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Island group (pop., 2001: 21,988), Scotland. The Shetlands comprise some 100 islands located 130 mi (210 km) north of the Scottish mainland and about 400 mi (640 km) south of the Arctic Circle. They form the Shetland administrative region; the region's capital is Lerwick. Fewer than 20 of the islands are inhabited. The northernmost part of Britain, the islands have fjordlike coasts and a climate warmed by the North Atlantic Current. The Norse ruled the Shetlands from the 8th to the 15th century. In 1472 the islands, with Orkney, were annexed to the Scottish crown. They are famous for their livestock, which includes the Shetland pony and the Shetland sheep. The latter's fine wool is used in the distinctive Shetland and Fair Isle knitted patterns. The North Sea oil industry has contributed to the economy.
Variants of SHETLAND ISLANDS
Shetland Islands or Zetland Islands
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Shetland Islands, visit Britannica.com.
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