Ten of the best: weird and wonderful Danish news stories from 2017

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Ten of the best: weird and wonderful Danish news stories from 2017
Composite (L-R): taki Lau/Flickr ; Henning Bagger/Scanpix; Bax Lindhardt/Scanpix"

From a bridge that was built too short to the drug dealer who mistook a police car for a taxi, 2017 offered its fair share of striking stories in Denmark.


There has been no shortage of unusual incidents in Denmark's news this year.

Without any particular order, we present our selection of the year’s most remarkable, notable and downright bizarre.

Man carrying 1,000 joints gets into police car, mistaking it for a taxi

Making a late surge for one of our most-shared stories of the year, this report published just before Christmas told how a Christiania cannabis dealer rather absent-mindedly got into the wrong kind of marked vehicle. One of our readers speculated his subsequent arrest was the result of a ‘joint operation’.

Skydiver survives landing after getting tangled under aircraft

In this dramatic incident, a parachutist narrowly averted disaster after becoming entangled in the light aircraft he had just jumped out of.

“There's not much need for him to play the lottery this week. He's used up all his luck,” a local police officer said after the skydiver was brought back to the ground with only minor injuries.

‘Hygge’ enters the English dictionary


A well-marketed fad? Cultural appropriation? Danish soft power? An export to rival Carlsberg? Whatever you think of it, and however you pronounce it – hygge is here to stay.

Scientists test rock singer who has been injecting himself with snake venom for 25 years

The Guardian and Vice News have both reported on Steve Ludwin in the past. The erstwhile rock singer is arguably best known for injecting himself over decades with snake venom, a practice he believes helps him retain youth. Where others saw eccentricity, Danish scientists found opportunity.

White kangaroo hops to freedom

“Maybe people will think they are seeing things. But that will not be the case, should you find yourself in the area.”

An albino or white kangaroo was reported to be on the loose near the town of Køge after it sprang free from its owner's property. Unsurprisingly, the hoppy animal was less than inconspicuous. 

Denmark faces first summer-less July in 38 years

Were you in Denmark in July 2017? If not, you didn’t miss much. The month came extremely close to ending without a single ‘summer day', defined as any day in which temperatures exceed 25°C. In the end, a solitary plus-25° day after our report was written on the 26th ensured the unwanted record was not reached. Still, nobody came away with a suntan.

The Little Mermaid changes colour… again

This story could be included on our list twice. Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue – iconic or a huge disappointment, depending on who you ask – was painted red in protest at whaling in the Faroe Islands in May, then blue in July, ostensibly by someone angry at the Danish authorities’ treatment of a mentally ill prisoner.

Official representatives in both cases distanced themselves from the form of protest chosen by the mermaid vandals.

Bridge made one metre too short

It sounds impossible, but it happened in western Jutland in September – the concrete connection for a canal bridge was delivered a metre too short. Stoic officials refused to let the setback delay the bridge’s official opening.

Schoolboy finds buried German WW2 aircraft and pilot

A school history project became historic in its own right when Daniel Rom Kristiansen headed into the fields near his home in the North Jutland town of Birkelse. Armed with a metal detector and the encouragement of his dad, Kristiansen turned up a Messerschmidt Bf 109 that had crashed in the field in 1944.

The pilot of the aircraft was later identified, but had no surviving close relatives or ancestors.

The video that gave everyone the feels

Published on January 27th, an English-language version of a video by Danish broadcaster TV2 received worldwide praise for its message of unity.

In the video, Danes organised into categories such as religion or income are asked to step forward under new labels, such as whether they are step-parents or victims of bullying, enabling them to form new bonds over their shared experiences.

“Maybe there's more that brings us together than we think,” the video concludes – a message we feel is no less relevant now than it was at the beginning of the year. 



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