Iceland, officially called Republic of Iceland and sometimes its counterpart Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic (for example this is a part of the name of the Constitution of Iceland, Stjórnarskrá lýðveldisins Íslands) is a Nordic European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
Iceland is a small but rugged country far from anywhere that has suffered from financial wreckage as severely as any in the developed world after Iceland’s overstretched banks failed in 2008. In a matter of weeks after the banks’ collapse, the unemployment rate jumped to 10 percent, house prices fell, the currency plunged and inflation surged.
Then on April 14, 2010, an explosion sent clouds of ash soaring as high as 11,000 meters, disrupting air traffic in Northern Europe, with ripple effects far beyond. Travel chaos across the globe deepened as the vast, high-altitude plume of volcanic ash spread farther across northern and central Europe, forcing aviation authorities to close more airspace and ground more airplanes to forestall damage to jet engines.
By the afternoon of April 16, most of Europe's major airports - crucial hubs for international travelers - were closed.
Though its Grimsvotn volcano is currently causing some disruption, Iceland has something to brag about. The nation has been ranked the most peaceful country in the world, according to the 2011 Global Peace Index. It scored low for various indicators including the number of external and internal conflicts fought, political instability, military expenditure, and level of violent crime.
The people of Iceland are known for their resilient, go-it-alone character. It is the result of a forbidding geography: endowed with a rugged terrain pockmarked by geysers and volcanoes, their island stretches into the Arctic Circle, and is nearly 620 miles (1,000 km) from mainland Europe.
But the linchpin of the scheme is something few other countries could offer: clean electricity. Really clean. Iceland generates 100% of its energy from renewable hydroelectric and geothermal sources, of which it has plenty. Melting glaciers feed hydro plants, and the same forces that fuel volcanoes drive geothermal power. Iceland wants a world that's keen to abandon fossil fuels to come and take advantage.
Born in 1965 in Reykjavik, Iceland, Bjork began studying classical music at a young age and, at 12, made an album of Icelandic folk songs. During her teen years, she transitioned to punk bands, forming one called, memorably, “Spit & Snot.”
Halló humans on the Inter-net.
My name is Iceland. I am an island, full of mountains and glaciers and hot water and sheep and many nice Icelandic people, who like to make music, and who are sometimes cold.
Iceland has the land area of Virginia and the population of Virginia Beach (about 260,000 people). The country has the highest literacy rate (100%) of any nation in the world. Its history has always been closely related to volcanoes and knowledge of many volcanic eruptions since the middle ages are preserved in accounts.
Putrefied shark meat. Sheep heads and testicles. Some of Iceland's traditional delicacies might challenge a few palates, but if you're looking for a little edible adventure, eating like a Viking just might be the way to go.
The national park of Þingvellir is the site of the world's first democratic government, the Alþing, established by the Vikings in 930. And leave it to the Vikings to establish said government in a tectonic plate rift. The Eurasian and North American plates meet here and are gradually drifting apart. It's one of the few places in the world where the fault lines and rift valley are so clearly visible.
Traditionally a whaling nation, Iceland abandoned the practice in 1989 in line with an international moratorium. It later resumed scientific whaling, intended to investigate the impact of whales on fish stocks, and in 2006 it announced a return to commercial hunts. The move was condemned by environmental groups.