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Inside popular tourist hotspot where there is a major problem if you die

Inside popular tourist hotspot where there is a major problem if you die

The spot has unique rules about both birth and death

When you book a holiday, you don’t exactly think about what might happen if you die there.

It’s more planning hotels and restaurants and activities than deathbeds.

Except if – and jinx touch wood here – that fatal scenario was to happen in this freezing cold location, you’d have a bit of an issue.

Well, I guess you wouldn’t but anyone else you’ve left behind would.

A popular tourist destination is the remote island of Svalbard, about 650 miles from the North Pole and 500 from the Norwegian mainland – whose rule it has been under since 1920.

And on Svalbard is the world’s northernmost settlement, Longyearbyen.

Here, tourists can explore a whole load of ‘nature-based experiences’ and the town even has its own brewery and chocolaterie.

Some ‘fun facts’ about Longyearbyen according to VisitSvalbard include: “We are used to living next door to reindeer,” and, “Longyearbyen has a university centre with 300 students, all of whom must learn to use firearms.”

And the place is cold, like really, really cold.

The northernmost town in the world.
Tim E White/Getty Images

There’s ice caves to explore around the island with 60 percent of it reportedly covered by glaciers.

Average winter temperatures on Svalbard range from a frosty −13 to −20 °C.

And with that cold weather comes the bizarre claim that it’s ‘illegal’ to die in Longyearbyen.

Now, this isn’t quite true.

But if you die in the northern town, however, you’re not allowed to be buried there.

This is because it’s so cold up there that locals reportedly realised back in 1950 that bodies weren’t decomposing in the cemetery.

Yes, it’s literally that cold that human bodies can’t ever decompose.

This led them to worry about dormant viruses in the corpses infecting the population if they defrosted - with traces of the Spanish Flu found in Longyearbyen from an outbreak in 1917.

However, Terje Carlsen, the governor of Svalbard, told IFLScience in 2018 that this is 'not a worry in Longyearbyen', adding that those with a 'special connection or history' can be cremated and buried in an urn.

And these certain rules of life don’t just apply to death, but also birth too.

Even if it's freezing it's said to be an amazing place to visit.
Fredrik Meling / 500px / Getty Images

Cecilia Blomdahl shares TikToks of her life on Svalbard and previously shared that, while the island has a hospital, those with emergency needs are sent to Norway on an ambulance flight due to a lack of resources.

She also explained that pregnant people have to make arrangements to leave the island a month before their due date.

Blomdahl told Newsweek: “Since you have to fly to the mainland, the airline rules regarding travel when pregnant are applicable, so the latest [one] month before your due date you have to leave.

“There are no home births as that is strongly advised against because it would put mother and child in danger."

Featured Image Credit: Getty/FredrikMelling Getty/Tim E White

Topics: Travel, Weird