Town In Norway Doesn’t Allow Its Residents To Die There
Photo: Adrian Wojcik (Getty Images)
The audacity to die there!
According to The Weather Network, Longyearbyen is one of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas. Not only is the ground completely frozen all year long, but average winter temperatures hover around -20 degrees Celsius, but have been known to plunge to -50 degrees Celsius.
And because of the brutal climate local officials have figured out a way to keep the town of about 2,000 people going: just make sure no one dies there. Well, not exactly. But they won’t allow anyone to be buried in their town
The Weather Network
The ground is so cold that permafrost overtakes buried bodies, preventing them from decomposing. When a body remains in-tact, the viruses that killed a person can potentially survive. In order to prevent diseases from spreading, authorities banned the burial of dead people.
Authorities made the decision in the 1950s after they realized residents who died of the 1918 Spanish flu hadn’t decomposed, raising the fear that the bodies contain live strains of a virus that wiped out 5 per cent of the world’s population in the early 1900s.
For the past seventy years, gravely ill inhabitants of Longyearbyen are shipped off to other parts of Norway for end-of-life care.
So if you have decided to move to Longyearbyen for some reason – perhaps you’re a felon on the run. Or perhaps you just enjoy being in a place with barely any people in it (who doesn’t?), just know one thing: try not to die in this town.