40 Interesting Facts about Iceland Very Few People Know

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26Beer mitten

Beer mitten

In Iceland, it is common to carry alcohol openly outdoors, and to keep their hands warm and beverage cold, locals use a "beer mitten" that was invented by Icelanders.

27. Iceland in 1940 passed a law that made swimming lessons mandatory in schools starting at grade 1 (age 6) to grade 10 (age 16). Lessons are held once a week. Historically, a lot of Icelandic seamen had met a tragic end because of the harsh sea and this law was an attempt at saving lives.

28. In 2009, a man in Iceland bought and saved the last McDonald's burger ever sold in the country and donated it to Iceland's national museum. You can now watch the burger via a live webcam.

29. Everyone in Iceland pays church tax, and the payment of those unaffiliated with a church goes to the University of Iceland [at least as of 2004].

30. Iceland was involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. They sent two troops.

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31Icelandic children

Icelandic children

Children in Iceland are not allowed to have names with the letter "C" in them. All names must conform to the rules of the Icelandic language, which does not have the letter "C."

32. There is a church in Iceland where you can worship the Norse Gods.

33. The Icelandic word for computer, Tolva, translates to English as 'number prophetess.'

34. In the 1880s, 20% percent of autopsies performed in Iceland revealed echinococcosis, a type of tapeworm that can be passed from dogs to humans, causing blindness and severe complications. As a result, the city of Reykjavik had a ban on keeping dogs as pets for decades.

35. In Iceland, there's a traditional bread (Rúgbrauð) that you can bake in a pot by burying it in the ground near a hot spring.

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36Yule Cat

Yule Cat

According to Icelandic folklore, the monstrous Yule Cat will eat you if you don't receive any clothing for Christmas.

37. The Icelandic band Sigur Ros felt so strongly that music was more than words that they made up their own language for one of their albums.

38. Iceland's SWAT unit (the closest thing they have to an army), is called the Viking Squad.

39. Due to the low crime presence in Iceland, some mothers often leave their babies outside to nap.

40. Medieval Iceland had a law against writing love poems to women. They were called “Mansöngr” or “maiden songs.” If found guilty, you were branded a full outlaw and banned from the island.

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