22 Greenland Facts: Discovering the World’s Largest Island

Though Greenland is one of the planet’s biggest places, very little of this country is still known to the outside world.

In fact, people still have some misconceptions about this beautiful Arctic nation. Some people even misunderstand the culture related to the largest island in the world. 

However, Greenland is nothing but a jewel of the north that can captivate anyone and everyone.

So, in this article, we will now discuss some really interesting facts about this beautiful country known as Greenland.

Interesting Greenland facts

It is an autonomous country

Greenland Country

Greenland is an autonomous country located within the Kingdom of Denmark. Though this country is geographically a part of the continent of North America, it has been culturally and politically associated with Europe for almost a millennium.

Since 1721, Denmark has held colonies here and was made a part of Denmark in 1953. In 1979, Greenland was granted Home Rule by Denmark.

In 2009, expanded Self Rule was inaugurated, and more decision-making power was granted to the Greenlandic government.

The largest island on the planet

Greenland is famous as the world’s biggest island, by are, that is not a continent. The total area of this region is 836,330 square miles or 2.16 million square kilometers, including other offshore islands. About 80 percent of the land mass is practically covered by an ice cap. 

The ice-free area is a minority; however, it is still about the size of Sweden. Also, Greenland is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, with a population of 56,480.

Greenland got its name from a murderer.

Greenland Country

One of the least-known facts about Greenland is that it is not really green, as this country got its name from the Viking called Eric the Red.

In the 900s, he was exiled to this island, and he named it “Land of the People” or Greenland, hoping that this name would attract new settlers.

However, scientists say this country was quite green more than 2.5 million years ago. According to a new study, the ancient dirt was cryogenically frozen for millions of years under almost 2 miles of ice.

No direct flights to Greenland

Another interesting fact about Greenland is that you can’t fly to the country from the US or even any other part of the world. To visit Greenland, you must take connecting flights via Denmark and Iceland.

However, it is a fascinating place for geologists, as the rocks of this island are pretty attractive. Also, some of them are even valuable, as Greenland harbors plenty of rare gemstones and mineral deposits.

Here you can find three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Sermeq Kujalle Glaciers

You will be surprised to know that Greenland has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of the most attractive glaciers, known as Sermeq Kujalle, can be found at Ilulissat Ice Fjord on the West Coast.

Similarly, a subarctic farming landscape at Kujataa highlights the cultural histories of Norse hunters and Inuit farmers who eventually worked to develop the area.

Lastly, the third one is an Inuit hunting ground located at Aasivissuit, Nipisa.

Traditional food here comes from hunting.

Greenland has rich wildlife. Although this place is mostly covered in ice sheets, many animal species thrive in Greenland, such as birds, reindeer, and musk oxen.

Because of the biodiversity of this region, local communities participate in sealing, whaling, and even hunting for their culture and food. 

However, Greenland’s national dish is Suaasat, a meat soup with seabird, seal, whale, or reindeer as its protein and broth.

To create the iconic dish, these animals are cooked in aromatic ingredients, bay leaves, and onions.

You can’t see roads in Greenland.

Greenland Facts

Although movies and films may depict roads along the entirety of Greenland, it is mainly just a common misconception.

You would only see roads within towns in this region, but the rest of the island’s expanse remains undiscovered by urbanization.

As this country is mostly water and ice sheets, the transportation in Greenland significantly centers on boasts and air traffic.

As a result, you would see more airports and heliports than bus stops in the country. Other modes of transport in Greenland are snowmobiles and dog sleds.

Greenland is rich in history.

Historians say the first humans who lived in Greenland died for unknown reasons. However, several groups from North America settled in this region not long after.

In the 10th century, Norsemen from Iceland came and settled in the uninhabited southern part of the country; however, they disappeared in the late 15th century.

Finally, the Inuits from Asia came to this country in the 13th century, with lasting Inuit bloodlines in Greenland to this day.

There are hot springs in Greenland.

Hot Springs In Greenland

Along with its alluring landscapes, Greenland is home to some naturally occurring hot springs that tourists can visit. You may find most of these hot springs on Uunartoq Island if you want to visit Greenland.

Another interesting fact about Greenland is that, though this place has a lot of ice, the southern part of this country still experiences fairly warm summer days.

During this time, temperatures may rise to 68 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Generally, tourists choose summer as the perfect time to explore more of Greenland’s offerings.

Greenland has a vibrant capital.

Housing around a quarter of the population in Greenland, Nuuk also has a reputation for its vibrant and funky vibe.

Of all the places in Greenland, Nuuk is famous as the cosmopolitan and the biggest town on the island. This interesting capital also features fashion boutiques, hip cafes, and museums.

Whaling and fishing are regulated in Greenland.

Whale in Greenland

Although fishing is a significant industry in Greenland, the people in this country cannot export whales, fish, seals, and other popular catches from Greenland.

Locally, the Greenland government also prohibits the practice of hunting social species such as blue whales. 

So, as a general rule, whale and seal meat cannot be sold internationally and can only be consumed locally.

It is not polite to call the citizen of Greenland Eskimos

It is best to call the people of this place Inuit or Kalaallit, which means Greenlander. Currently, almost 88% of the entire population of Greenland comes from Danish and Inuit or pure Inuit descent. The rest of the 12% are either European or Danish. 

Greenland’s Coat of Arms

Greenland’s Coat Of Arms

The Coat of Arms is a hereditary symbol that traces back to medieval Europe and usually establishes a country’s identity in battle. The Coat of Arms of Greenland has a blue shield with a polar bear in it. 

The blue shield represents the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans, while the polar bear symbolizes the fauna that thrives in the country.

Summer Solstice is a national holiday here.

Every 21st of July, this country celebrates the longest day of the year, the Summer Solstice. Usually a national holiday, locals enjoy this time to enjoy basking in the sun and spend quality time with friends and family over BBQ. 

The Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun is a once-in-a-lifetime experience here. It is a yearly phenomenon in Greenland where the sun is bright, and the moon does not show from May 25 to July 25.

During these two months, people of this region can enjoy the sunshine and bright days. It is a natural and interesting phenomenon that one must experience in their life. 

Museums of Greenland

Another little-known fact about this country is its several interesting and must-see museums. Some of the significant museums of this country are the Nuuk Art Museum, Katuaq Cultural House, and even the National Museum of Greenland.

Also, Greenland has the best Norse ruins. Though Hvalsey Church is a Christian church, it is still one of the best-preserved Norse ruins in the country. Also, the latest record of a Norse wedding was held there in 1408.

The US wants to buy Greenland.

Greenland Facts

In 1946, the United States offered $100 million for Denmark to give Greenland to the US.

However, Denmark declined the offer, spearheaded by the Secretary of State James Byrnes.  In today’s money, $100 equals almost $1.3 billion.

In addition, President Trump has also expressed his interest in purchasing Greenland. An important reason behind this idea is to get a hold of Greenland because of its rich natural resources.

However, this country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs clarified that this country is not for its sake.

Women in this country play a major role in society

The women in Greenland are both empowered and strong.

Traditionally, women of this country hunt their own food and can even walk many kilometers with rifles and rucksacks on their backs. It is even common to see female pilots in the country.

Greenland’s temperature fluctuates regularly.

Greenland Temperature

According to scientists, Greenland has changed several times in terms of temperature patterns for the previous 100,000 years.

This is a concerning issue as the Arctic region has been warming up about twice as faster as normal.

In Greenland, many natural resources can be found.

Underneath the icy exterior of this country lies rich deposits of zinc, iron, ore, oil, copper, gold, lead, and many other rare earth elements.

This is the reason why it is known as a high-income country, with citizens having an average salary of about $33,000.

This country is home to many bird species.


Although most parts of this country are water and ice sheets, Greenland is also home to large bird colonies.

These birds come in various unusual and endemic birds, like kittiwakes, puffins, ptarmigans, short-eared owls, skuas, and many more.

Greenland coffee is unique.

Greenland’s coffee concoctions include whiskey and Grand Marnier topped with whipped cream. However, the most interesting fact is that it must be lit at the bottom before drinking it. 

Also, seafood is popular here. Some of the popular dishes include whales, shrimp, and seals.

So, Greenland is home to traditional culture, rugged landscapes, and many hidden gems that can captivate numerous tourists and nature lovers.

These facts offer us a clear picture of this captivating and unique country. To get some additional amazing facts, you can see our website.

Greenland Facts
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