How to die in Scandinavia

There are plenty of ways to die here in Scandinavia. Most of them are the same ways people die in other countries but the Scandinavian edition of Mother Nature does have something special in store for those of us living in – or visiting – this cold corner of the world.

Warning: Do not read this if any of your loved ones died in Scandinavia or if you’re not comfortable with death as a part of life. I am not going to treat death with any kind of respect in this blog post.

How can you die in Scandinavia?

How can you die in Scandinavia?

Animals that kill

Some countries have sharks, alligators and crocodiles, venomous snakes and spiders (yikes) and even jellyfish that can kill you (yes, I’m looking at you, Australia).

Luckily it’s too cold for any of those animals to live in Scandinavia. Yes, we do have sharks but they’re about the size of a dachshund and not really very scary. Yes, we also have venomous snakes but they can probably, maybe, if you’re really unlucky, kill said dachshund if your vet is more than 24 hours away. Humans are safe.

So what kind of animals kill people here in Scandinavia?

Is it this guy?

Wolves don't kill people.

Wolves don’t kill people.

Nope. Wolves may kill sheep–and may be killed by angry sheep farmers–but they do not kill people. Not even tourists.

Is it this girl?

Bears do not kill people.

Bears do not kill people – at least not very often.

Nope. Bears also like to snack on sheep and they can kill people. But it’s been a long-long time since they killed anyone in Scandinavia. If you’re not between a mother bear and her cubs, you’re probably safe. Polar bears are very dangerous but the only place in Scandinavia where you’ll find polar bears is on Svalbard. On Svalbard it’s mandatory to carry a rifle because of potential polar bear attacks.

Svalbard is pretty far to the north and far from mainland Scandinavia so polar bears are not really a danger to most Scandinavians

Svalbard is pretty far to the north and far from mainland Scandinavia so polar bears are not really a danger to most Scandinavians

So which mammal (apart from homo sapiens) kills most people in Scandinavia? Any guesses?

It’s this guy:

Moose don't kill people. People in cars kills moose ... and themselves

Moose don’t kill people. People in cars kill moose … and themselves

Hundreds, if not thousands, of Swedes and Norwegians are hurt or killed every year because they drive into a moose. Danes are safe because there are no moose in Denmark.

A moose is a very heavy animal with very thin legs. This means that if a car hits the poor moose, its huge body will land on the windshield or on top of the car and the passengers of the car will be crushed by the weight of it.

Other ways to die

Did you think Mother Nature wasn’t cruel enough to Scandinavians and tourists visiting us? A moose and that’s it? Ah, you’re forgetting something. Mother Nature has more than a couple of moose up her sleeve.

  1. Hypothermia. Did you know that more people in Norway die from hypothermia than from being murdered. Yes, part of the answer here is that Norwegians aren’t very blood thirsty–they don’t go around and murder each other to the same degree as people do in most countries–but cold weather does kill quite a few people each year. Most of the people who die from hypothermia in Scandinavia do so in Norway due to a combination of Norway’s colder weather and the fact that Norwegians are the most outdoorsy people in Scandinavia.
    Ice bathing or comiting suicide?

    Ice bathing or commiting suicide?

    Unfortunately quite a few of the people dying from hypothermia are tourists. Bad weather can sneak up on you–be prepared.

  2. Falling off cliffs. It’s not as if Scandinavians don’t fall off cliffs–or need to be rescued after having fallen down part of the cliff–but according to the Norwegian police more and more tourists do this:
    Don't do this!

    Don’t do this!

    or this:

    because they want some cool pictures to bring home with them. Unfortunately, not all of these tourists get to go home because Mother Nature can be mean sometimes. But hey, she wants respect not selfies.

  3. Drowning. People drown everywhere, you say, and you’re quite right. But the Scandinavian version of Mother Nature is a bit sneaky. She’ll make Danish beaches look like this:
    Danish beaches don't kill people. Oh okay, maybe they do.

    Danish beaches don’t kill people. Oh okay, maybe they do.

    And then she will tempt tourists with these:

    Do not use these in Scandinavia!

    Do not use these in Scandinavia!

    Which is a baaaad combination considering the temperature in the water. Quite a few tourists have found themselves half way to Great Britain and that is really not where you want to be on that thing.
    We also have people fall into wild rivers and people drowning in cold lakes. But most of the people who drown in Scandinavia fall from small boats. They are found with their fly open. It’s a sad and ironic fact that Mother Nature kills men when they answer the call of nature.

  4. Avalanches and glaciers. People on skis are often hit by avalanches, especially in the spring when the snow is melting and freezing and melting and freezing.
    people also fall into glaciers. Luckily, this does not happen often since you need to have glacier guides with you when you cross a glacier.
    But did you know that people are also hit by glaciers? Most of the People killed by glaciers falling on them are tourist who do not respect the warning signs.
    After a family was killed by a glacier this summer in Norway there was a huge debate whether or not the warning signs should be bigger since tourists don’t seem to respect the small signs. The general consensus seemed to be that if they don’t respect the signs, they have to pay the price. Harsh, I agree.

    Glaciers kill people!

    Glaciers kill people!


You’re welcome but be careful

If I went to a country with venomous snakes or spiders, I would have absolutely no idea about how to avoid them (apart from running away screaming if I ever saw anything move). The same goes for tourists here in Scandinavia. So many of them don’t know how not to die from hypothermia, how to spot a moose in the forest while driving 100 km/h, how to avoid falling down from cliffs and how to respect warning signs.

So my only advice before you visit Scandinavia is this: Be careful!

Sooooo, can we Scandinavians get a little respect from all of you guys living in areas with dangerous animals? Please? Pretty please?

Ten things Scandinavians do when the sun shines

After 6-10 months of snow, sleet and rain, something strange makes Scandinavians stare at the sky. A big yellow ball not only brightens up the day (and night) – it sends heat to our cold corner of the world.

What is that weird ball in the sky?

What is that weird ball in the sky?

So what do we do when we’re no longer the place where the sun doesn’t shine?

1, We go outside

Scandinavians tend to be at our most creative when the sun shines and we really should be at work or school. We’ll work at home (= sit outside with the laptop and do absolutely nothing work-related), take long lunches (= sit outside with some food and try to chew as slowly as possible to avoid going back inside) and study for our exams at the local park (= fall asleep at the park while hoping we’ll somehow manage to remember everything we read in the cold winter months).

Everyone wants to be outside when the sun shines

Everyone wants to be outside when the sun shines

In July nobody works. Do not call a Scandinavian work place and expect people to actually help you out. They may have one person on duty but he or she can only tell you to call back in August. It’s summer – you expect us to work?!?

Some of us – actually 60-70% of us – are lucky enough to have a cabin in the family. We’ll go to that cabin every weekend when the weather is nice. Which results in the roads out of our cities looking like this on Friday afternoon:

Get in line to get to the cabin

Get in line to get to the cabin

It’s all about getting some fresh air.

Continue reading

Why doesn’t everyone move to Norway?

As a Dane who has moved to Norway, I always get this question from Norwegians: “Why did you move to Norway when you could live in Denmark?”

False modesty or low national self esteem? I’m not sure.

But I loved this article about moving to Norway and I recommend that you read it!

Norwegian female

Norwegian female

200 years since the last war

200 years ago today was the last time a Nordic country was at war with another Nordic country. That calls for a celebration!

Foreningen Norden (an organization to promote Nordic cooperation) celebrated this event by posting this picture on their Facebook page:

200 years since Nordic countries were at war with one another

200 years since Nordic countries were at war with one another

Are you familiar with all the flags?

Continue reading

Support the production of a new Viking movie!

Imagine you’re an ordinary 13 year old boy minding your own business, when Thor (the God of Thunder – not the Marvel character) suddenly appears in a stroke of lightning and takes you to Valhalla. And imagine that the Norse mythology is not just a mythology – it’s real!

This is the beginning of the book Erik Menneskesøn (Erik Son of Humans), written by Danish Lars-Henrik Olsen. Now there are plans for making this book into a movie – a movie I really want to see!

The reason why I want to see it is not because I liked the book (well, I did but I was not really in the target group for the book when I read it). I really want to see this movie because the director seems to take history seriously. And she seems to be thorough with the details, making this a (hopefully) historically correct movie – maybe the first historically correct Viking movie ever.

Check out how she sees the movie:

Continue reading

Vikings had sick pay

Scandinavia is known for our generous benefits for people who get sick. You can take time off from work with full pay (you’ll need your doctor to sign some documents if you’re sick for extended periods of time) or almost full pay if you get sick. A common cold or cancer – you have a right to keep your job and to keep your monthly income.

One would think that this was something new. You know – crazy Scandinavians and our welfare state – but actually it’s not. I found an article that referred to the first mentioning of sick pay. Guess when that was? Around year 1000. Go Vikings! (no, not the football Vikings – the real ones).

King Magnus Lagabøte's (1238-80) law.

King Magnus Lagabøte’s (1238-80) law. Not the first law that addresses sick pay.

Continue reading

Yay! I’ve been nominated!

This blog was originally made by Reefchic because she thought I should have a place outside for my fanfiction. I’m so grateful to her but my blog has developed into a blog about Vikings and Scandinavia – two things I LOVE to talk about  – more than fanfiction. I haven’t even moved all of my stories over here yet.

But now I want to turn everyone’s attention back to fanfiction because I’m so thrilled that I’m practically jumping up and down. I’ve been nominated to “All Time Favorite True Blood Fanfiction” (yes, yes, I write Southern Vampire Mysteries fanfiction but we’re often lumped together) by Fanatic Fanfics Award.

Dead with the Vikings - a Thyra10 Fanfiction

Dead with the Vikings – a Thyra10 Fanfiction and an Alby90 banner

So many great fanfics have been nominated in so many interesting categories and I’m truly honored to be mentioned among them. It’s my most popular story, Dead with the Vikings, that has been nominated.

Sookie Stackhouse wakes up one morning to find herself thrown back in time to when Eric Northman was alive and breathing and not yet turned into a vampire.

Read Dead with the Vikings at

I want to thank everyone who’s been emailing, Tweeting and PMing me about this nomination. I would never have known if it wasn’t for you guys! I also want to thank Rascalthemutant for betaing this baby. I wrote it back in 2010 but it’s still one of the stories I’ve had the most fun writing. I love the Viking age (as some of you might have guessed) and my story is probably based on my secret dream of waking up in the Viking age myself one morning. It hasn’t happened yet, but who knows?

If you want to vote for my story – or any of the great stories nominated with mine – you can do it here.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 542 other followers