Situated in the North Atlantic Ocean lies the tiny island nation of Iceland. The Vikings named it Iceland to fuck with people — most of it isn’t all that icy and turns out to be quite habitable. They did the opposite when naming Greenland, allegedly in hopes that it would inspire some other Vikings those particular Vikings hated to move to a really shitty place. When not burning down entire villages and raping everything in sight, Vikings could also be pricks in clever ways.
Despite being very close to the edge of the Arctic circle, Iceland enjoys a temperate climate, thanks in part to the gulf stream. The high latitude and extreme northernness of the nation do keep it chilly, but not freezing as the name would make one expect.
Today, centuries after the Vikings first settled there, Iceland is a happy, prosperous nation. Though it is Europe’s most sparsely populated nation, Icelanders enjoy one of the world’s highest standards of living. They have universal healthcare, the country runs almost completely on renewable energy, and they actually jailed bankers who played a role in the collapse of the country’s banking system in 2008. But Iceland has a sense of humor too — its largest city elected a comedian as its mayor in 2010.
The country is also responsible for a highly valuable cultural export — Bjork. To millions of fans around the globe, Bjork is the de facto face of Iceland. The country could not have asked for a better cultural ambassador. So great is Bjork’s popularity that a series of Icelandic vodkas is named after her.
Here are some tattoos inspired by this great little country of mountains, glaciers, and lava fields that showcase not only its rich visual history, but the heart and soul of Iceland as well.
If you enjoyed these tattoos, why not visit Iceland? The only thing that pulled them out of financial ruin was tourism and it’s not too late to help.