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Homeward bound
© Pieter Tytgat/Getty Images
Every September in Iceland brings the arrival of réttir, the annual sheep roundup. After spending the spring and summer grazing in the hills and meadows of the Icelandic countryside, all 800,000 of the nation's sheep are brought home to their respective ranches to avoid the harsh winter weather. The effort is hard work, with ranchers and Icelandic sheepdogs working to bring the sheep in, and then sort them so they go back to their respective owners. When the work is all done, everyone celebrates with music, dancing, drinks, and food. The event has attracted tourists interested in seeing this collaborative effort in action. If watching sheep herding sounds dull, know this: There are twice as many sheep in Iceland as there are people.
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Quick fact:
Iceland forbids the importing of sheep to the island nation, rendering the traditional breed of Icelandic sheep so isolated it's genetically the same today as it was 1,100 years ago.
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