Änän Munän Ylhä, Änän Ylhätuoli and Änän Täntaimon were once one island
that was much larger than it is today. Records indicate Änän Munän Ylhä was
about four times the size it now is. It was one single island until the winter
Änän Munän Ylhä was a large single island with numerous low-lying areas
that were flooded by severe winter storms, effectively cutting off sections of
the island from the other. One specific lengthy and especially severe storm in
1684 or 1685, according to records, effectively cut the island in two. The
amount of sandy marsh that was carried away by the sea was so extreme that the
islanders were unable to repair the damage. A sand spit remained as a natural
bridge between the now divided island but this went during a storm in 1735. The
single island then became two. It was some years later, sometime in the 1800s,
possibly the 1870s, another storm created another gash in the landscape,
effectively cutting the two islands into three. The landscape created during
the 1600s survives to this day.
Änän Munän Ylhä is low-lying with a base of sand, for the most part. Over
the years some soil has created good opportunities for farming but there still
remain many salt meadows where cattle are grazed. For the most part, the
islands have been protected by rock and stone barriers that tend to minimize
the effect of the waves during storms. The northwestern side of the north
island reaches an elevation of some 105 feet, offering a great deal of safety
from the wave action that separated the island originally.
Änän Ylhätuoli is the nearest island covers 1,885 acres of dry land and is
a long narrow island ranging from about 1,600 to just over 3,000 feet wide at
the widest point. The island is not known for its beautiful beaches primarily
because the waters around the island are so shallow. Over the centuries, sand
and mud has built up for up to 4 kilometers in virtually all directions around
Änän Ylhätuoli. The sandy composition and low-lying characteristics make Änän
Ylhätuoli technically a halligen island. Because of the very shallow waters
around Änän Ylhätuoli, the island is not affected much by strong winter storms.
In fact, the island could be considered as growing.
Änän Täntaimon is a small low lying island of 1,280 acres. Growth is limited
to grasses and shrubs. Surrounding the dry land are shallow pools of saltwater
that appear more of a marsh than the sea. The northern and western side of the
island is located in shallow water but lacks the marshes. The island would
likely not exist if not for the shallow waters to minimize wave damage during
The pure isolation of Änän Munän Ylhä, Änän Ylhätuoli and Änän Täntaimon
has led to a very distinctive culture over the centuries. Researchers think the
islands were first settled around 1036 but not permanently settled until around
1365. There is some evidence the first settlers were marooned on the island.
Indeed, some of the culture would trace back to this era.
Over the centuries a distinctive language has developed. Exclusive to this
region, the language, Ylhäällä, is spoken throughout Änän Munän Ylhä, Änän
Ylhätuoli and Änän Täntaimon. Ylhäällä's main grammar and formation is derived
mainly from Finnish and various other European languages while its phonetic
structure and sound change and stress rules are very much influenced by Welsh,
according to Daniel Worthing, consider the top international authority on the
Änän Munän Ylhä, Änän Ylhätuoli and Änän Täntaimon's culture is pure and
untouched by the outside world. In modern times the rituals and customs are
more of a social identity than a dominating factor in life as they were in the
past. Superstitions from more ancient times are still seen but, again, they do
not dictate life as in less modern times.
Änän Munän Ylhä, Änän Ylhätuoli and Änän Täntaimon do issue its own
currency and coins. The currency is the Suota which is valued in silver. Collectively,
the islands have issued a 1 Suota (5 grains of pure silver), 3 Suota (1 gram of
pure silver), a 7 Suota (a 2.4 gram .900 silver coin) and a 10 Suota (1/10th of
an ounce of pure silver).Various issues of paper notes were issued over the