What Is the Largest Island In the World and How Did Greenland Get Its Name?

Greenland has 840,000 square miles (2,184,000 sq km), making it the largest island in the world.

According to legend, it was named Greenland by its Norwegian discoverer, Erik the Red, in A.D. 985 because he wanted to encourage people to settle there.

In truth, most of Greenland lies within the Arctic Circle and is partially green only for a short time in the summer.

Most of Greenland, nearly 85 percent, is covered with a huge ice sheet that averages about 5,000 feet (1,524 m) thick.

From the island’s northernmost point, the North Pole is only 500 miles (805 km) away.