40 Facts You Didn’t Know About the Nordic Countries

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26Althing

Althing

The parliament (Althing) of Iceland, established in 930 A.D., is the oldest active parliament in the world.


27. When Underdog Iceland reached the quarter-final of the 2016 Euro Cup, 10% of Iceland's population traveled to France for the game. The team coach was also a dentist.


28. In March 2003, Denmark became the first country to regulate trans fats in foods (2% limit on ingredients) and has since seen a 50% decrease in ischemic heart disease.


29. Stockholm, capital of Sweden, is built on 14 islands, and that the city center is "virtually situated on the water".


30. The United States has more people of Norwegian descent than Norway.


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31Swedish Hot Line Riot

Swedish Hot Line Riot

In the 1982 Swedish Hot Line Riot, the teens in Sweden hacked the landline system to create a massive party line unbeknownst to adults or HTE phone company. Over 1,000 14-18 year olds then decided to meet at one location with no plans. A riot ensued.


32. Earlier in 2016, Sweden released a telephone number that would put you in touch with a random Swede. More than 32,000 Swedes agreed to take the calls by downloading an app, answering upwards of 180,000 calls from all over the world.


33. In 2001, a teenager in Sweden was arrested on suspicion of treason after throwing a strawberry tart at King Carl Gustaf.


34. Norway, Sweden, and Finland together are not Scandinavia, but are Fennoscandia. Scandinavia actually comprises Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, not Finland.


35. In 2008, Doritos beamed a 30-second advertisement into a planetary system 42 light years away, in collaboration with EISCAT Space Center in Norway.


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36Bouvet Island

Bouvet Island

Norway owns an uninhabited frozen island (Bouvet Island) located halfway between Africa and Antarctica.


37. In Iceland, the belief in Elves is so pervasive that it can determine government action. From roads avoiding large rocks (where the Elves "live") to construction permits sometimes requiring the aide of a mystic who can ask the elves to move.


38. In Iceland, criminals are put on a waiting list to serve their time in prison because there aren't enough available jail cells. Many people who are on this list pay fines or do community service as an alternative to prison.


39. In 1954, archaeologists excavating an 8th-century Viking settlement in Sweden (Helgö) found a Buddha statuette from India.


40. Norway has very strict rules on advertising cars as "green" saying, "cars can do nothing good for the environment except less damage than others".

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