10 sexy reasons to love Iceland

Okay, okay, we know that Iceland really screwed up air travel with that volcano incident. And the collapse of their financial system was a major international bummer. But they deserve to be forgiven — check it out:

  1. Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir just married her long-term partner, making her the world’s first national leader with a same-sex spouse. The wedding took place the day a new law took effect, which defines marriage as a union between two consenting adults, regardless of sex.

  2. Before she got married, her claim to fame was that she was the world’s only openly gay prime minister. But it was never a big deal in Iceland. Because, you know, it isn’t. Iceland has long been progressive in LGBT matters. All the way back in 1996, they passed a law creating registered partnerships for same-sex couples, which covered nearly all the rights and benefits of marriage.

  3. Icelanders read more books per capita than any other population in the world. Also, they invented the novel — a thousand years ago, with the Icelandic saga. Hmm… smart, well-read people who happen to be extremely tolerant, too — coincidence?

  4. Iceland is home to the Icelandic Phallological Museum, in Husavik. Which is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of phallic specimens — each lovingly stuffed and mounted — belonging to all manner of mammal, including whales, polar bears, shrews, and mice. There is no human specimen available for viewing yet, though the museum claims it has “legally-certified gift tokens for four specimens belonging to Homo Sapiens.” Meaning, when those dudes die, their penises will be bequeathed.

  5. Polls show that the majority of residents either believes in elves or is not willing to rule out their existence.

  6. Bjork.

  7. Sigur Ros.

  8. Just last month, Iceland passed a law protecting the free speech rights and identity of journalists and whistleblowers — it’s the strongest journalist protection law in the world. Iceland is where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — who helped craft the legislation — fled after his site released a video showing US troops shooting at civilians in Iraq.

  9. Iceland is frequently called the world’s most feminist country. Just this year they became the first country to ban stripping and lapdancing for feminist, rather than religious, reasons. “It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold,” Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, the politician who proposed the ban, said earlier this year.

  10. Iceland has the most World’s Strongest Man competition wins, with 8 titles. Which we guess is a handy thing if you’re going to be so open about believing in elves.


image via Thuany Gabriela