1. No-one knows how long Norway’s coastline is!
It’s known throughout the world for its jagged mountains and stunning fjords, but believe it or not, no-one knows for sure just how long Norway’s epic coast is.
The somewhat counterintuitive observation that the coastline of a landmass does not have a well-defined length is known as the coastline paradox. Because of the fractal nature of a coastline, you can only define its length by using units of a specific length. When the unit length differs, the total length differs – and the difference can be massive.
2. Modern and ancient skiing were invented in Norway.
Sondre Norheim is said to be the father of modern skiing. In the late 19th-century, he began using stiff ski bindings so he could swing and jump with less risk of falling.
His new ski design – the Telemark ski – led to the modern skis we know.
But skiing itself goes much further back. An ancient rock carving at Rødøy in northern Norway shows that people used skis in the Norwegian mountains as far back as 4,000 years ago.
Finnmark is home to the oldest preserved ski ever found, at an incredible 2,300-years old. To top it off, the word ‘slalom’ also originates in Norway.
3. Norway introduced salmon sushi to Japan.
While sushi is absolutely a Japanese invention, they did not use salmon in the dish until it was suggested by a Norwegian delegation in 1980’s.
Despite the distance between the countries, Japan seemed a natural fit for Norwegian seafood. Japan’s fish stocks were suffering from overfishing but demand from consumers was high.
The deals created all those years ago have helped to boost Norwegian seafood exports. In Japan, Norwegian salmon sushi is one of the most popular dishes, especially among younger people.
It took time to happen though, as the Japanese were originally concerned with the health impact of eating raw salmon.
4. Kirkenes is farther east than all of Finland.
In fact, the small Arctic town is as far east as Cairo. Don’t believe us? Check a map! At only 9 miles (15 km) from the Russian border, Kirkenes is one of Norway’s most interesting places from a social perspective.
There is a big Russian influence with bilingual street signs, shops advertising their offers primarily to Russian visitors, and English is very much a third language in the small town.
5. Midnight Sun during summer, and polar night during winter.
Did you know that the sun never goes down for several weeks during summer? And during winter, the opposite as the sun never rises for several weeks. This is called “Midnight Sun” and “Polar Night” and occur in the Northern parts of the country. This means that for some weeks it’s constantly bright outside, and for some weeks it’s pitch-black all day long.
6. Being buryed is illegal in Longyearbyen, Norway.
The town’s small graveyard stopped accepting bodies after discovering the permafrost prevented the bodies from decomposing.
[Source: lifeinnorway.net / Kickassfacts.com / swedishnomad.com]