sunnana harbour 2914368 1920

A country with 10 million inhabitants, covering 450000 square kilometers

Today we’re looking at some curious facts about another Nordic country, Sweden.

  1. If you register as a blood donor in Sweden, you can opt to get a text message whenever the blood you donated is used  in a life-saving situation. [Source]
  2. An old law in Sweden called allemansrätten (all mans rights) gives everyone access to enjoy the nature to it’s fullest extent, meaning you can set up your tent anywhere in the outdoors, as long as it doesn’t bother anyone who lives around the area. This includes making fire for catching that fish you just caught on your hike through the beautiful nature of the countryside. [Source]
  3. The capital of Sweden, Stockholm ran a pilot scheme of a so called Lottery of Speed Cameras that picked winners from a pool of contestants that did not break their speed limits in a given period. The bonus was that the prizes were paid by the speeding fines themselves. [Source]
  4. The all mighty and glorious country of North Korea owes a debt to Sweden for £240 million that has been more than 40 years delayed. The North Korean regime back in 1970’s stole a thousand Volvo’s by reneging on a deal, causing the Swedish government to send an invoice 2 times a year. [Source]
norway 772991 1920

Norway is a country which lies on top of the arctic circle, and even claims ownership of an island located between Argentina and Antarctica. There are many things Norway is known for, from it’s beautiful Fjords, to the equally beautiful Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

  1. Monty Python’s famous movie; Life of Brian was banned in Norway due to reasons of Blasphemy. That made the neighbouring country Sweden market their movie as being “So funny it was outlawed in Norway.” [Source]
  2. To become a police officer in this country, you are required to have foregone a 3 year education at a higher level university college especially meant for police cadets. The reward is that not only are you allowed to police once graduating, but you also get your very own bachelor’s degree in “Police Studies” as a benefit, this is similar to what happens in Denmark[Source]
  3. While the Japanese are famously fond of Sushi, it wasn’t until a combined Norwegian marketing effort that Salmon sushi, called Sashimi in Japanese became a thing. Before the campaign the Japanese people believed this particular raw trout species as being dangerous because of their experiences with the Pacific salmon. However the Atlantic salmon that the Norwegians had plenty of in their waters was perfectly safe to eat in it’s raw form and slowly they managed to get the message through. [Source] 
  4. The English king Henry the Third once was gifted a live polar bear from the Norwegian King Haakon of Norway. This was way back in the middle of the 13th century, back when the Tower of London was very much maintained at it’s fullest, so it served as a great deterrent for would be escapees, and was even put on a leash so it could hunt for fish in the river Thames. [Source]
  5. The Norwegian vikings sure knew how to live life. Harald Hadrada was one such a man. He fled from Norway due east towards the Russian Empire, where he gained temporary exile. However he quickly moved once more, to the Eastern Roman Empire and went on to become a member of a special unity of Nordic guards protecting the King and fighting as mercenaries at other times. His travels took him as far as modern Iraq in the middle-east, before he returned to marry a Russian princess. With this new support he returned to his home country and took to the throne, before finally invading England to round things out. [Source]
  6. If you are granted access to the country, you are allowed to study in any of Norway’s public universities without having to pay any tuition. This is all part of the government’s scheme to establish Norway as a center of learning in the world. [Source]
  7. And once more back to the heroic and this time romantic viking Kings. King Harald of Norway was not allowed to marry his chosen love by the court and advisors around him, so in protest he publicly declared he would remain without a wife forever, and therefore put uncertainty as to the succession and safety of the crown, if he was not allowed to marry his childhood sweetheart.  She was eventually crowned as Queen of Norway alongside her Husband, King Harald. [Source]
copenhagen 142711 1920

Home of one of the oldest Kingdoms in the world

  1. Hans Island is a small island that lies somewhere in between Greeland and Canada. Both the Danish and Canadian government claim the ownership, and even go as far as to send military personel to remove the opposing countries flags, and set up their own instead. [Source]
  2. In both Denmark, Norway and the Faeroe Islands, an old tradition had girls knitting a penis warmer, or cock sock, for their partners. This was the ultimate test for their relationship, because if the guy did not want the present, then it meant he did not want to marry the woman. [Source]
  3. The LEGO factory is so advanced in technology, that no people working there ever see the small LEGO blocks when produced. So when you purchase a pack of these squares, you’re the first one to set eyes on them! [Source]
  4. Denmark has been at war with the Spanish city of Huescar for more than 170 years. Both sides had forgotten about the war that was only started due to alliances, until a historian uncovered evidence of this ancient casus belli. No casualties were recorded for either side in the longest war of all times. [Source]
  5. In the 1700s a number of depressed and religious Danes were so afraid to commit suicide because they would end up in hell for their sin. So they chose to murder innocent people, so as to be given the death penalty and therefore die without sin. [Source]
  6. Denmark is one of the few countries that openly have so called “drug rooms” where drug addicts can take their drugs under a supervisory professional. This has helped eliminate a number of deaths due to bad injection since the establishment.  [Source]
  7. Since the Danes in 2003 decided to limit the percentage of fat in foods, the people have had 50% less heart diseases and attacks related to this cause. In general the Danish people are some of the most healthy on earth, in no small part to their attention on diets[Source]
  8. Back in the early 700s one of the very first Danish kings, Harald Wartooth, was afraid to die out of combat and thus relinquish his right to join his fallen brothers in Valhalla asked the rival king of Sweden, Sigurd, for a full on battle. The Swedish king agreed, realizing he could gain rule of Denmark if he were to win. Harald was killed alongside more than 30,000 soldiers from both sides, and Sigurd claimed Denmark for his own. [Source]
  9. There’s a tax on the majority of new car sales in Denmark of more than 170%. Lately this number have been changed to reflect a slight decrease in regulations, but still a drivers license costs most than $1600 USD. [Source]
  10. During World War Two, Germany was sending spies across the border in alarming numbers. The Danish officers were instructed to ask for identification by pronunciation, meaning that anyone claiming to be Danish should be able to say “Rødgrød med fløde” – a notoriously difficult sentence to say. [Source]
  11. Keeping to the war, when Hitler sent a memo to organize all Danish Jews to be sent to camps, the Danish people rallied together and evacuated more than 99% of all the jews in the country via route of Sweden. [Source]
  12. The small coastline heavy country exceeded it’s own power needs by producing an excess power of wind energy. Most of the wind turbines are located in the ocean and out of the way for most people. The country is known for it’s environmentally friendly policies, and their pledge of having their entire country run by clean energy. [Source]
  13. The Bluetooth technology was actually named after an ancient Danish king by the name of Harald Bluetooth. Even the logo has his stamp on it, since it is based his initials written with archaic Nordic rune scripture.  Furthermore, the Dutch mobile app scene is also including Viking mythology in various ways. [Source]
  14. People in Denmark love to bike. In fact, in the capital of Copenhagen there are more bicycles than citizens. The medieval city has more than 300 miles of designated biking lanes, and the number of bikes outmatch that of cars five to one. [Source]
  15. Danish scientists have concluded in their research that blue eyed people might be related to all other blue eyed humans ever to have lived. They believe that there was a single individual known as the “founder” who was responsible for the spread of the eye color. Being the only blue-eyed male when everyone else’s eyes was brown must have been quite the treat, or curse. [Source]
  16. It is illegal to set fire to flags from other countries, but actually fully legal to burn Dannebro, the official Danish flag. [Source]