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Finland is not only one of the northernmost countries in Europe, it is one of the northernmost countries the world. In fact, the northern tip of Finland lies within the Arctic Circle. Part of the area within the Arctic Circle is known as Lapland. The Lapland region is not a separate nation, but an area shared by Finland, Russia, Norway, and Sweden. In addition to its mainland, Finland encompasses many islands that extend into the Baltic Sea. As a group, these islands are called the Archipelago of Finland.

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Country Background
Finland has a severe climate with long periods of darkness in the winter and almost continuous daylight in the summer. Despite the extreme cold, Finland is heavily forested. The forests are mainly made up of conifers, sturdy trees that can withstand the cold temperatures. Popular Finnish activities take advantage of the cold, snowy climate. Outdoor sports include whale watching and cross-country skiing, which sometimes doubles as transportation. Finnish saunas also developed as a result of the cold, and were created to provide a way for people to bathe in freezing temperatures.

Finnish terrain shows much evidence of the last Ice Age. For example, Finland is still rising from the sea because during the Ice Age the weight of glaciers depressed the land. Since today the glaciers are gone, the land is rising. Experts estimate that Finland rises about 25 centimeters every 100 years.

Helsinki is the capital of Finland. There are many museums to visit, like the Ateneum, the Museum of Finnish Art. Helsinki is the commercial and administrative capital of Finland and is an important port.

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There is a lot more to learn about Finland!

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