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  • Guys, as you know, I went to Iceland earlier this year and in all honesty if you just want to get a real taste of

  • Iceland better than I could ever provide. Check out my friend, this guy, Ásgeir. Subscribe to his channel.

  • He helped me out when I was there and he knows Iceland. Ásgeir. Check out the Ás.

  • Yeah, keep that one bro. All for you.

  • ♫ ♫ ♫

  • It's time to learn Geography! ♫ NOW!

  • Hey everyone! I'm your host Barby. So, full disclosure before we start:

  • my pronunciation for Icelandic words is going to suck so bad in this episode.

  • I do not advise you to play a drinking game for every time I mispronounce something.

  • You will get alcohol poisoning and you might die.

  • I repeat, you could die watching this.

  • Iceland! Just the name invokes an obvious clue about where it is geographically.

  • First of all! The country is located at the confluence of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans,

  • east of Greenland and just south of the Arctic circle. The country is divided into six constituencies:

  • three big ones and three of which are confusing because they basically just split up

  • the most populous areas in the West. Reykjavík is the capital and the northernmost capital in the world

  • which is split into two constituencies: North and South, whereas the Southwest Constituency

  • is divided into four non-contiguous exclaves, but they still act as one

  • constituency, not four. So, it's six small separate entities that act as three constituencies. Get it?

  • - (laughs) No. - Great!

  • This was done to help with the imbalance of the sparsely populated outer regions with voting

  • since about a third of the entire country is located in the Reykjavík metropolitan area.

  • Nonetheless, most of the country still refers to areas being located in traditional eight

  • regions zones which are divided like this. The country has many domestic airports

  • but the one large scale international airport

  • is Keflavík International and the next two busiest ones are Reykjavík and Akureyri.

  • Reykjavík and Akureyri are domestic airports except for seasonal service to Greenland internationally.

  • Iceland's domain is mostly encompassed around the main island however, they do own some

  • smaller islands and archipelagos off their coasts. The most populated ones being Heimaey,

  • Hrísey and Grímsey and some in the South like the newest island that just popped up in the '60s:

  • Surtsey, which is off-limits to anyone except permitted scientists who study it.

  • Otherwise, Iceland may be rugged but the islanders sure have paved a way for you to see it all - The Ring Road.

  • This guy takes you all around the entire country and depending on how much time

  • you want to stop and see the sites, it could take you anywhere between 4-ish to 7 days to complete.

  • Hey Brandon! You went on the Ring Road, right?

  • - Yeah. - How long did it take you?

  • - Uh, about nine days. - Okay, uh. Maybe my facts were wrong.

  • Otherwise, some top, notable man-made sites and landmarks might include:

  • The National Gallery. The Viking World Museum.

  • The stone carvings ofll Guðmundsson. The US Navy D-3 plane wreckage site.

  • Thefn Viking Village. The Sea Monster museum.

  • Pretty much all of Akureyri. The Whale Museum.

  • The Design Center. All over the countryside you can find turf houses with grass on the roofs.

  • The country's iconic landmark and beautifully constructed icicle shaped church - Hallgrímskirkja.

  • Now, as interesting as those man-made sites and landmarks may be.

  • They pale in comparison to what the actual land has to offer.

  • Let's jump into the fire and ice!

  • Alright, let me just put it this way. Iceland doesn't need an amusement park or roller coasters

  • because the entire island is just like a wonderland in itself.

  • First of all! Iceland is the 18th largest island in the world and the second largest in all of Europe.

  • The entire country lies, transected on the mid-Atlantic range which divides the North American tectonic plate

  • with the Eurasian plate, splitting open about two centimeters every year.

  • You can even see the divide for yourself with your own eyes.

  • Nearby Reykjavík at Þingvellir with the largest natural lake - Þingvallavatn.

  • The land splits open and you can literally walk from Eurasia to North America.

  • Underneath the waters you can get even closer to the divide, at the Silfra.

  • (exhales) That was easy.

  • Known as the clearest water diving spot in the world where visibility can go up to a hundred meters.

  • Over 80% of the country is mountainous with the tallest point - Hvannadalshnúkur.

  • Eleven percent of the country is covered with six main glaciers.

  • The largest one in the Southeast - Vatnajökull

  • and the smallest one which just erupted in 2010 - Eyjafjallajökull.

  • With hundreds of volcanoes and about thirty of them are consistently active

  • as the longest river, the Þjórsá meanders through the deep, central Hofsjökull glacier to the ocean.

  • (exhales deeply)

  • So, basically the entire island is geothermal. Everywhere you go, chances are you can probably

  • find a natural hot spring hidden somewhere in the remote wilderness.

  • Not only that but Iceland also harbours and capitalizes

  • off of this unique valuable resource as much as possible.

  • When the first vikings came in, they were like:

  • - "Wow! It is cold in here. I mean, I knew Norway was chilly but dang!"

  • - "Is there anything here we can use to not like freeze to death?"

  • - "Hmmm..."

  • Yeah, they killed a lot of sheep and made more wool clothing

  • but then eventually they found how to generate power with the hot springs.

  • Geothermal energy provides about a quarter of the country's power alone

  • and the rest is mostly hydroelectric from dams and renewable sources.

  • Nonetheless, only about one percent of their land is arable.

  • Mostly confined to the South peripheral lowlands

  • where root vegetables and kale and cabbage and cauliflower are grown.

  • Alongside numerous geothermal heated greenhouses that harvest warm climate produce

  • like tomatoes, cucumbers and yes, even bananas.

  • Making Iceland the Northernmost banana producing country in the world.

  • Of course, the country also hosts a unique variety of arctic wildlife like puffins, foxes, seals

  • narwhals, the national animals: the Gyrfalcon and the famous, highly accredited Icelandic horses.

  • By the way, yes it's true. Iceland is the only country with no mosquitoes however,

  • they do have two species of midges.

  • - (laughs) He said midgets.

  • - Midg-ES which are similar to mosquitoes and actually one of the species

  • does actually bite so it's kind of like having mosquitoes anyway.

  • - (laughs) Iceland has biting midgets.

  • - Keith... Just... (sighs)

  • Speaking of which, traditional Icelandic food is, let's just say, even my Icelandic friend said this:

  • - This is so disgusting. Why would anyone eat this?

  • Yeah, let's just say the vikings had some very unorthodox tactics when it came to food preservation.

  • Dishes like: sheep's head, stock fish jerky, head cheese, sheep testicles

  • and the famouskarl. What is it exactly? Well, let's just say:

  • - Hey! So, I got this shark but it's poisonous. How do I eat it?

  • - Hmmm. Oh, I know!

  • Let's bury it into the ground until it smells like urine then dry it out for a couple months

  • and then cut off the brown crust and then serve it!

  • - Yeah! Obviously. I knew that!

  • There are some delicious, redeeming Icelandic foods, though. They are known for making some amazing

  • smoked lamb served with bean salad and grilled haddock and herring dishes.

  • You can literally drink almost any water from any stream, pond or lake or river in Iceland.

  • The whole island kinda acts like a filtration device for the glaciers.

  • You have places like the smooth, conical Kirkjufell mountain.

  • (Brandon has a tattoo of that!)

  • The Skaftafell crystal ice cave in Vatnajökull.

  • The Kjölur trail in the Highlands. Literally like every five kilometers you'll find a waterfall.

  • And don't forget the geysers in the South. Pretty much all of the Westfjords region is empty and beautiful for you

  • to explore with no tourists. The sea monster of Hvítserkur.

  • Drangey Island. Grjótagjá Caves.

  • lifell, green volcano on black sand beaches.

  • Krafla andmaskarð.

  • Drangsnes hot tubs. The largest hotspring Gunnuhver

  • and the open exposed fossiles of Hallbjarnarstaðakambur.

  • If you went against my disclaimer and played that drinking game, you should be in an ambulance by now.

  • Speaking of drinking. Icelanders are awesome people to socialize with. Let's meet them, shall we?

  • Now, if the Nordics were a family, Iceland would be like the little brother that

  • got lost at sea from a shipwreck, got stranded on an island and became a wild man.

  • First of all! Iceland has a population of about 335 thousand people and is the most sparsely populated

  • country in Europe. About 92% of the country identifies as ethnically Icelandic.

  • About 4% are Polish and the remainder are other immigrants from all over.

  • Mostly Nordic, West European and a few Asians mixed in as well.

  • They also use the Icelandic Króna as their currency. They use the type C plug outlet

  • and they drive on the right side of the road.

  • Now, being Icelandic is actually very unique, genetically in contrast to the rest of their Nordic cousins.

  • Basically, way back, yee-ha the vikings where like:

  • - "Hey, we're sick of Norway. Let's make a new home. Oh, but wait. We need women."

  • But most of the Norwegian women were like:

  • - "Uh uh..."

  • So, they made a quick stop to the British Isles and kidnapped a bunch of Irish and Celtic women,

  • brought them over. About 70% of all their women that is.

  • To this day, a typical Icelander actually has a portion of Irish or Celtic roots in their blood.

  • Now obviously, if you are one of the few lucky people that hasn't ended up in an ambulance yet,

  • you have noticed that the Icelandic language is incredibly unique,

  • often touted as one of the hardest languages in the world to learn.

  • I mean, half time the letters make no sense.

  • 'F' can make a 'V' or a 'P' sound. Sometimes 'P' and a 'T' make a 'F' sound.

  • Sometimes the 'G' makes a 'W' sound. These two letters both make a 'th' sound

  • and sometimes when there's two L's it makes like a '%43#@!v93g" sound.

  • Most Nordic peoples have a hard time cracking the Icelandic code.

  • Except for the Faroese people on the Faroe Islands.

  • They seem to have a similar sense of pronunciation and grammar as the Icelanders.

  • Icelandic and Faroese are the closest languages to ancient Norse out of all the Nordic languages.

  • If you give them a script written in ancient Norse, chances are they could probably understand it

  • Whereas Norwegians, Swedes and Danes are like:

  • "HA! Nope."

  • Now, because of its small population, Icelandic culture is very communal.

  • Changes are everybody either knows each other or they know somebody who knows another person.

  • Therefore, an ingrained sense of trust kind of roots itself in the mindsets of most people.

  • This is why Iceland has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire world, sometimes topping off at number one.

  • And also as of 2014, they were elected the world's most peaceful country according to The Global Peace Index.

  • Oh, by the way, in Iceland nobody technically has a surname.

  • They just adopt the last name dependent on their father's first name and they just added -son, or -dóttir

  • after it. So for example, a man named Alex with a father named, I don't know, Bjarki would be named

  • Alex Bjarkason. Or if it was a woman, her last name would be Bjarkadóttir.

  • Sorry Bjarki, you just popped in my head. You rock man! Hope you're doing well.

  • Icelanders are thrill-seekers. They live in an extreme landscape, so they make the best of it.

  • And they will ski, paraglide, rappel, skate, dive, jump and experience anything that gives them adrenaline.

  • Some of the top notable Icelandic people might include:

  • Founders of Iceland - Ingólfr Arnarson and his wife Hallveig and brother Chiorleif,

  • Leif Erikson.

  • The first president - Sveinn Björnsson.

  • Musicians Sigur Rós, Of Monsters and Men, Emiliana Torrini, Múm, Gus Gus.

  • Of course, the most famous resident - Björk.

  • Oscar nominated director - Friðrik Þór Friðriksson.

  • Halldór Laxness. Handball superstar - Ólafur Stefánsson.

  • Magnus Örn Scheving. Fiann Paul.

  • And of course everyone's favorite strong man - Hafþór or "Thor the Mountain" Július Björnsson.

  • Now, as small as Iceland is, they've made a huge impact in the world's media outlets.

  • Somewhere in the like '90s and the early 2000s, words spread fast and to this day,

  • tourism is almost getting out of hand as they get over three times their own population in tourism every year.

  • Hotels need to be built, staff need to be hired and diplomacy is key and operating the whole deal,

  • which brings us to.

  • Now, Iceland has a problem. A good problem.

  • Too many people like him now and it's all happening too fast.

  • First of all, Iceland has always had good ties to the USA and Canada. The US was the first to recognize

  • Iceland as a state after independence and both countries, not only give some of the biggest business

  • but also house the largest communities of Icelanders outside of Iceland. Finland is like the mysterious cool

  • new rebel friend that they just made. They enjoy both being outsiders because although they are both Nordic,

  • they are not considered Scandinavian. When it comes to humour,

  • they totally get each other and click instantly with dry, semi-dark undertone jokes.

  • Sweden is like the older brother that they love but is too busy working on his

  • flowcharts to hang out with. Denmark is close although Danes practically have no idea

  • what skiing is, considering their flat landscapes.

  • Most Icelanders learn Danish in school first, before they learn English, even though they think it's pretty useless.

  • When it comes to their best friends, most Icelanders I've talked to have said Norway and the Faroe Islands.

  • As mentioned before, Icelanders have historical roots to Norway and the two have had very close relations.

  • Especially since they both can relate to being subjugated under the Danes at one point in time.

  • The Faroe Islands are like their weird cousins that totally get them and love to hang out with.

  • It's a magical moment when an Icelander meets a Faroese person.

  • In conclusion: Iceland is a land where cold meets hot, old meets new, small yet big,

  • horrible fermented shark meets your dinner plate.

  • I hope you're still alive and if you are, stay tuned, because the big guy, India is coming up next!

Guys, as you know, I went to Iceland earlier this year and in all honesty if you just want to get a real taste of

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地理Now!アイスランド (Geography Now! Iceland)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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