Situated in northern Europe, Norway is popular for quite a few things like the northern lights, its mountains and the fjords. However, there is so much more about this country that remains lesser known till now. Therefore, we decided to map out 15 of the most interesting and fascinating facts about Norway which you can further share with your friends and family.
Norway is one of the Scandinavian countries with a rich history, Vikings ancestors and a unique feel to it. If you’re someone who is fascinated with beautiful landscapes and has a desire to visit places that seem out of this world then you sure should add Norway to your list.
Norway’s population is a little over 5 million and mostly inhabitable in the southern region since northern parts of Norway are experiencing a little too extreme weather conditions. But there is so much more to this country than what meets the eye. Norway is filled with natural resources and this is one of the top reasons why it has continued to thrive in the economic and happiness index of the world. But, that is a discussion for some other day.
Today we have compiled 10 interesting facts about Norway and let’s dive right into them.
1. Oslo Is The Official Venue Of The Nobel Peace Prize
While almost every one of the Nobel prizes is awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, the Nobel Peace Prize has been always been awarded in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, since 1901 (except for few exceptions). This has been happening as per the wishes of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish chemist who entrusted his wealth to create the Nobel awards upon his death.
2. There’s A Village Named HELL In Norway
Yes, you read that right. There is a village named Hell in Norway with a population little over 1000 people. It is situated within walking distance of Trondheim’s international airport and even has a train station which is a tourist site in itself. Bunch of tourists visits the village to get their pictures taken in front of the station sign.
3. Skiing Was Practically Invented In Norway
Time and again Norway has been performing extremely well in skiing on the global and Olympic front since the country is officially surrounded by snow and mountains all year long. While modern skiing was introduced by Sondre Norheim, also known as the father of modern skiing, using stiff ski bindings to help him swing and jump, there are ancient rock carvings at Rødøy in northern Norway that show that Norweigien people used to ski to get around as long as 4,000 years.
4. Oslo Donates A Christmas Tree To The People Of Britain
Ever since 1947, the capital of Norway – Oslo – continues to donate a Christmas tree to the people of Britain. This is done as a token of gratitude to the British for their support to Norway in the second world war. This Christmas tree is displayed in Trafalgar Square which is a public square in Westminister, Central London.
5. Salmon Sushi Was Introduced By Norway
While the origin of sushi comes from Japan, but do you know that one of the most popular and widely-known sushi was actually introduced by Norway? Yes, Salmon sushi’s birthplace was not Japan but rather Norway. Salmon sushi was introduced in 1980 as an attempt to expand Norway’s seafood export to Asia which was also super helpful for Japan whose fish stocks were suffering from overfishing as demand from consumers was very high.
This particular kind of sushi took some time for the Japanese to adjust to since Salmon was initially not the kind of fish to be eaten raw. But people have come around to it and currently, it is one of the most variants of Sushi. Another one of the super interesting facts about Norway, right?
6. It’s One Of The Happiest Nations In The World
Another interesting fact about Norway is that it is officially one of the happiest nations in the world. It held the number 1 position in 2017 in the World Happiness Report and stood at second place in 2018, followed by third place in 2019. The World Happiness Report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which is a global initiative launched in 2012 by the United Nations. What makes Norway one of the happiest nations in the world is its healthy balance of prosperity, continuous efforts of the government to build social trust and equality among the citizens in order to improve their well being.
7. Norwegians Income & Wealth Is On Public Record
Until 2013, the income and wealth record of the people of Norway was put on public record, meaning anyone can have a look at it. There were three figures mentioned of each citizen: annual income, total wealth and income tax paid. Post-2013, the data is still completely open and searchable but now a person is able to see who looked up their income data.
The government decided to bring in this initiative to stop tax evasion among the citizen and have an easier way out for authorities to identify who is doing any kind of income-related crime.
8. Norway Has A Great History At Winter Olympics
While the summer Olympics might not be Norway’s cup of tea considering their cold weather conditions, it’s the winter Olympics where the nation truly shines. It’s the most successful nation in the world in the Winter Olympics. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, Norway’s total medal tally stood at 368 medals, including 132 gold achieved in 23 competitions. Their closed rival was the United States with 305 total medals and 105 Gold medals, followed by Germany with 238 total medals and 92 Gold Medals.
9. Norway Is Very Strict With Their Traffic Rules
This is another one of the interesting facts about Norway that it is probably the strictest country in Europe in terms of their traffic rules. The penalty for speeding is harsher than what one gets for the possession of drugs. In fact, you can very well be thrown into the jail for speeding, to be exact, 50km/h on a motor road can send you off to the jail for 18 days.
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10. Norway Has The World’s Longest Road Tunnel
Norway is a beautiful country with stunning roads to drive upon, however, do you know that Norway has the world’s longest road tunnels in the world. The Lærdal Tunnel is exactly 24.5 km long and costs the country almost $113 Million US Dollars. It was basically made to connect the small communities of Lærdal and Aurland. If you’re visiting Norway then you have to drive on this tunnel once, it is an amazing experience.
These were 10 of the most fascinating facts about Norway ever. Which one of those has been your favourite? Don’t forget to share it with us.