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Nobody Dies in Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen, Norway, is the northernmost city in the world. It is said that it is illegal to die in Longyearbyen, despite the polar bears, dangerous cold, and occasional diseases. Yes, people can die there, but if you do, it gets complicated.   

But for more than 70 years, not a single person has been buried in Longyearbyen. That’s due to the region’s year-round sub-zero temperatures: Bodies don’t decompose, but are preserved, as if mummified, in the permafrost. Should anyone die there, the government of Svalbard requires that the body is flown or shipped to mainland Norway to be interred.

But strange things are happening to the permafrost in this town as the climate changes. Take a short trip to Longyearbyen from the comfort of your home in this documentary from David Freid. Read more at The Atlantic.

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