According to Norse legend, Vikings referred to the arctic birch tree ( Betula pubescensthe) as the “ghost of the forest”. They believed that their ancestors' spirits inhabited the trees and helped guide them through the night time forest. The moon light reflecting off of the white bark created an erie glow that helped these drunken savages navigate back to camp after their meed fueled forest orgies.
The birch tree also proved useful in ship building.
Early writings, scribed on birch bark, suggest that these ancient mariners lined the hulls of their great ships with thin strips of birch. These strips were sanded smooth using whales teeth and the skulls of their enemies. They fashioned crude skateboard out of wood, stone, and sinew to shred these high seas half pipes during their long ocean voyages. In fact, Erik the Red is credited with the first ever kick turn or “nook turn”.
Modern day Vikings still prize this exact species for its pearl-like luster, incredible speed, and overall shreddability.