Episode 271: A City On The Moon : Planet Money How did a barren, icy island become a thriving, modern economy?
NPR logo

Episode 271: A City On The Moon

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/368059325/368310282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Episode 271: A City On The Moon

Episode 271: A City On The Moon

Episode 271: A City On The Moon

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/368059325/368310282" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Reykjavik
pocius/Flickr

It's called "Iceland" for a reason. Polar bears sometimes wind up there floating by on chunks of ice. In the winter, there are only a few hours of daylight each day.

Reykjavik feels like you took a European city — coffee shops, fancy cars, orderly streets — and put it on the moon.

Which raises a question: How did a barren, icy island become a thriving, modern economy?

The short answer: Fish, energy and books.

The long answer starts back in the year 1075, with our Icelandic intern's great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather.

Music: Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" and FM Belfast's "Par Avion." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/ Spotify/ Tumblr.

YouTube