40 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Nordic Countries

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1Göran Kropp

Göran Kropp

A man named Göran Kropp from Sweden rode his bicycle to Nepal, climbed Mount Everest alone without Sherpas or bottled oxygen, then cycled back to Sweden again.

2. Iceland is the only country without mosquitoes.

3. In Finland, speeding tickets are calculated on a percentage of a person's income. This causes some Finnish millionaires to face fines of over $100,000.

4. Sweden has instituted a country-wide program where citizens can enroll to receive an SMS when there is a heart attack victim nearby, allowing them to reach them faster than an ambulance and provide CPR. In 40% of the cases, SMS lifesavers arrived before ambulances and started providing CPR.

5. In Finland, the word 'kalsarikännit' means to get drunk at home, alone, in your underwear.

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6Donald Duck

Donald Duck

In Sweden, voters often voted for Donald Duck or the Donald Duck Party as a nonexistent candidate until a 2006 change in voting laws, which prohibited voting for nonexistent candidates.

7. In 2004, a tax auditor in Finland died at his desk, and despite there being 100 staff on the same floor in the same department, no-one realized he was dead for 2 days.

8. In 2017, Norway became the first country in the world to shut down FM radio and go digital instead. Norway switched to DAB (which stands for ‘Digital Audio Broadcasting’) since FM is eight times more expensive.

9. Sweden is so good at recycling that it does not have enough rubbish to recycle and therefore imports 80,000 tons of trash a year from Norway.

10. Due to high-tech automation at the Lego factory in Denmark, when you open a set of LEGO, you are the first human to look at the bricks.

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11Anti-incest app

Anti-incest app

Iceland has such a small population that they have an anti-incest app so you don't end up hooking up with a family member on a night out.

12. It takes 3 years of higher education to become a police officer in Norway. The training takes place at a university college and each graduate gets a bachelor's degree in "Police Studies".

13. Norway will allow any student from anywhere in the world for free to study at their public universities.

14. In a remote valley in Sweden, people still speak an ancient dialect of Old Norse, the language of the Vikings. It's called Elfdalian and they still used runes (ancient writing system) up until the 1900s.

15. Only one person has been killed by armed police in Iceland since it became an independent republic in 1944.

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There are about two million saunas in Finland, enough for the entire Finnish population to take a sauna at the same time.

17. On Oct 28, 2013, wind power not only provided 100% of Denmark's power, but on that day at 2:00 AM, wind power produced 122% of the country's energy needs.

18. Iceland is extremely protective of their language. Instead of loaning words from other languages, they repurpose old ones. Telephone is 'simi', meaning thread, jet plane is 'thota', meaning to zoom and the word for computer, 'tölva' translates to number priestess or numbers witch.

19. Homosexuality was still classified as an illness in Sweden in 1979. Swedes protested by calling in sick to work, claiming they "felt gay".

20. Sweden was the first country to find out about the censored Chernobyl accident when one of the workers at the Forsmark power plant in Sweden set off evacuation alarms when radiation detectors went off after he had walked through grass that had been contaminated from radioactive rain picked up from Chernobyl over 800 miles away.



People who wanted to commit suicide in 18th-century Denmark were afraid to take their own lives because they believed it would send them to hell. Instead, they resorted to killing other people to receive the death penalty and repented before execution, believing that doing so would send them to heaven.

22. In Finland, they have 'National Sleepy Head day', where the last person in a family to wake up is thrown into a lake or the sea by the rest of the family.

23. In Iceland, the phonebook is sorted by first names because everyone's surname is basically their father's first name followed by -son or -dottir.

24. Linje Akvavit is a flavored liquor from Norway. It is shipped from Norway to Australia and back before being bottled. The sloshing and temperature change the liquor. Experiences on the ship impart certain flavors to the beverage. Akvavit is traditionally served as a holiday drink.

25. Helsinki cunningly survived World War 2. In 1944, USSR began a massive air attack on the city to force Finland to leave the war. Finns used fires and searchlights to trick Soviet bombers into dropping bombs outside the city. Russian diplomats were surprised to find an intact Helsinki after the war.

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