Greenland is the largest island in the world and was part of Denmark, until, in 1979 it was granted Home Rule and more powers in 2009. Why is it called Greenland when it is mainly white? Erik The Red, an Icelandic murderer was exiled there and to attract settlers, he called it Greenland. Almost 80% of the land mass is covered with ice. 88% of the population are Inuits and that is how they like to be called or Greenlandic people. There are no roads.