25 Hard & Cold Facts About Greenland Even the Danes Are Unaware Of

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1Moriusaq

Moriusaq, Greenland had a population of 3 in 2009. A case of self-defense dropped the population to 2 (father and a son) and now the population (as of November 2020) is 0.


2. The names of the territories of Greenland translate to "much ice", "center", "south" and "darkness."


3. Greenland can't join FIFA because not enough grass grows there for a soccer field.


4. At a prison facility in Nuuk, Greenland some inmates reportedly hold the keys to their own cells (to afford them privacy), and others may leave the premises during the day to go to work or school. Perhaps surprisingly, inmates are even allowed to go hunting with rifles to shoot birds and seals.


5. Camp Century was a top-secret US military base built under the ice sheets of Greenland in 1960 to house missiles. Built under the cover of climate research, it housed 200 people and was powered by the world's first portable nuclear reactor. Denmark didn’t uncover the base’s existence until 1995.


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6Northeast Greenland National Park

Northeast Greenland National Park is bigger than Pakistan, Venezuela, or France, and only 30 countries are bigger. There are abundant polar bears, hares, foxes, caribou, and walruses, as well as almost half the world’s population of musk oxen, about 15,000 head.


7. A building called Blok P once housed 1% of Greenland's population. It was advertised to tourists as "so depressing that it's almost an attraction in itself."


8. In 1982, the people of Greenland voted to leave the European Union which they did in 1985 and are still today not part of it.


9. Greenland, Ireland, New Zealand, and Iceland have one thing in common. None of them have a snake population.


10. In the winter of 1942 in Greenland, a plane crash-landed due to bad weather. In subsequent rescue efforts, 6 planes crashed, and survivors of the crashes spent up to 5.5 months taking shelter on a glacier waiting for help.


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11Greenland

When all the ice on Greenland melts, the local sea level will actually drop because of the reduction in local gravity that was originally created by the sheer mass of the ice.


12. The Qinngua Valley (Paradise Valley) in Greenland may have the mildest climate on the island. It is home to the island’s only true forest and over 300 species of plants. It also has an abandoned Viking farm that may be Brattahlid, an estate founded by Eric the Red whose son Leif Erikson set foot on North America approximately half a millennium before Christopher Columbus.


13. There is an Inuit tribe in Greenland who pack up to 500 birds in a hollowed-out seal body, bury it, let them ferment for seven months, and then eat (Kiviak) them during the harsh winters.


14. During the 12th century, Greenland was populated by three distinct ethnic groups. They were the Inuit, the Dorset people, and the Norse Greenlanders. By the end of the 15th century, only the Inuit were still there.


15. Ivittuut and Kangilinnguit are the only two cities in Greenland connected through a road.


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16Infrasound station IS18

Infrasound station IS18 located in Qaanaaq, Greenland is a highly specialized sensor array used to detect atomic blasts, earthquakes, and monitor the human heart in ballistocardiography.


17. Nuuk in Greenland is the world’s northernmost capital, located only a few kilometers further north than the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.


18. In 1123, the people of Greenland asked King Sigurd of Norway to send them a bishop along with a polar bear as a gift to accompany their request.


19. The Greenland National Museum is based in an old warehouse and contains the Qilakitsoq mummies. The mummies consist of three women and a six-month-old child, half of the mummies found at Qilakitsoq.


20. Greenland has four distinct Time Zones that cross its boundaries but the country is broken up into UTC0, UTC-1, UTC-3, and UTC-4. UTC-2 is only used during daylight savings. UTC0 is outside the country but the weather station Danmarkshavn is set to European time for ease of reporting.


21Greenlandic language

Greenlandic, the Inuit/Eskimo-Aleut language of Greenland, is polysynthetic, meaning that it uses stems and many suffixes to make long words where we would have a multi-word sentence: "Aliikusersuillammassuaanerartassagaluarpaalli" means "'However, they'll say that he's a great entertainer, but.."


22. Greenland isn’t even one of the top 10 largest countries by area. It just looks huge because it’s near the North Pole and gets visually stretched out when mapped on a flat surface.


23. Jonathan Motzfeldt, the first Prime Minister of Greenland once secured almost absolute power through a series of political purges, where old comrades were sidelined. He led the government for almost twelve years until he was forced to resign and leave politics because of a drinking problem.


24. Piblokto is a culture-bound Greenlandic syndrome in which sufferers withdraw into a dissociative state during which time they may commit dangerous acts, and recover with no memory of the occurrence. It is more likely to affect Inuit women and happens largely during winter.


25. Greenland has the highest suicide rate in the world, with one in every four people attempting suicide at least once in their lives.

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