Ghastly picnic destinations: 5 places in Finland let down by their names

Picture of Finnish forest

All around the world, our forefathers in charge of naming places have on occasion let their morbid sense of humour flourish (or alternatively the job just really gets to you after a while, go figure).

Finland, of course, is no exception. Hell and murder appear to have been especially attractive and marketable concepts in ye olde days, examining the naming of certain places.

Let’s have a look at some of the most cheerful, inviting spots in the land of a thousand lakes.

Kuolema (Death)

Short and sweet, the name of this small village in Southern Ostrobothnia certainly gives a hefty impression.

Pieni-Helvetti (Small Hell)

Considering the name giving off a vibe of training wheels for the real deal, this island in the Kallavesi lake in Kuopio has a surprisingly low annual mean temperature of 1°C.



Kuolio (Necrosis)

This small village in Kuusamo was, despite its arguably underdog position due to its name, chosen to be the village of the year in 1993 out of all Kuusamo’s approximately 67 villages! Cheers!

Murha-Kuukkeli (Murderous Siberian jay)

One can never be reminded too many times to not judge a book by it’s cover; Siberian jays are very innocent and cute looking birds. Like Pieni-Helvetti, Murha-Kuukkeli is also an island in the Kallavesi lake (which by the way is rapidly approaching my personal prime spot for least desired holiday destination).



Murhasaari (Murder island)

Located in the Pirkanmaa region, Murhasaari gets it name from, you guessed it, stories about a murder on the island. The variations are endless, but a recurring theme features a father murdering his son, albeit the motive varies:

A) he mistook his son for an enemy
B) he didn’t mistake his son for an enemy
C) they both loved the same woman



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12 replies

  1. Despite these (un)inviting names, these Finnish destinations aren’t nowhere near as bad as they sound. Actually some are even quite lovely

  2. You forgot “Ripulinjärvi” in the eastern Finnish province of Karelia at Kontiolahti.
    Ripuli means diarrhea…
    I wouldn’t take a swim in that lake 🙂

  3. You forgot “Ripulinjärvi” in the eastern Finnish province of Karelia close to Kontiolahti.
    Ripuli means diarrhea…
    I wouldn’t take a swim in that lake 🙂

  4. Story tells that when Finland was part of Sweden, there was a geographers from Sweden to find out place’s names travelling in every cranny and nook. They had to ask local people those place names and because they did not know much about Finnish language, those people were trolling them hard. In Finland there is many silly place names and that could be a story behind that.

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