Greenland is a large island land mass in the Arctic Ocean, and is the largest island in the world. Founded by Vikings about 1000 years ago who set up colonies (which died out), it is an autonomous province of Denmark and was granted Home Rule in 1979, though still retains the status of a dependency of Denmark. As part of Denmark, Greenland had become part of the European Economic Community (forerunner of the European Union) upon Denmark's accession in 1973 (although the majority of Greenland's population had opposed joining). Following Home Rule, a referendum was held and Greenland withdrew from the EEC in 1985.
Greenland's weather is rather inhospitable due to the freezing temperatures - in fact, 81% of the island is covered by ice caps.