Discovering Greenland: 28 Fascinating Facts about the Arctic Gem

1University of Greenland

University of Greenland

Greenland has only one university, with 14 staff and 205 students (as of November 2020). It is so small because the Government pays for students to have a free university education anywhere in Europe or North America.


2Erik The Red

Erik The Red

Greenland is called Greenland because Erik The Red who was exiled from Iceland wanted to give it a more interesting name than Iceland in order to attract settlers.


3Inuit Iron Tools

Inuit Iron Tools

For centuries the Inuit people of northern Greenland have used metal knives and tools despite having no mines or smelting. They used enormous iron meteorites for their metal which American explorer Robert E. Peary ultimately stole.


4Moriusaq

Moriusaq

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.


5Greenland territories

Greenland territories

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


6FIFA

FIFA

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


7Nuuk prison facility

Nuuk prison facility

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.


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8Camp Century

Camp Century

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.


9Northeast Greenland National Park

Northeast 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.


10Blok P

Blok P

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."

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