You're not legally allowed to die in this remote Norwegian town

Mimi Launder
Wednesday 21 March 2018 09:00
Viral
Picture:(Flickr / Christopher Michel )

People don't die in this remote Norwegian town.

Longyearbyen may be pretty mystical-looking, but (disappointingly) this bizarre quick is not due to an ancient Arctic magic gifting the 2,000 town residents with immortality.

Picture: Flickr/ Guillaume Baviere(Flickr / Guillaume Baviere)
Picture: Flickr / Christpher Michel(Flickr / Christpher Michel)

Nope, people aren't legally allowed to die there - and that's all down to the freezing weather.

Located on the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, around halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, Longyearbyen is thought to be one of the world's most northern settlement and sees no sunlight for months of the year.

Picture: Flickr / Frode Bjorshol(Flickr / Frode Bjorshol)

When locals discovered bodies weren't decomposing in the cemetery, a law was introduced in 1950 that meant it was illegal to die in the town.

Terrified that decades-old diseases still surviving in corpses could infect locals, the town made it illegal for people to be buried in the local graveyard.

It was not an overreaction: when scientists exhumed bodies of those who died in the 1918 flu pandemic over 80 years later, they were able to retrieve live samples of the virus.

Picture: The graveyard no longer takes new inhabitants (Wikimeida Commons / Bjoertvedt)

Even if you've lived on the island your whole life, you cannot be buried there. Though cremation is an option, mostly the terminally ill are flown off the island to the Norweigian mainland where they spend the remainder of their days.

Jan Christian Meyer, from the Norweigian University of Science and Technology, said:

If you seem to be about to expire, every effort will be made to send you to the mainland.

Not many are born here either. Though there is a small hospital, expectant mothers are encouraged to fly to the mainland to give birth.

In Britain there is only one place you're legally not allowed to die: parliament.

HT The Sun

More: Women in China are eating ice for this bizarre reason

Trending