The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/Lofoten

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LOFOTEN, lō-fō'ten, or LOFODDEN, Norway, a group of islands off the northwest coast, stretching southwest to northeast about 175 miles and including the Vesteraaelen islands to the north. The largest are Andoen, Langoen, Hindoen (the largest 860 square miles), East and West Vaagen and Flagstadöe. They have bold, precipitous, rugged and deeply indented coasts, the channels between which are deep, narrow and tortuous, and an elevated, sterile interior, several containing mountains which, though not lofty, are covered with perpetual snow. The highest peak is Higrafstind (3,811 feet). Immense shoals of cod and herring frequent their shores, and extensive and valuable fisheries are carried on. The principal cod-fishery beginning January-February ends in April, but the herring-fishery continues, and furnishes an important branch of national revenue. In ordinary years about 4,000 boats, each manned by five hands, are employed. The celebrated whirlpool, the Maelstrom, is situated at the southwest extremity of these islands. Permanent population of group, about 40,000.