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Largest Island in the World

Greenland is the largest island in the world. Located primarily within the Arctic Circle, it is surrounded by the frigid waters of both the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Approximately 84 percent of Greenland lies beneath an enormous ice cap that is up to 3,200-3,400 meters / 10,500-11,000 ft. thick and represents 10% of the world's total fresh-water reserves. Due to the harsh climate, most areas not covered by ice are barren rock.

Norse settlers, led by Eric the Red, established settlements in 986 that survived for centuries before finally dying out in the Middle Ages. Europeans returned in 1721 and Greenland became a colony of Denmark.

Today, about 85% of the country's citizens are Greenlanders (Inuit or mixed Inuit and European) with the rest being mostly Danish. Self-government was granted in 1979 by the Danish parliament, although Denmark continues to control Greenland's foreign affairs.

The government represents some unique features. There is no privately owned land in the country - you may build and own a house, but you have to apply to the government for leasehold rights to the land - and medical coverage is free and universal, including prescriptions!

Greenland represents one of eight countries with a portion of its land mass within the Arctic Circle. Do you know the others? Play the GAME!

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Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

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