Town In Norway Doesn’t Allow Its Residents To Die There

Photo: Adrian Wojcik (Getty Images)

The audacity to die there!

We’re heard strange laws before, but this one is quite out there. And it comes from way out there in a town in Norway called Longyearbyen. Try and say that five times fast.

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.

Genius move: Group of New Zealand Geniuses Create Tiny Island To Avoid Anti-Drinking Laws

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.