The Hattifatteners, the restless wanderers of Moominvalley

Hattifatteners are mysterious creatures whose only motivation in life is to keep moving towards the horizon...

They are pale grey-white in colour and look something like mushroom stalks with paws that extend directly from their trunks. They grow from little white seeds – but only if the seeds are sown on Midsummer’s Eve – and can become charged up with electricity in lightning storms.

“Hattifatteners grow from little white seeds.”

The Hattifatteners appear in the very first Moomin story, The Moomins and the Great Flood (1945), in which Moominmamma explains that the creatures had somehow tricked Moominpappa into disappearing off with them on their travels. They pop up frequently in the Moomin books, which perhaps isn’t a surprise given that they are always on the move, roaming all over the place.


Once a year Hattifatteners come from all points of the compass to gather at Lonely Island, which lies far out to sea, for their yearly meeting. It is always held in June, although no-one really knows why it is held at all, since the Hattifatteners cannot hear or speak.

Some Hattifattener facts, or Hattifattefacts:

  • Hattifatteners smell of burned-out thunderclaps. This is probably because they become charged up with electricity during thunderstorms.
  • They have round eyes which are usually colourless, but occasionally not.
  • They don’t eat or sleep.
  • They travel in groups, never alone.
  • They grow from little white seeds, but only if the seeds are sown on Midsummer’s Eve.
  • They rarely mean any harm to anyone, but they can give a nasty electric shock.
  • Although no-one understands the Hattifatteners, Moominpappa – a restless person himself – rather admires their constant roaming, and has more than once been tempted to join them…

Quotes about Hattifatteners:

  • ‘…they wander around the world, don’t stay anywhere and don’t care about anything. You can never tell if a Hattifattener is happy or angry, sad or surprised. I am sure that they have no feelings at all’ (The Moomins and the Great Flood, 1945)
  • ‘…the little white creatures who are for ever wandering restlessly from place to place, in their aimless quest for nobody knows what.’ (Comet in Moominland, 1946)
  • “Hattifatteners,” repeated Hodgkins. “They just travel and travel . . . No peace, no rest”