Geographically, Greenland is part of North America. It is the largest non-continent island in the world and is made up of about 80 percent ice. However, its culture has been more politically and socially influenced by Europe, specifically by Denmark.
Greenland was first discovered by the Vikings and received its name from the famous Viking explorer Erik the Red, who helped found several colonies along its western side in the year 986 A.D. In 1380, Denmark entered into a personal union with Greenland and in 1953, made it an integral part of the country. Greenland was granted self-government in 1979. Denmark continues to exercise control of Greenland's security, overseas affairs and financial policy, causing Greenland to still be considered part of Denmark.