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What is Greenland?

Here’s an interesting one; Is greenland a part of North America, or isn’t it? I’m not up on my plate tectonics, but it certainly is quite close to Canada. On the other hand, continental boundaries that are arbitraty and culture-based do exist (i.e. where exactly is the division between Asia and Europe? Is there even a boundary).

DirtyOldToon, you’re the geographer, how do you weigh in on this one? Just curious!

6 Responses to “What is Greenland?”

  1. Considering Greenland is considered still under the Danish flag, doesn’t that make it part of Europe? Why can’t they just content themselves with calling the island “the Westerly most part of Europe”?


  2. The division between Asia and Europe is generally considered to be the Ural mountains, and the Bosphorus and Dardanelles.

    And did you know that Saudi Arabia is almost the same size as Greenland?

  3. Yes, “generally considered”, but I believe this is based more on culture than geomorphology. The division between Asia & Europe is another one of the great debates among geographers.

    When I crossed the bridge over the Bosphorus, the tour guide explained that we were now in Asia, but it sure didn’t look much different… :D

  4. Continents are loosely determined by political boundaries: thus “Antarctica” is a continent given its status of no-mans-land or international protectorate or whatever, but Greenland is part of Europe by dint of its status as a colony of Denmark, even though it only supports a small transient population of fisherman and no permanent settlements. The whole continent pigeon-holing mess is made fuzzy by Australia or Oceana or Australia/Oceana, which is as arbitrary as drawing a line in the sand at low tide.

    The best solution to this non-sequitur is to remember that Greenland is a chunk of frozen tundra buried under several metres of sea ice that no one gives a shit about except for a bunch of drunken cloth-eared Danish fisherman, and they’re only there because all of the good colonies in the Carribean and South Pacific are alrady spoken for.

    Now get back to work.

  5. Y’know, Homewrecker, I don’t think you can blame your work procrastination on me, when you’re posting about the geomorphic significance of Arctic land masses…

    Also, your post heading reads like a Jeopardy response to “This island has no indigenous peoples, but exports fish and reindeer meat.” :-)

    (The oh-so-useful factoids pulled from this page.)

  6. Oh, yes I can blame you – posting about Greenland took 2 minutes, reading a few years’ worth of comments took about 2 days! It’s not my fault! Denial! Denial!


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