There are many conspiracy theories out there. And there are many who enjoy a good conspiracy theory. Now we bring you one of the better ones we came across recently: the hoax that is the nation of Finland.
A Conspiracy Theory Primer
There is a small but growing community that feel that Finland does not exist. A small subreddit has a fairly active community, all of whom subscribe to the Finland Conspiracy. A short summary of it first came on Reddit one year ago. A redditor asked a question on Askreddit:
What did your parents show you to do that you assumed was completely normal, only to later discover that it was not normal at all?
Redditor /u/Raregan had the following to say, a primer on the conspiracy theory:
Oh God here goes.
Well firstly they say that the actual ‘place of Finland’ is just Eastern Sweden. Helsinki is in Eastern Sweden and when people fly there it’s not like they would notice.
World maps are altered as it’s a U.N conspiracy to keep people believing in Finland. And the idea that an entire country is made up seems so bizarre that nobody would ever believe it, making it easy to do.
Finland’s main company, Nokia, is apparently owned by the Japanese and they’re a main player in this.
Now as for ‘why’ people would want to invent Finland as a country that’s a bit more in depth and there’s a few reasons as to why Sweden and Russia go along with it but it’s mostly to do with Japanese fishing rights.
You see the Japanese love their sushi but tight fishing regulations and public outcry mean they can’t fish as much as they want. So after the Cold War they agreed with Russia to create a ‘landmass’ called Finland where they could fish. After all, if people thought there was a country there nobody would expect the Japanese to be harpooning whales would they?
The fish is then transported through Russia where a small percentage of the food is given to the population, (they were of course starving at the time of Finland being invented), and then is shipped to Japan under the disguise of ‘Nokia’ products. Japan is apparently one of the worlds largest importers of Nokia products despite the fact that ‘nobody there owns a Nokia phone’ apparently.
The crux of all this however, and my favourite part, is the homage that the Japanese gave to this entire conspiracy theory.
What do fish have? Fins. Therefore they named their imaginary country Finland.
There are loads more that they go on about but I can’t remember it all at the moment.
EDIT: Thanks for the Gold! I’m amazed how big this has gotten, I told my parents and although they don’t really understand Reddit they’re glad that the ‘truths’ being put out there for people to make their own decision.
This post is not the only one discussing the issue. There is an entire subreddit focused on the Finland Conspiracy. Not surprisingly, you can find it at /r/FinlandConspiracy. The moderators put up a stickied post explaining the entire conspiracy.
The Finland conspiracy states that Finland is not a real country. Not only is it not a real country but there is actually no landmass there at all, and the space between Sweden and Russia is actually empty ocean.
Now I realize that this notion seems ridiculous but that is why the conspiracy works, and why people are afraid to speak out against the existence of Finland, so I would ask you to approach the evidence I put forward here with an open mind.
Finland was first created some time during the Cold War between Russia and the West. It was also around this time that environmentalism and the idea of preserving our planet was really taking off, and it is due to both of those things that two of the main players in the Finland conspiracy came to work closely with each other, Russia and Japan.
Japan-Soviet relations had always been shaky at best, but also incredibly secretive. Even as early as 1925 Japan and the Soviet Union had secret deals with each other regarding fishing rights between the two countries, with the Soviet Union giving up much of it’s fishing rights to Japan with seemingly no explanation as to why.
These secretive treaties and alliances continued right up until just before the fall of the Soviet Union,Gorbachev made trips to Japan months before the fall of the Soviet Union stating the entire time how the relations between them were improving, even when Soviet relations with the rest of the world were worsening.
In fact the entire past 100 years of Japanese-Russian relations bring up many unanswered questioned.
Why at the height of WW2, were the battles between these two countries minimal despite being on opposing sides?
Why did Japan sign a peace treaty with Russia in 1941, just months before their allies, Germany, went to war with Russia?
Why were relations between Japan and Russia always good throughout the Cold War, despite the major geopolitical differences between the countries, and close geographical positions that you think would cause tensions?
The answer is simple, they shared a common secret. A common asset that worked in both of their favours. And that asset was Finland.
It’s unclear when Finland was first thought up, some say it was during the Cold War, and others say it was as far back as the 1920’s, but the necessity of Finland is quite simple.
Japan can fish in the region of ocean between Sweden and Russia without worry for environmental repercussions, after all, nobody’s going to expect fishing regulations to be broken in a place where everyone thinks there’s a landmass will they? And in return Russia get a percentage of the fish to distribute amongst their populace.
It’s a simple case of fishing the Finnish Sea, transporting it across Russia, (that was the real reason for the construction of the Trans-Siberian railway by the way), and then shipping it from the Eastern Russian coast to Japan under the disguise of ‘Nokia’ products.
This is why Nokia is the largest ‘Finnish’ company, and it is also why Japan is the largest importer of Nokia products, despite the fact that very few people own Nokia phones in the country.
There are clearly some unanswered questions to this conspiracy that I’ll try and address below.
1- What about Finnish people? Are they all in on the conspiracy?
A. No. People from Finland genuinely believe they’re from Finland. In reality they are from small towns on either the Eastern part of Sweden, the Western part of Russia, or the Northern part of Estonia.
2- What about all of Finland’s other exports other than Nokia?
A. Finland’s three biggest, and three most well known areas of industry are Oil, Tech, and Software. The oil is gathered in offshore platforms where the rest of us believe the landmass of Finland is, (again the Japanese get to avoid rigging regulations in this respect), the Tech companies have already been explained above with the Nokia post, and Software companies can easily redirect their IP Address through the Finnish sea. As for other Finnish exports, well, claiming Santa comes from your country isn’t a viable way to get people to believe in it.
3- What about Helsinki? That is an enormous city on the world stage.
A. Helsinki is located in Eastern Sweden. It’s not like the people flying there would notice.
4- What about everywhere else in Finland? There’s a lot to it and it couldn’t all be made up.
A. 99% of Finland is forest. A lot of it doesn’t need to be accounted for when addressing Finnish geography.
5- Why do other countries go along with it?
A. At first it was a sign of goodwill between Western Countries and the Soviet Union. A bargaining chip that could be played. But Finland has since evolved to something much more. An idealistic placeholder for what countries should aspire to. No real country could so consistently place first in Education, Healthcare, Gender Equality, Literacy Rates, National Stability, The least corrupt government in the world, Freedom of the press. It’s a concept for countries and people to aspire to. But that’s where the problems about Finland’s existence is disputed. no country in the world can possibly be that good.
6- Why the name Finland?
A. The country was originally made for fishing. What do fish have? Fins. Thus Finland.
7- What about the Finnish language?
A. Look up the similarities between Japanese and Finnish. It may surprise you how similar they are. Which is weird considering the vast distances between them.
8- I’m Finnish and your attack on my people and culture is insulting.
A. I’m not insulting Finnish people or culture. I don’t even deny that there is Finnish culture. When you have a collective of a few million people identifying as Finnish then of course a culture will be built around it. I’m simply saying that that the landmass of Finland isn’t actually there. It doesn’t mean there can’t be a culture or identity of being Finnish however.
9- This is an enormous conspiracy to keep secret, how could nobody else of realized it?
A. Other people have realized it. But imagine the ridiculousness of the statement ‘I don’t believe Finland exists’. Even if we did have undeniable proof of something put in front of us we would still hold the opinion that most of our friends, family, and acquaintances hold to not disrupt social convention. It’s part of the human condition.
10- What about GPS and Satellite Images?
A. It’s manipulated and forged. In the parts of Estonia, Sweden, and Russia that are allocated as ‘Finnish zones’ the GPS locations are changed to match that of Finland. Satellite images are forged. This is how that part of the world really looks.