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Where dying is banned

There are some things you’d think that we, as mere mortals, simply cannot control. When we die is surely one of those things. But not in these places.


Feeling poorly? Best steer clear of these places on your travels:




In 2008, the mayor of the French village of Sarpourenx issued a decree banning residents from dying in his territory unless they owned a spot in the overcrowded cemetery, warning offenders would be dealt a “severe punishment”. Hmmm.



The local cemetery was full, crypts were being shared, so in 2005 Mayor Roberto Pereira proposed a bill outlawing death, warning that offenders would be “held responsible for their acts”. While waiting for the proposal to be approved Pereira urged residents to take care of their health “in order not to die”.



In 1999, the residents of Lanjaron in southern Spain were advised to remain alive while municipal officials went shopping for land for a new graveyard.

The death ban ordered people “to take utmost care of their health so they do not die until Town Hall takes the necessary steps to acquire land suitable for our deceased to rest in glory”. It's unclear if a new burial site was ever found.



In Longyearbyen bodies don’t decompose in the permafrost so in 1950, authorities banned people from dying. Those nearing death are flown to the mainland.



The Japanese island of Itsukushima, also known as Miyajima, is considered a sacred place and so, to maintain its purity, death was apparently banned until the late 19th century, along with childbirth, and residents were shipped to nearby islands to be treated.

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Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 8 August 2018

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