Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9498967:


Icelanders suffer from Small Nation Complex. Meaning they kn 1 7, 9:48pm

@ArynChris That's not really accurate. Iceland was (according to the most widely accepted history) named by Flóki Vilgerðarson (Raven-Flóki) who settled at Barðaströnd right before an unusually severe winter, and was shocked to see pack ice floating in the ocean (a rare thing here). That said, we have very long winters and a good chunk of the country is glaciated; explorers coming from the southeast and seeing Vatnajökull as they approached probably wouldn't have questioned the name any ;)

Grænland (Greenland) was discovered by Eiríkr "hinn rauði" Þorvaldsson, aka Erik the Red. The key point however is that Grænland was initially a place on the island, not the whole island itself. The presence of a large frozen land mass west of Iceland was already well known at his time. He was the first to discover habitable, green pasturelands on the south and west sides. Now, it's true that he stated that he chose the name to be appealing to new settlers. But it's not like he was "tricking people into settling a glacier" or anything like that - the environment wasn't all *that* much different from his native Vestfirðir.

(Re: "Raven Flóki" - the reason for his name is rather clever, he managed to find Iceland by taking ravens with him and letting them loose periodically. Since they're land birds, they'd fly as high as they could and circle to look for land. If they couldn't find any, they'd have no choice but to return to the boat. But if they found land they'd beeline for it - and he would follow)