Massive Mirrors Brighten Norway's Winter DarknessThe town is normally cloaked in shadow for 7 months of the year
The huge sun mirror ('Solspeilet') set up on the hillside above Rjukan, to reflect sunlight down on the town square, is seen during its officially opening, on Oct. 30, 2013, in Rjukan, Norway, 100 years after the idea was first released. (KRISTER SOERBOE/AFP/Getty Images)
It can't be very fun to live in a town cloaked in shadow for seven months out of the year. In fact, it sounds downright depressing. That's why one town in Norway has decided to outsmart Mother Nature by installing mirrors to reflect sunlight onto their winter-darkened town this year.
The town of Rjukan, Norway, lies in the midst of looming mountains. Because the winter sun hangs low in the sky and is blocked by the hills, the town receives no direct sunlight between September and March each year. According to the Mirror Online, some residents are believed to suffer from seasonal affective disorder. To combat the seasonal woe, the town has used helicopters to hoist enormous mirrors atop the mountains which will reflect sunlight onto the town's main square.
The artist who designed the plans for the mirrors and obtained funding to have them installed described the project to the Mirror as, "a kind of health project to promote the well-being of people living in the shade."
Incredibly, Rjukan is not the first town to bathe its residents in sunlight via mirror. A town in northern Italy, Viganella, has already installed a similar system.
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