Kerli's 10 awesome facts about Estonia

Source: Kaupo Kalda

Kerli's 10 awesome facts about Estonia

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Estonia is a land full of surprises. These facts might make you want to pay a visit more than ever. 

50% of our country is covered in forest
More than half of the Estonian territory is covered by forest. Besides our few, relatively small cities, there are trees everywhere you look. I remember going back to Estonia after being in Los Angeles for several years and literally not being able to breathe because there was so much oxygen in the air. Forest-dwelling is extremely encouraged by the government as well, so the country has set up all sorts of free camping spaces where people can make food, sleep and even bear-watch.

Estonia has the highest percentage of supermodels per square foot
This one is not thoroughly researched but we strongly believe it might be so :) There are only 1.3 million people living in the whole country, but the catwalks are saturated with Estonian beauties. And most of them are named Carmen.

There is free WiFi everywhere and you can park using your cell phone
Tech-savy Estonians have set up WiFi in most areas of the country - in public transportation, for example. So grab a train or a bus and let it take you across the country while you're surfing the web. If you decide to rent a car, you won't be finding any parking meters - parking is usually done via text message.

Modern conveniences, ancient nature

Tech savvy Estonia is the land of free WiFi, startups and mobile applications.  

Photo by: Sven Zacek

Estonia was the first country in the world to use online political voting (2005). It is also the birthplace of Skype, Hotmail and Kazaa.

Magic is a religion too
Estonia is the least religious country in the world, with only 14% of the population claiming any religious beliefs. However, the ancient worship of the Earth and nature still lives on and most people believe in paranormal things. For instance, TV shows about psychics are extremely popular.

The land of stardust
Estonia has the highest number of meteorite craters per land area in the world. The most famous of them is probably Kaali crater on the island of Saaremaa.

Rocks from space

Kaali meteorite crater, on the island of Saaremaa, is one of many meteorite strikes that mark the Estonian landscape. 

Photo by: Visit Estonia 

Beauty and brains
Out of the nearly 200 countries in the world, Estonia ranks second in literacy with a rate of 99.8%.

The singing nation
Estonians love to call themselves "the singing nation". We have the biggest collection of folk songs in the world, with written records of 133,000 songs. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, Estonians declared their independence by making a singing, human chain throughout the whole country.

Swinging is an actual sport
Swinging played a big part in our culture back in the old days when huge swings were built on hilltops and in village centres, where the young gathered to mingle. So it's no wonder modern Estonians came up with a sport inspired by swinging called kiiking ("kiik" means "swing" in Estonian). Kiiking is done by fastening oneself to an enormous steel swing which rotates a full 360 degrees. The kiiker then tries to take the swing full circle as fast as possible. Cool!

The sport of swinging

Kiiking is the Estonian version of your playground swinging, but much, much bigger.

Photo by: Jürgen Voolaid

Shining bright
There is a cool thing called "helkur", "reflector" in English, which is something every Estonian owns as it's mandatory by the law. Basically it's a little reflective piece that one hangs from their jacket during the dark fall and winter months to make pedestrians visible to approaching cars. When I was little, "helkur" was just this kind of an ugly round thing, but as time has passed and Estonians are getting super into design and innovation, there are many amazing and quirky designs for these things now.

Last updated : 22.04.2021

In category: History & culture