31 odd facts about Iceland... but how many did you know?

Iceland has beautiful mountains... but beer was illegal until 1989
Iceland has beautiful mountains... but beer was illegal until 1989

They're England’s next opponents at Euro 2016 but how much do you know about Iceland?

1: ​A majority of Icelanders believe in elves.

2: At about 39,000 square miles, Iceland is small - about five times the size on Wales.

3: There is a volcanic eruption ev​​ery ​four​ years on average.

4: There are no forests in Iceland.

5: Beer remained illegal in Iceland until 1989.

6: At 43.5 hours per week, they have the longest work week in Europe.

7: The Icelandic language remains unchanged from ancient Norse. That means 1,000-year-old texts are still easily read.

8: Babies in Iceland are routinely left outside to nap.

9:There are no surnames or family names in Iceland – Icelanders use the traditional Nordic naming system, which includes a last name that is comprised from their father’s (or mother’s) first name with the addition of -dóttir (-daughter) or -son.

10: 60​ per cent​ of the Icelandic population lives in Reykjavík​

11: Iceland’s revenue from whale watching exceeds any income from whaling.

12: Usually a temperate country, not too hot or cold, the highest temperature recorded was 30.5 °C (86.9 °F) at the Eastern fjords in 1939.

13: Iceland had the first democratically elected female and openly gay Prime Ministers.

14: Consumption of Coca–Cola per capita is higher than in any other country.

15: But there aren’t any McDonald’s ​r​estaurants anywhere in Iceland.

16:In 2010 Iceland banned strip clubs.

17: Roughly 85 percent of Iceland’s energy is from renewable resources, and well over half of that is geothermal alone.

18: Icelandic horses display two additional gaits as compared to all other breeds.

19: First names not previously used in Iceland must be approved by the Icelandic Naming Committee.

20: Iceland was one of the last places on earth to be settled by humans.

21: ​Icelanders watch more movies than any other nation.

22: Iceland is home to one of the world’s oldest democracies; established in 930.

23: In Iceland owning a pet snake, lizard or turtle is against the law.

24: The country’s national sport is handball.

25: Iceland does not have an army, navy or air force.

26: Mosquitoes do not exist in Iceland.

27:The Icelandic police don’t carry guns. Crime in Iceland is very low and violent crime is practically non-existent.

28: Per capita Iceland has the highest number of book and magazine publications and 10​ per cent​ of the country’s population will publish a book in their lifetimes.

29: Icelandic telephone directories list Icelanders by first name alphabetically.

30: In 2010, 97.6​ per cent​ of Icelandic population had Internet connection.

31: Raw puffin heart is considered a delicacy

​Source: landlopers.com