Norway is Considering Giving Finland a Mountain Peak for 100th Birthday

On December 6, 1917 Finland declared itself an independent republic, freeing itself from the weakening Russian empire. Nearly 100 years later, Finland is preparing to celebrate the centennial of their Declaration of Independence.

As non-Finns can imagine, a century of independence for a nation is an exciting and historic moment.

To help celebrate this moment, a group of Norwegians are urging the government to move their shared border roughly 500 feet in Finland’s favor, in an effort to gift Finland a mountain peak that would become the country’s highest point.

Currently, the highest point in Finland is the lower of two peaks on mount Hálditšohkka, which measures approximately 4,343 feet (1,324 meters) high. The peak in question is Hálditšohkka’s summit, which reigns at 4,367 feet (1,331 meters) high. The proposed plan is to move the border roughly 130 feet (40 meters) up the mountainside to put the Halti summit inside the Finnish border — gifting Finland Hálditšohkka’s summit and making the highest point in Finland 23 feet (7 meters) higher.

The idea to gift Finland Hálditšohkka’s summit originated from 76-year-old retired geophysicist and government surveyor, Bjørn Geirr Harsson. In 2015, Harsson wrote Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying that the gesture would have a small impact on Norway and make Finland very happy. Harsson also feels that the current straight line border that was drawn in the 1750s is “geophysically illogical”, according to Norwegian’s national broadcaster NRK.

For Norway, the peak in question hardly compares to their country’s highest peak, which towers over 8,000 feet (meters) high on the top of Mt. Galdhopiggen. Norway also has over 200 other mountain peaks that measure higher than the peak in question.

But that doesn’t mean Finland will be given the high ground for sure. When asked about the proposal, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg told the NRK, “There are a few formal difficulties, and I have not yet made my final decision… But we are looking into it.”

Read more here from The Guardian.

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