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Interesting Facts about Greenland

Greenland is the largest island in the world, but there are still a lot of facts about this place that people don’t know. For example, did you know that dogs were brought to Greenland by European explorers? We hope you enjoy this article and learn something new reading Interesting Facts about Greenland.

Greenland location

Greenland is an island geographically belonging to North America. Historically and politically it belongs to Europe, it is an autonomous dependent territory of Denmark. It is the largest non-continental island in the world. Most of the island lies beyond the Northern Arctic Circle

Greenland size

Greenland is the world’s largest island. Greenland is 2.16 million square kilometres (836,330 square miles) is the largest island in the world (the second is New Guinea, and the third one is Borneo). Even Greenland is huge is not as big as we see on the Mercator maps

80% of the country is covered in icecaps which average about a kilometre in thickness but reach up to three kilometers near its edges.

Greenland has 4th longer coastline in the world

Greenland population

Greenland has a population of about 57,000, making it the least densely populated country in the world.

The population density in Greenland is around 0.01% making it one of the least densely populated areas on earth (only Antarctica has fewer inhabitants). It should be noted that some people live along the coastline, while others reside near small towns and villages.

The largest city in Greenland is Nuuk, its capital and only municipality. Nuuk has around 17,000 inhabitants.

Indigenous Greenlandic People

The indigenous Greenlandic Inuit people were once called Eskimos. Currently, it is considered offensive as it means “raw meat eaters”. The word “Inuit” means “people.” The Inuits are the native people who have inhabited the Arctic regions of North America and Greenland for centuries. They have their own language and customs that vary from one region to the next.


Inuit peoples live mostly in the most northern habitable land. The main livelihood for many of the Inuit people is hunting and fishing, so they often live near coastlines or in coastal villages.

Language in Greenland

The official language of Greenland is Greenlandic, although large parts of the population also speak Danish and English.

Their currency is the Krone which replaced the Danish Kroner in 1982 when it was given home rule.

Greenland Flag

Greenland has its own flag, national anthem and motto.

Since 1985 Greenland is white and red with of centre circle is a red and white circle. The flag is called  Erfalasorput, which means “our flag”, was designed by Thue Christiansen

interesting facts about greenland - greenland flag

History of Greenland

The first European to reach Greenland was Erik the Red. In 982 He was banished from Iceland and set off to explore the lands that he had heard about.

Erik then established a colony in Greenland, to attract more people, which is now named after him – it’s known as “The Land of Erik the Red”.

Denmark ruled Greenland since 1380 when Norway (and Greenland) came under the Danish crown. Norse people settled in Greenland, but by 1500 the population died out. In the XVIII century, Denmark colonized the island. After World War II, Greenland wanted more independence and in 1953, became part of Denmark (instead of being a colony).

It was granted home rule in 1979 and, while it isn’t a sovereign state, has considerable autonomy on most matters except foreign affairs and defense.

Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark.

Greenlanders are Danish citizens, and they enjoy many of the same benefits as other Danish citizens, including universal health care, free schooling to graduate level

One of the coldest country

The lowest temperature recorded in Greenland was -74 degrees C, making it one of the coldest country in the world.

Dinosaur in Greenland

In eastern Greenland, a Portuguese palaeontologist discovered the remains of a dinosaur living there over 200 million. years ago. 

The animal was a predator 5 meters high. The palaeontologist also discovered the fossil of a turtle, one of the oldest specimens of this animal ever found in the world, as well as fossils of giant salamanders and fish.

Biggest National Park in the World

Almost half of Greenland 375,000 sq. mi. is a national park, which makes the island is home to the world’s largest, northernmost National Park. The park is home to 5-15 thousand musk oxen as well as polar bears.

Greenland has 3 UNESCO sites.

The Ilulissat Icefjord is a 61 km long fjord with large icebergs. It was Greenland’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site (2004)

Kujataa is a farming landscape in Greenland that has witnessed the histories of both Norse and Inuit culture since X century.

Aasivissuit – Nipisat. The Inuit Hunting Ground, situated between the ice pack and the sea, is believed to have been first established around the year 1000 by hunters from Iceland.

facts about greenland

Dogs were brought to Greenland by European explorers

Dogs were not native in Greenland before Europeans arrived in America for exploration purposes. When they got to Greenland, they brought dogs with them.

Various Interesting facts about Greenland

The Greenlandic Ice Sheet holds about 7% of all the fresh water reserves on Earth.

The island is the largest producer of cryolite in the world. Cryolite is a chemical used to make aluminum.
The production of this mineral and its widespread use has helped put Greenland on both lists for countries with the highest GDP per capita. It’s also a major contributor to the economy.

Facts about Greenland – Pin it for later

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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