local weather change. Quickly melting snow is more likely to trigger a harmful sea degree improve. Aside from that, the park is comparatively protected as most human interference has been stored away by its inaccessibility.[3]

Nevertheless, people are usually not totally absent. Researchers are drawn to this area and perform numerous scientific surveys and expeditions. Some vacationers additionally want to discover the park themselves. However the one individuals with common entry are sealers and whalers from Ittoqqortoormiit, probably the most distant cities in Greenland.

7 Named By Vikings

The historical past of how Greenland acquired its identify is slightly sketchy, however it’s extensively believed that the island was named by Vikings. Or one Viking particularly—Erik the Pink. It was rumored that he found Greenland after being exiled from Iceland for committing homicide.

Though Erik the Purple was in all probability not the primary individual to discoverer the island, he was undoubtedly the primary settler and survived there for a number of years. As soon as his exile expired, Erik needed to draw extra settlers. It might be difficult to persuade somebody to journey to a chilly, barren, and inhospitable land. Based on fashionable legend, that’s the reason Erik painted the island as an exquisite place to settle and referred to as it Greenland.

There are different theories about how Greenland acquired its identify. One means that the “inexperienced” a part of Greenland is a translation error. Some assume the island was truly named “Gruntland” as an alternative, which might translate to “Floor Land” in English.[4]

6 Largest And Greatest-Preserved Pre-Columbus Constructing Stays In The Americas

Greenland can also be house to the Hvalsey Church, one of many first Christian church buildings in North America. There have been 10–14 church buildings inbuilt Greenland inside a few centuries of the primary settlers’ arrival. The Hvalsey Church, constructed within the early 14th century, is presently the most important and best-preserved pre-Columbian European constructing within the Americas.

The church was a powerful constructing with two stone halls and 14 close by stone homes. It looks like a number of expert masons have been delivered to the Hvalsey Fjord to create this masterpiece. Solely one of the best supplies have been chosen and labored with nice precision. The most important granite items used within the development are heavier than 5 tons.

Some structural particulars, comparable to wider inside than outer window openings, are extra attribute of early church buildings in Britain. That has led specialists to consider that a number of the development might have been managed by Scottish masons fairly than Icelandic ones.

Nevertheless, one critical mistake was made. The church was constructed on a graveyard with out prior removing of graves, which later made the inspiration sink and the partitions collapse. At this time, the deserted Hvalsey serves as a grazing space for sheep. The church ruins have been conserved in 1999 to stop additional basis sinkage.[5]

5 No Roads

Greenland isn’t a simple place to succeed in. Since there isn’t a worldwide ferry service, the most typical approach of getting there’s by aircraft. Solely 4 cities worldwide have a direct flight connection to Greenland. Three of them—Reykjavik, Keflavik, and Akureyri—are situated in Iceland. Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, is the fourth. The island can be reached by expedition cruises from the Canadian Arctic or Svalbard, Norway.

As soon as in Greenland, transportation doesn’t develop into any simpler. There are nearly no roads between cities, no railways, and no inland waterways. All transportation is completed by helicopter, aircraft, boat, or dogsled.

Because of appreciable distances and bodily limitations reminiscent of ice and fjords, a lot of the touring occurs by air. The most important transportation hub is situated in Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland. An in depth community of home flight connections is out there there.[6]

four Ice Golf World Championship

Since 1997, the World Ice Golf Championship has been held yearly in Uummannaq, Greenland. The city is situated 600 kilometers (373 mi) north of the Arctic Circle and homes roughly 1,300 individuals. Uummannaq is the northernmost golf course on the earth and will get redesigned on shelf ice simply earlier than the competitors annually.

The course is surrounded by slow-moving glaciers and large icebergs. Throughout March, when the championship is held, the temperature can drop as little as -25 Celsius (-13 °F). Nevertheless, the freezing surroundings has did not discourage golfers all over the world from collaborating within the annual occasion. Each skilled golfers and amateurs can take part, however the subject is restricted to solely 36 gamers.

A seek for totally different golf environments has been a well-liked development for a few years. That development was acknowledged by the World Ice Golf Championship founders. “The curiosity in enjoying golf in spectacular environment is rising, and although the course is a bit of shorter, the holes a bit of bigger, the ball is orange, and the inexperienced is white—it is rather like common golf.”[7]

three Midnight Solar

The midnight Solar is a summer time phenomenon which may solely be skilled north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. Not solely is the Solar up at midnight, however it shines for 24 hours straight, erasing the road between night time and day. Summers are temporary, so Greenlanders be sure to benefit from the daylight whereas it lasts. They catch fish, barbecue, sail, and play.

The Arctic Circle marks the boundary of the midnight Solar. Yearly, there’s someday on the Arctic Circle itself the place half an hour of midnight Solar may be skilled. The identical guidelines apply to the other phenomenon—polar night time.

Farther north, the phenomenon lasts considerably longer. For instance, greater than two months of midnight Solar could be sometimes noticed in Ilulissat. And in Qaanaaq, the Solar doesn’t set for 3 and a half months straight.

Nights in Greenland are vibrant throughout summer time even south of the Arctic Circle. Though the midnight Solar doesn’t shine in Nanortalik, the southernmost city in Greenland, as much as 20 hours of daylight are nonetheless reported.[8]

2 Abundance Of Gems And Minerals

Each cloud has a silver lining, together with local weather change. No less than, that’s the case for Greenland’s probabilities of monetary independence. The thick ice sheets that coated plenty of the island 20 years in the past are melting away and revealing a land wealthy in minerals, metals, and gems. Angel Mining, the primary mining firm in Greenland, started working there in 2010.

Based mostly on official knowledge from 2017, there are 56 lively licenses for gold, ruby, diamond, nickel, copper, and different mineral explorations within the island. Plans for constructing the fifth-largest uranium mine on the planet have been steadily shifting alongside for a number of years since 2013 when the Greenland parliament voted to take away the ban on uranium mining.[9]

Bluejay Mining is one other firm that intends to determine an enormous mining operation within the former settlement of Dundas, Greenland. After three years of fieldwork research, the ultimate levels of allowing have been entered in November 2018. Dundas is the world’s highest-grade deposit of ilmenite. Ilmenite is utilized in manufacturing titanium dioxide, which is then used as a pigment in paint in addition to private care merchandise resembling toothpaste.

Some corporations have already seen their first payoff. The Danish retailer Hartmann’s Jewelry launched a full jewellery assortment utilizing Greenlandic gems in November 2018. Roughly 300 carats of rubies and pink sapphires have been used.

1 World’s Highest Suicide Price

On a a lot darker notice, Greenland additionally holds the unlucky document for the very best suicide fee on Earth. The typical annual suicide price in Greenland is 83 suicides per 100,000 individuals. For comparability, the suicide fee in 2016 was 13.7 suicides per 100,000 individuals within the US and 30.2 suicides per 100,000 individuals in Guyana, the nation with the very best suicide price.

These staggering numbers in a inhabitants of fewer than 57,000 individuals make it pretty protected to say that everybody in Greenland is aware of somebody who has killed themselves. However the chilly and darkish setting doesn’t look like the actual difficulty.

When the primary fish processing factories appeared in Greenland, many individuals moved from their villages for work. Kangeq was a type of villages, too small for a manufacturing unit of their very own with solely round 150 inhabitants. By 1974, solely 50 or 60 individuals remained within the village.

The Danish authorities made a sensible determination, saving money and time by shutting down the facility and erasing Kangeq from the map. Offering primary providers like well being clinics and faculties to each tiny village was not a viable choice. So everybody needed to pack up their belongings and transfer to their new residence in Nuuk, the place tons of of households from dozens of different small villages have been pressured to reside.

There was a direct conflict of cultures. The luxurious concrete house blocks felt overseas and lonely to the Inuits. The paved roads solely separated them from the searching life on which that they had depended for survival. Some Inuits have been searching seals within the Nuuk harbor subsequent to cargo ships and dragging the meat to their flats on sleds. At college, it was clear that Danish audio system have been higher than Greenlandic audio system. Village youngsters have been inferior to metropolis youngsters.

Psychologists consider that the contagion impact performs a serious half in Greenland’s suicide price. When shut relations or pals kill themselves, individuals round them are at larger suicide danger. Many such suicide clusters have been recorded in Greenland, particularly in small and remoted communities.

Even Tasiilaq, the city with the very best suicide price in Greenland with greater than 400 suicides per 100,000 individuals, doesn’t have a psychologist. It’s estimated that it might take a minimum of 20 years to repair all of the underlying issues corresponding to joblessness, poverty, baby neglect, and alcoholism to get Greenland’s suicide drawback beneath management.[10]