How The Fjords Were Made

The fjords of Norway: Slartibartfast’s story

The story behind the fjords of Norway, according to Douglas Adams: (1979) The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Chapter 24.


The planet Earth had to be destroyed because it was in the way of a new intergalactic highway. Two persons survived the demolition, one being Arthur Dent, who later visited the planet Magrathea. The inhabitants of Magrathea specialized in the design and construction of planets, and Arthur Dent meets Slartibartfast, one of the senior planet designers. Slartibartfast invites Arthur Dent to the factory floor, where most of the planets are built. Dent seems to be able to recognize some of the shapes and contours of one of the planets under construction, and after some moments of doubt and hesitation, he knows what he is seeing.

Now the original text:

– – –

“The Earth …” whispered Arthur.

“Well, the Earth Mark Two in fact,” said Slartibartfast cheerfully. “We’re making a copy from our original blueprints.”

There was a pause.

“Are you trying to tell me,” said Arthur, slowly and with control, “that you originally … made the Earth?”

“Oh yes,” said Slartibartfast. “Did you ever go to a place … I think it was called Norway?”

“No,” said Arthur, “no, I didn’t.”

“Pity,” said Slartibartfast, “that was one of mine. Won an award you know. Lovely crinkly edges. I was most upset to hear about its destruction.”

“You were upset!”

“Yes. Five minutes later and it wouldn’t have mattered so much. It was a quite shocking cock-up.”

“Huh?” said Arthur.

“The mice were furious.”

– – –

If you would like to know why the mice were furious, you have to read the book.

Regards, Kolbjørn Sl.

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