While we’re living in 2020, the immortal residents of towns where it’s illegal to die are living in 3020. That’s right, there are actual places around the world where it’s against the law to get yeeted from life. If anyone ever mentions life hacks – this is the greatest one. So without further ado, here are some spots where it’s illegal to die.
1. Lanjarón, Spain
The local cemetery here is too crowded, so the mayor of this village in Granada province banned death in 1999. It was done partly as a joke, and partly as a political move to grab eyeballs. Either way, the ban was real, as the area’s 4000 residents were advised to remain alive until municipal officials found a new graveyard.
2. Le Lavandou, France
This beach town, renowned for its blue beaches and postcard vistas, has one tiny problem – the cemetery is totally full. In 2000, the mayor at the time passed a law forbidding dying within the town limits as a means to bring attention to the ‘grave’ problem.
3. Sellia, Italy
In 2015, the mayor of this Italian village passed a decree barring people from falling sick. It basically ordered the elderly to defy death, and yes, it was mostly a tongue in cheek way to hammer home the point that people should stay healthy. With a tiny population of just 500, half of whom are above 65, this seemed like one way the mayor could get people fit.
4. Sarpourenx, France
This commune in south-western France is notable for having forbidden death by mayoral decree in 2008, threatening severe punishment for offenders. The move was a symbolic protest against a legal ruling preventing the town from enlarging the burial ground in the village.
5. Cugnaux, France
In 2007, the Mayor of Cugnaux banned death after he was unable to get permission to open a new cemetery. The town has a population of around 17,000 residents. However, it was later granted permission to widen its local cemetery.
6. Itsukushima, Japan
This deified island, that translates to ‘island dedicated to the gods’, is itself considered a god. To retain and maintain the purity of the place is so important that since 1878, no deaths or births have been permitted near it. There are still no cemeteries or hospitals on the island.
7. Longyearbyen, Norway
Technically, it’s dying and being buried in a coffin that’s against the law in this hyper-cold region. Located deep within the Arctic Circle, the permafrost and freezing temperatures prevent the dead from decomposing, which means it retains all manner of transferable disease as well. Hence the ruling. Those nearing death are taken to different parts of Norway.
8. Biritiba Mirim, Brazil
In 2005, the mayor of Biritiba-Mirim filed a public bill making it illegal for the people in the town to die. The punishments targeted relatives of people who die with fines and even jail in order to get more space for tombstones. As the town’s 50,000 grave sites had reached full capacity, crypts were starting to be shared – hence the extreme step.
Pretty weird, huh? But hey, them’s the rules!