1. The amount you get fined for speeding on the roads in Finland depends on the amount you earn
A man with an annual income of 7€ million was recently charged 116,000€.
2. The land of a thousand lakes
Finland is known as the land of a thousand lakes because it has over 180,000 lakes (larger then 500 square meters). The lakes are used for swimming and fishing in, for drinking water and even as roads in the winter when they are frozen over.
Finland also has just under 180,000 islands.
3. Finns are one of the most ingenuitive peoples on the planet.
Give a Finn a bottle of beer and he turns into Macgyver, delving into his pockets to fashion a bottle opener out of what ever he can find.
I’ve seen beer bottle tops popped off with lighters, key-rings (and not ones with bottle opened on them), other bottles, knives, rocks. You name it, they can do it. I think it must be part of the school curriculum.
For some slightly scarier but awe-inspiring examples of Finnish ingenuity click here
4. Land of the midnight sun
As well as being the land of a thousand lakes Finland is comonly called the land of the midnight sun. And for good reason. During the months of June and July the sun shines all day and all night in the north, not dropping below the horizon at all.
5. Polar nights
Conversely, in the middle of winter in the north of Finland, there are days when the sun never makes it above the horizon and everything is bathed in an eerie blue light called kaamos.
6. There are no public payphones in Finland
Finns have a reputation of being very quiet, introspective people who aren’t big on small talk. And generally, that’s true. Until you hand them a mobile phone. There are over 5 million mobile phones in Finland for a population of 5.4 million and Nokia is a Finnish company, based in the town of Nokia in southern Finland.
Which goes a long way to explaining why there are no public phones in Finland. There’s no need for them, everybody has mobiles phones.
Have a look at these tips for how to phone home when visiting Ruka and Kuusamo.
7. One and two cent coins are not used in Finland.
When you pay cash for something in Finland the price is rounded to the nearest 0.05€ so there is no use for 1 and 2 cent coins. Although 1 and 2 cent coins are, strictly speaking, legal tender, shops are not obliged to take them.
8. Finland probably holds the world record for hosting world championships.
And the majority of them are far from serious events. Finland holds world champion competitions for wife carrying, mobile phone throwing, mosquito catching, swamp soccer, sauna, boot throwing and air guitar to name a few.
9. When driving in Finland you must keep your headlights on at all times.
It’s been the law since 1982.
10. Finns love their sauna
Although hotly contested by the Swedes, Finns lay claim to inventing the sauna. But whether they invented it or not, they certainly love it. There are around 2.2 million saunas in Finland, 1 for every 2.5 people, and visiting the sauna is as normal to a Finn as going to the pub is to a Brit.
A Finnish sauna is taken naked (wearing clothes -and yes, a swimming costume counts as clothes- in the sauna is a big faux pas) and it’s normal to go in with groups of friends or family, drink beer and even grill sausages on the fire.
After getting very hot in the sauna it is normal to run outside, still naked, and leap into the lake. In winter they often cut a hole in the ice so you can still enjoy a dip or sometimes roll around in the snow instead.
What strange facts do you know about Finland, or any other country for that matter?