Iceland is truly one of the most fascinating countries in the world. Millions of people travel thousands of miles just to see its amazing natural sights every year. So what do we really know about Iceland? There’s more to the country than just glaciers, geysers, and Game of Thrones shooting locations.
We have already covered Iceland in a list that included puffin hearts, midnight sunshine, and elves. However, there are so many awesome things about the Nordic island that it deserves a second look. Here are seven more surprising facts about Iceland.
1. The Last McDonald’s Burger Meal Sold In Iceland
You probably think you could find a McDonald’s in any corner of the globe. Although the country originally had the fast food chain in 1993, the last Icelandic outlet closed down in 2009. You can’t get a McKjúklingaborgari anymore, Bus Hostel Rejkjavik still has the last burger and fries sold nine years ago.
In case you were wondering, McKjúklingaborgari was the Icelandic version of McChicken.
2. Weaponless Policemen
Looking for a safe, peaceful country to move to? You might want to consider Iceland where the crime rate is so low that the policemen don’t bother with carrying guns. The country doesn’t even have its own army so if an Icelander wishes to enlist, they would need to join the Norwegian army.
3. The Unchanging Language
The English language is constantly changing, adding new terms to the vocabulary with current times. However, the Icelandic language has barely changed for almost 1,000 years. In the 19th century, scholars pushed for a linguistic purism movement that removed all foreign words from the language. This is why a simple McChicken was dubbed the McKjúklingaborgari which literally translates to “chicken bread sandwich”
4. What’s In A Name?
Did you know that Icelanders don’t have surnames? When a child is born, they are given a name then identified by the name of their father and the word “son” (sson) or “daughter” (dottir). The popular Icelandic singer Björk is also known as Björk Guðmundsdóttir because her father is Guðmundur Gunnarsson, the leader of the Icelandic Electricians’ Union, Rafiðnaðarsamband Íslands (RSÍ).
5. Drinking Water Straight From The Tap
You probably don’t need to spend too much money buying bottled water when you’re in Iceland. The tap water is reportedly fresh, clean, and safe for consumption. High levels of soil bacteria were detected in water wells in Reykjavík in January 2018. However, things have gone back to normal and Icelanders can still drink water straight out of the faucet.
6. The Great Geysir
Did you know that the word “geyser” actually came from a legendary geyser in Iceland? The Great Geysir was the first geyser to be mentioned in literature back in the 1760s. The Great Geysir (“Gusher”) was named for the Icelandic verb geysa, which means “to gush.” It is one of several geysers you could find in Haukadalur Valley, which is also home to Litli Geysir (“Small Geyser”) and the consistently spouting Strokkur.
7. The Trolls Of Iceland
Are there trolls in Vík? Locals will tell you that you could encounter the mythical creatures in the beautiful black sand beach. Legends say that the stunning basalt rock formations known as Reynisdrangar are actually trolls. It is believed that the trolls were trying to drag ships ashore when the sun came out and turned them into stone.
8 Surprising Facts About Mount Everest
Case in point, it was once below sea level!
Mount Everest is undoubtedly the most iconic peak in the world. The mountain is recognized as the highest mountain above sea level on Earth. Not surprisingly, it has attracted thousands of climbers who are eager to conquer the peak. But what do we really know about the gorgeous giant of the Himalayas?
The official elevation of Mount Everest is 8,848 m (29,029 ft) but that wasn't always the case. China has previously argued that the mountain must only be measured by rock height, which is 8,844 meters (29,016 ft). However, Nepal insisted that the meters of snow at the very top should be counted as well. Luckily, both countries came to an agreement and the elevation was settled at 29,029 ft. Here are eight surprising facts about Mount Everest.
1. It Wasn't Always Called Mount Everest
8 Amazing US Roadside Attractions
These awesome tourist spots should make your next road trip a lot more interesting!
We all know how road trips can get boring when you're going for a long drive. Luckily, highways in the United States are filled with several amazing roadside attractions that will make the trip worthwhile. Some of these tourist spots might even be the reason why some people are driving around in the first place.
Of course, not all roadside attractions are weird art installations or strange tourist traps. For instance, Wall Drug Store, or simply Wall Drug, started out as a tiny pharmacy in Wall, South Dakota. The little store started getting more visitors after it began giving out free ice water to thirsty travelers. Wall Drug is now a shopping mall as well as a famed tourist attraction that draws in millions of visitors every year.
Here are eight other amazing US roadside attractions:...
8 Amazing Upside Down Homes You’d Probably Want To Check Out
These houses will turn your world upside down.
Some of the greatest things in life are upside down. Think of Dairy Queen and Caramel Macchiato. Sometimes, when life seems to flip us down, we have to look at the world from a different perspective.
Some houses literally took the “different perspective” thing to a whole new level. Let’s take a peek at 8 of the world’s craziest collection of upside-down houses.
1. Die Welt Steht Kopf in Trassenheide, Usedom