Iceland: Stop Sleeping With Your Family Members - Pacific Standard

Iceland: Stop Sleeping With Your Family Members

The country so small everyone is related to everyone else.
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(PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

(PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

I ... I don't even. I just. What is ... are they? Huhhhhhh? From the News of Iceland (which also boasts most-read stories with headlines of "Iceland Is the Coolest Place to Go on Vacation" and "Ben Stiller Walking Around in Icelandic Nature"):

The Icelandic population is very small and all Icelanders are related. But yet, it is big enough so everyone doesn't know one another. This means that each and every Icelander that is in a relationship, is dating a relative. In most cases those relations are distant. But not always. But how can they know?

Yes, the population is tiny: 321,857 people as of January, which is pretty much the same size as Bakersfield, California, a place where people throw giant birds of prey onto ice hockey rinks rather than sleep with their uncle's daughter.

We all derive from the same family tree. An online registry, Íslendingabók ('The Book of Icelanders') holds information about the families of about 720,000 individuals who were born in Iceland at some point in time. Today, the population in Iceland is just about 320,000. The database can be found on islendingabok.is and everyone registered in the database has free access to it.

Fine. We're all related, aren't we? Whatever. One way to not sleep with your close relatives, though, is just to never sleep with your closest relatives because they are your closest relatives and you should know who they are because this is not that difficult, man.

Being related to everyone has its merits. For example everyone in Iceland is related to Björk and every other Icelandic celebrity and politician you could find or think of.

The merits of being related to everyone in Iceland are being related to everyone in Iceland.

"Am I sleeping with or dating my cousin?" an Icelander might ask. The answer is: Of course you are, but how closely exactly are you related?

The answer to that can be found in the online database, but people might not always have the opportunity to look that up when they are for example out partying.

But now there is a solution.

Obviously you are "doing sex" with a relative,  you fool. Bonus points for asking this question after you've already started sleeping with a family member.

Three engineers made an app for the 'Íslendingabók' database. People can now easily, and on the go, look up how they are related to other Icelanders. And a precious feature, using the bump technology, allows people that meet to just bump their phones together, to instantly see if they are too related to take things any further. The engineers' slogan for this feature was: "Bump the app before you bump in bed."

Here is a free slogan: Rather Than Buy an App Just Don't Have Sex With Your Cousins and Everything Will Be Fine.

Everyone has heard of (or experienced) it when someone goes all in with someone and then later runs into that person at a family gathering some other time. This new app might just prevent such awkward moments.

But, I'm not so sure. What fun is a family gathering if you can't find out you're dating your sister. Otherwise, like, you're just sitting there, eating food, trying to find a place to sit, and not realizing your son is your nephew, who is also your grandpa, who slept with your aunt, who is Bjork, who is married to your brother, who you thought was your accountant, who your wife introduced her grandson to, who you play racquetball with, and who is actually you. Go Iceland!

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