Come take a walk with me, around Longyearbyen. That’s the largest town on the Norwegian islands of Svalbard. Parts of it may look familiar. But make no mistake, this place IS different. At 78° north, It is just 1800mi/1300km from the North Pole. And with over 2000 permanent residents, it is the northernmost real town on Earth. There are only 50km (31mi) of road, including the small streets between houses. So people get around the island mainly on snowmobile. In fact, there are more registered snowmobiles, than residents. Anyone leaving town is required to travel with a gun and someone who knows how to use it. Because the islands are also home to polar bears. The average daytime high, is below freezing for all but four months of the year. Hi. And from the end of October to mid February, the sun doesn’t rise at all. This is the long polar night. Living here, is tough. This past December, an avalanche in town destroyed 10 homes, which used to be here, killing two people. So how did this cold, remote, ice-covered archipelago come to be inhabited? Well, the hills around town are rich in coal deposits, that have been mined for over 100 years. The coal was transported to the port via a series of aerial tramways. Some of which remain today, though they are no longer operational. Coal is a reminder that Svalbard was not always an Arctic ice world. 360 million yaers ago it was actually in the tropics, just north of the equator. A swampy area it was covered with a precursor to modern ferns, which were much larger than they are today, reaching 10-30m (33-98ft) in height. This vegetation was then covered in mud and sand, and submerged under the sea. Over time, it turned into the coal deposites that in the 20th century brought miners from Norway, Russia and the US. Most of the coal mines have now closed and the economy is gradually shifting towards tourism, education and research. Tourists take trips on snowmobiles and dog sleds. There is a university center in Svalbard which offers semester courses in biology, physics and geology. And up on the side of a mountain, is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. But that’s a story for another time. The locals tell me that interest in the region from different nations is increasing. As the globe warms and Arctic ice shrinks trade routs are opening up across the north. And Svalbard is strategically placed between North America, Asia and Europe. So one day in the future, Svaldbard may no longer be as cold or as remote as it once was. But for now, it is a reminder of how through our ingenuity people can live in even the most inhospitable of places.

The Northernmost Town on Earth (Svalbard in 4K)
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100 thoughts on “The Northernmost Town on Earth (Svalbard in 4K)

  • April 15, 2016 at 7:42 pm
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    By popular demand: this video without my narration: https://youtu.be/DLUb14UsgJ8

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  • June 24, 2019 at 7:25 pm
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    The actual northernmost town in the world is Ny Ålesund at 79 degrees north with 35 residents also on Svalbard which has the northernmost post office in the world.

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  • June 24, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    Isn't Alert the northermost village in the world?

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  • June 25, 2019 at 2:56 am
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    I don't know why, but this video made me feel so peaceful on the inside, especially the music and the background scenery of nature combined.

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  • June 25, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    I could live there for a week, maybe two, but then i'd get bored
    maybe its because i was born and grew up in a city, where there is dense population, buildings, more things to do, restaurants, clubs, parks, and beaches, etc..,
    it would be a cool little getaway, but then, it'd get boring after a while.
    Places like this are only habitable by some people, most of us city folks would go crazy living there for much long.
    Maybe when you're retired, you might move there to die peacefully.

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  • June 25, 2019 at 7:57 am
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    I have been wanting go move to USA for a few years now, but this video reminds me that I belong to the tundra. If I ever left Norway, I think I would regret it for the rest of my life.

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  • June 26, 2019 at 5:56 am
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    Thank you for a fantastic video of Svalbard. So beautiful and informative.

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  • June 28, 2019 at 8:22 pm
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    Which country?

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  • June 29, 2019 at 3:49 pm
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    Looks modern

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  • June 30, 2019 at 3:52 am
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    Why would you choose to live here? Once the polar bears are gone maybe but I ain’t going tjere while they are around uhu

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  • June 30, 2019 at 9:34 pm
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    How do you pick up chicks in that place?

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  • July 2, 2019 at 6:13 am
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    Wow is amazing video !

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  • July 2, 2019 at 7:13 pm
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    Next Skyrim update looks amazing!!

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  • July 4, 2019 at 8:33 am
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    87

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  • July 5, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    how can i reach there? by boat or by flight?

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  • July 5, 2019 at 10:20 am
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    Those mountains in the back are breath taking

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  • July 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm
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    Drone flight in town questions… was this shot on a Saturday? Did you have to get special permission? Who was your contact? I have questions… will be there in June 2020…

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  • July 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm
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    2:05 like Fallout 4 except in snow. Get armed before leaving the Vault.

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  • July 6, 2019 at 12:38 pm
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    WAIT SVALBARD IS REAL

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  • July 6, 2019 at 3:38 pm
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    watching it with my family with surprise in our eyes from Bangladesh. Thank you for making such videos.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:21 pm
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    I'm very sad about snowmobiles, you aren't help the climate that way, activities with boats, breaking ice and airplanes, wtf. Humans non indigenous are real parasites.

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  • July 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm
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    SPOILERS

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  • July 7, 2019 at 11:19 pm
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    Ok so what part of this place is strategically placed next to Asia?

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  • July 10, 2019 at 3:13 am
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    you should live so long as to see svalbard not as frigid. You've been drinking too much of the fake environmental coolade

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  • July 10, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    I made a polar summer video…i'll equip myself with better gear next time for video footage. This is absolutely gorgeous.

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  • July 12, 2019 at 1:07 am
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    As far as I know, the northernmost settlement in the world is a place called Alert in Nunavut, Canada at 817 km from the North Pole. I haven't been there but I read that "it is so close to the North Pole that it can’t connect with communication satellites because their orbit lies below the horizon."
    Very nice video about Svalbard though, I really liked it.

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  • July 12, 2019 at 10:56 am
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    Alert, in the Qikiqtaaluk Region, Nunavut, Canada, is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, at latitude 82°30'05" north, 817 kilometres from the North Pole. The entire population of the census subdivision Baffin, Unorganized is located here.- Wikipedia

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  • July 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm
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    Why is the comments section in his videos so idiotic?

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  • July 13, 2019 at 5:59 am
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    Is there a speed limit for snow mobiles driving around there? Is there a fine if you drive a snow mobile while drunk? Do they have a police force? Does the police have snow mobiles with sirens on them? Can you upload a video about a cop's snow mobile chasing another snow mobile?

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  • July 14, 2019 at 11:54 am
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    What a way to show off my place! Loved this video 🙂

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  • July 14, 2019 at 12:36 pm
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    what a gorgeous place

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  • July 15, 2019 at 12:38 am
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    I was there a few weeks ago (May/June 2019). It is amazing and beautiful. It is also the freest place on the planet. No taxes, no need for a visa or work permit, you only have to support yourself financially to live there. Plus the right/responsibility to bear arms. It's a libertarian's paradise. I had no problem with 24 hour daylight (just close the bedroom blinds) but I'm not sure I could handle four months of darkness. I have been all over the world but Svalbard is simply unbeatable. I shall return next summer without fail.

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  • July 16, 2019 at 12:47 am
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    Reminder that coal mining is a thing of the past.

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  • July 17, 2019 at 10:09 am
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    I couldn't do it…I'm a desert woman

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  • July 18, 2019 at 6:17 am
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    Presenter has an annoying way of speaking.

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  • July 18, 2019 at 8:12 am
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    The castle black of the north,
    LONG MAY HE REIGN!

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  • July 20, 2019 at 5:00 am
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    3:22 at least they got a benz

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  • July 21, 2019 at 8:37 am
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    The North Pole is the center of the Earth.

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  • July 21, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    I really enjoy how relaxing this video is

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  • July 21, 2019 at 3:25 pm
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    My dream is to visit Svalbard.

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  • July 21, 2019 at 3:56 pm
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    Svalbard has a seed vault and coal?
    Anyone else thinking of Frostpunk?

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  • July 21, 2019 at 10:26 pm
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    That was pretty.

    But, kilometers?

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  • July 22, 2019 at 7:26 pm
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    Wow ! The video is very nice & specially for the editing

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  • July 22, 2019 at 9:11 pm
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    this, is a great video

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  • July 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm
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    0:01
    Opening scene of Let It Go

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  • July 24, 2019 at 5:48 pm
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    These are the best drone shots i ever seen😍Mind blowing man…
    I may will visit this place

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  • July 24, 2019 at 11:33 pm
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    Receita pra dormir esse videozinho ai

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  • July 26, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    Beautiful video with great narration!

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:01 am
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    beautiful. it would be nice to add in some local interviews next time.

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  • July 27, 2019 at 8:02 am
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    scenic n beautiful

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  • July 30, 2019 at 2:02 am
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    the name reminds me of skyrim

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  • July 30, 2019 at 6:09 pm
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    <3 <3 <3 :..-)

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  • August 2, 2019 at 1:12 am
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    Astonishing. Some of the most beautiful footage imaginable. Very well done. Huge fan of your work

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  • August 2, 2019 at 7:18 am
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    I wonder what`s the ping of this place

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  • August 2, 2019 at 10:05 pm
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    Beautiful video!

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  • August 3, 2019 at 11:09 am
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    I really want to visit this place. I remember years ago looking for a nothernmost city to visit. This was the one I found

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  • August 3, 2019 at 9:49 pm
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    Can we get a video on the western- and easternmost city too?

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  • August 4, 2019 at 10:09 am
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    Why is there is Mercedes CLS standing in front of a house. Who could ever need such a car up there?!?!?!

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  • August 5, 2019 at 12:04 pm
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    Yet you little brat want to play fortnite than taking the the snowmobile for a ride in that place! do not lie!

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  • August 5, 2019 at 1:32 pm
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    sval bard , bard in Arabic is Cold what a coincidence.

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  • August 5, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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    Awesome shots and a really cool place, I am so scared for this place though with more people and the warming earth….

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  • August 6, 2019 at 1:54 pm
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    You don,t give an impression How people live there. This is the most un interesting video I ever saw of Svalbard. I was there for 10 years ago on midsummernight. They hat fun. Young people playing music in the street. There is a Hugh supermarket where you can get everything. There is a museum, restaurants, shops Travelagency. The last time I visit Longyearbuyen was in July this Year. No there is no snow in the Summer, only high on the mountains. There are Husky Farms where they keep over 100 Husky,s. They have a weather station an AirPort.
    You miss something!! I have missed lot of things in your video.

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  • August 7, 2019 at 9:22 am
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    So this is Jon Snows territory! Son of fire rules the ice

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  • August 7, 2019 at 11:34 am
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    Beautifully done. I’ve never knew about this place and I’m interested in knowing more now. Thanks for sharing this with the world.

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  • August 8, 2019 at 1:04 am
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    I’m moving there

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  • August 9, 2019 at 1:18 pm
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    The music is so soothing and matching

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  • August 12, 2019 at 2:22 am
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    Polar bears will track and hunt a human for days …

    Best thing…no Walmart! 👍

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  • August 12, 2019 at 2:23 am
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    3:11 avalanche kills people

    When will humans realize they can’t build anywhere they want!

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  • August 12, 2019 at 2:27 am
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    So glad we watched the whole video 👍👽👽👽🌍

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  • August 12, 2019 at 11:53 am
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    7:35 reminded me of a scene in monsters inc.

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  • August 13, 2019 at 6:08 pm
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    Actually alert is the northern most town

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  • August 14, 2019 at 1:21 am
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    I’ve got to say Derek, everything from the story you’re telling here, to the camera shots and angles you captured on your 4K drone, was crafted beautifully. I’m a huge fan of all your material, and in comparison to your other episodes, the cinematography in this one sets it apart. Absolutely fantastic work, sir!

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  • August 15, 2019 at 12:53 am
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    "From the end of October to mid of February, the Sun doesn't rise at ALL"! 
    WHAT!???

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  • August 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm
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    Amazing .. Narration music views of Svalbard touching heart #pixstube

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  • August 15, 2019 at 7:34 pm
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    Love the long drawn out pan across the village at the end 👏

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  • August 15, 2019 at 11:43 pm
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    3:35 comfirmed

    Real life is based on minecraft

    The biome with most coal in minecraft is the ice spikes one sooo

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  • August 16, 2019 at 8:23 am
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    I visited this place 10 years ago….

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  • August 16, 2019 at 7:47 pm
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    The white walker also live there

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  • August 16, 2019 at 8:51 pm
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    So lonely but home is where the heart is

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  • August 16, 2019 at 9:58 pm
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    lmao

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  • August 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm
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    We have been to the Fjords but not this place.

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  • August 18, 2019 at 6:03 am
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    such a magical place which reminds me with Iorek Byrnison. Thanks for the video

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  • August 18, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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    My grandfathers father worked in a mine at Svalbard when he was young. It feels like I have a connection to this place, its a part of my heritage.

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  • August 19, 2019 at 3:48 am
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    wow.
    even in the middle of summer there is still a thick layer of snow on the ground.

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  • August 20, 2019 at 2:52 pm
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    Great video about Svalbard, probably the best on youtube. Thanks a lot. Greets.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 2:56 am
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    I thoroughly enjoyed this video. Sorry, I can only like it once and I just wanted to say it again.

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  • August 21, 2019 at 3:00 am
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    insane video quality. nuts

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  • August 21, 2019 at 6:44 pm
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    You needed funding for that?

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  • August 22, 2019 at 9:16 am
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    Quote "As the globe warms and arctic ice shrinks" … Total and utter garbage ! Please cite your evidence for this manifestly false statement. Your are just another far-left, racist FAKE!

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  • August 25, 2019 at 7:30 am
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    at 0:52, 1800 miles is NOT 1300 kilometers

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  • August 25, 2019 at 3:17 pm
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    What a beautiful episode! Thank you for sharing!

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  • August 25, 2019 at 5:52 pm
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    Beautiful video

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  • August 26, 2019 at 1:20 am
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    It's sad that all those ice will melt one day and will rise sea level.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 9:00 am
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    I wonder why the roofs aren't steep, wouldn't the weight of the ice and snow crush the buildings?
    So many windows wouldn't allow heat to stay in, cheap heating out there I guess?

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  • August 26, 2019 at 9:39 am
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    I have been living in Norway for 2 years but never been to Tromsø and Svalbard. I am gonna regret if I don't travel there soon.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 2:40 pm
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    Beautiful

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  • August 26, 2019 at 6:25 pm
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    Any issues with the drone in cold weather? DJI gives 0C as the lowest operating temperature but I have been looking to fly it during the winter.

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  • August 26, 2019 at 8:41 pm
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    He is all about science yet not one shred of information other than the stunning visuals (which are truly beautiful IMO) how about "They monitor Vitamin D levels of all residents due to the extreme lack of sun year-round" nope, instead we get "in the summer it is still cold" ** he mentioned the university briefly **. What happened? this has to be part of a series, there is so much human physiology data that can be explored to peak interest, he did write in the description of the video section "More information soon". I say title it "First impression of Svalbard, the closest town to the north pole"

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  • August 27, 2019 at 9:26 am
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    Going there next march to shoot some polar bears, can't wait 🙌

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