Did Native Americans Sail Back to Iceland With Vikings?


A DNA study conducted by scientists claims that at least one Native American may have sailed back to Iceland with Vikings who came to Newfoundland.

They found DNA in 80 living Icelanders that is similar to the DNA that Native Americans have. According to the study the first Viking-Indian baby may have been born in Iceland at around 1000 A.D.

History shows that the Vikings sailed west from Scandinavia to Iceland and Greenland and then further on to the eastern part of Canada. They founded a village in New Foundland but didn’t stay there for a very long time. Thus, they may have taken a Native American back with them when they left.

The Icelanders who have Native American DNA in them come from four different families dating back to about 1700. Historians say that Iceland was very isolated during the centuries and it is unlikely that the DNA got to the island during that period. They come to the conclusion that the DNA must have got there centuries earlier.

Despite this evidence, it is very difficult to prove that there is a direct connection between Iceland and Native Americans. There is no group in America that carries the same genetic code found in Icelanders. But of those genetic variations found in Icelanders most can be found in Native Americans. East Asians, who probably came to America across the Bering Strait during the last Ice Age, carry some of the same genetic variations.


History books have no evidence that Native Americans came back to Iceland with the Vikings. However, one story says that Eric the Red captured four Indian boys and brought them back to Greenland with him. On the other side, Viking explorers weren’t very friendly to the Indians and legends say they even killed them while they were sleeping.

In any case , the mystery remains.


Viking ship

Viking ship -Jakub Jankiewicz


Related Topics


  • A.D. = after the birth of Christ
  • according to = as said by…
  • capture = to catch someone and keep them as a prisoner
  • carry = have, own
  • century = a hundred years
  • claim = to say that something is true even if you have not proven it
  • conclusion = result
  • conduct = carry out
  • date back = to come from or start at a certain time
  • despite = although
  • DNA = material that has genetic information in the cells of your body
  • evidence = proof, facts
  • explorer = someone who travels around to find out about new lands and places
  • found-founded = create, start up
  • further = more
  • genetic code = the way genes are arranged; it controls the way living things develop
  • Greenland = large island near northeast Canada; nearly all of it is covered with ice
  • historian = a person who studies history
  • however = but
  • Ice Age = one of the periods of time when ice covered a large part of the northern continents
  • in any case = whatever happens
  • isolate = cut off, separate
  • legend = story about people or adventures that may or may not be true
  • Native American = someone who belongs to the race of people who lived in North America before the Europeans came
  • prove = to show that something is true
  • remain = stay
  • scientist = a person who is trained in science and works in a laboratory
  • similar = almost the same, like
  • study = work that is done to find out more about a certain topic
  • thus = that is why
  • unlikely = probably not
  • variation = difference between things
  • village = very small town