Random Iceland facts

Another Iceland post… This time there’s no pictures – just some random facts I thought were interesting.

People from Iceland are very talented musicians. Most of them play an instrument, they have lots of bands and stuff. Our guide said that they probably have most musicians per capita in the world. I guess Bjork and Sigur Ros are the most famous of them all.

Icelanders drink most Coca-Cola per capita in the world, and the whale who starred in Free Willy originally came from Iceland. The most common car brands are Toyota (Lexus, Land Cruiser), Range Rover and Volkswagen. They also have these gigantic jeeps (called Iceland Rovers or Super Jeeps)  that can take you far into the wilderness.

The mayor of Reykjavik is a high school dropout turned comedian, who won the elections by promising to build a Disneyland-like attraction and free towels at baths. His plan is also to bring a polar bear to the local ZOO. The MP of Iceland is a lesbian, who got married to a woman 2 years ago.

They use geothermal energy to grow fruit and vegetables (like bananas, salad and strawberries) in greenhouses. It’s also the most used (over 90 %) technique of heating.

There is no forest on Iceland, but there are some trees. They plant a lot of trees (mostly birch and spruce) every year in order to try to reforest the “naked” landscape (Iceland was covered in birch forests before the settlers cut them down). The highest trees growing naturally were some spruce specimens. They were about 4 m tall.

They believe in “hidden people“. These are supposed to be the ghosts of their ancestors. They usually hide under rocks and simmilar objects and bring bad luck to those wbo disturb them. That’s why they should be left alone.  Icelanders relly believe this – they even have a special committee that decides which rocks should be left alone. This results in some completely unexpected turns in the middle of a straight road, just to avoid bothering these hidden people.

Speaking of roads, most of them are made of gravel, except city roads and the main highway around the island. This is because Iceland is very tectonically active – roads change often (our driver said he always checks the status of a local road on the internet before he takes people there, just in case).

There are pleny more, but I think that these should be enough to get a general feeling…

Update: I see there are some people from Iceland reading as well. If it’s not too much trouble, could you share some of the less-known fact with us via the comment section? ;) 

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