Random bits of weirdness for the week of Aug. 18, 2015


“The island of Spitsbergen has been a nude zone for decades. However it is not required to stay naked in this area.” We ought to just end this week’s roundup here since there’s no way we’re going to get weirder than that. But authorities are posting lots of signs with that warning – and apparently family-friendly images of buttocks – to alert unaware visitors about the likelihood of encountering naked bathers, according to the online news portal The Local. “Although nudity is generally not prohibited in public, it always leads to conflict,” a statement by officials about the signs notes. “The prerequisite for peaceful coexistence is the considerate and proper behavior of all visitors, both clothed and unclothed.” Look, we’ve published enough nudity in these pages to know it’s not a novelty here (you’ll have to scour the back issues to see when, since it’s an obvious and desperate ploy to attract readers), but we still feel like we’re missing out on some prime Peeping Tom peering. Alas, here’s the switch: it seems that, while you’ll never figure it out by Googling, there apparently is some mysterious place bearing our island’s name in Zurich’s traditionally nudist area of Werdinsel. Since the news article describes Werdinsel itself as an island that’s been a nudist spot for 50 years, we welcome any peepers who want to give us the naked truth.