Akureyri Heart-Shaped Traffic Lights

All we know that Icelandic winters can be very cold. With six months of darkness and icy storms that close roads and bridges, much of the country becomes inaccessible from October to April. This is the reason which led many residents to vacation through the winter months and financial instability can often make these much-needed breaks impossible, as was the case during the Icelandic financial crash of 2008. Despite the economic insecurity and hardships of winter, the northern city of Akureyri was determined not to lose a positive spirit, and…

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Clown Motel: One of the weirdest hotels in America~

Known for its low prices and terrifying interior design, the motel has become a destination in its own right, not least because there is little else in the town of less than 3000! Probably Nevada’s Clown Motel may seem like the product of a horror writer’s vivid imagination, with its army of glassy-eyed clown dolls and convenient proximity to the most haunted hotel in Nevada and a Wild West cemetery that holds the (maybe unquiet) remains of local miners……however, the dusty little lodging is just a place full of merriment.…

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Ortona, Italy: Moro River Canadian War Cemetery

Near Ortona, in the region of Abruzzo, Italy, there is a place that links Italians and Canadians: the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery. The Battle of Ortona was Canada’s bloodiest battle in the World War II Italian Campaign. A deep water port on Italy’s east coast, the town of Ortona’s capture by the Canadians was strategically important but also very dangerous. It was a key German command centre and Hitler ordered troops, seasoned from years of war, to defend Ortona at all costs. For eight days, soldiers clashed in hand-to-hand…

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The Mizpah Hotel: Nevada’s Most Haunted Hotel~

The historic Mizpah Hotel was once the most luxurious and modern hotel in the southwestern United States. The hotel was nicknamed the “Grand Old Lady” for its refined elegance and upscale atmosphere. Built in 1907 when the central Nevada town of Tonopah was at the height of its silver boom, it opened its doors to provide a place to amaze and woo potential investors from the East. So, It quickly became the town’s epicenter and, with its five floors, spent 25 years as the tallest building in the state of…

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England’s (almost) forgotten pet massacre of 1939

In the first week of September, 1939, London’s animal shelters were overflowing with guests. The queues of people and their pets meandered down the streets in a typically British manner, calm, dignified and orderly. However, the owners of dogs, cats, rabbits and even parrots and other birds who were waiting to visit vets and animal charities were harbouring a terrible secret. All pet-owners were waiting to euthanize their pets, even if none of the animals were dying, and none of them were even sick. The distraught Londoners had brought them…

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Los Angeles: The Museum of Death

The Museum of Death, a showcase of just that, was originally founded in San Diego in June, 1995, when James Healy and Cathee Shultz decided to fill the void in death education in this country and made death their life’s work. It began as a hobby of the founders: they would write to serial killers they were interested in, and then show off the artwork their pen pals had created once a year at a specialist show. In 1995, after a few years of exhibitions, the collection, and many other…

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The entrance of Bockenheimer Warte Subway Station of Frankfurt: a tram crashing into the sidewalk!

Try to imagine a scene in a Marvel movie in which the Hulk has picked up a tram car and rammed it into the sidewalk. That’s kind of what the entrance to the Bockenheimer Warte subway station looks like! The Bockenheimer Warte subway station is an important interchange station to the west of Frankfurt’s city center. Although inside it is similar to many others around Germany and the world, it is very easy to spot from above ground because the entrance looks like a tram car half buried in the…

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Garum: the bizzarre sauce that tells the story of Ancient Rome.

Probably romans needed a recharge after a rousing chariot race, dining with at least one food seasoned with this popular fermented fish sauce known as garum. The original Roman Garum was not an appetizing condiment. Lets face it: to the average stomach of modern man, there can be few things more disgusting than the thought of a spatter of fermented fish guts over your roast, which is basically what garum was. Even for the entrails-loving Romans, the smell of garum during the process of fermentation was said to be so…

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Just one note: history of the shortest concert ever!

The summer of 2007 was an exciting year for White Stripe fans in Canada: Jack White and Meg White of the former legendary rock duo The White Stripes and their entourage set across the country and vowed to play every Province and Territory. Something no other band or artist had done on one tour before! Along the way the White Stripes would show up at various and non announced places and play a quick set in a pub or in a studio like in Calgary or shoot off a canon…

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“Sokushinbutsu”: the self-mummification ritual and the myth of non-death

Although the Japanese climate is not exactly conducive to mummification, somehow a group of Buddhist monks from the Shingon sect discovered a way to mummify themselves through rigorous ascetic training in the shadow of a particularly sacred peak in the mountainous northern prefecture of Yamagata. If for Christians the death represents the moment of transition towards eternal life, which should be much better than the brief earthly existence, for Buddhists life and death chase each other in an eternal cycle of reincarnation, from which it is possible to go out…

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Leonid Rogozov: the man who cut out his own appendix

Leonid Rogozov, a russian surgeon, was part of the sixth Soviet Antarctic expedition – a team of 12 had been sent to build a new base at the Schirmacher Oasis. The Novolazarevskaya Station was up and running by the middle of February 1961, and with their mission complete the group settled down to see out the hostile winter months. He was the only doctor present at Novolazarevskaja Station and, while he was there, he was forced to perform an appendectomy on himself, in one of the popular case of self-surgery.…

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Plaza de Toros de Acho in Lima, Perù. The oldest in the Americas

We are in Lima, Peru. Built over 250 years ago, the Plaza de Toros de Acho is the oldest bullring in the Americas but not only: perhaps surprisingly, considering its New World location, it’s also the second-oldest active bullring in the world after the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza in Seville, Spain. Already in 1765, a full 56 years before Peru declared its independence from Spain, Agustín Hipólito de Landaburu y Ribera, a wealthy landowner and colonial official in the Viceroyalty of Peru, decided to build a majestic…

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The most original cruise? Around the world on a Cargo Ship!

Of course, no tour operator will offer it to his customers, but for some, especially for lovers of unusual travel, it could be the kind of trip to try at least once in their life! Probably not many people know that it is possible to reach the most remote corners of the earth by traveling on container ships, which measure over 600 meters in length, and which welcome paying guests, passengers who choose an unusual way of traveling the world. Cruising on a cargo ship is probably the least known…

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21 grams: the experiment that measured the weight of the Soul

It was 1901, and Duncan MacDougall, a physician from Haverhill, Massachusetts, thought of measuring the weight of the soul, intrinsically proving its existence. According to him, at the moment of passing away the human body would lose the weight of its soul, free to migrate to other places than our mortal remains. MacDougall, who wished to scientifically determine if a soul had weight, identified six patients in nursing homes whose deaths were imminent. MacDougall recorded their weight during the hospitalization, and when the patients looked like they were close to…

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McBarge: The floating restaurant that McDonald’s unveiled at the Expo 1986.

Before the 2010 winter olympics, Expo ‘86 was the biggest event Vancouver had ever hosted. Held to celebrate the city’s centennial, this world’s fair is often credited as launching the city into a major tourist destination. And while several stadiums and other buildings built for the event have served the city’s civic life well enough in the years since, one rusting relic sits forlornly in a nearby inlet, despite ongoing attempts to save it. The “McBarge”, as it has been lovingly nicknamed, was built as either the world’s first or…

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Rocca Calascio: the highest castle in Italy

Rocca Calascio is considered one of the most fascinating places In the world and is immersed in an unique landscape telling the tale of a territory that is still largely to be discovered. Its story starts in the Middle Ages near the Gran Sasso, the highest mountain in central Italy. The castle is located in the municipality of Calascio, in the province of L’Aquila and lies within the National Park of the Gran Sasso and Mountains of the Laga. Perched atop a rocky peak 1,460 meters above sea level, Rocca…

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge: the most popular non-fatal engineering disaster in U.S. history~

The Tacoma Narrows Bridge at the time was the third-longest suspension bridge behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge, and was opened on July 1, 1940. A little more than four months later, on November 7, it collapsed into Puget Sound, the complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington. The Narrows Bridge, which spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, not far from Thornewood Castle of Lakewood and…

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‘A Bella Mbriana: a love legend along the narrow streets of Naples

The history of Naples is full of legends and myths, which are lost between truth and fantasy, between streets and alleys, between lights and shadows. The love legend of ‘A Bella Mbriana is one of these and, along with the Munaciello, one of the most popular. Unlike the Munaciello she is the good spirit of the house, depicted many times as a beautiful woman well dressed in white. A myth, a legend, which tends to disappear among the new generation, yet very rooted in popular belief. Even the popular Neapolitan…

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A revolutionary war Sugar House prison window in downtown Manhattan

Hidden away on a wall of the New York City Police Department Headquarters there is a mysterious window. It is embedded in the wall, and made of an ancient brick which doesn’t match the ones surrounding it, and it is set with a row of ominous, rusted iron bars. It is thought that this is the remains of a terrible prison dating back to the Revolutionary War that stood on the same site: the infamously brutal Sugar House Prison. Now hundreds of New Yorkers pass it daily, hurrying to and…

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Cripta de los Héroes: the final resting place for many of Peru’s greatest military heroes.

We are in Lima: the historic (and supposedly haunted) Cementerio Presbítero Matías Maestro is the most famous cemetery in Peru. Inaugurated in 1808, it now contains 766 mausoleums and 92 historic monuments. Among them is the Cripta de los Héroes (Crypt of the Heroes), the final resting place for many of Peru’s greatest military heroes. The Crypt was inaugurated on September 8, 1908, to house the remains of Peruvian military heroes who fought in the 19th-century War of the Pacific. During this war against Chile, the allied nations of Peru…

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La Llorona: the legend of the weeping woman of Mexico and Southwest America

The legend of La Llorona, which literally means in Spanish language “Weeping Woman”, has been a part of Hispanic culture in the Southwest America and Mexico since the days of the conquistadores. It is one of Mexico’s most famous oral legends and the tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers and creeks, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave. No one really knows the origins…

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The macabre beheaded portraits of the Victorian era

It’s true: the Victorians beated the internet taking bizarre pictures which show 19th Century Photoshop! My personal opinion: for many graphic designers (I humbly beg your forgiveness, but I can’t defining them photographers) it is not easy to remember the world before Photoshop and digital photo editing. Despite this, probably some people believe that, before the advent of technology, photographs were simple representations of reality at the time of shooting. However, these amusing pictures show how the Victorians were the first to edit photographs to create some rather bizarre images.…

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The old City Hall subway Station, New York.

The first New York City subway was built and operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT) and opened on October 27, 1904, to the joy of its inhabitants. City Hall was the ceremonial terminal, the place where the mayor could show off the subway built with the people’s money to benefit the greatest city in the country. The City Hall station on the IRT local track was embellished with fine architectural details, including a sharply curved platform, a Guastavino tile arched ceiling, brass chandeliers (blackened in World War II),…

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Skulls and bones at San Francisco Monastery catacombs in Lima, Peru

We are in Lima, Peru. Franciscan Monateries depend a lot on donations made by the well-to-do patrons and the San Franciso Monastery is no exception. It is located near the Plaza Mayor (main square) in Lima. There are lot of paintings along the inside corridors of the monastery, and interestingly enough, some of the faces on the paintings have been erased or removed. According to a local source, the figures in the paintings are those of generous patrons and donors. If the patron stops his donation to the monastery, his…

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The most dangerous roads in the world that will convince you to re-evaluate the roads you usually frequent!

Do you think you are an experienced driver who can drive anywhere? You probably don’t know death roads! From England to Norway, passing through the Andes to Bolivia: here’s the most dangerous roads in the world. For thousands of years the roads have provided a safe and efficient means of transporting goods and people. However, some of them are busy arteries with very high frequency of fatal accidents, others are high, narrow and winding roads, absolutely frightening to go, while most are lost lines in remote corners of the world.…

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Tsuneko Sasamoto: the first Japanese Photojournalist who still works at 105 years

Tsuneko Sasamoto was born in Tokyo on September 1st 1914. Although photography had been invented the previous century, it was still a not very common practice, mostly a studio work. World War I had begun a little over a month, television was far in the future and some of the inventions that would have characterized the 20th century, such as airplanes, telephones or cars, were in the early stages of dissemination. Tsuneko grows in the Japanese capital, and manages to become the first female photojournalist in her country, shortly before…

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Lakewood, Washington: Historic Thornewood Castle and its ghosts

This magnificent three story manor home was built by Chester Thorne, who was one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma (a major seaport and top 10 U.S. container port), as a gift to his bride, Anna. After almost four years of works, the 2.500 square meters manor was finally ready in 1911 and only the very best went into its building, including 400-year-old bricks from an original English castle. Designed by a famous architect, Kirkland Cutter, this English Tudor/Gothic mansion, having 54 rooms, including 28 bedrooms and 22…

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Ariduka55: the japanese illustrator and his world where humans live among giant animals.

A super creative mysterious illustrator from Japan, imagines the world like no other. On social media, the artist is known as Ariduka55, or Monokubo, and it seems artist loves cats the most, even if there are a lot of other cuddly animals like pandas, rabbits, raccoons and others, and they are all giant creatures! “A world where you can surrender yourself to sleep on a giant ball of fur is a world where you wouldn’t be able to get any work done. A perfect world.” In this world people are…

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Grand Hotel Bolivar is thought to be one of the most haunted places in Lima, Peru.

We are in Lima: here, the Gran Hotel Bolivar was opened in 1924 in the hope of modernizing the city as a place to house dignitaries visiting the Peruvian capital. During the subsequent half-century, it was the hotel of choice in Lima for Hollywood stars, in addition to acclaimed authors and rock legends. However, then began its slow decline, along with rumors of an interesting paranormal activity. Back in its heyday, the Gran Hotel Bolivar was an unique place to stay in Lima. Built by government request on state property…

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The disturbing Victorian fashion of very long hair in 35 Photos

The Victorian era technically spanned from June 20, 1837, until Queen Victoria’s death on January 22, 1901. This was a rather peaceful time in the United Kingdom, a change from the highly rational Georgian period that preceded it. Many people, including myself, are fascinated by this historical era, from the architecture to the etiquette, and right down to the way they dressed and spoke. Photography was also on the rise, and was much more accessible than previous years. Because of this, we have some very beautiful portraits and pictures from…

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