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Wednesday 12th June
Greenland Facts
Greenland, an island in northern North America between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean, is the largest non-continental island in the world.

Greenland is known locally as Kalaallit Nunaat, the Land of the Greenlandic people.

The highest point in Greenland is Gunnbjorn (3,700 m).

The phenomenon of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen from autumn onwards. The lights, caused by particles from the sun interacting with the earth's atmosphere, cannot be seen in summer because of the midnight sun.

Ice in Greenland has been estimated to constitute ten percent of the world's fresh water reserves.

There is concern that global warming is causing Greeland's ice to melt which could have implications for sea levels and ocean currents.

The first people arrived in Greenland around four to five thousand years ago crossing the frozen sea from Canada.

The last migration from Canada was a group of people known as the Thule [Inuit].

The kayak, originally used by the Inuit for fishing and hunting seals and whales, is thought to have been in use for around four thousand years.

Erik the Red, a Norwegian who had been banished from Iceland, discovered Greenland in 982.

In 2000 Greenland celebrated the thousand-year anniversary of Leif Eriksson's discovery of America.

In 1972 a number of mummified Inuit bodies, dated around 1475, were found in a cave in Qilakitsoq, North Greenland.

The English hunted whales off the coast of Greenland in the sixteenth century.

Denmark founded a colony in Greenland in 1721.

In 1940, during the Second World War, Denmark was occupied by Germany; the United States took custody of Greenland until the end of the War. Greenland was returned to Denmark in 1945.

Greenland became part of Denmark in 1953. Self-government was granted in 1979. Greenlanders voted in favour of more autonomy in November 2008.

In 1968 an American B-52 bomber with four nuclear weapons on board crashed near Thule. There is some concern as to whether all the weapons were recovered.

Oil was discovered along the coast of Greenland in the 1990s.

Greenland awarded exploration licences to oil companies in 2007.

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