There Is A City Where By Law You are Not Allowed To Die
OK, I love the odd and unusual stories more than most. If it's quirky, I want to share it with you and I think this one qualifies.
This Norwegian city's admonishment is this: If you're planning to die, don't do it "here." In fact it's been illegal to die here since the 1950s! Wow! So what kind of place is this?
In this case, the "here" is the town Longyearbyen, located in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard about halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. More on this unusual place in a moment, but first, back to this "No Deaths Allowed" idea.
The city was founded in 1906 as a coal mining community and for 50 years miners took coal from the the frozen earth. BUT when they put their dead back into the earth for burial, the locals discovered that bodies weren't decomposing in the cemetery because of the frigid weather. Duh, right? But there is a spring thaw and it the threat of disease spreading from the dead bodies led to passage of the "NO DYING ALLOWED" law.
The good people of Longyearbyen will allow you to be buried there, but you'll have to be cremated first. Men's Health magazine reports they're so serious about their law that they'll send the terminally ill to the mainland to spend their last days.
The johnnyjet website posts 12 little known facts about the world's northernmost city -- including the fact that the city is built on stilts, that guns are required by those who leave the city due to the number and activity of dangerous polar bears, and that 4,000 snowmobiles, the preferred mode of travel, outnumber city residents 2 to 1. And Longyearbyen, just 650 miles from the North Pole, is home to Huset, the world's northernmost gourmet restaurant -- where you don't have to ask for ice because the average temperature there is 25 and a half degrees!