Tourists know Iceland for its spectacular landscape, geothermal pools and strange cuisine. But experts say the Nordic nation is special for another reason: people there live longer than almost anywhere else in the world.
Year after year, Iceland is one of the top-ranked countries for life expectancy. Its citizens survive to an average of 83, outlasting the residents of richer, better-educated and warmer corners of the globe.
This doesn’t come as a shock to Stefan Thorliefsson, who is six months shy of the century mark and still starts every morning with a swim in the outdoor pool he built himself in 1943 in the fishing village of Neskapstadur.
That’s followed by an invigorating workout with other town elders and then a lunch that consists of some of Iceland’s unique foods.
The day NBC News visited Thorliefsson, he was snacking on boiled sheep’s head (svið) and pickled ram’s testicles (hrútspungar), but he said that was an exception.
“We don’t eat too much meat. We eat much more fish,” he said, tucking into some fermented shark (hákarl). Read more