Arctic: Where Dying is Forbidden But Children are Taught to Use Guns

Arctic: Where Dying is Forbidden But Children are Taught to Use Guns

As if life isn’t hard enough for them, people in the Arctic are denied the freedom to die on the land from which they spring. Ironically, their children are taught how to use a gun. Find out why this small settlement has such twisted life.


People living in the world’s northernmost town not only have to endure 365 days of bitter cold, living in the dark for almost three quarters of their life, they are also denied the freedom to lay their final resting place in their hometown.

However, before you jump to conclusions and start campaigning to bring down the governor of Longyearbyen, a small settlement of Svalbard in Norway, there is a reason why the leaders have made it illegal for the people to die on their own land.

It didn’t start out this way. When the caretakers of the town’s small graveyard were digging up the old corpses to make space for the new ones, they were greeted with a pile of perfectly preserved corpses hibernating deep under the ground for the past 70 years. I reckoned even embalmment could not compete with these corpse!

It was a surprisingly morbid discovery, and the only explanation that can logically explain this surreal marvel is that the permafrost, which is frozen soil underlain deep within the ground in polar regions that remain below freezing point, has worked its magic to prevent the cadavers from decomposing.

With nowhere to dispose the bodies, the government was forced to pass this seemingly sadistic law to forbid its residents to die on its grounds.

If you have become gravely ill or old age has caught up with you, there will be ships or planes prepared to fly you out to other regions of Norway for you to rest in peace.

However, if you have unfortunately succumbed to diseases, not only will the fate of your corpse be unknown, your family members will also have to face a series of charges for “improper arrangement” of your death. So pray that you have body immunities strong enough to handle the flight, or the sea.

As cruel as it is, practical reasons still trump over humanities. Or would you rather live in a house built atop stacks of preserved bodies?


Just as we are talking about “not dying”, the university students here are taught the basics of how to use a gun as self-defence against attacking polar bears on their first day of school.

It is not hard to understand, considering that the inhabitants are practically living with polar bears, which can be a real dread behind its fluffy fur and adorable features.

If things aren’t ironic enough, there is a law that forbids any hunting for polar bears. So if you have unfortunately killed one in self-defence, you must confess your “crime” to the Svalbard’s governor immediately before they hunt you down.

If you are faced with polar bear ready to strike, try to politely and kindly remind them that dying is not allowed in this country. If it continues flaring its teeth, damn your accursed fate and put your shooting lessons into practice.

When you meet a polar bear that refuses to back out, you are allowed to shoot it

When you meet a polar bear that walks away, jump for joy!

About Author


Angela is a History enthusiast who indulges in exploring the whirlwind of events happened during the two World Wars. The one place she wouldn’t miss in her travel itinerary is to visit the Historical monuments. Her favourite movie, Schindler’s List, fuelled her desire to one day visit Schindler’s enamelware factory that eventually rescued over a thousand Jews.