Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Hetanshi. Hetanshi Wonders, “What caused the formation of fjords?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Hetanshi!
Are you suffering from wanderlust? Come join us on an adventure as we travel to a land of ice, snow, mountains, and fjords. We'll sail along rocky coasts once inhabited by fierce Vikings. There will be times when the sun never sets…and times when it never rises.
Does this sound like the trailer for a new action movie? It's not, but it could be! All those things and more await you when you travel to Norway.
Located in northern Europe, Norway makes up the western half of the Scandinavian Peninsula. It shares land borders to the east with Sweden, Finland, and Russia. To the north, south, and west, you'll find bodies of water, including the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, North Sea, and Skager Strait.
Most of Norway is mountainous with a cold climate due to the fact that a significant portion of the country stretches north past the Arctic Circle. Its lengthy, jagged coastline was shaped by glaciers that created over a thousand fjords and more than 50,000 islands along the coast.
Due to the extreme terrain and climate issues that exist throughout central and northern Norway, about half of Norway's 5.2 million citizens live in the far southern part of the country, in large cities like Oslo (Norway's capital), Bergen, and Trondheim.
Early settlers became fishermen and farmers. With so much water to sail along its long coastline, Norway also spawned a tradition of seafaring explorers that reached its height during the Viking era.
Today, many tourists visit Norway to enjoy its awe-inspiring natural beauty. In particular, many people venture to the far northern part of the country to see the Northern Lights.
Life is not easy in the far north, though. During the winter, the Sun never rises, leaving residents in 24-hour darkness. The opposite occurs in the summer, when the Sun never sets. This phenomenon gives Norway its nickname: Land of the Midnight Sun.
Modern Norway has moved beyond its early reliance upon fishing and farming. It remains a world leader in maritime shipping and specialized shipbuilding. However, in the 1970s, offshore exploration led to the discovery of large reserves of oil and natural gas. Since the 1990s, Norway has been one of the world's leading exporters of petroleum.