Wild True Facts You Have To Know About The Vikings

Wild True Facts You Have To Know About The Vikings
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Some of the craziest things the world has forgotten about the Vikings

You may not have realized many things about the Scandinavian raiders we call Vikings. Some of the craziest and interesting things we may have forgotten are listed below.

As popular culture likes to think, the Vikings did not wear horned helmets; they wore easy bowl-type helmets with a nose guard.

The Vikings were clean people despite their raiding and invading reputation. Burial archeological sites uncovered combs, razors, and tweezers.

It has also been confirmed that they bathed once a week, which is quite a bit more than any of their European counterparts that were living during these times.

Vikings weren’t always crazy – they were also peaceful farmers
Vikings weren’t always crazy – they were also peaceful farmers

The Vikings gathered a tree bark fungus – the hard, fibrous substance lying beneath the bark – and boiled it in urine for several days.

They then pressed it into a felt-like material and used it to create fire. The reason for this process is that the urine would cause the felt-like substance to smolder rather than burn.

This inventive technique allowed them to take fire with them on their raiding voyages.

Nasal Helmet
Nasal Helmet

Being buried aboard a Viking ship was perhaps the greatest honor for a Viking. Their belief was that the Viking ship would sail them to the afterlife. Also, there were usually a lot of material goods buried with them, somewhat like the Pharaohs – surrounded by weapons and valuable goods.

A modern replica of a Viking ship
A modern replica of a Viking ship
Prominent Vikings would occasionally have sacrificed slaves buried with them.
Prominent Vikings would occasionally have sacrificed slaves buried with them.

Slavery was crucial to the Vikings. While they were plundering Slavic, Celtic, and Anglo-Saxon villages, they often would capture as many slaves as they could.

The slaves were sold or traded in markets across Asia and Europe and were known as thralls.

Slavery – By Collectie Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen
Slavery – By Collectie Stichting Nationaal Museum van Wereldculturen

The Viking women would typically take care of the household while their husbands were off pillaging.

The women had a lot of freedom for that period, though. They could reclaim a dowry, own property, and divorce, as long as they weren’t thralls. Often, the Viking girls were married as young as 12 years old.

In spite of their pillaging reputation, most Viking men were not warriors but farmers. Vikings were skiers! That’s right; the Scandinavians developed primitive skies nearly 6,000 years ago.

It should be noted, though, that some scholars believe that ancient Russians may have developed them earlier. The Vikings utilized skiing as an efficient method of transportation.

Shield maidens were female warriors
Shield maidens were female warriors

Viking men preferred to be blond. The Viking men with darker hair would use powerful soap with an elevated level of lye to lighten their hair. Most Vikings that bleached their hair would also bleach their beards.

Only Scandinavians who participated in overseas voyages were designated as ‘Viking.’

The Vikings never saw themselves as being one nation of Vikings or part of a unified group. During the Viking Age, what is now Norway, Sweden, and Denmark were simply made up of several tribes who were continuously fighting with one another when they weren’t off pillaging.

The average life span of a Viking was 40 years of age.

Everyday life in the Viking Age.
Everyday life in the Viking Age.

The Vikings’ teeth were worn down by the hardy grit in their bread long before they reached that age.

A Viking’s most cherished possession was his sword. Over generations, this prized sword was often handed down from family member to family member.

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John Smith has been with Histecho since 2017, A Senior Editor & Writer for Histecho. his work has been featured in outlets such as Scientific American, The Washington Post, NBC News, and Fox News. John grew up outside of Philadelphia and studied biology at Hamilton College in upstate New York.