The Land Where Death is Illegal (Update: even for my Dad!)

There are weird laws, and then there are Norwegian laws!

The government of Norway's Svalbard Islands have made it illegal to die there. If you are close to death - through age or illness - they ship you off to the mainland.

If you die quickly, through accident or sudden illness, they refuse to bury you.

The town's small graveyard stopped accepting newcomers 70 years ago, after it was discovered that the bodies were failing to decompose.

But although there is no old people's home, there is a kindergarten.

In winter - when the darkness lasts for months on end - the children make images of the sun with yellow paint and tissue paper and stick them to the windows.

Trips outside the kindergarten's walls carry a more immediate danger for the children and, for this reason, the teacher carries a gun.

Longyearbyen is in the land of the polar bear, an animal which causes real dread among its residents.

Every student at the university spends their first day learning how to shoot bears.

Aim toward the chest, runs the advice, rather than the head which is easy to miss.

If you are unarmed when you encounter a bear, toss your mittens on the snow in the hope of distracting it.

Full BBC Story
Svalbard Tourist Information.


I just found out - this is where my Dad is going on holiday in a few days, specifically to go see the polar bears.

Check out the webcams on the Svalbard Tourist Information site - Ee, it's grim up North!
(UK-specific joke)

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DJ Radio9 years ago


they cant arrest a dead guy...
IIRC, its illegal to commit suicide in the US, and probably other places too.
Kiteman (author)  zachninme9 years ago
Suicide attempts in the UK used to be punishable by death...

Couldn't help but to laugh at that....
Derin KentsOkay9 years ago
yah,just ignore and let the guy kill himself if you are gonna punish him to death already
Plasmana9 years ago
That is the weirdest law I ever heard! I mean REALLY weird...
Ah, the lovely land of armored bears! They should just start turning people into fertilizer. Much better than traditional funeral methods. :D
Ah, the lovely land of armored bears!

Well, in the USA we have Amor(ed) hot dogs :-)
Well when you toss them to the bears isn't that what happens ? People go in Fertilizer comes out, and the bears are happy the grass is happy and a few onlookers might be horrified...
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