Dying is illegal in Longyearbyen

People are banned from dying in Longyearbyen on Svalbard. The town’s graveyard stopped accepting new inhabitants in 1950′. Why? It was discovered that permafrost prevents the corpses from decomposing. This means that any diseases that the deceased has, could spread.

11 people died and were buried in the village during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918, which killed an estimated 5% of the world’s population. The 1918 influenza pandemic killed so many people there were more bodies than coffins.

Today, the terminally ill in Longyearbyen are flown to the mainland and then buried there.

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