Iceland is considered a tourists paradise. Almost anyone who is a wanderlust desires to visit this fascinating and dreamy place. The sparsely populated country is an active member of NATO and has not had a standing army since 1869. The country is known as a paradise for travelers with an estimated 5 to 8 million people visiting Iceland every year. Filled with beautiful landscapes, glaciers, the blue lagoon and aurora borealis, the land of fire and ice has much more to offer. Here, we have put together 15 weird and wonderful things that Iceland has to offer.
#1. Super Jeeps and monster trucks
The tourists in Iceland are usually baffled when they see monster cars. Super Jeeps with extra big tires are a common sight in the country. One may think that people residing in the country own monster cars due to an inferiority complex. But the truth is far from that, driving in Iceland isn’t a walk in the park. These supercars are required by anyone and everyone to travel through glacial rivers or unpaved roads. Most of the cars are equipped with 4WD, which helps the driver maneuver through the rigid terrains. Since Icelanders are used to having plenty of space around them, their parking skills are relatively poor. It is a common thing for people to park their cars in the most awkward of places.
#2. They literally have no mosquitoes
Scientists are puzzled over the fact that mosquitoes are absent in Iceland. The neighboring countries have mosquitoes but Iceland nor the Faroe Islands have no mosquitoes present. Entomologists cannot explain the reason behind this unusual characteristic. Various explanations have been brought up to justify this weird occurrence but scientists mainly believe it’s due to Iceland’s oceanic climate. The fluctuating weather and the chemical decomposition of the water and the ground could also be a major factor.
#3. Iceland generates 99% of energy from renewable resources
When it comes to harnessing natural sources and using renewable energy, Iceland is the world leader. The country has utilized glacial rivers, waterfalls, hot springs and volcanoes to its advantage. 80% of the country’s needs is generated through hydroelectric power which is in fact generated from the glaciers and rivers. And the remaining 20% of energy is provided by the geothermal fields. The bathing pools such as the Blue Lagoon, offers the citizens and the tourists a natural hot spa. At the same time, it provides limitless and inexpensive amounts of hot water, that can be harnessed for energy. Around 90% of the homes in Iceland are also heated using geothermal water.
#4. The country has not had a standing army since 1869
Iceland is known for many things such as the most beautiful, smartest and strongest people in the world. They definitely have a lot of qualities to be proud of. One of the most interesting things would be that Iceland has no army. The country is an active member of NATO and has been recognized as the world’s most peaceful country. The Global Peace Index which records the global peacefulness, reported that in 2016 alone, 79 countries grew more violent while 8 of them grew more peaceful. Iceland was one of the eight who claimed the top of the list, followed by Denmark and Austria.
#5. A hand-drawn map is enough for a letter to reach its destination
We have all heard of stories where people find messages in bottles or letters being delivered decades later but have you ever heard of a story where the letter gets delivered with just a hand-drawn map? This surprising twist of a tale happened in the city of Búðardalur, west of Iceland. The letter was mailed by a tourist who had stayed at a farm during a visit, but couldn’t recall the address. The man decided to mail the letter with whatever knowledge he had of the place. The letter started its destination from the Icelandic capital Reykjavík and was delivered to the right person. When Rebecca Cathrine Kaadu Ostenfeld saw the letter, she was utterly surprised. The story was originally shared on reddit and was a sensation on social media.