Nature & Environment Nov 22, 2016

Buzz Buzz: The Annoying Sound You Won’t Hear in Iceland

Iceland is the only nation in Europe that is completely mosquito free!

Iceland, known for its breathtaking views and fascinating culture, has one more draw for some tourists: there are no mosquitos. That’s right, Iceland is one of the few habitable places on Earth where the buzzing of mosquitos can’t be heard.

Despite the delight of knowing you can travel to Iceland without the fear of itchy bug bites, the reason why these insects can’t survive there is still a mystery, especially because the country’s nordic neighbors, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, all act as homes for the insect. The theory preferred by most researchers is that the islands’ oceanic climate is too unstable for the insect to survive. “When mosquitoes lay eggs in cold weather, the larvae emerge with a thaw, allowing them to breed and multiply,” but Iceland’s three major freezes and thaws each year disrupt this cycle, according to the New York Times.

However, global warming might put an end to the mosquito-free era in Iceland. Air temperatures have increased 2 degrees Fahrenheit in the past 20 years, allowing for 200 new insect species to survive in Iceland. Gisli Mar Gislason, a biologist at the University of Iceland, said “If the warming continues, we may find mosquitoes in Iceland in the near future.” Besides the added nuisance, this might not be completely bad news for the country. Mosquitoes would provide a new source of food for fish, especially Arctic char, one of Iceland’s main exports.

Though there are no mosquitos buzzing around the wild, there is one place where you can find a mosquito in Iceland, do you know where it is?Let us know your guess in the comments below or tweet us at @Icelandnatural.