15 Unknown Facts That You Should Know About Norway

Norway, the Scandinavian country has lots of history, cool designs, Viking ancestors, and a growing economy topped with naturally beautiful landscapes and lots of oil they export. It’s easy to see why Norway is the ruling country in the peninsula.

Norway Exports Tap Water

In Norway, the water is so pure that you can drink it from the tap with no problems. Their water comes mostly from glaciers and natural springs that don’t need much filtration. You can even get their tap water at restaurants for free. Having such praised water supplies, they managed to market it and sell it as artisanal water all over the world.

We’re talking about Voss water, the Norwegian brand selling bottled tap water. This story was uncovered in the documentary film a drop of luxury where one executive from the brand admitted that the water is pretty much tap water in a fancy bottle.

Norway people go to Sweden or Finland to buy cheaper alcohol

If you’re planning to take a trip to Norway, make sure you bring enough money with you because even if it’s a great country to visit, it’s also extremely expensive when it comes to housing, dining, transportation, and pretty much everything. The minimum wage is around $25 per hour so money is not a problem for the locals but even so, they still like to buy cheaper items like food or alcohol.

People travel between Norway and Sweden just to get cheaper alcohol and basic groceries for years. Police stopped the truck at customs one time because it was transporting 2.8 million dollars worth of undeclared garlic across the border from Sweden as reported by the Irish Times. If you ever visit Norway, maybe stock up on some alcohol and snacks just to blend in.

Famous movies and TV series were filmed in Norway

Europe has been the set of a lot of movies and TV shows lately, more productions seek out old medieval cities, green plains or high shores that cannot be replicated in the studios. Such locations later become major tourist attractions and offer people new destinations to travel too.

Norway is also on the list of famous sets with movies like the Danish Girl, The Empire Strikes Back, Harry Potter and the half-blood Prince, Ex Machina or the Golden Compass being shot fully or partially there. If you want major FOMO design, watch “Ex Machina” as it was shot in a breathtaking Scandinavian home.

They started a wealth fund worth $1 trillion

Norway has quite a small population and the northern part is not very inhabited. Since it snows all year round and temperatures are below zero almost all the time. That’s why, most of the population lives in Oslo, the capital city or the surrounding area where they can be closer to civilization.

The country relies on its oil extractions from the northern sea very much and you’ll be surprised to find out that most of the profits from the oil industry are secured into a wealth fund which is now worth 1 trillion dollars. This money is used by the population and for the population. As of 2017, every citizen has 192 dollars from that fund and it keeps growing.

The richest man in Norway is John Fredrickson

The person we’re going to talk about now is most probably not known to a lot of people. In fact, a lot of billionaires are not out there in the media on the red carpet or at major events. They usually run their businesses from their office or on their plane.

John Fredrickson is the richest person in Norway and has a fortune of 7.3 billion dollars as of 2018 and most probably only people in Norway know about him and his business. He made a fortune out of oil tankers and shipping and he owns the world’s largest oil tanker fleet. He also has major interests in other oil-related businesses and will probably make some more investments in the near future to secure his place in the industry.

Kevin Spacey is accused of abusing a member of the royal family

We’ve all heard about Kevin Spacey’s abuse scandal that broke out a few months ago, and we even wept a little after his removal from the house of cards final season. He was accused of sexual advances towards a 14-year-old boy back in 1986. Kevin Spacey stated that “he does not have any memory of that but he apologized publicly”, but that wasn’t enough and his reputation had quite a bit to suffer after the scandal.

Another victim came through regarding Kevin Spacey’s behavior and that person is a member of Norway’s royal family. He told the media that Kevin Spacey groped him under a table at a Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo ten years ago. His name is Ari Behn, formally married to princess märtha Louise and father of three and he became the 16th man to accuse spacey of sexual misconduct.

Their Olympic skiing team had Nazi symbols on their sweaters

Norway’s winter sports teams are always winning medals at the Winter Olympics or any other competition. For the 2018 Winter Olympics, their designer tried something new for the team’s official clothing but in return, they only got negative comments and Nazi references. They’re black and gray sweaters feature a symbol Tyr rune, representing the attacking Viking. A symbol commonly associated with Viking and Norse mythology but the symbol has also been used by extreme right-wing groups and is also the official emblem for Adolf Hitler’s leadership school in Nazi, Germany.

Police uncovered years of sex abuse in Norway’s northern areas

Another sex scandal wasn’t covered in Norway. This time, people from the far northern areas were on the radar when police uncovered over 150 sex abuses and assaults that went unreported for a year. Generations of native Sami people living in remote northern regions have been victims of rape and child abuse. You can imagine how big of an impact the scandal had with a population of around 2,000 people living in those communities.

These Sami communities have their own language and have been living across the Arctic in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia for a long period of time, without going extinct but sadly they have lots of abuse issues and who knows what other problems.

Norway is not an EU member

The European Union is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe and was established in 1957 through the Treaty of Rome. Back then, only six countries entered the Union and seven more would enter as the Union grew bigger.

Norway was a part of the second batch of countries that wanted to enter the Union in 1972. The decision was negotiated for almost two years between Norway and the rest of the member countries but was ultimately submitted to be a referendum boat and the population voted against the EU. since then, Norway declined another EU invitation and is still not a member of the EU but remains one of the richest and most prosperous countries in Europe.

Oil is very expensive

Norway is very expensive. It’s up there with Switzerland where a small bottle of water is at least five dollars at the supermarket topped with housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, and dining out you end up spending a few thousand euros just on your daily living expenses.

Norway makes most of its money and profit from the oil industry. They extract the oil from the northern sea and then they export it that easy. Norway has the highest oil prices in the world, one gallon of petrol is at least seven point eight two dollars almost three times more expensive than in the US.

Norway is the first country that banned tree cutting

Lots of untouched nature, natural reservations or parks, aurora borealis, and Lapland are just a few of the wonders you can experience in rural Norway. In order to keep the landscape as mother nature intended, the government decided to act and passed a law that banned tree cutting across the whole country. Deforestation is a major problem and a lot of regions face it and it’s affecting our global climate too.

Fjords area will be the first zero emission zone at sea

Norway’s majestic fjords have become popular tourist attractions over the years. You can’t visit Norway without having a cruise over the fjords in the same waters as the Vikings once sailed. But, since they’re so popular it means more and more people are visiting and that means pollution levels are growing.

The area is now being transformed into a zero-emission zone at sea and no cruise ships and ferries are allowed to go there if they’re not electric. This measure shows that tourism can be dangerous to a lot of beautiful areas and no money can bring back what people and pollution destroys.

They knighted a real penguin

There is a penguin in this world that is actually a real Knight with decoration, full rights, and an army to his little feet. It might sound like a Disney production but it’s real life.

Brigadier Sir Niels Olaf is a king penguin who currently resides in the Edinburgh Zoo, Scotland and is the mascot and colonel-in-chief of the Norwegian Kingsguard. He’s the third and his families who inherit the title and goes by the title Niels Olin the third. He got his knight title in 2008 and in 2016 he even got a promotion at the zoo and they made him a brigadier. Sir Niels walks in front of his army of men and he had a tiny decoration can be seen on his wing.

Oslo donates a Christmas tree to Trafalgar Square every year as a thank-you

Oslo donates a Christmas tree to Trafalgar Square every year as a thank-you for the world war -2 support. World War -2 had a lot of its battlefields in Europe, the Germans went on a quest to take over the countries around them and expand their territory but were not very successful in the Scandinavian Peninsula.

Norway was invaded by German forces in April of 1940 but they were not able to capture King Haakon. He was later exiled in London where he tried to take his country back, with the help of Britain he managed to take back Norway from the German occupation and in order to show his gratitude. The King promised to give a Christmas tree to Trafalgar Square every year. since then every year the Christmas tree you see lit up in Trafalgar Square is a kind gift from Norway.

IKEA names wardrobes and Hall furniture after places in Norway

IKEA, the place where couples fight over bedside tables and curtains for the living room. It’s probably one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Yes, we know it’s Swedish what you might not know is that IKEA has a strict rule of naming its objects and furniture items. The rules for naming or devised by IKEA is foundering Kamprad who struggled with dyslexia and had trouble remembering the order of numbers in item codes. The name IKEA itself is an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad ‘Elmataryd’ his family’s farm, and  ‘Agunnaryd’ the village he grew up in.

So, bathroom articles are named after Swedish lakes and watercourses, bed textiles after flowers and plants and beds, wardrobes, Hall furniture after Norwegian place names. There are also other Scandinavian references and a lot more of Swedish culture. But Norway is also a part of IKEA culture.