From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
- This article is about the island of Greenland. For another place, see Greenland, New Hampshire.
The extreme north of Greenland is not covered by an ice cap (indicated as pale blue in the map to the right), because the air there is too dry to produce snow, which is essential in the production and maintenance of an ice cap.
It is unknown when the native inhabitants of Greenland arrived, or why they decided to settle such a desolate place. Their bodies have adapted in accordance with the habitat through the millennia, becoming shorter, with more fatty tissue to provide heat insolation.
Icelandic settlers arrived at the beginning of the last millennium. They established a settlement at the very south-western tip of the island, where they thrived for the next centuries. Around 1400, however, the immigrants seem to have abruptly disappeared, leaving only the houses behind.
The name Greenland comes from those nordic settlers. In the Viking sagas, it is said that Eiríkur Rauði (Erik the Red) was exiled from Iceland for murder. He, along his family and slaves, set out in longships to find the land that was rumoured to be to the north-west. After settling there, he named the land Greenland in order to attract more people to settle down. It proved successful, and the colony seemed to be getting relatively well along with the Inuits, until they simply vanished, for reasons unknown.
The capital is Nuuk (Godthåb)
The government pledged to hold a referendum on full independence in 2005.
- Geography of Greenland
- History of Greenland
- Demographics of Greenland
- Politics of Greenland
- Economy of Greenland
- Communications in Greenland
- Transportation in Greenland
- Military of Greenland
- Foreign relations of Greenland
- List of Prime Ministers of Greenland
From the CIA World Factbook 2000.