49 Facts About Greenland


Greenland is an island country that is part of the Kingdom of Denmark.

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Greenland is divided into five municipalities: Sermersooq, Kujalleq, Qeqqata, Qeqertalik and Avannaata.

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Three-quarters of Greenland is covered by the only permanent ice sheet outside of Antarctica.

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Norsemen settled the uninhabited southern part of Greenland beginning in the 10th century, having previously settled Iceland.

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Greenland became Danish in 1814 and was fully integrated in the Danish state in 1953 under the Constitution of Denmark.

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From 1961 Greenland joined the European Free Trade Association, which Denmark joined as a founding member of the EFTA in 1960, but its membership ceased with effect from 1973 when Denmark joined the European Communities.

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In 1973, Greenland joined the European Economic Community with Denmark.

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Greenland contains the world's largest and northernmost national park, Northeast Greenland National Park .

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Under the new structure, Greenland has gradually assumed responsibility for policing, the judicial system, company law, accounting, auditing, mineral resource activities, aviation, law of legal capacity, family law and succession law, immigration and border controls, the working environment, financial regulation and supervision.

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Greenland expects to grow its economy based on increased income from the extraction of natural resources.

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In prehistoric times, Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Inuit cultures known today primarily through archaeological finds.

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Icelandic saga accounts of life in Greenland were composed in the 13th century and later, and do not constitute primary sources for the history of early Norse Greenland.

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Interpretation of ice core and clam shell data suggests that between 800 and 1300 AD the regions around the fjords of southern Greenland experienced a relatively mild climate several degrees Celsius higher than usual in the North Atlantic with trees and herbaceous plants growing and livestock being farmed.

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In 1721, a joint mercantile and clerical expedition led by Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede was sent to Greenland, not knowing whether a Norse civilization remained there.

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Gradually, Greenland was opened up to Danish merchants, but closed to those from other countries.

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On 8 April 1941, the United States occupied Greenland to defend it against a possible invasion by Germany.

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Greenland was able to buy goods from the United States and Canada by selling cryolite from the mine at Ivittuut.

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Greenland had been a protected and very isolated society until 1940.

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In wartime Greenland developed a sense of self-reliance through self-government and independent communication with the outside world.

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In 1985, Greenland left the European Economic Community upon achieving self-rule, as it did not agree with the EEC's commercial fishing regulations and an EEC ban on seal skin products.

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Greenland voters approved a referendum on greater autonomy on 25 November 2008.

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On 21 June 2009, Greenland gained self-rule with provisions for assuming responsibility for self-government of judicial affairs, policing, and natural resources.

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Greenland is the world's largest non-continental island and the third largest area in North America after Canada and the United States.

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Greenland is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Greenland Sea to the east, the North Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, the Davis Strait to the southwest, Baffin Bay to the west, the Nares Strait and Lincoln Sea to the northwest.

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The nearest countries to Greenland are Canada, to the west and southwest across Nares Strait and Baffin Bay, as well as a shared border on Hans Island; and Iceland, southeast of Greenland in the Atlantic Ocean.

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Greenland contains the world's largest national park, and it is the largest dependent territory by area in the world, as well as the fourth largest country subdivision in the world, after Sakha Republic in Russia, Australia's state of Western Australia, and Russia's Krasnoyarsk Krai, and the largest in North America.

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All towns and settlements of Greenland are situated along the ice-free coast, with the population being concentrated along the west coast.

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The northeastern part of Greenland is not part of any municipality, but it is the site of the world's largest national park, Northeast Greenland National Park.

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The glaciers of Greenland are contributing to a rise in the global sea level faster than was previously believed.

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Greenland is home to two ecoregions: Kalaallit Nunaat high arctic tundra and Kalaallit Nunaat low arctic tundra.

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The few native land mammals in Greenland include the polar bear, reindeer, arctic fox, arctic hare, musk ox, collared lemming, ermine, and arctic wolf.

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Phytogeographically, Greenland belongs to the Arctic province of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom.

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The most common tree native to Greenland is the European white birch along with gray-leaf willow, rowan, common juniper and other smaller trees, mainly willows.

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The fishing industry is the primary industry of Greenland's economy, accounting for the majority of the country's total exports.

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Greenland is a self-governing entity within the constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Denmark, in which Queen Margrethe II is the head of state.

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In 1985, Greenland left the European Economic Community, unlike Denmark, which remains a member.

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Greenland retains some ties through its associated relationship with the EU.

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Greenland is designated as a member of the Overseas Countries and Territories and is thus officially not a part of the European Union, though Greenland can and does receive support from the European Development Fund, Multiannual Financial Framework, European Investment Bank and EU Programmes.

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Several American and Danish military bases are located in Greenland, including Thule Air Base, which is home to the United States Space Force's global network of sensors providing missile warning, space surveillance and space control to North American Aerospace Defense Command .

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However, in early 2013 the government of Greenland said that it had no plans to impose such restrictions.

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Since 1990, Greenland has registered a foreign-trade deficit following the closure of the last remaining lead and zinc mine that year.

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In 2017, new sources of ruby in Greenland have been discovered, promising to bring new industry and a new export from the country .

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Greenland is the only country in the Americas where natives make up a majority of the population.

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Kalaallisut is the language of West Greenland, which has long been the most populous area of the island.

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Public school system in Greenland is, as in Denmark, under the jurisdiction of the municipalities: they are therefore municipal schools.

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Alcohol consumption rates in Greenland reached their height in the 1980s, when it was twice as high as in Denmark, and had by 2010 fallen slightly below the average level of consumption in Denmark .

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The singer-songwriter Simon Lynge is the first musical artist from Greenland to have an album released across the United Kingdom, and to perform at the UK's Glastonbury Festival.

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The music culture of Greenland includes traditional Inuit music, largely revolving around singing and drums.

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Greenland has excellent conditions for skiing, fishing, snowboarding, ice climbing and rock climbing, although mountain climbing and hiking are preferred by the general public.

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