This is a bit strange, but they would start the process by collecting torchwood fungus from tree bark. They would then boil it for a few days in human urine. After that, they would pound the soaked bark into a felt-like substance so that it was durable and easy to transport.
We aren’t sure how they did it, and we couldn’t find enough sources to support this, but they had somehow figured out that the sodium nitrate found in urine would make the material smolder, not just burn. This would allow them to travel far distances and start new fires on the go.
Tattoos Weren't That Common
Tattoos have been around long before the time of the Vikings. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they had tattoos. Some people today show that they have Viking heritage in their blood by getting what they consider traditional Viking tattoos. However, we are still unsure if Vikings actually had these tattoos or if they were just ancient symbols.
Television and movies depict Vikings falsely, usually having Vikings covered in tattoos all over their bodies, including their neck and face. The Vikings were very clean people; they may not have wanted to cover their bodies in something they could not wash off.
The Viking Justice System Was Very Particular
You may think that since it was such a long time ago, Vikings would settle things by fighting or general physical force, which was the acceptable courts and judging system. However, they had a justice system that was implemented when they needed to resolve disputes and crimes. This system was known to the Norse culture as “Althing,” which means “The Thing.”
“The Thing” was held by a law speaker who was present to hear people’s arguments. Afterward, these disputes would be settled by a third party, similar to our court system today. So, as it turns out, not everything was so primitive in those days.
Their Dead Were Buried in Boats
A big part of the Vikings' lives was spent in water. Whether they were seafaring, raiding, or fishing, they were limited when it came to burial options. They resorted to burying the dead on boats. Based on what Norse people believed, they thought great warriors would need some type of container to cross into the afterlife and continue living in Valhalla. That being said, well-respected Vikings and exceptional women had the honor of being buried in one of the traditional Viking ships.
In addition to the bodies, people would fill the ships with weapons, food, treasures, and anything that they thought someone would need in the afterlife.
Vikings Spent Most of Their Time Farming
Vikings will always be remembered for being fierce, ruthless raiders, but they weren't always like this. They wouldn’t be able to establish the society they had if they'd spent all of their time sailing, looking for treasure, and fighting. Vikings actually spent the majority of their time farming and maintaining their settlements.
There was a famous Viking who went by the name of Ragnar Lothbrok, and he started out as a full-time farmer until he gained some power and became much more. This is how it started for most Vikings. If you were a farmer, you were very respected within the community.