Let’s start with something plain and simple. This beautiful picture was taken by NASA on a cold and clear winter’s day in 2009. It shows Iceland as a true ice-land, something that doesn’t happen too often.
Around 600 polar bears have been spotted in Iceland since the year 890, when settler Ingimundur the old saw a sow with two cubs. They usually arrive by sea ice. The last sighting was four years ago in the West Fjords.
The map shows where the polar bears have been spotted in Iceland, dead or alive. Each dot represents one or more animals. It was made by the Icelandic Institute of Natural History.
This huge 76m2 (807 ft2) map of Iceland is stored in the Reykjavík City Hall. It’s pretty cool—but I wouldn’t get overly excited about it.
Between 1870 and 1900 about 15,000 Icelanders resettled in North America. It was a huge blow for a nation of only 70.000 people. Many of the emigrants were escaping the volcanic eruption of Askja in 1875.
In 2011, more than 94,000 people of Icelandic descent lived in Canada. The map shows how people who have an Icelandic background are distributed in North America.
In April 2010 there was a massive volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. The ash was carried all over Europe and 20 countries had to close their airspace, making 10 million travelers very annoyed.
The three images below are all from April 17. They demonstrate clearly how the big smoker affected the rest of Europe.
I made the next one myself. It answers the question as to what awaits us beyond the ocean (if we travel in a straight line away from land). Venturing west, north and east is no fun—but if we travel southwards it gets rather interesting.
What is the total opposite of Iceland?
And how does Iceland compare to other countries in size? Note: On regular maps Iceland appears much larger than it really is. This is due to the Mercator projection that is used by most world maps which exaggerates areas far away from the equator.
Seventy-eight percent of the population lives within 55 km (34 miles) of Reykjavík’s center. Interestingly enough, they only hold 71.5 percent of the votes.
The next image has around 330,000 dots. That equals the total population of Iceland.
And finally we have a beautiful map of Iceland from the late 16th century. It was made by a Flemish cartographer, Abraham Ortelius.
Jóhannes Benediktsson – johannes(at)icelandreview.com