How a town that doesn’t get sunlight for half the year used mirrors to solve its problem
Rjukan, Norway, sits in a valley that casts a shadow over the town for half the year. In 2013, mirrors were installed to reflect sunlight down to the town’s square.
Following is a transcript of the video.
This isn’t the real sun. This town in Norway received no sunlight for half the year.
From early October to mid-March, Rjukan, Norway, sat in permanent shadow. Until a series of mirrors were built 2,500 feet above the town in 2013. The mirrors redirect the sun’s light down onto the town, lighting up the town square throughout the cold winter months.
Since then, the mirrors have been good for the town’s tourism business. But surprisingly, some locals haven’t warmed up to the idea, dismissing the $ 850,000 project as a tourist gimmick.
“For me, it doesn’t matter really, but it’s good for the town that it attracts so many people here. There is no doubt about it. And they might have a brighter look on their lives here than in the dark.”
The idea to use mirrors to light the town dates back to 1913. But over the following decades it seems that the locals grew accustomed to the darkness.
Whether they’re basking in the town square’s light or relishing the valley’s shade, one thing is certain: Residents can wear their shades all year long.
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