Sunlight is a crucial aspect when it comes to our health, good mood, and overall well-being. Cities across the world that lack direct sunlight throughout the year have many inhabitants that are in desperate need of vitamin D which is vital for our health. Besides that, living in constant darkness just seems so melancholic. Because of this, most people strive to live in countries where it is always warm but there are still many people across the globe that get used to not seeing direct sunlight for months. It does not mean they don’t need it, they just get used to patiently waiting for a brighter tomorrow.

Rjukan, a town located 3 hours north-west of Oslo, Norway, is known as one of the darkest cities on earth

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There are around 3,386 inhabitants in Rjukan, a town that got its name from the Rjukan Falls -a 104-meter waterfall that provides easy access to generating large quantities of electricity.

The town has no direct sunlight from September to March because of the mountains surrounding it

Image credits: VisitNorway

In fact, it is almost always bright in Rjukan except for December and January but this applies to almost the entire Norway because of the midnight sun. What is different about Rjukan is the fact that the mountains surrounding the town do not provide any direct sunlight, making the town rather flat and mono.

In order to give the locals at least a bit of sun, the town has provided 5 million Norwegian Kroner to install mirrors

Image credits: VisitNorway

These solar-powered mirrors that are placed 450-meters above the town track the movement of the sun across the town

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As a result – the sunlight shines down on the town square

Image credits: Vibeke B

In an interview, one of the locals said that people of Rjukan do get used to living without the sunlight. “You end up not thinking about it, really. But this … This is so warming. Not just physically, but mentally. It’s mentally warming.”

This idea did receive some criticism calling the project a gimmick and a waste of a lot of money for only a little slice of sun.

Image credits: VisitNorway

But many critics did come around as they noticed that this idea not only provided some much-needed sun for the locals but it also helped to put the town on the map since this idea did manage to attract more tourists to the town.

Image credits: VisitNorway

The idea of the sun mirror was first brought up by the founder of the town, Mr. Sam Eyde, back in 1913. He understood the importance of the sun and tried to create a sun mirror but unfortunately, he did not succeed. According to Norway’s tourism site, “The idea was taken up again in 2005 by Martin Andersen, an artist and resident of the town. In 2013, the mirror was officially installed – 100 years after the idea. “