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Map of Iceland

Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic Ocean and in the Arctic Ocean. Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city of Iceland, Reykjavík, is (along with the surrounding area) home to over 65% of the population. Iceland is the largest part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that rises above sea level, and its central volcanic plateau is erupting almost constantly. The interior consists of a plateau characterised by sand and lava fields, mountains, and glaciers, and many glacial rivers flow to the sea through the lowlands. Iceland is warmed by the Gulf Stream and has a temperate climate, despite a high latitude just outside the Arctic Circle. Its high latitude and marine influence keep summers chilly, and most of its islands have a polar climate.

According to the ancient manuscript Landnámabók, the settlement of Iceland began in 874 AD when the Norwegian chieftain Ingólfr Arnarson became the first permanent settler on the island. In the following centuries, Norwegians, and to a lesser extent other Scandinavians, immigrated to Iceland, bringing with them thralls (i.e., slaves or serfs) of Gaelic origin.


  • The first attempt to run trawler fishing off Iceland was made in 1899 by an Englishman who had settled in Hafnarfjörður. The name of the ship was Utopia, which was prophetic because the enterprise came to nothing and was abandoned that same autumn.
    • Gunnar Karlsson Iceland's 1100 Years . Hurst. Kindle Edition.
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