At some point in your childhood, you looked closely at the globe and noticed there’s literally no land at the North Pole. While there is some ice cover, it doesn’t really count; however, there is a place that looks and acts the part. That place is Greenland, the world’s largest island. The only problem is … it’s not at the North Pole … but it’s close enough.
Despite being mostly barren—one of the few places where nature still rules—Greenland has an intriguing history. From dishonest Vikings, arctic explorers, and the growing trouble of climate change, this northern wonderland is not to be overlooked.
Bookstr presents 5 books about Greenland: the land at the North Pole (give or take).
As will become apparent later on in this article, Greenland calls to tough risk-takers. The first European to settle in Greenland was the infamous Erik the Red. He was a bloodthirsty Viking too violent for even the other Vikings to handle.
After committing a vicious murder, he was banned from Iceland. Erik voyaged west and landed on the icy shores of a massive island. To attract people to his newly founded settlement, he practically invented clickbait by naming it Greenland. That’s anything but true of the place. This short book, by Captivating History, will take you on a journey through one man’s brutal and opportunistic life.
Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North – Peter Freuchen
Peter Freuchen was a man unlike any other in many ways; however, the most notable of such was his choice to spend 15 years of his life living in Greenland. During his time at the “technical” North Pole, he married and raised children with an Inuit woman. His adventures in the Greenland wilderness led to many brushes with death and the founding of the Thule trading base.
In this book, you will get to know the epic Peter Freuchen and the Inuit peoples that have called Greenland home for thousands of years, all without facing the biting cold and the wrath of hungry polar bears.
According to Britannica, “although Greenland remains a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, the island’s home rule government is responsible for most domestic affairs.” When it comes to international conflict, the Danish government gets involved, which is how Greenland found itself in the middle of perhaps the weirdest war in human history: The Whiskey War.
As the story goes, Canada claimed a small desolate island off the west coast of Greenland in the Kennedy Channel. Denmark responded, claiming it as being part of Greenland. For decades, the two peaceful countries have been asserting their control over the relatively worthless island by planting flags and leaving bottles of their national whiskey brands.
If you’re curious about the specifics of this bizarre conflict, Breaking Ice, by the Arctic Institute of North America, can enlighten you on that, as well as environmental concerns pertaining to the far north.
The Ice At The End Of The World – Jon Gertner
We’ve all heard of ice fishing, but scientists have taken the principle of drilling into ice a bit further. Today, Greenland attracts scientists looking to find out the ancient past of our planet, which lays packed under literal miles of ice. Jon Gertner provides a big picture look at the significance that the gigantic island has on the world and our species as a whole.
Frozen In Time – Mitchel Zuckoff
During World War II, the United States occupied Greenland to prevent Axis Powers from taking control of it. It was during this time that “a US cargo plane slammed into the Greenland Ice Cap,” as stated by Amazon. Against the odds and the blizzards blown their way, the nine men aboard the plane managed to hold out and be rescued. But that wasn’t the only time the incident happened. Mitchel Zuckoff’s book details the many times Greenland tested the strength of human life.
Featured Images Via Quirk Books & World Atlas Flags