WTF Fun Fact 13426 – Stockholm Wood City

Making a bold environmental statement, Sweden, is embracing the future with the Stockholm Wood City. It will be the world’s largest wooden city and was designed by the architectural firms of Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter.

What will it be like in the Stockholm Wood City?

The eco-designers’ plan showcases the boundless possibilities of sustainable urban design. The project was just unveiled and construction will begin in 2025 to be completed in 2027.

Sweden’s capital is no stranger to innovative, earth-friendly practices. But the Wood City project takes it to an entirely new level. This massive urban development, sprawling over an area of 19 hectares, aims to construct 2000 homes, entirely out of wood.

Wood, a renewable resource, significantly reduces the carbon footprint, presenting an eco-friendly alternative to traditional construction materials.

The architects at Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter have their eyes set on more than just creating wooden structures. They intend to foster a sense of community. So, the design incorporates communal gardens, courtyards, and open public spaces. The heart of the city will feature a massive public square, set to act as the bustling social hub, uniting people under the umbrella of green living.

Living in the future

Functionality walks hand-in-hand with aesthetics in this futuristic city. The architects envision apartment buildings with distinctive wooden facades, maintaining a balance between modern design and the traditional Swedish aesthetic. The streets will weave organically through the district, with cycle paths and pedestrian walkways facilitating easy movement.

The project also promises the incorporation of native plants with the hopes of supporting local wildlife, making urban living compatible with nature.

The Wood City, apart from being a residential haven, also plans to host commercial spaces, schools, and preschools. It aims to be a self-contained ecosystem, embodying sustainable living at its best.

Crucial to the success of the project is the adaptability of the wooden structures. They are designed for flexibility, allowing for changes in line with evolving resident needs. This forward-thinking approach ensures that the city remains relevant and functional in the long term, adapting to the changing times. (Very unlike cities today!)

Wood City sets a precedent for cities worldwide, hopefully proving that urban living doesn’t have to come at the cost of the environment. The designers are even confident that the air will be cleaner due to their eco-friendly building practices.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “‘World’s largest wooden city’ designed by Henning Larsen and White Arkitekter in Stockholm” — Atchinect

WTF Fun Fact 12776 – Swedish Banana Pizza

The rumor about Swedes liking bananas on their pizza started in 2017. In fact, Snopes (cited below) traced it back to a Tweet on August 11 of that year from Curators of Sweden. In it, “a social media campaign initiated by the Swedish Institute and VisitSweden, the pineapple-banana-curry topping trifecta made up the ‘most Swedish pizza there is.'”

We know what you’re thinking.

Eww, why?

Well, to each their own. Maybe you’d like if it you tried it. As pizza purists, we’re just planning to let them be about the whole thing without venturing into dough-destroying territory.

Is Swedish banana pizza real?

As with all internet rumors that sound too weird to be true, the folks at Snopes did the research for the rest of us. And we give them props for being really good at it. Who even knows what’s we’d believe at this point if not for them.

In this case, the Snopes folks did us a public service by reviewing a bunch of Sewdish menus from pizzerias in Stockholm only to find that many really did offer some sort of banana pizza monstrosity…we mean, combination.

Banana pizza with…curry? And tomato?

Ok, so for the American palate (which is eclectic at best, we’re not claiming to be conniseurs of anything other than pizza here, trust us!), it sounds a little gross. But believe us when we say it actually gets worse.

According to Scopes: “Two such pizzerias were Corella Kungsholmen and Stockholm Pizza, both of which offered the ‘Tropicana’ pizza, described as topped with tomato sauce, cheese, ham, pineapple, curry, and — you guessed it — bananas. In the U.S., the Swedish-style food joint Viking Pizza, which is located in Glendale, California, included its version of ‘Tropicana’ pizza, complete with all of the above toppings and finished off with the addition of shrimp and peanuts.”

Ok, so leave it to the U.S. to take an already sketchy-sounding pizza and somehow make it worse. You took an already questionable Hawaiian pizza and added pizza AND curry? Astounding.

We kid though – it’s never nice to “yuck someone’s yum,” as they say.

How Swedish banana pizza came to be

Snopes did some more research and if it didn’t seem rude, we’d just copy and paste it all because they really went out of their way to add some context. In fact, Sweden really likes their bananas, and “this love affair dates back to the early 20th century when Caribbean-grown bananas were first introduced to the Scandinavian nation, according to historical records.”

Picture it. Sweden, the earth 20th century. Boats comes into the harbor weighed down with tons of bananas. The descendants of apes (aka humans) no longer even know how to enjoy a banana. In fact, they asked the age-old question about every new fruit humans encounter: which parts are edible.

If you think about it this way, maybe it’s no surprise that some confused Swedes eventually put it on a pizza. Sadly, there are no extant written accounts of early attempts to try to figure out what to do with bananas, but we hope there’s a history grad student out there combing Swedish archives to find them. It should add some levity to all the reading about colonial oppression that it probably took to get those bananas out of the Caribbean in the first place.

Of course, there’s a lot to unpack here, historically, about how foods travel around the world, but we’re left with knowing that the banana trade has obvious interruptions during war time. What’s interesting is that as far as Snopes can tell, the banana pizza (with curry) thing started in the 21st century.

We’re going to need a food anthropologist to unpack the rest. The best we can do is tell you it’s not a rumor.

 WTF fun facts

Source: “Do Swedes Really Put Bananas on Pizza?” — Snopes

WTF Fun Fact 12551 – The Six-Sided Book

A 16th-century book with a single binding is constructed so that it can be read in 6 different ways and contains six different texts. All six books are religious and were first printed in Germany in the 1550s and 1570s. Each book has its own tiny clasp closure.

Erik Kwakkel, a medieval book historian at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, first discovered a type of book he dubbed a “Siamese twin” about eight years ago.

“The binding is called “dos-à-dos” (back to back), a type almost exclusively produced in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are like Siamese twins in that they present two different entities joint at their backs: each part has one board for itself, while a third is shared between the two. Their contents show why this was done: you will often find two complementary devotional works in them, such as a prayerbook and a Psalter, or the Bible’s Old and New Testament. Reading the one text you can flip the “book” to consult the other,” he wrote.

Check it out:

From the Folger Library

But when he posted about the 6-sided book, the oddity was picked up by a wide range of news sources. It’s an incredible piece of technology (a word we now reserve mainly for electronic capabilities).

It’s incredible what you can find in library archives!

The book was discovered in the National Library of Sweden. It is also referred to as a dos-à-dos, and Kwakkel states:

“Not only is it a rather old one (it was bound in the late 16th century), but it contains not two but six books, all neatly hidden inside a single binding (see this motionless pic to admire it). They are all devotional texts printed in Germany during the 1550s and 1570s (including Martin Luther, Der kleine Catechismus) and each one is closed with its own tiny clasp. While it may have been difficult to keep track of a particular text’s location, a book you can open in six different ways is quite the display of craftsmanship.” –  WTF fun fact

Source: “A Medieval Book That Opens Six Different Ways, Revealing Six Different Books in One” — Open Culture

WTF Fun Fact – SWE-DEN


When Sweden plays Denmark at home it’s abbreviated SWE-DEN, leaving the remaining letters to spell DEN-MARK. WTF Fun Facts


WTF Fun Fact – Old Chewing Gum

WTF Fun Fact - Ancient Chewing Gum

Archaeologists found “chewing gum” in western Sweden believed to be 9,000 years old, made of resin sweetened with honey, and the tooth marks showed it had been chewed on by a stone-age teenager. WTF Fun Facts