Facts about Iceland Independence Day

Also called Icelandic National Day, June 17th marks Iceland's move to complete independence from Denmark.

To mark the day, here are 15 interesting facts about Iceland Independence Day.

Iceland has a low number of insect species compared to other countries. Iceland is the only country in the world with no mosquitoes. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is the northernmost national capital in the world. Approximately 60 percent of the country’s population lives in Reykjavik. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Iceland is the most sparsely populated nation in Europe, with less than three inhabitants per square kilometer. 80% of the country remains uninhabited. Iceland is the most sparsely populated nation in Europe, with less than three inhabitants per square kilometer. 80% of the country remains uninhabited. Iceland Independence Day Facts

The only mammal native to Iceland is the Arctic fox. All others were brought over by settlers. This includes the Icelandic sheep, cattle, goats, chickens, Icelandic horse and Icelandic Sheepdog; they are all descendants of those imported animals. Wild imported animals include mink, rabbits, rats and reindeer. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Iceland is the only country which is a member of NATO that does not have an army, navy or air force. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989. Beer was banned under prohibition from 1915 and was only allowed again on 1 March 1989 - since celebrated as Beer Day. Beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989. Beer was banned under prohibition from 1915 and was only allowed again on 1 March 1989 - since celebrated as Beer Day. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Icelanders watch more movies at the cinema than any other country. Icelanders watch an average of five films each per year. That is double the Western European average. Iceland Independence Day Facts

The English word "geyser" comes from the name of the great geyser, Geysir in Haukadalur, South Iceland. Today Geysir doesn’t erupt very often, but nearby Strokkur erupts every eight to ten minutes. Iceland Independence Day Facts

There is a strong literary tradition dating in Icelandic culture dating back to their ancient Sagas. Today Icelandic authors publish more books per capita than anywhere else in the world. There is a Icelandic term called 'jólabókaflóð', the 'Christmas book flood' which refers to the high number of books published before Christmas, as books are popular Christmas presents. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Alþingi (Althing), the Icelandic parliament, was founded in 930 and is one of the oldest in the world. Iceland Independence Day Facts

The world's first democratically directly elected female president was an Icelander. Vigdis Finbogadóttir who was elected in 1980. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Iceland was the last land in Europe to be settled and populated. It is the youngest country in the world in terms of land form. Iceland was the last land in Europe to be settled and populated. It is the youngest country in the world in terms of land form. Iceland Independence Day Facts

It is illegal to own a pet lizard, snake or turtle in Iceland. Iceland Independence Day Facts

There is no railway system of any sort in Iceland. Iceland Independence Day Facts

Vatnajökull glacier is the largest ice cap in Europe. It is actually larger than all the other glaciers in Europe combined. Iceland Independence Day Facts
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