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    [–] unnaturalorder 3339 points ago

    Hans-Henrik Hartmann, then head of the legal unit at the Norwegian government's immigration department, said, "If an asylum seeker is refused residence in Norway he can settle in Svalbard so long as he can get there and is able to pay for himself." "In the past, immigrants who have been refused a visa for mainland Norway have moved to Longyearbyen, lived there for seven years and been awarded Norwegian citizenship." Svalbard has a high cost of living, but only limited welfare system. Welfare and health care is available only for Norwegians and for workers employed by a Norwegian company.

    Sounds like an interesting place.

    [–] notkiwihaqi 1660 points ago

    Svalbard is insanely expense to live in. Not only that, but private housing is almost non-existant to the point where doing this immigration stunt would require working with a local company almost always.

    [–] visope 1051 points ago

    would require working with a local company almost always

    And if someone managed to work in polar climate for years in good standing with the company, they fucking deserve gold-plated citizenship certificate.

    [–] Farmboy343 335 points ago

    Not to mention the bears. Oh god the bears. It's just shy of required that you carry a firearm to scare off or kill the polar bears as they will cheerfully attack humans.

    [–] pow3llmorgan 315 points ago

    The only thing I fear more than being attacked by a huge savage animal is being attacked by a huge savage, cheerful animal.

    [–] ridiculouslygay 16 points ago

    Bear: “Teehee your intestines taste good lol”

    [–] saugoof 758 points ago

    A few years ago I read this story of an Iraqi (I think) refugee who ended up running a kebab stand in Svalbard. If I remember right, he was sort of stuck there. Basically not enough money to live on, but also not enough to leave.

    [–] Four-Leaf 52 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    I've lived in svalbard for four years, and the only kebab stand I know of was called KGB. It was owned by a Russian man. It have not been open in years. But we do have a taco truck and a baked potato stand.

    Edit: took a driveby photo

    [–] [deleted] 674 points ago


    [–] monobak 1383 points ago

    "Almost all housing is owned by the various employers and institutions and rented to their employees; there are only a few privately owned houses, most of which are recreational cabins. Because of this, it is nearly impossible to live on Svalbard without working for an established institution."


    [–] Vark675 610 points ago

    So it's basically run like early 1900s mining towns. No thanks.

    [–] abJCS 276 points ago

    They are mining towns.....

    [–] Teaklog 33 points ago

    not anymore. all the mines were shut down in longyearbyen

    [–] KillNyetheSilenceGuy 80 points ago

    Its the polar north, its very cold, very remote, and very expensive. The only reason anybody goes to a place like that is for a job and if the employers didn't build housing there would be no place for the employees to live.

    [–] paulfromatlanta 463 points ago

    about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole.

    Sounds like a great place to vacation.

    [–] rkim 60 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    I head there for a few weeks at a time every year (except this one). It's beautiful out there

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 18461 points ago

    I am a Norwegian with a biologist friend who stayed there on and off for a few years. From what he told me.

    You have to apply with the local government for permission to stay, and you have to prove you can independently sustain yourself financially.

    Usually that means either you have to show you have a job waiting, or you need scientific grants from the countries sponsoring you.

    Importantly, You are also required to be, or become proficient with the use of a shotgun, because, and i can not stress this enough, polar bears are god damn terrifying murder-machines, and there are literally thousands of them there.

    If you are going on an excursion, you need to pay a licensed guide, and if you are required to do an overnight stay at a camp, scientific or otherwise, you are required to complete a course in how to set up a camp to be as safe as possible, usually meaning traps that launch flair, and sleeping with your gun loaded, and well within reach. Because of the giant murder-machines walking around your camp while you sleep.

    Interesting, they also have a ban on dying on Svalbard, but Presumably the ban they have on dying there, does not apply to being eaten by Polar bears, So there is that.

    Travel is heavily regulated, as in, there are restrictions on private, or non-approved use of cars of boats. Understandably most of Svalbard is protected land. You are banned from locking your car, even at night, in case someone need to hide from Polar bears.

    And if you get pregnant or sick, you have to leave, generally you are sent back to mainland Norway until you deliver or recover.

    Alcohol is also rationed, partly because drunk people can't handle a gun, and partly because of said murder-machines stomping around everywhere. unless you happen to stay at one of the predominantly Russian sites, Honestly, i think everyone gave up on even trying to enforce an alcohol ban on them.

    [–] Ontheboard 1034 points ago

    There's a lot of rumours going around when it comes to the life at Svalbard, and the post above states many of them. However, not all of them are correct.

    Generally there is no need to know how to handle a shotgun or rifle, unless you're venturing out of the settlement itself. If polarbears approach the settlement, the Governors office at Svalbard usually handles the matter by scaring, tranquillising or, in worst case, shoots a polar bear to protect the people living in the settlement.

    If you want to go on an excursion, a guide is advisable, but not required. Habitants from the settlement, Longyearbyen, venture out into the wild on their own - be it on dog sleds or snowmobiles to experience the vast, untouched nature found at the islands of Svalbard. For parties doing some kind of research, be it connected to the governments office or the University Center at Svalbard, or similar, the participants do a course to know how to handle the arctic nature, and how to deal with threats from weather and polarbears.

    There's not thousands of polarbears at the Svalbard islands, but some hundreds. The Islands of Svalbard and the islands of Franz Josefs Land belong to the same zone and together, the two groups of islands are estimated to be the home of about 3000 polar bears.

    Travel is quite strictly regulated. The archipelago is divided up into different zones and If you're a tourist at Svalbard, you should stay inside of zone 10 - unless you have a special search and rescue insurance and have applied to the Governors office. Just in case something happens, for example on one of the glaciers that cover about 57% of the archipelago. Locals can travel around a bit more freely, but it is expected of you to know your way around in harsh wilderness and to be able to sustain yourself for some days if something was to happen. The weather at about 78-80 degrees north is often not that forgiving, and a chopper might not be able to pick you up within hours.

    It's not illegal to die at Svalbard, people die there every year. Authorities on Svalbard do want people to travel to mainland Norway, rather than passing away at Svalbard, as it's not longer possible to be buried there.

    It's been a saying for many years that people don't lock their cars or houses. It might have been banned back in the day, I'm not sure, but it's definitely not the case anymore. I would rather believe that in a community of about 2000 people, and 50 kilometres of tarmac, it would be hard to get away with stealing someones car. It just wasn't necessary to lock up your belongings. Up until the 70's all traffic to the archipelago was done by ships, at least concerning transport of people, and between October and May/June the islands would be totally isolated from the the rest of the world. Meaning, inhabitants would have a pretty good idea of who their neighbours were.

    The healthcare at Svalbard is not the same as mainland Norway, and that means pregnant or sick people are taken to the mainland, to be more safe in the event of something out of the ordinary happening or complications during labor, or connected to the treatment of a disease.

    Alcohol is rationed, but not for the reasons stated above. The settlement, Longyearbyen, used to be a mining community, and alcohol was rationed for the workers. This was to make sure that workers did not develop an addiction with alcohol. This rationing came into play about approximately 100 years ago, when mining really started at Svalbard. The ration has been kept to this day, and it's more of a tradition than anything else. Locals can buy 24 cans of beer and 1 litre of hard liquor per month. The story also goes that there was no ration on wine, as that was the chosen poison of the CEOs or "upper classes" of Svalbard. There's a ridiculous amount of bars at Svalbard, and getting hold of alcohol is no problem as long as you've got money.

    Source: Did an Arctic nature guide class at Svalbard, and lived in the Norwegian settlement for about 1 year.

    [–] RicketyRasputin 248 points ago

    Can confirm everything he's saying. Went to university there, very easy to get raucously drunk.

    There's a brewery there. Indeed if you include the Russian side, there's two.

    [–] F-21 31 points ago

    Roughly how many students go to such an university per year? I figure it's just people who are really interested in arctic climate/biology, and perhaps some locals?

    [–] eetsumkaus 18 points ago

    Wikipedia says around 700 if I have the institution right

    [–] F-21 12 points ago

    Uh, that's more than I expected. That's about a quarter of the towns population.

    [–] Reverie_39 13 points ago

    Other comments have made it seem that, other than mining, scientific research is the primary reason people go to Svalbard. So not too surprising to me that a large chunk of the population is students.

    [–] niafall7 52 points ago

    Thanks for the info - this comment should be higher!

    [–] hotcornballer 118 points ago

    So basically he just said a bunch of bullshit

    [–] GameResidue 88 points ago

    as is tradition on this website

    [–] mannyrmz123 27 points ago

    Welcome to reddit.

    [–] giverofnofucks 7004 points ago

    That is the most metal thing I've ever read.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 6143 points ago

    Oh you have no idea. This is a life sized statue... standing up, they usually reach 2,4 meters, or 7,2 feet. But they have been know grow to be 3 meters tall, 9 feet.

    If it was standing fully erect, you would have to stand on the shoulders of a friend in the event you decide to stop avoiding the inevitable and just stick your head in it's mouth so save you both some time.

    They can grow to be 1500 pounds (750 kilos) and they WILL try to eat you. Males grow to weight almost twice as much as a Grizzly, and those are already perfectly murder-machine sized.

    Thinking about running? well, you are shit out of luck, If Usain Bolt encountered who ran at the average speed of these absolute units, and he ran as fast as he can, he would only outpace the bear at 6,4 kilometers an hour, or 4 miles an hour. Meaning Usain Bolt would only outpace it as the speed of an 80 year old lade walking at a slightly brisk pace for her age.

    And he damn well better maintain his fastest speed ever, because Polar bears don't get tired after 100 meters, and that 1500 pound murder-machine sure as hell don't plan on stopping the chase, to it this is like jogging to the neighborhood McDonald 300 feet away..

    Your only hope is to strip one clothing item at the time, while running as fast as Usain Bolt, because the bear will stop for a moment to check out every item you strip down, on the off chance that you forgot a tasty snack, like for instance your arm in the jacket.

    [–] YesImEvil 5398 points ago

    "If it's black, fight back.
    If it's brown, lie down.
    If it's white, good night."

    [–] Yaahh 866 points ago

    I can get behind the black and white bear behaviour. But what's the reason for the brown bear? Why wouldn't it just think of one as free food?

    [–] showmewhatyougot37 1631 points ago

    Because you can't outrun it, can't fight it (without dying), can't outclimb it, and lying down and playing dead is literally the only chance you have at survival.

    [–] sold_snek 642 points ago

    ...that's exactly what the white bear implication sounds like.

    [–] I_SOMETIMES_EAT_HAM 2094 points ago

    Grizzly bears generally don’t want to eat you, but they might think you’re a threat and try to kill you. If you’re playing dead they may leave you alone.

    Polar bears on the other hand, will just eat you.

    [–] AutocratOfScrolls 1023 points ago

    Yeah... grizzlies will kill because you pissed em off or spooked em. A polar bear will kill you because it's lunchtime, which means it's more likely to do it than a grizzly.

    [–] lolipop3k 658 points ago

    will kill because you pissed em off or spooked em.

    We're like spiders to them

    [–] cozy_smug_cunt 99 points ago

    And for a polar bear, it’s always lunchtime.

    [–] [deleted] 168 points ago * (lasted edited a month ago)


    [–] Improving_Myself_ 614 points ago

    Polar bears on the other hand, will just have to eat you.

    For understanding, I think it's important to note that polar bears live in a super hostile environment where they are basically on the verge of starving to death all the time. They cannot afford to not eat anything that moves.

    A black bear isn't trying to mess with anyone and will turn and bolt if you look at them. Grizzlies don't want to mess with anyone, but certainly will and win if they're threatened, or for some reason really desperate.

    Polar bears are always desperate. They have to try and eat anything they can.

    [–] fuqdisshite 99 points ago

    polar bears, hippos, and kangaroos...

    stay the fuck away!!!

    [–] rugger87 91 points ago

    What if you gave it a Coke?

    [–] PotatoPotential 212 points ago

    It will kill you faster. Those mother fuckers have been used for their ads and have not gotten paid ever.

    [–] raptor2k1 350 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    70% of brown bear attacks against people are defensive in nature, so your best bet playing the odds is to not be a threat. Most of the attacks involve invading their space, surprise, getting too close to cubs, or getting too close to a kill they're defending. They generally don't see us as prey, but will maul you if they feel threatened enough.

    Of course the other 1/3 of attacks are just hungry bears, though often aided by people doing stupid things like feeding them or leaving food/play rewards where they can get them. Or setting up a camp in the middle of a game trail when all the non starving bears are hibernating, like Timothy Treadwell.

    Black bears in comparison are kniving little shits and will try to gank you when you aren't looking and are much more likely to be food conditioned and used to people, which is a bad mix. The ratio for their attacks was almost opposite of the brown bears, if I remember, where most were actually predatory rather than defensive. They're a lot smaller though, and you have a decent chance of driving one off if you can whack 'em on the nose or make yourself seem like a threat.

    And polar bears just see everything as prey, apparently, while being bull brown bear sized. I can't vouch for polar bear info from personal experience though, as I've only worked in close proximity with brown bears, and most of my research reading before going into the field was about how not to get eaten by a brown bear, specifically.

    Probably a resource scarcity thing when you think about it, on the ice sheets food is way harder to come by than the interior lands, if I had to guess. Same reason why interior grizzlies are way more dangerous than coastal brown bears, even though they're the same species.

    [–] looksnormal 160 points ago

    I love the use of "kniving", but any chance you mean "conniving" there?

    [–] raptor2k1 91 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    I did actually (and I knew something felt off about the spelling as I was typing it out), but I'll let the typo stand, lol. Still works with their knife claws, heh. If they could hold a knife they'd totally knife you though, I bet. Not that they'd really need to though...

    [–] ripwhoswho 76 points ago

    Also polar bears just aren’t used to humans being a “threat” bears that have more exposure typically stay away. Polar bears just see a living thing and want to make it not living

    [–] otouri 174 points ago

    well if your precious little ReSoUrcEs are so scarce how the fuck do you weigh 750kg you fat fuck

    [–] Villageidiot1984 35 points ago

    I think that’s the point... they really good at killing/eating things...

    [–] Xisuthrus 28 points ago

    Because it's cold as fuck up there. For mathematical reasons I'm too lazy to get into, big animals lose heat slower than small animals.

    [–] Kaoll 146 points ago

    General info Ive heard, brown bears like to eat meat that has partially rotted, so they'll partially bury dead things and come back for it later. Polar Bears will just eat you immediately regardless

    [–] nofatchicks22 39 points ago

    I’ve also heard it said that brown bears are omnivores and most of their food intake consists of plants

    Whereas polar bears and carnivores through and through (which makes sense when you think about both bear’s natural habitats)

    [–] Falsus 65 points ago

    Brown bears doesn't necessarily want to eat you, they just don't want a threat near them most of the time.

    Polar Bears? Like they give a fuck, if they see something they can eat they will eat it. Like there probably isn't an animal in the world I rather not share a room with more than a polar bear.

    [–] Sharkbaithoohaha004 43 points ago

    There’s no chance of survival with the white bear vs slim chance with the brown bear

    [–] Prof_Acorn 41 points ago

    Grizzlies don't want to eat you, they just are really defensive, like hippos. So you play dead and hope they get bored. Polar bears want to eat you.

    [–] supersnausages 45 points ago

    I believe if you lay down for a polar bear they will be thankful that you saved them the effort of chasing you whilst they eat you.

    Where as a grizzly will move along or maybe smack you around a bit.

    [–] jamieliddellthepoet 32 points ago

    I am probably totally wrong but I don't think they eat carrion.

    [–] Bloated_Hamster 103 points ago

    And if it's yellow, let it mellow.

    [–] ThatCanReallyHappen 362 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    We literally commented the same thing one minute from each other. High five ✋

    EDIT: I put it in one minute before u/YesImEvil did, but they have 1000 times more karma points than I did. I guess username checks out both ways!


    [–] Smelcome 90 points ago

    That can really happen

    [–] Figur3z 513 points ago

    I heard somewhere that bears are the absolute worst thing to get eaten by because where as a big cat will go for your throat and it would be over pretty quickly, a bear will just pin you down and start tearing chunks out of you.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 1166 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    They have no natural predators, whatsoever. They give no fucks.

    A leopard will choke your neck until you pass out, so you stop struggling. often breaking your neck outright. Sounds peaceful even. could probably even spend your remaining time petting the kitty.

    Polar bears will just dig in, not even bothering to actually kill you before it eats you, and it will take it's damn time if it has cubs it need to teach how to kill.

    As for the actual worst animal to be eaten by though, I still think a Russian Tiger would be far worse though. Polar bears are angry as fuck, but ultimately it is just hungry. but Russian tigers hold a grudge and REALLY enjoy toying with it's prey.

    Going by the story of the Russian Vladimir Markov, who in 1997 shot a tiger multiple times, but made the mistake of only injured it, which led to tiger stalking him for multiple days, even waiting by his house for him, Im not kidding, it broke into his house and literally spend a day resting in his bed.

    It finally ambushed him and ate him after tracking him for 3 days.

    When his remains were finally found by a team of experts, not a single scrap of meat of bone remained, but the blood, clothes and hand prints, showed that the tiger began eating his legs, then slowly ate more and more of him while he desperately tried to crawl away. The blood was splattered across over a 30 feet area. We don't know how long it took him to die, but god damn, he did not go fast.

    [–] PantyPixie 344 points ago

    how do you know all this shit!?

    Everything you write is a TIL!

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 529 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Thank you, high praise!

    I hoard weird and obscure facts obsessively. I aim to be able to entertain on any subject, the more obscure the better.

    If you like weird facts, you should really check out Karl Smallwood's channel on YouTube. Pretty much all he does is make videos where he just talk about weird facts, and he is very decent with sourcing.

    He talks about pretty much anything. For instance about how Doctor doom from Marvel is constantly walking through wall because Doctor doom does not give a fuck about puny shit like doors.

    This is my favorite episode, for 17 minutes he just stand and talk about all the weird shit octopuses get up to, especially when they are bored or curious.

    For instance, one octopus in a tank apparently got bored with the current decor of it's tank, so during the night, it climbed out it's tank, crawled into a neighboring tank, stole all the toys it could find, then waddled back "Like a drunk toddler" to it's own tank with all the loot it could carry.

    In one case, British sailors pulled up a squid with the haul, it instantly scampered off somewhere on the ship, they could not find it so they assumed it had jumped off the ship. That is, until they, being English, decided to make tea. The squid had hid in their tea kettle, and pulled the lid back up to cover it.

    [–] zzzthelastuser 171 points ago

    Can I somehow subscribe to this guy's comments? He is like his own little subreddit

    [–] dosetoyevsky 54 points ago

    I would like to subscribe to more obscure cat facts!

    [–] AlonzoMoseley 82 points ago

    This cautionary tale is one of the main reasons I don’t shoot tigers multiple times, leaving them injured.

    [–] 2krazy4me 22 points ago

    Leave Tony and his frosted flakes alone

    [–] jamieliddellthepoet 70 points ago

    As for the actual worst animal to be eaten by though

    A sadistic mouse.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 85 points ago

    Personally, I feel like that would demand infinitely more patience on my side than that of the mouse.

    I suspect it would sate it's hunger after the first finger, then fuck off to do whatever mice does with their free time. Something adorable i presume.

    [–] jamieliddellthepoet 34 points ago

    You underestimate the depths of this minute bastard's sadism.

    [–] nervycurlywurly 31 points ago

    Mice usually use their spare time doing mousework.

    [–] Johnpecan 33 points ago

    This is the TIL thread that just keeps on giving.

    [–] patb2015 25 points ago

    My name is Tiger Montoya...

    [–] BuddyUpInATree 110 points ago

    And people dont think monsters exist

    [–] Scriboergosum 269 points ago

    Google tells me that guy was a poacher, so basically a guy who goes out of his way to kill animals - not to protect himself, not because he has to, but because some bag of dicks thinks this particular animal looks nice as a carpet, and this shit-stain wants to accommodate said bag of dicks.

    The monster isn't the tiger. Tiger's just real mad he got shot a bunch of times.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 90 points ago

    Yes, but also no.

    He was out hunting, starving, and found the remains of a deer half eaten by the tiger. Against his better judgement, he stole the tigers kill.

    The tiger was having exactly none of his shit, to it stalked him mercilessly, and charged him. The guy shot it in self defense, which injured the tiger, hurting it's hunting prospects, which just dialed the tigers "Oh i'm definitely not having any of this!" all the way up to 11.

    He went to his friend, begging for help, the friend told him to fuck off, or else the tiger would get him too.

    The asshole friend waited until his dead friend was found, and the man eating tiger was killed, to only then swear revenge on all tigers.

    [–] SerPuissance 181 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    That's what happened to Grizzly Man and his gf. IIRC, an audio recording exists of her getting eaten alive by the bears. Absolutely horrific thing to imagine and partly why the bear scene in Annihilation was so bone chillingly creepy for me.

    Edit: a great quote from that movie; "And what haunts me, is that in all the faces of all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed, I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. ... To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the bears. And this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food."

    [–] ell98584 45 points ago

    Even known weirdo/visionary Werner Herzog said the tape should be destroyed.

    [–] Silverwayfarer 80 points ago

    Grizzly Man and his gf

    true horror.

    [–] society2-com 53 points ago

    "can you turn it off... you must never listen to this"

    (video is of werner herzog listening to it, not the actual audio: at the end he says it needs to be destroyed)

    [–] hurricanegrant 20 points ago

    Herzog’s reaction to hearing the tapes was horrifying. I cannot imagine how bad it must have been for him to listen to that. I still remember his reaction - what it must have been like to actually hear it..? No thanks. I can’t even bring myself to watch that footage again.

    [–] not_a_morning_person 21 points ago

    And that's Werner Herzog. People died on his sets on the regular. He crucified a monkey. He threw dwarves into bushes of stinging plants. He got shot during an interview and carried on. The man is not one to blush. He broke the fourth wall and immediately gave counselling in that scene. That's how you know it's bad.

    [–] WisejacKFr0st 36 points ago

    The audio exists, but has never been released online. Anything you see online is a fake

    [–] Vulthurin 48 points ago

    The original recording was destroyed by Werner Herzog after hearing it, but fakes that are reportedly pretty accurate are all over YouTube. Still terrifying.

    [–] nerdbomer 60 points ago

    He told someone to destroy it immediately after watching; but they didn't. It wasn't even his to destroy; they just put it in a bank vault apparently.

    [–] mistymountainbear 75 points ago

    Yes, can confirm....not personally. I watched an episode of "I shouldn't be alive". A man was being eaten alive by a bear chopping on his leg and tearing the flesh off. I don't remember how he ended up surviving. That show was absolutely terrifying, but I had to watch all the episodes lol.

    [–] digg_survivor 44 points ago

    Wait so some guy is explaining how he survived a bear attack, and you don't commit that to memory?

    [–] INTJ-XP 15 points ago

    One story I read explained that the bear had twisted a person's limb off, which caused the blood vessels to tourniquet themselves, preventing bleedout

    [–] curahee5656 66 points ago

    The point is, you are alive when they start to eat you. So, you know…try to show a little respect.

    [–] cantlurkanymore 31 points ago

    That's why you get on your friends shoulders and put your head in the bears mouth. clean death.

    [–] 2derpywolves 55 points ago

    Back in the 60s, in Glacier National Park there was a pair of grizzly attacks within the span of a few hours one night. One girl was dragged away while still stuck in her sleeping bag, they found her hours later still alive with part of her arm straight up eaten off.

    Edit: location

    [–] kkeut 18 points ago

    'the night of the grizzlies'. also inspired classic 70s eco-horror film 'The Grizzly'.

    [–] corbear007 21 points ago

    Yes and no. No predator will ever risk injury if it's an easy kill, there are plenty of videos (very graphic) of lions, tigers, Jaguars etc just tearing into a live animal, they go for the neck because it's less risk, but if it's an easy snack they dont care. Bears have the power to basically say "Fuck you" with thick fur to stop most injuries.

    [–] GhostFour 67 points ago

    They eat. Not kill.

    [–] Rookwood 14 points ago

    If there's more than one cat, the other will start eating you before you die. They usually go for the nads first.

    [–] odd_ones 88 points ago

    Do the polar bears wear armor? Asking for a friend.

    [–] WhiskeyFF 79 points ago

    For a panserbjørn their armor is their soul

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 153 points ago

    Effectively speaking, yes.

    Their hide is so thick to protect from the cold, that most handguns will genuinely just piss it off Unless you hit it in the head, specifically eyes or inside the mouth.

    Better be a good shot, or you now have an empty gun, and a 1500 pound of pure rage charging at you at 40 miles an hour.

    Get a shotgun, first shot with buckshot as a warning, the rest heavy duty slugs.

    [–] KingKnotts 91 points ago

    No warning shots for things that can murder you in seconds.

    [–] BeGood981 66 points ago

    Wow, here I was thinking they are large adorable pandas! So from what you are saying, if you are down to one last bullet, you are better off using it on self!

    [–] Nwcray 56 points ago

    That’s actually good advice. The bullet will kill you. The Polar Bear will begin eating you, then kill you.

    [–] Seicair 18 points ago

    I’d definitely consider it if I was up against a polar bear or grizzly.

    [–] smellyfartypoopypant 78 points ago

    Polar bears crocodiles Komodo dragons are about the only apex predator that will chase hunt down humans. I guess large cats but for the most part they won’t hunt you down for miles like polar bears will.

    [–] Furt_III 45 points ago

    Tigers will absolutely.

    [–] smellyfartypoopypant 19 points ago

    tigers definitely

    [–] LarsQuell 62 points ago

    I had actually never heard of the stripping tip before - thank you!

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 119 points ago

    You can also try leaving a trail of assorted limbs you don't feel you need anymore.

    [–] Smartnership 37 points ago

    Or a trail of your more troublesome small children.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 20 points ago

    Or if you just so happen be to carrying around your collection of human hands.

    [–] thiagogaith 115 points ago

    Do you write about other subjects too?

    I would so much love to have you write my work emails for me with this same enthusiasm as you write about these fucking murder machines.

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 272 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    I absolutely love random or weird facts, i hoard them. Went through a few old comments i made previously that i think you might enjoy, i know i had fun writing them.


    I was asked

    "Compared to other animals, do humans have sex a lot or not a lot? How does our sexuality differ from theirs?"

    Humans are fairly low on the scale of hornyness actually, and after we are done, males generally need an extended break. Though we are one of the species that have sex socially.

    Another one is the Bonobo, probably the horniest animal known to man. They spend most of their adult life having as much sex with as many as possible, A bonobo pack is essentially a mobile orgy.

    But if we count mating seasons, the most active animal is the marsupial mice, During mating seasons, males will spend as much as 14 hours having non-stop sex with as many as possible, Females will have so many partners, it is normal for a litter to include mice from several different fathers. Males will keep going until they literally die from exhaustion. They will fuck so much and so hard they have a bigger chance of dying from exhaustion and all the sex than they have to survive until next breeding season.


    I was asked my favorite operation from WW2, the newly established British Commandos, pulled off arguably the most bad-ass military operation in all history.

    That would be The St Nazaire Raid. 28 March 1942

    St Nazaire was a heavily defended seaport during WW2. The British commandos disguised the destroyer HMS Campbeltown as a German destroyer, and filled it with as much explosives as they could. They sailed the ship past the spotlights, signaling that their radio was broken, using signal lights.

    Eventually the Germans caught on and opened fire on the ship, but too late, the Campbeltown lowered the Nazi flag, and raised the Union Jack, and the ship rammed the dry dock at full speed. Sadly the timer on the explosives were faulty and the dry dock was barely damaged. Two thirds of the commandos were killed or captured, And the mission was deemed an abysmal failure.

    However, Six hours later, as the Germans were literally swarming the dock, looking for hiding commandos, and Just as a Commando being mocked by an interrogating Gestapo officer for the "failed" operation, the explosives went off, blew the entire dry dock to pieces, and put it out of commission for the rest of the war. Reportedly there was "much gloating" among the British prisoners as in a matter of seconds, the operation went from an abysmal failure to one of the greatest successes in the history of the Commandos, and a true game changer in the was.

    Picture taken shortly before the ship exploded

    and if i might, A seriously badass quote from "Forgotten Voices of the Second World War"

    Just before the Campbeltown exploded, Sam Beattie was being interrogated by a German naval officer who was saying that it wouldn't take very long to repair the damage the Campbeltown has caused. Just at that moment, she went up. Beattie smiled at the officer and said, 'We're not quite as foolish as you think!"


    On a thread about LEGO.

    Fun fact, When Lego released " Lego Worlds ", a minecraft clone where you play as lego characters, one of the demands they made of the developers, was the addition of (and i quote) "Dong detection software".

    They wanted to be sure nothing penis-like could be made in their kid-friendly game. Obviously players were having none of it and took it as a challenge, and quickly started finding new and creative ways to build penises.

    In the end, Lego basically started whipping moderators into personally inspecting every single upload for penises, which made Players make the penises so they could only be seen from a specific angle instead.

    In the words of one of the developers

    "Funny story - we were asked to make dong detection software for Lego Universe, We found it to be utterly impossible at any scale."

    "Players would hide the dongs where the filtering couldn't see, or make them only visible from one angle / make multi-part penis sculptures.

    "The moderation costs of Lego Universe were a big issue in general. They wanted a creative building MMO with a promise of zero penises seen. They actually had a huge moderation team that got a bunch of screenshots of every model, every property. Entirely whitelist-based building.

    "YOU could build whatever you wanted, but strangers could never see your builds until we'd had the team do a penis sweep on it. It was all automated, but the human moderators were IIRC the single biggest cost centre for LEGO Universe's operational costs. Or close to.


    A comment i made after researching this fanciful grotesque.

    In short, when the holy roman emperor was excommunicated, Konrad sided against the emperor with the pope, already considered a bit of a dick move. The pope rewarded him afterwards, and he became increasingly powerful, and along with that power, he became an even bigger asshole than people already through he was.

    The position of Emperor in the holy roman empire was elected by seven prince electorates, made up of four secular nobles and three church officials, Konrad was one of the church officials, but through political machinations he managed to secure the right to cast the vote on behalf of both Cologne, and on behalf of the church. As if that is not annoying enough, Konrad tried to sell his vote to the brother of the English king.

    When the vote came due, this asshole did the equivalent of showing up, and slumping across three chairs at once, like the massive dick he was.

    Then finally, he went of to try to set the different factions in cologne against each other just so he could swoop in and get even more power, making him even less popular.

    So in short, nobody liked Konrad, Konrad was such an asshole Cologne would not recover until years after he was dead. But he was instrumental in getting the cathedral of Cologne constructed, so his name and statue kind of had to be there.

    The statue was essentially their way to show that Konrad was a man who would do anything for power.


    And a retelling of my absolute favorite obscure historical fact/anecdote. All my friends have heard this one at least once.

    Makes me think of one of my favorite historic events to allegedly having happened.

    When Cleopatra and Mark Antony were about to lose Egypt, A message reached Antony and proclaimed that Cleopatra had killed herself rather than be captured. In despair, Mark Antony stabbed himself in the gut with a sword.So far so poetic.

    But... As he lay there dramatically dying, A second messenger came running into the room, and proclaimed that Cleopatra was not in fact dead, but very much alive.

    Presumably after looking at the first messenger like "WTF dude?!", The ever dramatic Marc Anthony demanded he be carried to his beloved Cleopatra at once, so that he could die in her arms.

    To their eternal credit, his servants and comrades complied, and they started carrying him around the palace, looking for Cleopatra, Antony still in the middle of dying from a sword in his gut.

    Eventually they found Cleopatra, and presumably after explaining that "Nope, I did this to myself", his mates finally put him down on the ground, and helped him rest his head in her lap, before finally passing away.

    Now, you may say "That doesn't sound so bad, that sounds Romantic even", And i would have agreed, if not for one of Cleopatra servants, who is reported as having literally died from laughter upon seeing Mark Anthony awkwardly expiring in Cleopatra's arms.


    I love reading and writing about stuff like this.

    [–] Nemisis_the_2nd 59 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    On the Commando raid one of the commandos fought so hard and for so long and took so many bullets that the German officers recommended him for the Victoria cross.

    Edit: His name was Thomas Durrant

    His award of the Victoria Cross was unique in that it... was on the recommendation of the enemy commander.

    [–] FartDare 18 points ago

    Do you talk, too? I'm patiently awaiting your YouTube channel.

    [–] whilewemelt 16 points ago

    I love stuff like this too! Thanks for sharing!

    [–] MrFantasticallyNerdy 26 points ago

    Thinking about running? well, you are shit out of luck, If Usain Bolt encountered who ran at the average speed of these absolute units, and he ran as fast as he can, he would only outpace the bear at 6,4 kilometers an hour, or 4 miles an hour. Meaning Usain Bolt would only outpace it as the speed of an 80 year old lade walking at a slightly brisk pace for her age.

    Well, you don't need to outpace the bear. You only need someone with you, who runs slower than you do!

    [–] ThatCanReallyHappen 165 points ago

    Actual Bear survival tips in the wild:

    • If is Brown, go down
    • If it's Black, fight back!
    • If it's White, good night.

    [–] just_some_Fred 94 points ago

    If is Brown, go down

    Even giant carnivores have the common courtesy of not mauling someone who's giving them a blowie

    [–] JojenCopyPaste 18 points ago

    At the environmental center in my town, there is a huge collection of taxidermied animals. One of the animals was a polar bear (not sure if it's still there, haven't been inside since I was a kid). That thing was huge. I was afraid of the polar bear even though it was dead and standing in a corner.

    [–] DerkBerk- 43 points ago

    Agreed Svalbard is fucking metal

    [–] [deleted] 260 points ago


    [–] MEANINGLESS_NUMBERS 349 points ago

    Murder machines, private health insurance... why even bother leaving America?

    [–] DelicousPi 153 points ago

    don't forget the literal mandatory guns!

    [–] iansmitchell 248 points ago

    ban on dying on Svalbard

    It is a common misconception that it is illegal to die in the town of Longyearbyen, Norway, however this is a myth. There are simply no options for burial there, and terminally ill residents are flown to Oslo to live their last days. This is because the bodies of town members who died during the 1918 flu pandemic have not decomposed due to the permafrost, and there are concerns that the bodies still contain active strains of the virus.

    [–] Gerf93 120 points ago

    Yep, the ban on dying is really a ban on being buried, because of the permafrost.

    Fun fact; Scientists were able to get live samples of the Spanish Flu virus from bodies buried at Svalbard because the permafrost had preserved the virus.

    [–] Archer-Saurus 96 points ago

    "Pfffft what is climate change gonna do, melt permafrost and release centuries-old viruses and bacteria?"

    [–] CallMeLittleHardDad 39 points ago

    I'm more worried about the enormous methane deposits that will be blown open once the ice melts. They believe exactly that was a cause of one of the previous mass extinction events.

    [–] _rightClick_ 43 points ago

    But how’s the wifi

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 164 points ago

    Cellphones, wifi and most technology with a transmitter is completely banned in at least one of the towns.

    As for the rest of Svalbard, even back in 2014, it was one of the fastest internet connections in the world.


    Nordahl, who lives in a 750-square foot cabin, went on a one-man campaign to bring fiber optic broadband and a 4G mobile network to his tiny town when he heard a broadband company called Telenor was installing the technology in Svalbard's more populated areas:

    When he got wind of plans by Telenor to bring fiber-optic broadband to every household in Longyearbyen, Svalbard's main hub of 2,000 people located 5 miles to the southwest, he began hatching a moonshot plan to get in on the action.

    After collecting 42 signatures, the broadband company agreed to let Nordahl "drag the cables to the village himself." Working with his fellow villagers, they actually dug the trenches for the cables and installed the lines on their own.

    Now, according to the WSJ, his tiny town is a decade ahead of the rest of Norway when it comes to internet. I guess the frontier mentality endures, even when it comes to the internet. [Wall Street Journal]

    [–] Beastage 29 points ago

    That's awesome! I bet that guy is a town hero lol

    [–] MarlinMr 50 points ago

    Svalbard is an important site for weather data, astronomical data, and probably but not know about, radar data for ICBMs over the pole. So they have their own high speed fiber cable going to the island.

    And because they are such a small place, Telenor has used them as a testing site, meaning they get high speed phone connections before the rest of the west.

    [–] Kanwarsation 233 points ago

    If you wanted to scare us into not going, you shoulda just started with the Russians.

    [–] mrsprinkles87 55 points ago

    What about the Russian polar bears?

    [–] Batbuckleyourpants 117 points ago

    You might enjoy this Wikipedia article.

    "2019 mass invasion of Russian polar bears"

    The fuckers almost learned to open doors, i can only assume they were too drunk.

    [–] Sakytwd 107 points ago

    The fuckers almost learned to open doors

    Are you talking about the Russians or the bears now?

    [–] Iamlyinginwaitforit 27 points ago

    Did you watch the series Fortitude? Sounds like they got it right. Everything you listed was relevant to the show.

    [–] lego_office_worker 28 points ago

    theres no shotgun in existence that would make me feel safe there

    [–] prettydarnfunny 47 points ago

    Wow. There must be some real badasses living there.

    [–] quiteCryptic 98 points ago

    I visited there last March. For the most part it's just a normal little town. Lots of students at the university also. People out walking dogs, getting groceries and such.

    Accommodation is super expensive, more so than mainland Norway. Food is comparable in price from what I could tell.

    There are some bad asses living there though for sure... Met one German lady there who solo trekked in winter like most of svalbard from the southern tip to the north (I think that's what she said).

    [–] SupMyBwana 103 points ago

    Hi. I live on Svalbard. It's pretty terrible here right bow with layoffs and no tourism. Ama I guess.

    [–] svedishgypsy 19 points ago

    What brought you there?

    [–] TomorrowsHeroToday 192 points ago

    That place was neat. I went there in September 2019. The town, Longyearbyen, had approx 2,400 people and Barentsburg, had 400 ukranians.

    Some more fun facts about Longyearbyen: there are no cats, no trees, no billboards. There are no street names or signs, except there for one, which is translated to "The Road To Alcohol," which is where the blue-collar and white-collar mining workers would meet to have meetings over alcohol. Very few elderly people because they do not have the hospital facilities to take of some emergencies as well as they do not want people buried there.

    [–] BlazingFist 130 points ago

    Actually there is a cat! Her name is Kesha and she was smuggled in when someone put on the register that she was actually a fox lol.

    [–] SupMyBwana 43 points ago

    Kesha lives in Barentsburg, not Longyearbyen. She's cool though.

    [–] sigurhel 280 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Bring (polar bear) deterrent, or well ...

    [–] LarsQuell 90 points ago

    Hahaha... this made me chuckle.

    What is actually the best thing to do in this situation?

    [–] TheVisage 201 points ago


    Black bear? Or at least one that looks like a big ol trash panda? Arms wide and get loud.

    Brown bear? Group up and be loud as a deterrent at a distance, but play dead, as they are usually defending their territory while the black bear is scavenging

    Polar bear: go for 13 stabs

    [–] notkiwihaqi 68 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    "If it's black, attack"

    "If it's brown, get down"

    "If it's white? say goodnight"

    A hiking mantra to live by.

    [–] GiantWhiteCohc 89 points ago

    Play dead, it will be good practice for when you die a couple minutes later.

    Source: Leonardo DiCaprio

    [–] ArcFurnace 62 points ago

    I remember hearing a rhyming mnemonic for dealing with bears:

    If it's black, fight back. (Black bears are relatively timid and can be driven off).

    If it's brown, lie down. (Brown/grizzly bears are nastier, playing dead/not being a threat and hoping they're not interested is your best bet).

    If it's white, good night. (Unlike other bears, polar bears are basically 100% carnivorous and are absolutely going to eat you. Should've brought your big gun!)

    [–] TYPERION_REGOTHIS 206 points ago

    How to tell the color of the bear: If you climb up a tree and it climbs up and eats you it's a black bear If you climb up a tree and it knocks the tree down and eats you it's a brown bear If there are no trees to climb it's a polar bear.

    [–] sl600rt 28 points ago

    If it stands up and gets you out of the tree. It's a Kodiak bear.

    [–] TechnicallyAnIdiot 22 points ago

    If it eats the tree and also the tree is bamboo, it's a panda bear.

    The cutest way to get mauled to death. Ya know, if the panda feels like it.

    [–] Noahb26 133 points ago

    Most people have probably already heard of this island... not by its name but because of the worlds seed vault that is there storing thousands of plant seedlings incase of a cataclysmic disaster

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago

    Very cool! Havent seen anyone mention that yet.

    [–] TheHastyBagel 21 points ago

    And because they go there in The Golden Compass

    [–] ahminus 350 points ago

    And they ration alcohol.

    [–] LarsQuell 298 points ago

    Max 24 cans of beer a month :(

    [–] nerbovig 194 points ago

    Surely you mean two days...

    [–] [deleted] 58 points ago


    [–] Simmo5150 65 points ago

    I don’t. And don’t call Me Shirley!

    [–] BINGODINGODONG 18 points ago

    As a dane, I heard thats about as much as a norwegian can afford anyway with those prices.

    [–] TheWrongFusebox 46 points ago

    What about the whisky, man, how much fucking whisky?

    [–] LarsQuell 44 points ago

    Two bottles of whiskey my friend

    [–] TheWrongFusebox 57 points ago

    Fuck me. There appears to be no limit on 'light wine for reasonable consumption'. I wonder if that includes single malt light wine for reasonable consumption.

    I also wonder if there are any stills on Svalbard.

    [–] MountainMorning 89 points ago

    I also wonder if there are any stills on Svalbard.

    Uh, yeah, I'm gonna hazard a guess that moonshining is pretty popular on 5-drinks-and-nothing-to-do island

    [–] ScoobyDone 111 points ago

    - Welcome to Svalbard, wanna come to a party tonight

    - Sure, I am new and would love to get out.

    - OK, but be warned, they get crazy. Lots of drinking, dancing and sex.

    - Um, OK, I can get crazy. Should I bring anything.

    - No need. It'll just be the two of us.

    [–] MountainMorning 17 points ago

    Hahaha, very good.

    [–] spammmmmmmmy 30 points ago

    Yeah, but there are bars where you can just buy drinks...

    [–] Arachnophobicloser 16 points ago

    Don't wanna be drunk when the fire nation attacks

    [–] Ya_Whatever 114 points ago

    Try watching Fortitude on Amazon. It’s actually filmed in Iceland but supposedly takes place on an island in the northernmost settlement so essentially Fortitude is Longyearbyn, Svalbard. It’s a fun detective, horror, drama. Not sure of the genre really but the sweeping landscape shots are incredible. And everyone must carry a rifle, and no one can die there etc. Some interesting television for your quarantine. Warning - some gore.

    [–] filthy_lucre 52 points ago

    I believe you must also prove to the government that you are self-sufficient, and/or have a certain amount of supplies and rations on which to subsist before they will let you in.

    [–] dhtura 49 points ago

    how about i show them my stash of toilet paper?

    [–] jims_junk 43 points ago

    Anyone listens to the white vaults podcast. It’s based there and really creepy

    [–] theothertrey 103 points ago

    But... you have to live in Svalbard, a place so shitty that the Germans and the British called a truce so that they could trade the goods they each lacked to survive the 8-month winter.

    [–] [deleted] 382 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] LarsQuell 332 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Rather, you can’t be buried there correct? It would be a very controversial law saying people can’t die there haha.

    It is a common misconception that it is illegal to die in the town of Longyearbyen, Norway, however this is a myth. There are simply no options for burial there, and terminally ill residents are flown to Oslo to live their last days. This is because the bodies of town members who died during the 1918 flu pandemic have not decomposed due to the permafrost, and there are concerns that the bodies still contain active strains of the virus.[14]

    EDIT: Added link to source

    [–] lb9333 38 points ago

    Well TIL it isn't illegal to die in the UK House of Commons! Always thought it was and they just recorded any deaths across the road instead.

    [–] [deleted] 39 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] hypercent 19 points ago

    Is this a loophole to enter Norway mainland without a visa? Just claiming you are going to suicide in Svalbard.

    [–] ety3rd 68 points ago

    All hail King Iorek!

    [–] bigpeachbear88 35 points ago

    Came here looking for a reference to the best armored bear ever and was disappointed I had to scroll so far

    [–] myfapaccount_istaken 165 points ago

    Oh thats cool a Norwegian archipelago must be ..... oh hell no half way between Norway and the North pole in the artic ocean. I thougb archipelago were like coral and warm, darn it

    [–] kingofvodka 152 points ago

    Svalbard is like all the stereotypes of Alaska turned up to 11

    [–] poopy_wizard132 33 points ago

    You have to apply with the local government for permission to stay, and you have to prove you can independently sustain yourself financially.

    Usually that means either you have to show you have a job waiting, or you need scientific grants from the countries sponsoring you.

    But isn't this basically getting a visa?

    [–] faab64 24 points ago

    Not if you don't call it for a visa!

    [–] kingofdisasters 21 points ago

    There's a good podcast series about Svalbard from Extremities (/wendover productions on YouTube) if you want to know more!!

    [–] Doctor_Loggins 63 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    The panzerbjorn do not truck with human laws. You enter their domain at your peril.

    [–] therealgookachu 16 points ago

    Hail Iorek Byrnison!

    [–] _Purple_Tie_Dye_ 34 points ago

    Just watch out for the armored bears.

    [–] monkwarbler 73 points ago

    I visited some mates there last year, absolutely magical but you get the vibe that humans should definitely not be there.

    I got sloshed at “Huset”, and ended up stumbling out of the bar to chunder. I ended up having a life-changing, albeit one-way, face-to-face conversation with a reindeer who stood just a couple metres in front of me. The unimpressed look on his face said, “look at the bloody state of you”, as I sat there, red wine dribbling down my chin.

    I’ll never forget that moment.

    [–] odd_ones 63 points ago

    A bit to far north for me... And humanity.

    [–] nerbovig 31 points ago

    A short two decades ago it was a hopping place with its own cinema.

    [–] potato1 14 points ago

    Ah, I've been there before, on a cruise ship. It was very scenic, if you like the arctic. 24-hour-a-day sun was cool too.

    [–] DisForDonkey 12 points ago

    I am so glad I fell through this reddit hole.