Just Move Already: Valley Town In Norway Installs Giant Mirrors To Avoid Months Of No Direct Sunlight

July 26, 2013


The Norwegian town of Rjukan sits in a deep valley that receives no direct sunlight for 82 days of the year. So what did the town do? Pack up their bags, burn the village to ashes, and move somewhere else? NOPE. Installed three 300-foot mirrors to aim a single beam of light into the town square. *standing in beam* Weird, I still feel depressed.

A few days ago, helicopters descended on the 3,500-person town to install three huge rectangular mirrors on the face of the mountains that pin Rjukan in on either side. Technically, these are heliostatic mirrors, which are controlled by a central computer that tilts their positioning to reflect the sun onto a specific, static location.

The "hot spot," in this case, is a 2,000-square-foot circle on the town square--soon to be converted into an ice rink (apparently, the reflected light still won't be terribly warm).

Okay, so here's the plan-- "Use a giant magnifying glass to concentrate the beam and set the town ablaze?!" What? No! Well, not until they fail to deliver the ransom anyways. Remember: good plans have steps.

Hit the jump for a shot of the town and the conceptual light beam (which won't be tested until September).



Thanks to Jaucet and Lindsay, who purposefully leave hand mirrors resting precariously on the bathroom sink with the hopes a roommate will break them and get bad luck. Damn, that's cold!

  • Robin Manford

    Seems like it would have been more natural for the mirrors to be positioned/tilted so that the sunlight moves across the down during the day. It'd give more residents a share of the sunshine, too.

  • I'm guessing they're calling this 'art'.
    How much did this pointlessness cost?

  • Hikaritokage

    Reminds me of that one Junji Ito story with the mirrors in the village that looks like this one alot

  • Billy Rocka

    Should have used mylar. Creates no hot spots like a mirror and is far cheaper than broken shards of glass.

  • Tyler AitchKay

    what's with that last photo? Do they have a portal to the world from A-Ha's "Take On Me"?

  • Max Baldwin

    There is obviously more than one motive here...

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