Iceland and Incest

An island of roughly 300,000 souls has a unique problem beyond the embarrassment of having Bjork as their most famous export. In Iceland, as with closed or contained societies throughout history, the potential for incest is much higher. Add in a grotesquely libertine sexual ethos, and you have an island where the potential to have casual sex with a close relative is quite high.

That’s what a unique website called Islendignabok is trying to prevent. The name means “Book of Iceland,” and it’s a basic genealogical database that allows you to make sure your casual hook-up isn’t your cousin.

All a couple sur le point de faire l’amour has to do is punch their names into the database and it will generate their family trees, highlighting any common branches:

Virtually every Icelander since the 18th century is in the database, according to the website. Any Icelander living now can sign up for a username and password and gain free access to some of the data, such as names and birth dates, and view full information on everyone who shares a great-grandparent with them. One can also find out if they have common ancestry with any given Icelander and uncover their exact lines of descent.

All this is useful, I guess, but once you get to the point of needing a database to keep you from having casual sex with your relatives, it might be time to rethink your entire sexual ethos, no?

h/t Global Post

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Thomas L. McDonald writes about technology, theology, history, games, and shiny things. Details of his rather uneventful life as a professional writer and magazine editor can be found in the About tab.