Random Facts: Greenland

With an area of 836,330 square miles and a population of just under 56,500, Greenland is the world’s most sparsely populated country.

Greenland used to be part of Denmark but was given home rule in 1979 and even greater autonomy with self-rule in 2009. The Head of State is still Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and the currency is the Danish krone.

It is said that Eric the Red gave Greenland its misleading name in an attempt to entice settlers. He’d been exiled there when convicted of manslaughter in Iceland.

There are no roads or railways in Greenland. Planes, boats, and dog sleds are the main means of transport between towns.

Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by a permanent ice-sheet.

Useful word in Greenlandic: pibloktoq: a period of wild excitement followed by unconsciousness.