The Faroese sheep is also known as the Northern European short-tailed sheep. It originates from Scotland, Ireland, the Shetland Isles, and the area around the Baltic; which is where the vikings lived. The vikings traveled by sea and fortuitously came across these eighteen islands. Today, we refer to these islands as the Faroe Islands. The vikings brought this particular species of sheep, when they settled on the Faroe Islands in the 9th century. Due to this history, the Northern European short-tailed sheep is the first and only sheep species on the islands. This is why the Faroese sheep may also be the purest sheep species on earth today. The black sheep from Lítla Dímun (small faroese island), is believed to be the oldest sheep kind on the Faroe Islands. Unfortunately, there is no historical proof; even though Mikkjal Á Ryggi (Faroese author from the 19th century) writes in his folk ballad that these were the first sheep in the Faroese.