Mosquitos

Which of the following countries doesn't have mosquitos?

And the answer: Iceland.

Photo credit: icelandprocruises.

Scientists are still unsure about why mosquitos haven't settled in Iceland, though the fact that the island's climate is so variable may have something to do with it. Mosquitos do exist in neighboring countries and territories, such as Greenland and Scotland.

While Iceland is cold, it’s nowhere near the icy tundra of mosquito-less Antarctica. And, curiously, the island is still home to plenty of mosquito-friendly lakes and ponds, a common breeding ground for these pests in most other regions.

One common theory points to the freezing and thawing points of the island. Typically, mosquito larvae emerge after a major thaw. In Iceland, there are typically three major freezes and thaws a year, creating conditions perhaps too unstable to support the insect’s survival.

However, as climate change begins to affect the colder regions of the world, this balance is viable to change. While Iceland’s average temperature has risen only 2 degrees, over 200 new insect species have settled on the island, species that could not have thrived before.

Fun fact!

For now, the only mosquito in Iceland is preserved in a jar of alcohol in the Icelandic Institute of Natural History. Biologist Gisli Mar Gislason is said to have chased the pest around the Icelandic airport in the hopes of preserving it.


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