Dying Is Banned in a Town in Norway

Death is illegal in Longyearbyen, Norway because of the 1918 “Spanish Flu” that affected 500,000,000 people, killing 5% of the world’s population. Exactly 11 of those deaths were in Longyearbyen, where they are now buried and frozen underground due to the freezing temperatures. The average temperature in Longyearbyen is so low that beneath the surface is a layer of permafrost that is below freezing, permanently preserving buried bodies. When bodies are preserved, the viruses and bacteria inside are also preserved, so some of the only samples of the “Spanish Flu” are lurking below the town. These bodies hold clues to stop a future pandemic, but Longyearbyen doesn’t want diseases that could obliterate their future civilizations just laying a few feet underground, so death is illegal in the town.


Mickey Hart knows a thing or two about cannabis. An accomplished musicologist and drummer, Hart is best known as a longtime member of the Grateful Dead, which he joined in 1967. Anyone who's been to a Dead show can attest their music pairs exceptionally well with weed - it's no surprise that they're deeply tied to the origin of 420.

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