The population in Iceland is roughly 330,000 people, far fewer than some of the big cities in other countries. Most of the citizens live close to the country’s capital, Reykjavík, compacting the population together. So, it’s not hard to believe that most Icelanders are somehow related.
When dating, the thought of being related probably doesn’t cross many people’s minds, but in Iceland the possibility is much higher, prompting a special app that can tell people if they’re genealogically connected.
The Islendinga-App is based on Íslendingabók, The Book of Icelanders, a database of Icelanders’ genetic information which allows users to check their extended family history. It can also be used to check how closely related you are to someone you’re interested in dating. If that person is related, an incest alert will be shown.
The app was created by Sad Engineers Studios utilizing the online database of genealogical history. Users can either enter a name or bump their phones together to determine if they’re related. The app’s slogan “Bump the app before you bump into bed” is certainly easy to remember.
The reason so many natives of Iceland are related is due partly to the homogeneous population, with relatively few immigrants, and the fact they use a patronymic naming system. Most children don’t take a family name, but the first name of their father and the suffixes “son” or “dóttir” meaning son and daughter respectively. For example, the singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir is the daughter of Guðmundur Gunnarsson.
Because of the naming system, some people choose to use the names of both of their parents. Sure, it would make your name much longer but at least it might help prevent accidental incest.