17 Interesting Viking Facts You May Not Know

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viking facts you may not know

The Vikings were a fascinating population. vikings led a life that many envied as they had riches beyond the dreams of some, their physical health was impressive and they were beyond ruthless. These interesting Viking facts will lead you down a path into the world of the Vikings while the speculated facts will give you something to think about.

They May Have Eaten Shrooms

When the Vikings were on raids, they fought more ruthlessly than any other warriors on the battlefield. They went into a mode that was described as Berserk. Some people believe that the Vikings were able to go into this mode by eating shrooms before attacking their enemies. This is one of the facts about Vikings that has not been proven.

Sick Children Were Left to Die

The Viking society involved people being self-sufficient and doing their part in society. This meant that both boys and girls were expected to pull their weight when it came to housework and work in the fields. If children were born sick or deformed, it was assumed that they would be a burden instead. These infants were cast out and left to die.

They Discovered North America

One of the most interesting Viking facts is that they more than likely discovered North America long before Christopher Columbus. There are records of them sailing all over the world, from written documentation to the Vikings burying their loved ones with Chinese silk and African artifacts. Viking history facts state that they were in North America, meaning that they discovered the new land before the famous Christopher Columbus.

Vikings Had Good Hygiene

Although the movies portray the Vikings as being barbaric, and more than likely smelly, an interesting Viking fact is that they likely had good hygiene. Ancient artifacts that most people believe were used as combs, razors and other hygiene items have been discovered. Because of this, it’s believed that they had better hygiene than most other people at the time. This is one of the more interesting Viking history facts. It means that they were not as uncivilized as history would have us believe.

Wrestling Was Used to Stay in Shape

Wrestling was more than just a sport for the Vikings. The interesting Viking fact about wrestling is that it helped them keep in shape and hone their fighting skills. Viking history facts are full of stories of raids and battles, so it makes sense that the fiercest warriors of the time would need to be in good shape.

Newborn Females Were Left to Die More Than Males

Because men were used more for labor and raids, females were more likely to be left to die as infants than males were. This instantly led to a depletion of the female population. This leads us to the next of the interesting Viking facts.

May Have Kidnapped British Women for Brides

One of the most interesting Viking facts is that the Viking raids may not have started out as a way to rob other towns. It’s believed that because there were not enough women in the Viking villages the Vikings sought out women from other places to take as their wives.

They Didn’t Die Out; They Assimilated

One common question is how did the Vikings die out? One of the most interesting Viking facts is that they did not simply die out. Vikings that were alive eventually moved to other settlements and became a part of those communities. During this time they often converted to Christianity and assumed the customs of the locals. Then, they were no longer considered Vikings.

Invented the Magnetic Compass

One of the Viking facts that few people know is that the Vikings invented the magnetic compass. This allowed them to sail in the right direction through hazardous weather conditions and dense fog that resulted in low visibility. These magnetic compass is genreally used when they are on their viking lonships.

Viking facts you may not know about

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They Were Short

Viking men and women are often portrayed as tall and muscular, but, according to skeletons that have been discovered, they were much shorter than we are today. Viking women were an average of 5’1” while men were approximately 5’6”. This Viking fact has yet to make it to Hollywood, though.

Women Could Request a Divorce

When it comes to interesting Viking facts, this is one to remember. Women in this civilization had more rights than they did in most others. One of their rights was to request a divorce if the relationship was not working out. They could even get a return on their dowry.

Vikings Had Primitive Skies

The Vikings were known for inhabiting lands with snow, so it only makes sense that they had to have something fun to do during the cold winter months. Artifacts have been discovered that lead people to believe that the Vikings loved to ski. This is one of the interesting Viking facts that help us see who they were when they were not going berserk.

Vikings Weren’t All Pirates

Vikings were known for their brutality, but they were not all pirates. Even the Vikings that went on raids often had a farm back home that involved crops and livestock. More often, Vikings were farmers that lived humbly instead of savages that sailed the high seas. Most people ignore this Viking fact because the Vikings are portrayed as bloodthirsty savages that drink from skulls.

Human Trafficking Was Popular

The Vikings were known for trading everything from crops to animal pelts. Another thing that was often traded or sold was slaves. Human trafficking was one of their most popular markets. They would kidnap people from the towns that they raided, selling them later for a huge profit.

Filed Teeth

Several Viking skeletons have been discovered with teeth filed in a horizontal line. While it is obvious that the teeth were filed, no one knows why the Vikings did this. This is one of the most intriguing Viking facts that leaves historians puzzled.

Female Warriors

Not all warriors were men. There are written counts of female warriors, often called Valkyrie, fighting alongside men in battles and raids. Obviously, the Vikings were not sexiest when it came to who could brandish a sword. Most Viking history facts report that there was more equality among the sexes than in other civilizations.

Had House Mice

The Vikings were one of the first civilizations to have house mice. According to excavations and skeletons, their house had plenty of mice. This could be due to the colder climate, which led the rodents to seek shelter inside. Regardless of the reason, we may have Vikings to thank for this.

 

The Vikings were much more than savages that killed and spent their night’s stealing. These interesting Viking facts not only tell you more about the Vikings, but they will also give you more insight as to what these people were really like.

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