Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


5 Things that the typical American knows about Iceland

By Matt Eliason

  • A known fact in the States; Iceland is green and Greenland is Ice. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

1. Iceland is Green and Greenland is Ice

For some reason the only fact about Iceland that is drummed into the head of every American high school student is this fact; Iceland is green and Greenland is Ice. I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned this fact to me when first hearing I would be living in Reykjavik, Iceland for the summer. It is for the most part true. After flying over Greenland it is primarily Ice. And while Iceland is quite cold most of the time, it does have a temperate climate in the summer months that allows for some green vegetation. Regardless of the accuracy of the statement, all Americans will be able to rumble off this line thanks to our high school history teachers.

2. Volcanoes

The volcanic activity found in the land of fire and ice is no longer a secret to the rest of the world. After the 2010 eruption of Ejyafjallajokull sub-glacial volcano, the entire world was familiar with Iceland’s constant seismic rumblings as the European airline industry was shut down for a week. Now with Holuhraun eruption of 2014, Iceland is back in the American news for the amazing scenes near Bardarbunga volcano system. Volcanoes always activate the interest of the American media due to the “exotic nature” of a magma eruption.

3. D2: The Mighty Ducks

The popular American movie series, The Mighty Ducks featured Team Iceland in the second movie entitled D2: The Mighty Ducks.  Team Iceland was known as the “team to beat” as their scary black jerseys and a team full of blonde guys named “Gunnar” dominated en route to the Championship game. In true underdog fashion, the Mighty Ducks defeated the powerful Iceland squad. Ironically, hockey is not that popular in Iceland and only about 50% of the guys in Iceland are named Gunnar.

4. Wedding / Bachelor Party Spot

The new popular wedding and bachelor party destination for Americans is the downtown area of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik. This is only true for couple with a little bit of money because a trip to Iceland can be a bit pricey, but a number of the popular Reykjavik bars can be seen littered with American tourists during the summer. There really isn’t a more beautiful place to tie the knot than Iceland’s amazing landscape, and downtown Reykjavik provides the perfect night life spot for bachelors parties to cause some ruckus.

5. Björk

The singer / songwriter is without a doubt the most famous Icelander to come out of the Viking Nation. Sigur Rós is also popular, but no one compares to the unique sounds and fashion sense that Björk. You typical American will have no problem identifying Björk in a photo, which cannot be said about any other Icelander. Her global reach is clearly evident with the American audience.


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