The City Where You’re “Required” To Carry a Gun

The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard is the very definition of remote. In fact, it’s the world’s northernmost……well, pretty much anything. Among other things, it contains the world’s northernmost full-service hotel, liquor store, supermarket, cinema, library, and kebab van. Although it’s technically a part of Norway, even Norwegians have to show their passport when traveling to Svalbard. What’s most interesting, especially today, is that you must carry a gun outside the settlements. In a 2012 law, the Governor of Svalbard made it mandatory for anyone traveling outside of the settlements to have the means to scare off polar bears. That means carrying a firearm is mandatory, and you can thank the nearly 3,500 polar bears that live in the area. While they tend to steer clear of the settlements, hungry bears do sometimes approach buildings out of desperation. Should you happen to not survive a polar bear attack, don’t think you’re going to be buried in Svalbard. Because of the permafrost, burial isn’t possible, as bodies simply won’t decompose. So, if you can abide by these rules and feel like you’d like to join the some 3,000 residents who live there, feel free. The islands are an entirely visa-free zone, which means anybody can live there, regardless of their country of citizenship. Just make sure you pack a gun.

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020

On This Day

1869 - Thousands of businessmen were financially ruined after a panic on Wall Street. The panic was caused by an attempt to corner the gold market by Jay Gould and James Fisk.

Fact of the Day

In Japan, if a working day falls between two public holidays, that working day becomes an additional holiday by law, also known as “Citizen’s Holiday.”

Nature Oddities

When jaguars eat the leaves of the yaje plant, the are affected in much the same way as domesticated cats are affected by catnip.

Food and Drink

Tater tots were invented in 1953 when Ore-Ida founders were trying to figure out what to do with leftover slivers of cut-up potatoes. The product was first offered commercially in stores in 1956.
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