Monday, 25 July 2011

Why Is Iceland Green and Greenland Icy ?

Did you ever wonder why Iceland has no ice in the country, but Greenland is covered with ice? Did the people who put the names on the map do this to fool people?

 Here’s why Iceland is called Iceland – a long time ago, a Scandinavian named Flóki Vilgerðarson sailed over to the country to settle for the winters. He settled in the south coast, where the view of fjords (inlets from the sea with steep sides and water flowing in) was clear. One winter day, he was able to beautifully view drifting ice in the fjord from a tall mountain, and hence gave the island the name of Iceland, i.e. from where once can see ice. But aside from the fact that the view of ice is beautiful, and the fact that mountains in Iceland have heavy snowfall, Iceland doesn’t have much ice on it.

 Now lets see why Greenland is called Greenland – even though 85% of the land is covered in ice! Here’s the legendary story – Once upon a time lived Norwegian-born Erik the Red. After being exiled from Iceland for murder, he sailed to sea to find the land that was rumored to be to the northwest. (Of course they didn’t have Google Earth back then). Upon reaching the south coast, which was green and not covered by the glacier which occupies the rest of the country. Erik named the new found land as Greenland. Perhaps the Medieval ages were much warmer, and the southern part much more greener, hence the name stuck and is recognized on the globe.

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