You might have heard of bans on doing all sorts of things in different parts of the world. Some countries ban alcohol, some forbid public displays of affection, somewhere there is a ban on western dresses for women while some countries even restrict people from wearing noisy shoes.
But there is one place in the world which has a ban on death. Yes! It is illegal to die in the city Longyearbyen of Norway. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and also the administrative center of Svalbard, Norway. It is the world’s northernmost city and has only a handful of people living in it.
Longyearbyen has only one small graveyard and it stopped accepting new burials 70 years ago. This is because of the permafrost (permanently frozen soil) which makes it impossible for dead bodies to decompose here. Hence, the bodies remain as they were for years.
According to a researcher, an inhabitant of this town died of influenza in 1917. Since his body did not decompose, the danger of spreading of the virus started multiplying. After this, the city administration imposed a ban on dying here.
So whenever any inhabitant of Longyearbyen suffers a medical emergency or appears to be dying, he/she is taken to another area of the country. If the person dies there, his/her body isn’t brought to Longyearbyen for last rites. Instead, the funeral is carried out in the city where the person died.
Covered with snow all year round, this town is the most loved tourist destination of Norway. It does not witness sunrise for as long as 4 months in a row!
Being the northernmost city of the world, it is also home to world’s northernmost gourmet restaurant, ATM, church, post office, commercial airport, museum and university.