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 Saltstraumen Bridge

Saltstraumen is a small strait with a very strong tidal current located in the municipality of Bodø in Nordland. It is located about 10 km southeast of the town of Bodø. The narrow channel connects the outer Saltfjorden to the large Skjerstadfjorden between the islands of Straumøya and Knaplundsøya. The Saltstraumen Bridge on Norwegian County Road 17 crosses the Saltstraumen.

The Saltstraumen has the strongest tidal current in the world. Up to 400,000,000 cubic metres of seawater forces its way through a 3 km long and 150 metre wide strait every six hours, with water speeds reaching 22 knots. Vortices known as whirlpools or maelstroms up to 10 metres in diameter and 5 metres in depth are formed when the current is at its strongest.

The Saltstraumen has existed for about two to three thousand years. Before that, the area was different due to post-glacial rebound. The current is created when the tide tries to fill the Skjerstadfjorden. The height difference between the sea level and the fjord inside can be up to 1 metre. When the current turns, there is a period when the strait is navigable.

The Saltstraumen is popular with divers and anglers, due to its abundance of fish such as saithe, cod, wolffish, rose fish, and halibut. Coalfish is a specialty of the area. The largest documented coalfish of 22.7 kg was caught in the Saltstraumen on a fishing rod.

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