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The Norwegian island that wants the world's first 'time-free zone'

Summer island has its own version of 'love locks' as clock-watching is actively discouraged. Credit: Gøran Mikkelsen.

The people of Norway's 'Summer Island' are campaigning to be officially recognised as having the world’s first ‘time-free zone’.

On Sommarøy in West Tromsø, north of the Arctic Circle, the sun doesn't set for almost 70 days from May until the end of July.

The locals like to make the most of the 10 weeks of daylight after three months in the winter when the sun doesn't rise at all.

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"Every summer from May 18th to July 26th, we who live here, enjoy our lives without the time-zone," Kjell Ove Hveding explains in a campaign video.

"If you want to paint your house at '2am', it's OK, if we want to cut the grass at 'midnight' we will, if we want to take a swim at '4am' we will.

"For these 70 days time simply is no object to us, that's why we want to be officially recognised as the world's first time-free zone.”

Many people on the island make a living through fishing and therefore make the most of the endless summer days. Credit: Gøran Mikkelsen.

The island has a population of over 300 people, with fishing and tourism as the main sources of income for the locals.

In a bid to make time a thing of the past on the island, a petition signed by residents was handed over to a Norwegian member of parliament who discussed how they might impose the rule.

The publicity of their campaign is bound to boost tourism to the area, but visitors will of course be encouraged to leave their wristwatches behind.

Sommarøy or 'Summer Island' wants to become the world's first 'time-free zone'. Credit: Gøran Mikkelsen