Category Archives: Svalbard

EVEN MORE SHIPWRECKED: Trawler stranded in north Svalbard since December suffers major damage; August removal planned


A shrimp trawler abandoned in the northenmost part of Svalbard last December after suffering leaks and engine failure now has severe damage including numerous holes in the hull and is listing at an angle of 75 to 80 degrees, according to officials who say a removal attempt is scheduled for August after the sea ice is gone and breeding season for seabirds over.

Random bits of weirdness for the week of July 16, 2019


Time to dust off this fun photo again (“a lone armed guard protects the Seed Vault from marauding polar bears,” according to The Firearm Blog) to visit the latest out-of-this-world weirdness involving the Doomsday Vault, this time in connection with an online petition that’s gone viral seeking people for a “raid” on the secret UFO crash site known as Area 51.

NUCLEAR RADIATION LEAK AT BJØRNØYA? Norwegian and Russian scientists visiting site where Russian nuclear sub sunk in 1989 to determine possible leakage


Thirty years ago the Russian nuclear submarine Komsomolets sank southwest of Bjørnøya after a fire broke out in the wheelhouse, killing 42 people aboard. On Sunday a team of Norwegian and Russian researchers departed Tromsø to visit the site and determine if radiation is leaking from the nuclear reactor and warheads within the vessel 1,700 meters beneath the surface.

ONLY 120 HOURS TO SAVE SVALBARD: Global competition/exhibit by students imagines wild world of societies and environments 100 years from now

Lured by the challenge of making a solitary person do something that creates a community in Svalbard 100 years from now, the 600 worldwide visionaries came up with themes grouped into concepts such as helping humans limit/survive climate change, preserving the environment over people, artistry, infrastructure, Donald Trump and the post-apocalypse (no successive cause-effect implied for the latter two). And then out of 500 visionaries there’s the winning concept:


18 DEGREES ‘HOT’! Longyearbyen maybe warmest place in Norway on Saturday…but ask record setting France (46C) or Alaska (32C) if they’d trade with us


Longyearbyen, shivering in rain and strong winds while mainland Europe baked this week, is joining the summer heat wave with a sudden jolt Saturday afternoon as the temperature is forecast to rise to 18 degrees Celsius for several hours.

DENNE AVISEN ER EN VITS: If you can’t read that, a new group is meeting weekly for free Norwegian classes in Longyearbyen


The foursome agreed they weren’t fans of økonomi (economics), but were into TV (take a wild guess) as they sat around a small table discussing somebody’s else’s weekly schedule planner. But they weren’t nosey, just following the latest textbook exercise in an impromptu Norwegian class that started a month ago to remedy the absence of any such offering for Longyearbyen’s booming population of foreigners.

WHAT THE FOX?! Arctic fox makes 3,506-km trip from Svalbard to Canada in 76 days – more than a marathon per day


All the talk (and reality) of the alarming shrinkage of the Arctic sheet whizzed right past a rather speedy Arctic fox who at the end of March of last year began what researchers say is a record-fast 3,506-kilometer journey from Svalbard to Greenland to Ellesmere Island in Canada in 76 days – a rate of 46 kilometers per day.

CLEAN START: Northernmost car wash trying again after shutting down for two years because vehicles got too dirty


It’s a classic paradox of modern Svalbard: vehicles get so dirty a cash wash can’t operate profitably. But the world’s northernmost car wash is trying again two years after closing, hoping a more versatile machine helps overcome strict environmental requirements and other difficulties that have left many car owners feeling soiled.

‘I’VE BEEN TO BIGGER WEDDINGS THAN THIS’: Robert Plant performs northernmost gig ever for a crowd of 175, who are totally cool with getting close and personal


The guy selling merchandise in lobby said it’s the smallest venue he’s worked in 27 years and even then there were gaps on the floor where the crowd gathered a meter from the stage. But for Øistein Rosen, a Kristiansund resident traveling with his wife and six others to see Led Zepplin frontman Robert Plant play the first of two gigs in Longyearbyen, the high cost of both the trip and the tickets compared to the legend’s other gigs during his current tour in Norway was perfectly cool.

Empty seats for Robert Plant? Businesses host giveaways as tickets remain for concerts this week by Led Zeppelin legend; who has them and is rock ‘deity’ still worthy of your wallet?


Businesses are buying tickets in batches for employees and giving them away in Facebook trivia contests, such is the availability only a couple of days before the first of two concerts this week by Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant. Pleas to “run and buy tickets” are coming from locals dismayed a rock legend still capable of capacity crowds at major auditoriums and festivals can’t fill a room of a few hundred in Longyearbyen.

Which raises a couple of questions: 1) who’s actually here and willing to pay 1,500 kroner a ticket during a time when many families have departed on holidays and those remaining are younger tourism employees working long hours (very possibly during the gigs) for wages that don’t inspire splurges. And 2) is it worth the price of admission to hear a 70-year-old guy known foremost for being a god of rock two generations ago?