The Faroe Islands (; Faroese: Føroyar pronounced [ˈfœɹjaɹ]; Danish: Færøerne, pronounced [ˈfæɐ̯øːˀɐnə]), also spelled the Faeroe Islands, is a North Atlantic archipelago located 320 kilometres (200 miles) north-northwest of Scotland, about halfway between Norway and Iceland. The islands are an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark. Their area is about 1,400 square kilometres (541 square miles) with a population of 50,322 in October 2017.
The Faroes' terrain is rugged, and the islands have a subpolar oceanic climate (Cfc): windy, wet, cloudy, and cool. Despite this island group's northerly latitude, temperatures average above freezing throughout the year because of the Gulf Stream.
is a breed of domestic sheep
native to the Faroe Islands
. One of the Northern European short-tailed sheep
, it is a small, very hardy breed. Faroes ewes weigh around 45 pounds (20 kg) at maturity, and rams are 45–90 pounds (20–40 kg). Rams are horned
and ewes are usually polled
, and the breed occurs naturally in many different colors. Faroes tend to have very little flocking
instinct, and will range freely in small groups in pastureland. They are most closely related to the Old Norwegian
First introduced in the 9th century, Faroes sheep have long been an integral part of the island traditions. The name Faeroe itself is thought to mean "sheep islands", and the animal is depicted on the Faroe Islands' historic coat of arms. Lamb and mutton dishes made from Faroes sheep, such as skerpikjøt, are a large part of traditional island cuisine. The breed is primarily kept for meat production, but wool is used for traditional knitwear like the Faroese shawl.
Niels Ryberg Finsen
(December 15, 1860 – September 24, 1904) was a Faroese
descent. He was awarded the Nobel Prize
in Medicine and Physiology
in 1903 "in recognition of his contribution to the treatment of diseases, especially lupus vulgaris
, with concentrated light radiation
, whereby he has opened a new avenue for medical science."
Finsen is best known for his theory of phototherapy, in which certain wavelengths of light can have beneficial medical effects. His most notable writings were Finsen Om Lysets Indvirkninger paa Huden ("On the effects of light on the skin"), published in 1893 and Om Anvendelse i Medicinen af koncentrerede kemiske Lysstraaler ("The use of concentrated chemical light rays in medicine"), published in 1896. The papers were rapidly translated and published in both German and French. In his late work he researched the effects of salt, observing the results of a low sodium diet, which he published in 1904 as En Ophobning af Salt i Organismen ("An accumulation of salt in the organism").
Things you can do
NASA satellite image of the Faroe Islands
Klaksvík, on the island of Borðoy, is the Faroe Islands' second-largest town.
Graphical depiction of Faroe Islands' product exports in 28 colour-coded categories
Faroese stamp by Anker Eli Petersen commemorating the arrival of Christianity in the islands
Faroese folk dancers, some of them in national costume
Traditional Faroese houses with turf roof in Reyni, Tórshavn. Most people build larger houses now and with other types of roofs, but the turf roof is still popular in some places.
The road network on the Faroe Islands is highly developed. Shown here is the road from Skipanes to Syðrugøta on the island of Eysturoy.
Johanna TG 326 was built in Sussex, England in 1884, but was sold to the village Vágur in the Faroe Islands in 1894, where it was a fishing vessel until around 1972. The smack was restored in the 1980s and now gives pleasure trips.
Kappróður is the Faroese word for rowing competition in wooden Faroese rowing boats. There are 7 regattas held around the islands every summer, where boats in different sizes compete. Here is the largest boat type 10-mannafør.
Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) is common in the Faroe Islands during May and June.
The annual Ólavsøka parade on 28 July 2005
Boats driving a pod of pilot whales into a bay of Suðuroy in 2012
Relief map of the Faroe Islands
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