Howlanders arrives to Iceland! Do you know these surprising facts?

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Exploring, exploring, we discover Iceland. Howlanders arrives in Iceland to offer you unique experiences in the country. But before you jump into the adventure you have to know a little more about this new world that we bring you today. We’re excited to reveal some curiosities of Iceland.

More sheep than inhabitants

No more and no less than twice as many sheep as inhabitants. That’s about 360,000 inhabitants and more than 600,000 sheep. It is one of the countries with the lowest population density, in 2018 it was 3 inhabitants per square kilometer. That would then be about 6 sheep per square kilometer. Get ready to give way to the sheep, in Iceland they rule.

Sheep in the grass in Iceland

There is no McDonald’s

In Iceland there is not even a McDonald’s and is that with the collapse of the country’s economy in 2009 closed its last establishments. But there are still remnants of the brand. Hjörtur Smarason bought a menu and decided to keep it inside a glass bell that today can be visited in a guesthouse in the south of the country.

More volcanoes than soccer players

If there are more sheep than people, it’s not surprising that there are more volcanoes than footballers. That’s 120 professional footballers and 126 mountains with volcanic activity – not a bad ratio Iceland!

Volcano in Iceland

Trolls, elves, fairies and goblins

54 % of Icelanders believe in the existence of these beings of nature and not only that, many of them claim to have seen them. It is said that the construction of a road was interrupted by demonstrations because it crossed through the middle of a settlement of elves. No kidding!

Stinky Santa Claus

Did you know that in Iceland there are 13 Santas? Well let’s see, it’s actually not the classic red-hatted Santa Claus you’re imagining. They’re ‘The Yule’ and they’re ungraceful and smelly elves who live in the mountains. They deliver gifts from the 12th until Christmas Eve, every day one. At Christmas they return to the mountains until the next year.

Good sleep with an opened window

The window open and the heating plugged in. And isn’t that a crime? You see, the reason they sleep with the window open is to breathe the fresh air. We know it still amazes you that they let the heat escape, but heating is cheap for them because they use renewable energy from the island itself.

Opened window at night curiosities of Iceland

The purest water in the world

Island is one of the countries with the purest water in the world, it does not need to be treated and can be drunk directly from the island’s rivers. The tap water is better quality than any bottled water and of course, is a source of pride for its citizens. The bad thing is not being able to carry bottles on the plane.

A plane stranded on the beach

That’s right, this is a military aircraft that served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. It has no wings or tail, but you can see the bullets in its fuselage. How did it get there? It had to make a forced landing on the volcanic earth with no loss of life. What a relief!

Airplane stranded in a beach curiosities of Iceland

No ants or mosquitoes

Is Iceland a camper’s paradise? It seems strange that in a country without ants attacking your food or mosquitoes keeping you awake at night, but it is. It is not known why, but it is said that it is because of the cold climate that does not allow ants to nest and that hinders the mosquitoes’ procreation process.

Rotten shark as a delicacy

It is a delicacy and a traditional dish. Let’s try to make it sound better: it is cured shark meat under a long process that is then left to hang for 4 or 5 months until it dries. Whether the taste is good or bad is up to you to decide, so enjoy!

Pieces of hakarl curiosities of Iceland

6 months without name

Neither during pregnancy nor at birth the baby’s name is discussed. After birth, parents have up to 6 months to register the name of the newborn, or not so newborn. And why? Because they have to observe the character or resemblance with a relative to make the decision. Sometimes the revelation comes in a dream!

The world’s first female president

In November 1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir won the presidential election becoming the first democratically elected head of state in the world. Iceland is a mecca of equality between men and women.

Penis Museum

It is not a joke, it is as real as life itself. It was inaugurated in 1997 with 63 pieces and today has 286 pieces and 350 works of art related to the phallus. The extensive collection with a biological purpose has members from different Icelandic animals, but also from other countries and even a human one.

The Iceland Phallological Museum

Baby in the air

When Icelanders enjoy leisure whether in restaurants, bars, or stores, they leave the baby carriage with the baby outside the establishment. The streets of Iceland are very safe, it is considered the safest country of the year for 13 years. The main reason is to avoid colds in babies due to continuous and brusque temperature changes. Better to be always at low temperatures!

Baby carriage in the street

There is no army

Although it is a member of NATO it has no army. Its capital participates in peacekeeping missions through civilian crisis management units. Bravo! Knowing this you won’t find it strange that policemen in Iceland are not armed, well they carry a truncheon and pepper spray.

You can’t deny that you’ve got a tremendous desire to discover Iceland and all its oddities. At Howlanders, we’re preparing the best tours of the land of glaciers for you to have the best experience you can imagine. There is much more beyond the curiosities of Iceland – the land of ice awaits you! When will you visit?


Journalist, nomad and adventurer. Paula would never say no to a camping trip and is an expert in setting up a tent in less than 10 seconds.

Besides that, she loves to dance and maybe that's why she loves Latin America so much. One of her best trips was to Argentina, but she has many more destinations behind her, which she talks about in this blog.

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