Finland

Finland is the jam. It came from an exploding egg, the egg of a water bird, the top half of which you can still see in the shape of the starry canopy that hangs over the earth.

Finland is the most sparsely-populated country in the EU with only 5 million people. It's also been ranked the second most stable country in the world, after Norway.

Historically, Finland has been a part of Sweden and later, Russia. It was an autonomous Grand Duchy during the Russian Empire's reign and lasted as such until their declaration of independence in 1917. Subsequently Finland survived a civil war and wars against both Russia and Nazi Germany to eventually settle down as an EU member circa 1955.

Finnish language is cool, it's totally unrelated to the whole Latin-root thing. Its closest relative is Hungarian. Linguistic historians estimate that it came from northern central Russia from 3000BC.

If you're in Helsinki, the museum at Suomenlinna has some interesting bunkers and military wreckage, including a submarine!

Caught on camera! Here's your long-awaited proof. Santa Claus comes from Finland.

Apart from Lappland, the other thing most people are familiar with out of Finland is aquavite. Literally it translates to "water of life" but it may make you feel more like you are dying when it hits your throat.

Text by Steve Smith.

Milla Myllymaa
Sunrise at shore
Milla Myllymaa
Milky way across the sky
Milla Myllymaa
Forest view
Mikhail Soulim
Helsinki, Olympic stadium
Alexey Sinelnikov
Sumen Kanavat
Samuli Ikäheimo
Zodiacal Light
Mikhail Soulim
Suomenlinna fortress
Mikhail Soulim
Suomenlinna
Mikhail Soulim
Suomenlinna fortress, Helsinki
Alexey Klement
Turku. View from the bridge (34)
luis davilla
reindeer herder in karasjok plateau. norway
Victorina
Fir-tree in frost on the top of mountain Pyhä
Victorina
Trees on the slope of mountain Pyhä in winter
Janne
Väänälänranta, Siilinjärvi by night
Rami Saarikorpi
Leningrad Cowboys
Janne
Under the auroras
Rami Saarikorpi
Northern lights
Janne
The banks of Yara's landfill area
Rami Saarikorpi
Skycam Aerial 360 panorama Senate Square
Janne
Frosty winter forest