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The flooded meadows of Matsalu Bay

Ten interesting facts about Estonia

1. Wild animals are so abundant in Estonia that they are being exported to other European countries to repopulate those countries’ ecosystems.

2. Estonia suffered a large-scale cyber attack in 2007. Government websites, banks, and newspapers portals were rendered inaccessible. The scope of coordination and planning of the attacks had never before been seen in Europe.

3. Kiiking is a new sport invented in Estonia in 1996. It involves swinging 360° over a spindle. The person who is able to swing with the longest spindle is the winner.

4. Women play the lead role in the major technological achievements in Estonia. Over 60% of all the scientists and engineers in the country are females.

5. Estonia asserted its sovereignty from the Soviet Union by way of spontaneous mass singing at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds starting in 1988. They finally gained their independence three years later, in 1991. Historians call it the Singing Revolution.

6. More than 90% of all Estonians pay their taxes and do their bank transactions over the Internet.

7. Estonians are very nostalgic people. Their yearning for the past and the good-old-days are the main themes of most of their songs, poems, and published works.

8. Relaxing in saunas is an Estonian national pastime – so much that some buses and rafts have saunas onboard. Women even used to give birth in a sauna in the old days.

9. Reporters Without Borders ranked Estonia third in press freedom during its most recent global assessment. In this country, all members of the press are protected and valued by society.

10. The famous free online text, voice, and video platform Skype was coded and developed in Estonia.