About 10 kilometers to the South from the Finnish city Vaasa you will find Söderfjärden. On the first sight there is nothing extraordinary about this place. Just another agricultural area – flatland covered with fields. If you change your viewpoint however and look at the area e.g. from the top of the nearby lying hill Öjberget you will see that the area is round. In fact, Söderfjärden is a unique meteorite impact crater.
About the crater
The meteorite hit this peace of land more than 520 years ago. The explosion created a crater bowl more than 300 meters deep. The diameter of the crater is 5-6 kilometers. The best spot for observing the entire area of the crater is the already mentioned hill Öjberget. On the top there is a viewing platform furnished with comprehensive and extensive information on the meteorite impact as well as on other interesting landscape points visible from this spot.
In the 1920’s the whole crater area was drained. Since then the pumps keep working in order to keep it dry. 1/10 of the area is below the sea level and would be flooded if the pumps would stop working.
Learn more in the visitor center
In the middle of the crater a visitor center is located. It offers an exhibition telling the history of this area starting by the meteorite impact and ending today when the whole area is agricultural. There is also an astronomical observatory with a telescope for studies of celestial bodies hundreds of millions of light years out into the universe. For more information on opening hours and entrance fee please visit the website www.meteoria.fi.
The area is unique also for different reason. It is the most important resting area for cranes in Finland. The birds visit this place every year. At the most, there have been 6000 cranes at the same time. Part of the visitor center is also a bird-watching tower. It provides you with the opportunity to observe these majestic birds directly in their natural environment.