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Greenland (Danish: Grønland; Greenlandic: Kalaallit Nunaat, meaning "Land of the people") is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically associated with Europe (specifically Norway and Denmark) for about a millennium.
Greenland is, by area, the world's largest island that is not a continent, as well as the least densely populated country in the world. The bedrock in the center of Greenland has been pressed below sea level by the weight of the ice sheet. Thus, if the ice suddenly melted, much of central Greenland would be under water.
In prehistoric times Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known primarily through archaeological findings. From 986 AD, Greenland's west coast was colonised by Icelanders and Norwegians in two settlements on fjords near the southwestern-most tip of the island. The settlements thrived for centuries but disappeared some time in the 15th century. The Thule culture people are the ancestors of the current Greenlandic population. They started migrating from Alaska around 1000 AD, reaching Greenland around 1300 AD. The Thule culture was the first to introduce to Greenland such technological innovations as dog sleds and toggling harpoons.
When contact with Greenland was re-established in the early 18th century, Denmark asserted its sovereignty over the island. In 1721 a new colony was centered at Godthåb ("Good Hope") on the southwest coast. Greenland's connection to Denmark was severed on 9 April 1940, early in World War II, when Denmark was occupied by Germany. A change in government was announced in 1950: Greenland was to be a modern welfare state with Denmark as sponsor and example. In 1953, Greenland was made an equal part of the Danish Kingdom. Home rule was granted in 1979, and in 2008 Greenland voted to transfer more competencies to the local government. This became effective the following year.
Alternate versions of Greenland exist across the multiverse:
- Greenland (1861: Historical Failing)
- Greenland (Alternity)
- Greenland (Austria and others)
- Greenland (Cabotia and Brasil)
- Greenland (Dai-tō-a)
- Greenland (Independent Nation)
- Greenland (One Europe Under A Union)
- Greenland (Russian America)
- Greenland (Washington Shot at Murdering Town!)
- Grønland (Leifsbudir)
- Skraelinfir (Ætas ab Brian)
Greenland has also been discovered to belong to the following countries:
- Aztec Empire (Aztec Empire)
- Danish Crown (Cabotia and Brasil)
- Iceland (Hitler is an American---Version 1)
- Iceland (Toyotomi)
- Nordic Union (1983: Doomsday)
- Polar Republic (New America)
- Scandinavian Union (Pure Arabica)
- United Kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Greenland (Albany Congress)
- United States of America (An Independent in 2000)
Greenland features prominently in the following pages: