Why is Greenland considered so large?

Its supposed to be the world’s largest Island. But to me it seems to be just a thin, broken rim of Islands surrounding a huge sheet of ice and snow. On oceanic maps that is how it looks. If there is any land under that ice, it is well lower than sea level. Unlike Death valley, or the Jordan Valley, it is not completely surrounded by land. If that ice sheet were to melt, other than raising the ocean a couple hundred feet, and losing more land in the process, it would then put The world’s largest Island in a very different light. Please explain.

I think it is considered an island because it is a permanent unmoving solid surface (at least in human related timespans) surrounded by water. It is no different from any other island or continant, except that its surface is covered in ice rather than dirt or rock.

The arctic icecap on the other hand is not considered an island because it is niether unmoving or solid.

Until the day (no time soon, I hope) that all the ice in the middle of Greenland melts and it becomes a proper archepelego, it will always be considered an island for all practical purposes.

Greenland (and Antarctica)'s landmasses are partially under sea level because of the ice above tham.

The ice weighs so much that land is pressed down. In both cases the land mass had to be above water for the mile plus thich ice sheet to form. When ice forms on water, the ocean currents keep the ice from getting more than a couple of dozen feet thick. On land, with no currents to add heat (or remove cold) the ice at the bottom doesn’t melt and more and more is piled on. Eventually you get an ice mass so large that it pushes down the land. Ice the Greenland (or Antarctica) ice sheets were removed, the land would spring back.

Also, it should be remembered that it was only in the last 10 years or so, with the radar satelites in orbit, that this was discovered. In fact, it was the Galileo space probe that eventually went to Jupiter that sent the proof that most of the Antarctic land mass was below sea level.

To say that Greenland is the largest island is still valid and even if it wern’t, it takes some time for geological news to filter down to the general press.

Jim Petty
A Snappy message should appear here

Hate to betray my geological ignorance here, but it seems to me that Greenland is considered a very large island because it’s a very big piece of solid stuff that you can walk on surrounded by a lot of liquid stuff that you can’t walk on. Present company excepted, of course.

Were you hanging out with Jesus when you typed this?

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I never realized that so much of Greenland and Antarctica were below sea level. Are there any maps or diagrams on the web where I could see this? Could someone post the urls? Thanks!

Australia is the world’s largest island.

“[He] beat his fist down upon the table and hurt his hand and became so
further enraged… that he beat his fist down upon the table even harder and
hurt his hand some more.” – Joseph Heller’s Catch-22

Eurasia is the largest island!!!

Oceania is at war with Eastasia.
Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
Oceania has never been at war with Eurasia.

Cave Diem! Carpe Canem!

Dude, you’re looking at the wrong maps. It is nearly impossible to show the (mostly) spheric earth on the flat plane of a map without some distortion at the poles. The result is that on nearly all maps, Greenland appears about twice the size it really is.

“Age is mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it don’t matter.” -Leroy “Satchel” Paige

I dunno… all my maps show it eentsy-teentsy, maybe 1 ten trillionth the size it really is.