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Iceland Mag


5 Things that the typical American knows about Iceland

By Matt Eliason

  • Iceland is not full of Ice! The only fact Americans are told about Iceland in school is "Iceland is green and Greenland is full of Ice." This is the one bit of information that you can count on Americans remembering about the land of fire and ice. Photo/Julian Tryba

1. Iceland is Green and Greenland is Ice.

Beautiful in summer The name Iceland is a bit misleading as most summers can yield green fields. Photo/Vilhelm

For some reason the only fact about Iceland that is drummed into the head of every American high school student is this fact; Iceland is green and Greenland is Ice. I can’t tell you how many people have mentioned this fact to me when first hearing I would be living in Reykjavik, Iceland for the summer. It is for the most part true.

After flying over Greenland it is primarily Ice. And while Iceland is quite cold most of the time, it does have a temperate climate in the summer months that allows for some green vegetation. Regardless of the accuracy of the statement, all Americans will be able to rumble off this line thanks to our high school history teachers.

2. Volcanoes 

Morning haze 

The Holuhraun eruption has created a hazy atmosphere in Reykjavik. Photo/Vilhelm

The volcanic activity found in the land of fire and ice is no longer a secret to the rest of the world. After the 2010 eruption of Ejyafjallajokull sub-glacial volcano, the entire world was familiar with Iceland’s constant seismic rumblings as the European airline industry was shut down for a week. Now with Holuhraun eruption of 2014, Iceland is back in the American news for the amazing scenes near Bardarbunga volcano system.

Volcanoes always activate the interest of the American media due to the “exotic nature” of a magma eruption. Holuhraun has been a drawn out eruption that continues to make headlines, attracting more interest to Iceland and its amazing landscape.

3. D2: The Mighty Ducks 

Team Iceland Most Americans recongize Iceland as the youth hockey team that faced Team USA in the popular movie D2: The Might Ducks. Photo/Official Poster

The popular American movie series, The Mighty Ducks featured Team Iceland in the second movie entitled D2: The Mighty Ducks.  Team Iceland was known as the “team to beat” as their scary black jerseys and a team full of blonde guys named “Gunnar” dominated en route to the Championship game. In true underdog fashion, the Mighty Ducks defeated the powerful Iceland squad. Ironically, hockey is not that popular in Iceland and only about 50% of the guys in Iceland are named Gunnar.

4. Wedding / Bachelor Party Spot

Fun Nightlife The Reykjavik Nightlife has been attracting a lot of American bachelor parties. Photo/Valli

The new popular wedding and bachelor party destination for Americans is the downtown area of Iceland’s capital city Reykjavik. This is only true for couple with a little bit of money because a trip to Iceland can be a bit pricey, but a number of the popular Reykjavik bars can be seen littered with American tourists during the summer.

There really isn’t a more beautiful place to tie the knot than Iceland’s amazing landscape, and downtown Reykjavik provides the perfect night life spot for bachelors parties to cause some ruckus.

5. Bjork  

Bjork is an internationally renowned singer that widely known amongst Americans.

The singer / songwriter is without a doubt the most famous Icelander to come out of the Viking Nation. Sigur Ros is also popular, but no one compares to the unique sounds and fashion sense that Bjork.

You typical American will have no problem identifying Bjork in a photo, which cannot be said about any other Icelander. Her global reach is clearly evident with the American audience.

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