Listen&Learn: The Town That Banned DeathJaksyn Peacock Posted by: Jaksyn Peacock
- archipelago: a group of small islands that are close to each other
- mainland: the main part of a country’s land; not an outside island
- outlaw: to make something illegal
- cremation: a process of burning a dead body to ashes
- permit: a document that allows someone to do something
- decompose: to break down over time
- outbreak: the spread of a disease in a certain area
1. The town of Longyearbyen made it illegal to
The town of Longyearbyen made it illegal to bury a body.
2. In the 1950s, residents learned that
In the 1950s, residents learned that bodies buried on the archipelago don't decompose.
3. The town stopped using the cemetery in order to
The town stopped using the cemetery in order to prevent an outbreak.
- Many places around the world have some strange laws. For example, it is illegal to enter the British Parliament building while wearing a suit of armour. Are there any unusual laws where you live?
The town of Longyearbyen is located on the Svalbard archipelago in Norway. It is known for its strange local policy that prevents people from dying. Residents of Longyearbyen who are very sick or injured are sent to hospitals on the mainland. The town has also outlawed burying bodies in the ground, and even cremation requires a permit. While this law sounds unusual, it exists for a good reason. In the 1950s, residents learned that bodies buried on the archipelago don’t decompose. This is because the climate is so cold that the ground is always frozen. The problem with this is that the cold ground also preserves viruses that the bodies are infected with. In order to prevent an outbreak, Longyearbyen stopped using the town cemetery.
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