India: Skeleton Lake of Roopkund~

Roopkund, locally known as Mystery Lake or Human Skeletons Lake, is a high altitude glacial lake at Uttarakhand state of India. The area is uninhabited, in the Himalayas at an altitude of 5,029 metres, and surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains, the lake is a popular trekking destination. It is a shallow lake, having a depth of about two metres, which has attracted attention because of the human skeletal remains that are visible at its bottom when the snow melts. The remains lay in the lake for 1,200 years…

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Monterey Peninsula in California: Pebble Beach, ghost trees and the ghost of a Lady in Lace ~

Pebble Beach was the original name of the rocky cove located on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula in California. The owners of the near-by Hotel Del Monte purchased the cove and surrounding area and constructed a scenic drive throughout the property. The drive was 17-miles long (about 27 kilometers) with the Hotel being both the starting and finishing point for any excursion. Today, the Monterey Peninsula is home to eight public and private 18-hole golf courses. In the area, there are also haunting and beautiful trees, but doomed to die: the…

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Qatar’s Hamad International: the most luxurious airport of the world?

When we travel by plane, we know that it’s best to get to the airport at least two hours ahead of departure time. However, anyone flying via Qatar’s Hamad International might want to double or even triple the time to stay to this gleaming, ultramodern airport, which is probably the most luxurious on the world. Opened in 2014 with the ambition of turning the Arabian Gulf city of Doha into a global aviation hub serviced by Qatar Airways, now houses more than 30 million travelers a year. Every floor of…

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Villa Nani Mocenigo and the legend of the sad Countess

Villa Nani Mocenigo is one of the Renaissance villas that adorn the Polesine area. It is located in Canda, a small town in the province of Rovigo, and the locals consider it the most magnificent among the various residences left by the Venetian lords of the sixteenth century. The date of beginning of construction is uncertain, even if some documents place it around 1580. The author is probably Vincenzo Scamozzi, architect and pupil of Palladio, but there are also those who think it is the work of Baldassarre Longhena, architect…

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The Ma’Nene Festival in Indonesia: the mummies of the dead return to visit their loved ones.

As we know, all cultures have their own way of celebrating those who have passed away, but in Indonesia, in the province of Tana Toraja, funeral rites are a little “different” from the usual. The Ma’Nene ritual is the festival of ancestor worship. When a person dies, the body is mummified with natural ingredients and buried in rock tombs. The mummification process allows the preservation of the corpse and allows the family to return to exhume it! The Torajan people proudly display their dead relatives after digging them up and…

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Villa Rodella: the most important asset confiscated in Veneto, now is abandoned.

Villa Pasqualigo-Pasinetti-Rodellana was built in 1500 in Cinto Euganeo (Padua). Belonged to several Venetian lords (as many as its names) it is better known as Villa Rodella. In 2005 it became the property of the former Governor of the Veneto Region and former Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Culture, investigated in the investigation into the Mose scandal for corruption. According to the Judiciary, the bribes that he would have accepted for the realization of the project have been invested in the restructuring of the Villa. This is the main…

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Kitsault: the canadian ghost town where lights are on but no one is at home~

If you think about any ghost town, you’ll probably imagine roofless houses, broken windows, dirty floors and vandalized areas. That’s true? Not at Kitsault, on the North Coast of British Columbia, Canada. Here you’ll find rows upon rows of perfect houses, but also shopping centers, restaurants, banks, pubs and theaters, all abandoned, of course, but all untouched and very preserved. The town’s lights are always on, with streets lined with plentiful trees and lawns are freshly mowed. However, no one live in Kitsault since 1982! The town of Kitsault, close…

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Klaus Störtebeker: the legendary German pirate who deceived death

Although over the centuries the reputation of Klaus Störtebeker (1360-1401) took on a legendary aura, almost like a German Robin Hood, in real life he was probably a pirate not different to the others: ruthless, brutal and prone to drunkenness. He is known as Germany’s most famous pirate and was a leader and the best known representative of a companionship of privateers known as the Vitalienbrüder. If they were originally hired during a war between Denmark and Sweden to fight the Danish and supply the besieged Swedish capital Stockholm with…

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Milan and its first forgotten airport.

Few people know that the first ever Milanese airport was neither Linate nor Malpensa. The latter, although born in 1909, became a reference point for the Milanese industrialists only in 1948. Instead Linate airport was born in 1932, when the Podest Marcello Visconti di Modrone proposed to the Minister of Aviation Italo Balbo the construction of a new airport. 1910 is officially the year in which Milan and the Milanese began to fly. Small or large, all cities around the world have a history made of moments that determine their…

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Houtong: the old Taiwanese mining village saved by cats.

Once, it was a prosperous mining village in Ruifang District of Taiwan, renowned for its rich, well-preserved railway culture with the old Yilan Line which was built during the Japanese colonial period for transporting resources out of northern Taiwan. Houtong was a train stop on the Yilan Line, and at one point was, with around 220,000 tons of coal per year, one of the largest providers of coal in the country: the largest amount of coal yielded in a single area in Taiwan. This attracted many immigrants to the area,…

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Kouign-Amann: one of the fattiest pastry in the world.

Here we are: French culinary traditions are a never-ending story and every town boasts of their own tasty specialties. The north-western tip of France, bathed with cold waves of the Atlantic ocean, belongs to Brittany: Bretons are proudly different from the rest of France, have their own language, customs and favorite foods. Slightly salted butter plays a key role in their cuisine. Kouign-amann is one of the first examples of Breton flavors. Some Bretons claim that their creation treat is the fattiest pastry in the world, and I fear that…

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The Belgrade Phantom: the thief who for 10 nights mocked the Yugoslav police.

In August 1979, a stranger then nicknamed the Phantom of Belgrade drove the city police forces mad, which probably thanked heaven for the absence of President Josef Broz Tito, who went to Cuba to attend the conference of non-aligned countries. If Vladimir Vasiljević is not a known name in the world, the story of his little personal rebellion, during the years of President Tito’s government in Yugoslavia, deserves to be told. Before the return of the Yugoslav leader, the police force was subjected to strong pressure the capture of the…

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All roads lead to Rome: a tangible reality or just an ancient expression?

All roads lead to Rome: the ancient expression used since the Roman Empire, never really fallen into disuse, is it a tangible reality or just a hypothesis without foundation? Moovel Lab’s Benedikt Groß wanted to find out, and enlisted the help of digital geography expert Raphael Reimman and interactive designer Philipp Schmitt. They gave an interactive response that is really surprising. At least for Europe it is obvious: all roads lead to Rome! You can reach the eternal city on almost 500,000 routes from all across the continent. The bolder…

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Riverview Mental Hospital: More From British Columbia~

Abandoned insane asylums are some of the most chilling urbex destinations, and the West Lawn building of Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, British Columbia, abandoned since 1983, isn’t an exception. At one time Riverview Hospital was known as Essondale Hospital, for Dr. Henry Esson Young (1862-1939) and the neighbourhood where the hospital is located also became known as the Essondale neighbourhood, still today. There is a curious collection of stories and anecdotes from the staff of Riverview Hospital, called Riverview Reminisces and published in 1992. These are example of the stories…

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Blue Hawk Mine~

Unlike many reclaimed, abandoned mines, this Canadian cave system is still an interesting, dangerous maze. This is the Blue Hawk Mine, in woods of British Columbia, a rare example of abandoned mine that has not been turned into a boring attraction for adventurous tourists, but is still a dangerous and enigmatic abandoned site. It is located on the east slope of Blue Grouse Mountain, on the west side of Okanagan Lake, just a few kilometres from Downtown Kelowna. Historically the mine began operation in the 1934, but only produced ore…

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Hasanlu’s Lovers: a kiss 2,800 years long

Teppe Hasanlu, in northwestern Iran, is a famous archaeological site of a city that was excavated in 10 seasons between 1956 and 1974 by a team from the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania and the Metropolitan Museum. Over the years many findings of great historical value have been discovered, including a couple called “The Lovers”, which symbolizes eternal love. There are some very rare cases in which burials are occupied by two people, often due to catastrophic events such as wars or natural disasters. The two skeletons of Hasanlu, in…

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Saletta di Costanzana: the village between crime beat and cursed legends.

As we already know, the Vercelli area, in northern Italy, is often the scene of mysterious abandoned places often surrounded by disturbing legends, such as those linked to the principality of Lucedio and the nearby abandoned Darola cemetery. Not far away is Saletta di Costanzana, a small rural village very popular for its disturbing legends, stories that started by Giovan Battista Modena, a local historian, who in 1622 claimed to have found the bones of a gigantic body in the vicinity of the village. They would have testified that the…

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The Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint, Ireland. Santa Claus is buried here?

We are just outside the Irish town of Thomastown, in Kilkenny. According to a local legend, the remains of Father Christmas lie within the medieval grounds of what’s left of the abandoned medieval village of Newtown Jerpoint. The ruins of Saint Nicholas’ Church, which dates to sometime between the 12th and 13th centuries, still stand. Local legend has it that Saint Nicholas, the inspiration behind Santa Claus, is buried within a cracked, carved tomb in its grounds. The man buried there It’s more probably a local priest from Jerpoint Abbey,…

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“Where Shute Fell”: an utter mystery for over a century.

Imagine walking during an excursion on the island in Spot Pond populated only by nesting cranes, and come across a cryptic stone marker. Wouldn’t you ask yourself what it could mean? This is exactly what happened to many Bostonians while hiking on the island. Clearly carved into the stone are the words “WHERE SHUTE FELL”, words which seem so simple…however, no one alive today, or alive 100 years ago, is at all sure what they might exactly mean! What seems to be sure is that the stone bears three words…

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Isla de las Muñecas: the island of the hanged dolls in Mexico.

Beyond the Atlantic Ocean and precisely in Mexico City, there is a place that is decidedly creepy, recently become famous among the explorers of the unknown and the macabre, for the hundreds of dolls hanging from the branches of its trees. This is the Isla de las Muñecas, litterally, the Island of the Dolls. It is so named because of the presence of numerous dolls decidedly “unusual”: they are hanged to any tree, fence or vertical surface of the place and watching threateningly anyone approaching! It is an artificial island…

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The fool story of the Original “Gotham City” in England!

That’s true: Batman’s hometown wasn’t inspired by New York City, but this English village that pretended to be insane. We are near Nottingham, England, where is located the quiet town inspired NYC’s nickname and the fictional namesake in the DC Comics universe. One story goes that King John, also the villain in the legend of Robin Hood, was due to travel through Gotham on his way to nearby Nottingham. The sleepy medieval village of Gotham, or “Goat’s Town,” has by some stories been painted as town of fools, however other…

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Cruger, Mississippi: the Grave of the Lady in Red~

Cruger, Mississippi, is home to barely 400 residents. It lies within the confines of the large area of fertile agricultural lands known as the Mississippi Delta, and places nearby have unusual names, like Alligator Bayou, Mosquito Lake, or Mossy Island. Located near Cruger is Egypt Plantation, an active farming area of almost 2,000 acres in which heavy equipment during farming season are used. In summer of 1969, while farmhands were digging on Egypt Plantation, the backhoe operator felt a crunch: just about a meter beneath the topsoil, he had hit…

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The Venice Carnival: a history lasting over 900 years.

The Carnival of Venice, which has just ended a few days ago, if not the most grandiose, is certainly the best known for the charm it exerts and the mystery it continues to possess even now that 900 years have passed since the first document that refers to this famous celebration. Who has never heard of it? There are memories of the Carnival festivities since 1094, under the doge Vitale Falier, in a document that speaks of public entertainment in the days preceding Lent. Historically, It’s said that the Carnival…

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March 8: some curiosities about international women’s day

International Women’s Day is celebrated today, on March 8 every year. On this day, people celebrate womanhood, commemorating the inspiring role of a woman in our life. This is an event which started with a political flavour to secure the rights of women, has evolved over the years and is now a celebration of women’s struggle and fight for independence and liberalisation. The purpose of International Women’s Day is to bring attention to the social, political, economic, and cultural issues that women face. The organizers of the celebration state: “Through…

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The 10 most terrifying anonymous calls of all time.

The anonymous call is usually used as a telephone joke or to inform the police of some secrets without revealing their name. However, when it comes to phone calls, they are generally easy to track. Caller ID is a pretty common feature, and phone companies keep records of who calls whom, even if, apparently, this is an anonymous call. Not always a call has an innocent purpose, and there have been many cases in which anonymous phone calls have been the subject of debates and mysteries related to their veracity.…

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Morano sul Po: history of a circuit that didn’t make it.

Once upon a time, on the banks of the Po, a few kilometers from Casale Monferrato, there was an autodrome: the Morano sul Po circuit. A simple path, surrounded by a beautiful natural environment, not far from the Monferrato industries and a crossroads between the Turin of Fiat and the Milan publishing industry (here the very popular magazine “Quattroruote” did several test drives). Called “Circuit of Casale Monferrato”, given the greater importance that the historical center covered (and still covers) in the area, the track touches two municipalities, Morano sul…

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Mizu Shingen Mochi: it looks like a water drop but it is in reality a Japanese cake!

Its name is Mizu Shingen Mochi and it’s one of the most curious Japanese specialities. This unusual rice cake looks like a giant drop of water and its life is just 30 minutes, once pulled out of its mold, before returning to a liquid form. Its creators describe it as fresh and tasty, so soft as to…melt in your mouth! The preparation does not seem to be extremely difficult, but it is essential to dose the right amounts of ingredients to achieve the “Water Drop” effect. The recipe, that is…

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Mt. Moriah: the cemetery housing wild west legends in South Dakota.

It is said that often it’s possible tell the history of a town through its cemetery. This is a little cemetery in Deadwood, South Dakota, and buried in Mt. Moriah Cemetery, overlooking Deadwood Gulch, are western legends, folk figures, murderers, madams, children of misfortune, and Deadwood pioneers. In addition to the “normal” population, here there are four different sections in the graveyard: Potter’s field, where there are the graves of unknown people or settlers that came from Ingelside. They were buried without a stone or marker. Then there is a…

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Cecil Hotel: murders and suicides in the cursed hotel

The Cecil Hotel is one of LA’s most famous hotels, especially thanks to its dark history. Home to murderers, maniacs, and ghosts, some say the hotel is cursed. The Cecil Hotel is a hotel located in downtown Los Angeles and was built in 1924 by William Banks Hanner. This hotel had been created primarily for tourists and business people who obviously needed a place to stay. The original design of the hotel had to contain 700 rooms, which, however, were reduced to 600. Here, since 1950, began to happen unusual…

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Konstanz: the German city that avoided WWII bombing by pretending to be Switzerland

Europe, the old continent so rich in artistic, historical and architectural treasures, suffered incurable wounds especially during the World War II, in which centuries of history were swept away by bombing. Cities and communities in England, Germany and around the world feared death from above in the shape of bombing raids. Germany in particular suffered devastating air strikes which reduced most of its wonderful cities to a pile of rubble, like Dresden, or Munich (in Image below). An incredible exception is represented by the beautiful city of Konstanz, in south…

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