There are many problems associated with the modern dating game; with money tight and times hard, both singletons and philanders alike are finding they have to work longer hours and still can’t afford to go out afterwards, meaning they end up on Facebook bemoaning the misery of their lonely, empty lives. Of course there are dating sites and apps aplenty, but unless your idea of a good night out is to end up murdered by a stranger, they tend to be a last option. But, despite all the issues attached to making meaningful human contact over here, at least we don’t generally have to worry about an all-too familiar involvement issue in Iceland: incest.
Thanks to the fact that the population of the puffin-partaking island totals no more than 320,000, the reality of running into an unknown family member they fancy when out and about is just too close for comfort, which is why a new Android app has been developed to encourage amorous Icelandic types to “Bump in the app before you bump in the bed”.
Named Islendingabok (The Book of Icelanders), the app accesses a registry holding incest-avoiding essential info on around 720,000 people born in Iceland, including the entirety of the current population, and once two people feeling the first fluttering of passion bump their phones together, it informs them of how they are related and, moreover, if they are far too related.
Developed by a three man team based on a database developed for the purpose of helping natives track their family tree, the idea for the alternative application seemed like a no-brainer… hopefully not as the result of post-coital cousin cognisance on any of their part.
“We aren’t sure if other countries have such interestingly interwoven bloodlines like we do, but we’re pretty sure the Icelandic genealogy database is unique in its completeness,” said Team Islendingabok. “So even if the need is there, other countries would first have to build a similar database before considering a smartphone implementation.”
“Interestingly interwoven”. According to its geneology, Iceland’s entire population sprung forth from a handful of original Nordic arrivals, so it’s probably not a problem suffered by many other places; and when you consider that the deep south of the US actively encourage kissing-cousins, it seems to be just Iceland where being unwittingly over-familiar with the family is a very real possibility, leading to cringing aftershocks, genetic collapse and, of course, looking a proper Bjork…