15 Interesting Facts about the Vikings
- 20% of English words are derived from Old Norse. Some of these include anger, ugly, weak, skull, and slaughter.
2. Some of the Vikings kept pets – from cats, dogs, falcons, peacocks, and bears. Bear cubs would be caught as cubs and then raised by Viking families. Polar bears, however, were reserved for noblemen only.
3. Only 80% of Viking children survived past 5 years old. If a child was sick or weakly, the parents would either abandon the child of throw them in the sea. This was due to the strong pride Vikings took in strength and power.
4. There is a remote valley in Sweden where an ancient Viking dialect of Old Norse is still spoken.
5. The Bluetooth symbol is an old Viking rune – they represent the initials of a Viking King.
6. Greenland was discovered by the Vikings centuries before the Inuit arrived. However, when the Inuit started moving south, they attacked and collapsed the Norse settlements.
7. There was an ancient Viking King who took Christmas so seriously, that his subjects were forced to drink ale throughout the holidays. Anyone who didn’t was fined.
8. When the Vikings got together to make laws and settle disputes, it was a meeting called the “Thing.”
9. One of the Viking kings once ruled as the King of England for 5 weeks.
10. In order to tell how bad a battle wound was, Viking women would feed an injured warrior a broth with potent onions. After eating it, if they could smell the broth through the wound, they knew it was too deep and there was no way to fix it.
11. The most prized weapons of the Vikings were their long swords. They would often name their swords things like “Widow-Maker” and “Corpse-Bramble.” The swords would often be passed down through the generations.
12. The Vikings are notorious for their impressive boat building skills for their time. They invented the keel, as well as central spines down the underside of the boat to make the vessel more stable.
13. Some of the Viking runes are just forms of graffiti, such as “Tholfir Kolbeinsson carved these runes high up.”
14. Poetry was thought to be a gift from Odin. The Vikings ultimately invented rap battle during the 5th Known as “flyting,” it is a poetic exchange of insults often targeting cowardice or perversion.
15. The national sport of Iceland is Glíma, which is a Scandinavian martial art used by Vikings.