Just 100 miles south of Oslo, a small white sign next to some traditional red Swedish cabins announces that you’ve arrived at the rock carvings in Tanum, Sweden. As you walk past the stone wall and into the forest, you’ll find remarkable petroglyphs from the Nordic Bronze Age. These carvings were etched some 3000 years ago and now a cluster of them litter the surrounding countryside. These petroglyphs made the UNESCO world heritage list in 1994.
The carvings depict a rich variety of subject matter. Geometric humans, boats, animals, weapons, and other shapes are all etched into the rock faces.
But what makes these rock carvings so special? Well, a human figure from one of these petroglyphs started popping up online in 2018 and has since become an international meme.
The petroglyph “Askum 67:1” depicts geometric human figures surrounding what’s believed to be a chariot. The top right figure looks like it’s about to bust out some dance moves, inspiring the “Oh Yeah Woo Yeah” meme. The meme has been remixed countless times across the internet. It’s often seen animated with a humping dance gesture combined with electric guitar noise.
Know Before You Go
The Tanum rock carvings are located on the left-hand side of the road (driving south eastbound) and there's a small space for parking next to a white sign.
The path to the petroglyphs is part of an active bee farm during the summer, so some off-trail walking may be needed to reach the carvings.
The best way to properly locate the petroglyph is to search for "Askum 67:1" on Fornsök, the Swedish national heritage portal. As of 2022, the main rock carving is pretty difficult to make out.