Why Greenland is Called Greenland? Thanks to Erik the Red

Posted by Ms Elly on

Why Greenland is Called Greenland? Thanks to Erik the Red

Greenland is a truly beautiful place. But in fact, it is not very green. The massive island is covered mostly with ice. The reason why Greenland is called so is quite entertaining but it is reasonable. 

It was Erik the Red who named this icy island Greenland. Erik was one of the famous Viking warriors who managed to colonize an area. 

Regarding Greenland, it is the largest island in the world. What make Greenland famous are the colossal icebergs, the Northern Light, awesome midnight sun, and fauna and flora. Up to 85% of the Greenland surface was covered with ice and snow. 

The northern light in Greenland. Greenland was named by Erik the Red a Viking warrior and a Norse settler

The northern light in Greenland

The temperature in Greenland varies a lot. This depends on each position in Greenland. Even during the summer, the average temperature in some regions might reach minus 20 degrees. 

Thanks to the low humidity, the cold weather in Greenland is not as harsh as we might expect.

In the Icelandic sagas, Erik the Red was the founder of the first settlement in Greenland. He was actually Erik Thorvaldsson and his nickname "the Red" might refer to his red hair and beard. He fathered Leif Eriksson who was the first to discover North America. 

Erik the Red was the first Norsemen to succeed in colonizing Greenland

Erik the Red was the first to succeed in colonizing Greenland. Prior to his attempt, there were some Norsemen trying to colonize this massive island but they all failed

Before Erik the Red, there were some Norsemen trying to colonize Greenland but they all failed. Erik was the first to manage to colonize and settle down in Greenland.

Despite the harsh weather there, Erik was determined that he could build his empire there. Then he started to recruit his crew. But it was difficult to persuade other people to abandon their home and settle down in a new place with cold weather. 

Then Erik came up with a lie which he regarded as a white lie. To attract the followers, Erik told them that the land was so green and easy to cultivate. There was plenty of fishing reservoirs in the new land. He called the land "Greenland" to make other people believe what he said. 

Five hundred people agreed to embark on this journey with Erik the Red. But it was an extremely dangerous trip and only 14 out of 25 ships made to Greenland. 

Erik finally fulfilled his own ambition of founding his new colony. He shared the island with some other tribes as well. 

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