Finland Fun Facts
Did you know?
1. Finland is called the Land of a Thousand Lakes
Finland is affectionately referred to as the Land of a Thousand Lakes, but that number doesn’t even come close. There are a whopping 187,888 lakes within the territory of Finland – the most of any country in the world. If you’re more comfortable roaming around by foot, there’s a total of 179,888 Finnish islands to explore.
2. Finland is also called the Land of the Midnight Sun
This is because in June and July the sun shines all day and all night in the north, not dropping below the horizon.
3. Finland has a unique history
Finland was one of the last region of Europe to be Christianised, in the 12th century.
Finland has only been an independent country since 1918. Before that it belonged to Russia or Sweden.
Finnish athletes have won more Summer Olympic medals per capita than any other nation. As of 2012, Finland had won in total 302 Summer Olympic medals (including 101 gold medals) for a population of only 5.4 million. That is an average of 55.9 medals (18.7 gold medals) per million people. Finland is only second to Norway for the number of Winter Olympic medals per capita (28.8 medals/million).
Drivers from Finland have won more World Rally championships (14 titles) than any other country, and more Formula One championships compared to their country’s population (4 titles for 5 million inhabitants – the next best being Austria with 4 titles for a population of 8 million)
4. Finns, mobile phones and Saunas
Surprisingly, there are no public payphones in Finland! There are over 5 million mobile phones in Finland for a population of 5.4 million. There are almost 3 million saunas!
5. Finland has Freedom to Roam
Like many Nordic countries, Finland has some of the world’s best “Freedom to Roam” opportunities. This means that you can pitch a tent, forage for wild lingonberries or catch zanders in the lakes for free and without worry. Just don’t do any harm to the environment.
6. The Finns love coffee more than anyone else
The Finns are the world’s biggest coffee drinkers, gulping down no less than 12 kg of the black substance annually, twice more than the Italians, three times more than the Americans, and four times more than the Brits.
7. Finland hosts unusual “World Championship” Events
Finland holds world championships for wife carrying, mobile phone throwing, mosquito catching, swamp soccer, boot throwing, sauna and air guitar.
8. Finnish Inventions
Finland is surprisingly pioneering for a small nation of 5 million. Other Finnish-born inventions include the rescue toboggan, the heart-rate monitor, salty liquorice (‘Salmiakki’), the Linux OS, ice skates, Angry Birds, the Molotov cocktail, the SMS and, of course, the sauna, which also happens to be the most used Finnish word outside of the mother country.
9. Santa Claus lives in Finland
Santa Claus officially resides in a house built right on top of the Arctic circle, near the town of Rovaniemi, in the northern province of Lapland. The Santa Claus Post Office (address: Santa Claus Village, FIN-96930 Arctic Circle) receives some 700,000 letters every year from children from 198 countries.
10. Schooling in Finland is different
In Finland, children do not go to school until they are seven and it is not mandatory to give students grades until they are in the 8th grade. Teachers typically spend about four hours a day in the classroom, and are paid to spend two hours a week on building curriculums and assessing student progress.
11. Rich people rarely speed!
The amount you get fined for speeding in Finland depends on the amount you earn. So any traffic fine are based on two factors: the severity of the offense and the driver’s income. The most expensive speeding ticket ever given is believed to be the one given in Helsinki in 2003. He was fined 170,000 Euros for driving 80 km/hr in a 40 km/hr zone.
12. Finland is the undisputed home of heavy metal
Icy and industrial, perhaps it’s no wonder that Finland has the most heavy metal bands per capita. World-famous acts like Children of Bodom, Nightwish and Eurovision Song Contest winners Lordi all hail from Finland, and are all able to channel their nation’s dark and wild nature within their music.
13. Finland’s International Rankings
Finland is the least corrupt and most democratic country in the world as of 2012.
Finland has been ranked first on the Environmental Sustainability Index of Yale and Columbia University. It was also ranked first for technological achievement by the United Nations Development Program.
Apart from the fun facts, Finland needs to be seen to be enjoyed. Whilst traveling, enjoy the unspoilt wilderness, admire the beauty of varied landscapes, see charming towns, explore the modern capital, and relax in sauna. Join us and let the land of the thousand lakes and the midnight sun enchant you!
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