Photograph by David McLain, National GeographicAn indigenous walrus-hunting camp brings signs of life to sparse slopes in Greenland. The self-governing Danish island is among the least densely populated major areas on Earth, according to the United Nations-a stark contrast to the boom cities that reportedly helped to drive Earth's population to seven billion on Monday.
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Three times the size of Texas, Greenland is mostly covered by Earth's second largest ice cap. Not surprisingly, its 58,000 inhabitants cluster in coastal communities. "It's not likely that population will expand dramatically until there is more trade and international exchange," said Patrick Gerland, a population expert with the UN.
Some tourists, however, are beginning to seek out the planet's less populated spots—including Greenland.
Jonathan Tourtellot, founder of the National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, said Greenland primarily draws two types of travelers: "One is expedition cruise ships, and the other is flight excursions to a few different points in Greenland," he said. "There isn't much in the way of roads, so you have to move by either air or water."
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—Brian Handwerk Photos here..,