World’s Strangest

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The Law in Longyearbyen, Norway: No Dying Allowed!

In the frozen Svalbard archipelago, far north of the Norwegian mainland, temperatures rarely drop below freezing. This became a problem during the influenza pandemic of 1917-1920 because the victims’ bodies did not decompose, the virus inside of them did not die. So officials in the settlement of Longyearbyen passed a clever law to [...]

The Disastrous North Pole Balloon Mission of 1897

Reaching the North Pole was an international obsession during the late 19th century. Various countries devised plans for becoming the first to reach the pole, but no journey was as fascinating (or as doomed) as Sweden’s S.A. Andree’s mission to cross the Arctic in a hydrogen balloon. To understand what went wrong with Andree’s mission, [...]

The Crying Glacier

This striking image of a crying glacier (a perfect example of pareidolia) is from a melting glacier in in the Arctic ice cap of Norway. Marine photographer and environmental lecturer Michael Nolan snapped the photos: At first glimpse it looks like any other glacier you might find in the freezing Arctic wastes of Norway. But on closer [...]