Hyderabad: Over one million people die around the world from mosquito-borne diseases every year. The world's 3,000 species of mosquitoes transmit more diseases than any other living creature. Due to climate changes, the arctic region is suffering from mosquito menace.
Recently, a message claiming that Iceland is the only country in the world without mosquitoes has been doing the rounds of social media.
Many Facebook users have shared the following post: "Iceland is the only country in the world without any mosquitoes, snakes or other reptiles. They also have very few species of spiders, none of which are harmful to humans. #Iceland #icelandtravel #travelfacts."
Many Twitter users have also been making similar claims.
The claim is PARTLY TRUE. It is true that there are no mosquitoes in Iceland, however, it isn't the only country in the world without these little blood-sucking insects. Antarctica also does not have mosquitoes.
NewsMeter found several reports clarifying that due to harsh weather conditions in Iceland, mosquitoes cannot survive there.
According to the Icelandic Web of Science, mosquitoes are not found in Iceland though they are common in neighboring countries. Iceland's climate changes so rapidly that mosquitoes do not have sufficient time to complete its lifecycle. Under these conditions, the pupa cannot mature when temperatures drop and ice forms on the ponds.
Iceland, however, is home to several other types of insects that suck blood from mammals, such as lice, fleas, bedbugs, and midges.
An India Today report stated that scientific theory around the non-presence of mosquitoes points towards the chemical composition of the country's water and soil. The buzzing insects are somehow unable to decipher and tolerate the environment very well.
The Telegraph, in a report published in May 2020, said Iceland is one of only two places on the planet where the pesky blighters have never set up shop, the other being Antarctica. And in New Caledonia, Seychelles, and French Polynesia, even though mosquitoes are present, they are not malarial as they cannot carry the virus as it requires the blood of land-based mammals, which are absent.
Icelandtravel.is said that Iceland is not inhabited by mosquitoes, ticks, bears, snakes, poisonous spiders, or any kind of other hazardous animals. You can camp in a forest (if you find one) or take a nap in a meadow with no risk of getting bitten by pests. The only possibly "harmful" animal would be the Arctic Fox. But, the ones that don't know humans stay away and those who do and might approach are more often just looking for food.
Entomologists predict that mosquitoes will eventually exist in Iceland if climate change continues. Global warming, which has been gradually rising temperatures, will lead to the disappearance of the conditions that are not tolerated by mosquitoes. A warmer environment means that mosquitoes will have a better chance of reproducing. The same change is likely to occur in other regions of the world without mosquitoes, such as French Polynesia, Caledonia, Seychelles, and Antarctica.
Hence, the claim that Iceland is the only country without mosquitoes is PARTLY TRUE. Antarctica, too, has no mosquitoes.