The town where dying is forbidden

Ever had an urge to visit Svalbard? Perhaps after reading Philip Pullman, or seeing pictures of its beautiful location?

Just make sure you’re in good health when you go. The BBC has despatched a correspondent to Longyearbyen, its major town, to make the following findings:

Why dying is forbidden in the Arctic

It is forbidden to die in the Arctic town of Longyearbyen.

Should you have the misfortune to fall gravely ill, you can expect to be despatched by aeroplane or ship to another part of Norway to end your days.

And if you are terminally unlucky and succumb to misfortune or disease, no-one will bury you here.

The town’s small graveyard stopped accepting newcomers 70 years ago, after it was discovered that the bodies were failing to decompose.

Corpses preserved by permafrost have since become objects of morbid curiosity. Read full story here…