Lonely Planet Writer

Natural beauty of the world's northernmost town captured on drone camera

The northernmost human community in the world, Longyearbyen, is captured on beautiful drone footage that conveys the extreme living conditions in this inhospitable place.


Shot by Veritasium, the science blog, the video portrays daily life on the Norwegian island of Svalbard.

Longyearbyen used to be a coal-mining town, and the evidence of the town’s past is still visible,with rusting shipping containers and cranes still dotting its harbour.

The narrator tells us that there are 2000 permanent residents there, who endure 6 months of darkness as well as freezing temperatures all year round.

Snowmobiles in Longyearbyen
Snowmobiles in Longyearbyen Image by Screengrab Youtube

Longyearbyen lies just 800 miles outside of  the North Pole, making it popular with adventurers exploring the polar regions.

Living conditions are harsh. In December 2015 an avalanche destroyed 10 houses in the settlement, killing two people. If anyone is leaving the town, they have to bring a gun with them as Longyearbyen is home to polar bears as well. There are so few roads that the everyone uses snowmobiles to get around and there are more snowmobiles than people.