The country is sometimes erroneously called The Republic of Iceland and sometimes its counterpart Lýðveldið Ísland in Icelandic, but the official name is rather like the official name of Canada - simply the country name. One example of the former is the name of the Constitution of Iceland, which in Icelandic is Stjórnarskrá lýðveldisins Íslands and literally means "the Constitution of the republic of Iceland", but note that "republic" is not capitalized. The official title of the President of Iceland (Forseti Íslands) does also not include the word republic as in some other republics. See also Names for Iceland.
The new island was named after the fire giant Surtur from Norse mythology, and was intensively studied by volcanologists during its creation and, since the end of the eruption, has been of great interest to botanists and biologists as life has gradually colonised the originally barren island. The undersea vents that produced Surtsey are part of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westmann Isles) submarine volcanic system, part of the fissure of the sea floor called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Vestmannaeyjar also produced the famous eruption of Eldfell on the island of Heimaey in 1973. The eruption that created Surtsey also created a few other small islands along this volcanic chain, such as Jólnir and other unnamed peaks. Most of these eroded away fairly quickly.
Arnaldur Indriðason (born 28 January 1961) is an Icelandic writer of crime fiction. He has repeatedly proved to be the most popular writer in Iceland in recent years – topping bestseller lists year after year. In the year 2004 his books were seven of the ten most popular titles borrowed in Reykjavík City Library. Arnaldur's books have been published in 26 countries and have been translated into German, Danish, English, Italian, Czech, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Finnish and French. Indriðason received the Glass Key, a literature prize for the best Nordic crime novel, in both 2002 and 2003. He won the Gold Dagger Award in 2005 for the novel Silence of the Grave.
Genetic studies in Iceland have found that many of the women who were the founding stock of Iceland came from England and what is now France. Some were probably captured and carried off in Viking raids only 40 generations ago.