Iceland isn’t as cold as you might imagine it to be with the average winter temperature at 2°C (35° F). In fact, Iceland is quite different in many ways than you might assume. Here are some oddly fascinating facts about Iceland most people don’t know!
1. Mosquitoes don’t exist in Iceland.
2. Iceland produces more writers per population than any other country.
1 in 10 people living on this small island of 300,000 people have published a book.
3. Almost all of Iceland’s heating and electricity demands are fulfilled by hydroelectric power and geothermal water reserves.
4. Hot dog’s are Iceland’s most popular food.
You can buy them pretty much everywhere, at gas stations, restaurants and even roadside stops.
5. A 1998 survey revealed that the majority of Icelanders believe in the existence of elves.
6. Iceland has a penis museum, it’s called The Icelandic Phallological Museum.
7. Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland, banned dog ownership between 1924 and 1989.
The thought behind the ban was that the city was not an ideal place for dogs to live. Of course, people still illegally owned dogs, and in 1984 the conservative MP and Minister of Finance, Albert Guðmundsson, was charged for keeping his dog named Lucy. This sparked mass attention to the issue and partially ended the ban on dog ownership, allowing people to apply for an exception. In 2006, the ban was completely removed.
8. There are no strip clubs in Iceland, they were banned in 2010.
9. Babies are commonly left outside to nap, even in freezing temperatures.
Rest assured, these babies aren’t freezing! Iceland produces the warmest baby strollers in the world.
10. Many Icelanders do not have a last name, at least not in the traditional sense.
Instead, their last name consists of their father’s first name with the addition of -dóttir (daughter) or -son.