By this stage in the presidency you’d think that we’d all have become immune to the weird news about Donald Trump, but then he reportedly asks for staff to look into buying Greenland and realise there’s no vaccine for this level of peculiar.
There are questions about how serious the idea is, with some aides insisting that it’s a joke that’s gone too far and others pointing out that Trump’s been asking about it for weeks – which is in itself unusual for the easily-distracted world leader.
Then again, Trump is meeting with Denmark’s leaders in a fortnight, and Greenland is a self-governing bit of the Kingdom of Denmark – and a lot of people are wondering if he’s going to write a number on a piece of paper and push it meaningfully over the table.
It’s not entirely clear why Trump is so enamoured of the idea.
It’s most likely because of its strategic importance – there’s a US-run NATO military base on the north of the island – but maybe it’s Greenland’s natural resources, or maybe it’s the idea of adding another state as per Eisenhower declaring Alaska and Hawaii’s statehoods in 1959.
Or maybe he doesn’t understand how the familiar Mercator projection distorts the size of things on maps and thinks that there’s a country the size of the US almost on top of them and it’s either bomb ’em or buy ’em.
And while it’s an eye-catchingly odd notion, the wildest thing about it is that it’s something the US government have looked into twice before.
The US attempted to buy Greenland once in the late 1800s (when they contemplated buying both Iceland and Greenland) and once in 1946 when they made an actual offer (Denmark declined to sell).
And geologically they’re part of the North American tectonic plate (well, most of Iceland is: it’s on the edge, hence all them volcanoes) so you can expect a number of pro-Trump media to start making arguments about how the US has a historical claim to the islands. After all, it’s a stronger one than Hawaii.
Anyway, we look forward to the chants of Make America Greenland Again at all upcoming rallies.