Northern lights over a stranded boat in Tasiilaq, Greenland
© Shane P. White/Minden Picture
Is this place named for the aurora's glow?. Tasiilaq, Greenland
It's said that Erik the Red gave Greenland its deceptively pleasant name to draw unwitting settlers to the snowy subcontinent. The Viking leader wasn't totally fibbing, though: Greenland can turn pretty darn green as aurora borealis gives the glaciers a glow-up.
This verdant display was captured in Tasiilaq, the largest settlement on the island's east coast. Though Tasiilaq is home to fewer than 2,000 people, it's one of Greenland's fastest-growing towns. Plus, regular plane hops from Reykjavik, Iceland—about 800 kilometres east—add the occasional cold-tolerant tourist to the population.