Oulu Groke – Oulu, Finland - Atlas Obscura

Oulu Groke

This lonely rock has been turned into a character loved and feared by children. 


On this knoll in the otherwise flat city of Oulu, there is a lonely rock that almost seems to have been placed there on purpose. From one side it just looks like an ordinary rock. But if you walk around to the other side, you’ll spot a familiar face.  

The Groke (Mörkö in Finnish, Mårran in Swedish) is a fictional character from Finnish author Tove Jansson’s Moomin stories. She’s a mysterious ghost-like character who leaves a trace of ice behind her wherever she goes.

Moomin is a part of Finnish identity, and this piece of outsider art pays tribute to the rich fantasy world Jansson has created. The Oulu Groke is a beloved character in the city, and on a few occasions, Finnish hockey fans have come to her to celebrate World Cup victories.

Know Before You Go

The Oulu Groke is located on a knoll right next to the Heinäpää Sports Center in Oulu.

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