Here are some interesting Iceland Facts which were choosen and reseached by kids especially for kids.
Iceland is an island in Northern Europe that is located in the Atlantic Ocean near the Arctic circle. On this map you can see where Iceland is in Northern Europe.
You can click on the plus sign and move with the arrows to the left and make the island bigger, then you see the major cities and if you click satellite on the top right, then you can see the volcanos clearer too.
Iceland was founded by the Vikings. People from Norway, Denmark and Sweden were the first to settle in Iceland from as early as 870. Celts (mainly Scottish and Irish people) as well as Vikings who already had settled in the British isles also moved to the country as well in the 9th and 10th century.
Later Iceland was ruled also by the Norwegians and the Danes. Iceland became independent from the Kingdom of Denmark in 1918.
During World War II, Iceland was occupied by British and US American troops. Since 1944 Iceland is a republic.
Iceland lies in the Arctic Region of Northern Europe.
Iceland is the second largest island in Europe - after Great Britain. In size, Iceland is slightly bigger than Hungary or South Korea and about the size of the state of Kentucky/USA.
To reach Iceland's capital city Reykjavik, it takes a five-hours-flight from New York/USA or a three-hour flight from London/UK.
Iceland is covered by ice, volcanos, glaciers and geysers. About 11 % of the country is covered by glaciers.
The country has more than 20 active volcanoes. Grímsvötn and Hekla are Iceland's most active volcanoes. In 2010, the latest major eruption of on of the island's glaciers took place on the Eyjafjallajökull and in 2011, when Grímsvötn erupted.
The country lies on two tectonic plates along which the volcanoes are located: the Eurasian and North American plates. The lava which came from the volcanoes on the plate borders formed the island. The last land addition to Iceland was formed in 1963: This island is called Surtsey and is located 30km/18.6 miles off the main island.
There are also many waterfalls, hot springs, mud pools and geothermal vents, where the heat of the earth comes out from the earth surface. The energy of the Iceland volcanoes and vents is used by geothermal power stations and supplies the heating to around 85% of all households.
Did you know that the ice of the glaciers can be up to 1,000m/3280ft. thick! Have a look at the thick ice in the picture above.
Iceland lies on top of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and due to the movement of the tectonic plates Iceland grows by about 2.5cm/ 1 inch per year!
This national park covers almost 14% of the island. It has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2019.
Which attractions should you visit in Iceland? Among the most popular attractions in Iceland and great activities to enjoy are:
People living in Iceland are called Icelanders. Most people in Iceland live near the capital city Reykjavik which is the northernmost capital city in the world.
About 80% of Iceland is not inhabited, most people live in the capital city region and along the southwestern coastline.
The Icelanders do not have to pay school fees as all public school education is free of charge.
Famous Icelanders are the explorer Leif Erikson, nicknamed 'Leif the Lucky', who is known as the first European explorer in North America and his father Erik Thorvaldsson, known as 'Erik the Red', who founded the first Norse settlement on Greenland.
Halldór Laxness (1902 - 1998) is Icelands first and only winner of a Nobel Prize. The Icelandic writer, poet and playwright won the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1955.
One of the most famous persons of today is Björk, singer and actress, who also played the leading role in 'Dancers in the Dark'. And then of course, there is Arun Gunnarsson, the captain of the national football team.
Did you know, that the world's first democratically elected female president, was an Icelander? Her name is Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. She was president of Iceland from 1980 until 1996.
Icelandic is a Nordic language which is similar to the old Norwegian which was spoken over 1 000 years ago.
The Icelandic language has an alphabet with 32 letters. They use the Latin alphabet, similar to the English alphabet and also have to letters for 'th': Þ, þ and Ð, ð.
Most people speak English as a second language in Iceland. There are also many people speaking Danish or Norwegian.
Most Icelanders do not have a family name or surname, they take on their father’s name.
So if the father is called Jakob, the daughter is given a first name for example Eva and then the father’s name with an added –sdottir and is then called Jakobsdottir (Jakob’s daughter), so we would call her: Eva Jakobsdottir. For sons they just add –sson: thus they would call Adam, their son, simply: Adam Jakobsson.
Iceland has got some farmland where you will see many sheep as they are the most common farm animals in Iceland.
You will also see many seabirds like puffins. Puffins are black and white birds with large orange beaks that breed in large colonies on cliffs.
Whale Watching is very popular in Iceland too, you will encounter an enormous sea life in Iceland too.
And have you heard of the Iceland horses, known also as Iceland ponies, they are really big and strong. They are so robust they can stay on the fields during wintertime. Here is a cute picture of two Iceland horses by Sigridur Kristinsdottir.
The Icelandic main dishes contain: lamb, seafood and dairy products.
The bread you will get in Iceland is mostly dark rye bread or rye flat bread, which is very tasty too and you definitely should try the delicious 'Kleina' pastries.
Reindeer meat is also available in Iceland, but is quite expensive.
Other interesting Island facts regarding typical Icelandic food:
One specialty in Iceland which takes a bit to get used to is "Hakarl" which is rotten shark meat and it smells quite strongly.
Iceland's main industry sectors are tourism, power generation, aluminum sheltering, agriculture and fishing. Most Icelanders work in the service industry today, with only 1 in 12 Icelanders working in occupations related to farming and fishing.
The main trading partners of the country are Germany, Norway and the Netherlands.
The unemployment rate stands at about 4%, however, for young people the unemployment rate is much higher, at currently 12% (2019).
Iceland is the largest green energy producer (per person) and has the world's highest share of renewable energy in their energy use budget. The country's energy supply comes mainly from renewable sources such hydropower and geothermal power.
Most housing uses geothermal energy for heating as hot springs can be found almost everywhere.
…the water of the geysirs have a temperature of around 100 Celsius which is 212 Fahrenheit!
Image credits on Iceland Facts to: clemson.edu and sxc.hu: antoniocrp, peturjos, robbieboy1, siggakr, gregi, akiernan, stefan madder and shutterstock.com