A  village with the scorching name ‘Afrikanda’ is located 230 kilometers from Murmansk

Russia Beyond (Vyacheslav Lobanov (CC BY 3.0); Google maps)
According to the most popular version, this unusual name for the North was created on a warm summer day. Someone compared the northern heat to the African one, adding the second root word ‘-kanda’ from Finno-Ugric languages as a joke: not far from the village, there’s the ‘Okhtokanda’ railway station.

However, at first, a railroad crossing, built in 1925 (according to different versions, in 1930 or 1932), was called ‘Afrikanda’. And the name turned out to be popular. The situation developed further as follows:

1934: The village of ‘Afrikanda’ appeared near the railroad crossing.

1937: The ‘Afrikanda’ military town appeared in the area.

1940: The ‘Afrikanda’ military airfield was built there.

1948: One village was not enough and a second one appeared – it was called ‘Afrikanda-2’. 

Vast natural riches are located in the vicinity of the village. In 1935, titanium, niobium, tantalum, radioactive thorium, as well as rare-earth elements were discovered there. A new type of rock was discovered, which was named ‘afrikandit’, as well as four other minerals.

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