TRAVEL
09/05/2013 07:32 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Svalbard, Arctic Home Of Abandoned Village, Captured In Photographs

Welcome to Svalbard, a tiny little archipelago (a.k.a. island grouping) waaay off the coast of Norway. Svalbard is known to be an awesome place for polar bear spotting.

svalbard

svalbard

svalbard

Photographer Reuben Wu took these shots in Svalbard a couple of years ago. He says of his trip:

"In February 2011 I spent a week on an archipelago close to the North Pole called Svalbard… We traveled mainly on snowmobile and slept in tiny huts which had to be strapped down to stop them from blowing away... I was interested in the sensory experience (nothing but snow, no trees, sun at sunset angle all day) and also the signs of humanity which appear to cling on for survival."

svalbard

If you go to Svalbard, you can visit Pyramiden. Pyramiden is an old Soviet village that’s been abandoned for about 15 years.

svalbard

svalbard

In the 1960s and 70s, about 1,000 people lived in this town and practiced the Communist way of life. Don’t worry if you can’t book your ticket yet-- researchers say that because it’s so cold in Svalbard, these buildings won’t decay for at least 500 years.

svalbard

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a giant warehouse that has 4.5 million seed samples. If genetic banks lose seed samples, they can get replacements from the Seed Vault. And if anything major ever happens to the world’s crops, we could hypothetically use these seeds to repopulate our favorite plant species.

svalbard

Finally, the Northern Lights perform an especially amazing show in Svalbard. They thank you for virtually visiting!

svalbard

svalbard

For more of Reuben Wu's photography, visit his website.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Best places to see the Northern Lights
CONVERSATIONS