Mount Roraima: a floating island shrouded in clouds

Deep in the rainforests of Venezuela, mysterious highlands rise to more than 2,700 meters above sea level, but seen from above they look like islands floating on a sea of clouds. They are the tepuis, which in the native Pemón language means “the house of gods”, and the most popular of which is called Monte Roraima. Mount Roraima is surrounded by three different countries (Venezuela, Brazil, and Guyana) whose borderlines intersect on the massive shelf, with all four sides being sheer 400-meter high cliffs. Mount Roraima, part of Venezuela’s 30000-square-kilometer…

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In Japan Nestlé replaces the KitKat’s plastic packaging with paper to make origami cranes

Companies across myriad industries are pledging to make their products—and packaging—more sustainable. The abandonment of plastic by large multinationals is a growing trend, starting with LEGO, which is replacing that of its bricks up to Adidas, which makes soles with recycled plastic, or Mc Donald, which no longer distributes straws to all consumers. Another such company is the food and drink giant Nestlé, the largest in Europe, which announced in January that it had committed to exclusively issue 100% recyclable packaging for all its candy by 2025. As part of…

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Scotland: the curse of the Paisley witches.

We are in Paisley, Scotland. Here, any tragic events and misfortunes in the town over the last 300 years, they say, were caused by a curse. In the middle of a busy intersection sits a largely unremarkable circle of cobblestones surrounding a steel horseshoe centered within an anonymous circular bronze plaque. A person almost certainly wouldn’t notice it if they didn’t know it was there, but this modest memorial marks the final resting place of seven people convicted and put to death on charges of witchcraft. As story goes, It…

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Huis te Vraag Cemetery: a jewel hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam

When you wander among the ivy-clad graves that speckle this Victorian-era graveyard hidden within the outskirts of Amsterdam, thoughts of long coats, elegant dresses, post-mortem photographies and unrequited love easily come to mind. Walking around at Huis te Vraag is like walking through the garden of an ancient fairy tale, and the beauty of the overgrown plants is simply stunning. Anyway the land has a long history. Huis te Vraag, which means “House for Inquiry” in Dutch, probably got its name because in 1489, Austrian emperor Maximilian I asked for…

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Hotel Monte Vista – Arizona: a historic hotel along Route 66 and its guests~

Located along legendary Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona is the Hotel Monte Vista. A huge, old-fashioned neon sign towers over this historic hotel, hinting at what’s inside: feather lampshades, vintage furniture, bold colors and eclectic decor. Rooms are named for the movie stars who stayed here. Opening on New Year’s Day, 1927, the hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places has been fully restored to its former glory and continues to serve the traveling public still today. Over the years it hosted numerous popular characters like John Wayne,…

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Steilneset Memorial: a suggestive monument to the victims of the 17th century Norwegian witch trials

On the stark, barren coast of the Barents Sea in Vardø, Norway, there are pair of modern but impact structures known collectively as the Steilneset Memorial which honors the memories of the dozens of people killed during the 17th-century Vardø witch trials. In the seventeenth century, a series of witch trials occurred in Norway, of which the Vardø witch trials were among the most brutal. Over a hundred people were tried for witchcraft, with 77 women and 14 men being burned at the stake. The northern district of Finnmark, within…

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Kola Superdeep Borehole: 12 Km towards the Earth’s core

Someone said that the human beings knows more about certain distant galaxies than it does about the ground that lies beneath its very feet. In fact, while it took the popular Voyager 1 satellite 26 years to exit our Solar System, relaying measurements to Earth from 16.5 billion km away, it took about the same amount of time for humanity to penetrate a just 12 km into the Earth’s surface! Since the dawn of literature, the mystery that hides beneath the earth’s crust has been examined by illustrious poets, writers…

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The doomed city of Doel, Belgium

In the Flemish province of East-Flanders, there is a subdivision of the municipality of Beveren called Doel. Doel now is a belgian ghost town, located close to the port of Antwerp. However, in the very near future the little city will only exist in pictures and memories: it seems, in fact, that it is scheduled to be completely destroyed to make room for an expanding harbor. Even protest and the incredible street art in the abandoned town cannot stop its inevitable fate. For over 400 years, Doel stood near Antwerp…

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Malinta tunnel: war and ghosts in the Philippines

We are off the coast of the Philippines. Corregidor Island was a strategic place to hold during WWII, in fact the island was seen as the key to Manila, sitting just within its bay. As a result it was fought over by both the US and Japanese military, who both managed to secure the island at differing times. Being a place that was so brutally ravaged by war, Corregidor Island saw mass amounts of bloodshed and death, and it is thought to be one of the most haunted places in…

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The macabre egyptian “Voodoo” Doll, dated back about 3rd-4th Century AD

A binding spell is a magical formula intended to “bind” or restrain a person’s will or behavior. Examples of binding spells include love spells, attempts to silence enemies, or any other magic intended to force or restrain the behavior or actions of another person. Many binding spells involve the use of knots, pins, or other symbolic restraints. In most ancient spells, it is spirits or ghosts who are symbolically “bound” until they fulfill the demands of the spell caster. The binding spell is probably one of the oldest types of…

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A walk through the picturesque Windmills of Kinderdijk, the Netherlands

If tyou think “Holland”, you’ve probably already conjured the iconic images of tulips and windmills. And it’s very likely that the windmills you’re envisioning right now are that of Kinderdijk! Even if it may sound odd the name Kinderdijk translates in Dutch to mean “children’s dike.” According to a local legend, after a particularly terrible flood in the 15th century, known as Saint Elizabeth flood of 1421, the farming region of Grote Hollandse Waard flooded, but the Alblasserwaard polder stayed unflooded. As story goes, when the storm had subsided, a…

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”The big fish” of Northern Ireland

We are in Northern Ireland, along the banks of the River Lagan in Donegall Quay, Belfast. “The Big Fish,” also known as “The Salmon of Knowledge” (Irish: bradán feasa), is a sculpture made from a mosaic of ceramic tiles representing a creature of the Irish mythology. The giant sculpture is based on a character from the tale “The Boyhood Deeds of Fionn”, which recounts the early adventures of Fionn mac Cumhaill, a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology. The story tells of an ordinary salmon that eats nine hazelnuts that fell…

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The beautiful tiny church of St. Andrew on the Vuoksa River – Russia

Although it is an unusual custom, it is technically possible to built a church in an area of only 100 square meters, and this small church on an island in Russia proves it. Designed by Andrey Rotinova, this sacred building is relatively very recent, having been consecrated in 2000. The Saint Andrew church (Priozersky district of Leningrad Oblast) is so small that the Vuoksa river that runs around it, looks like a sea compared to the dimensions of the microscopic building. The church is named after one of the twelve…

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The mystery of the missing keepers at the Flannan Isles Lighthouse

The Flannan Isles, off the coast of northwestern Scotland and named after an Irish priest called St. Flannan, have been the subject of a mystery lasted over 100 years. On December 15th, 1900 a boat called Hesperus set sail for the island of Eilean Mor, one of the seven islets (also known as the “Seven Hunters”) of the Flannan Isles. Captain James Harvey was tasked with delivering a relief lighthouse keeper as part of a regular rotation. The journey was delayed a few days by bad weather, and when Harvey…

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Bottle with a person’s ashes and some money appears on a beach in the United States

Few days ago, a bottle containing a person’s ashes, letters from loved ones and money appeared on a beach in Florida, USA, more than a month after being thrown into the ocean. The glass bottle was found on a beach in Walton County and handed over to the local police on September 5th. Inside was a bag containing the ashes, a few dollar bills and two letters dated 1 August, according to the publication made by the Walton County sheriff’s office on his Facebook account. “This bottle contains the ashes…

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The wonder of change of the seasons on the island of Kotisaari in Lapland

Lapland, especially the territory that belongs to the extreme north of Finland, evokes typically winter images: expanses of snow and reindeer herds, Santa Claus and his village, and then the magical Northern Lights and the long and icy arctic night. Jani Ylinampa is a nature photographer based in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland. He‘s a real master of capturing the dancing Northern Lights, breathtaking sunsets, beautiful forests, lakes and other wonders of nature, and he‘s been doing it for almost 15 years. The splendid nature of the country is an inexhaustible source…

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The mystery of the Vampire of Highgate Cemetery in northern London~

In north London, England, in the old suburb of Highgate lies the homonymous cemetery. Here are approximately 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves across the Highgate‘s West Cemetery and the East Cemetery, a graveyard notable both for some of the people buried there as well as its status as a nature reserve. The cemetery’s grounds are full of trees, shrubbery and wildflowers, most of which have been planted and grown without human influence, including a 300 year-old Cedar of Lebanon. However, there can’t be many people with an interest (or…

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The Red Ghost of Quartzsite, Arizona~

Quartzsite, Arizona, is a small town with a passion for camels. Camels play a big role in this community’s history, so it’s no wonder that camel replicas pop up all over town. The town’s welcome sign is adorned with camels. Its graveyard is the final resting place for Hadji Ali, a camel herder for the U.S. military. The most recent addition isn’t new. It has simply returned from the dead. Or, in this case, the scrap heap! Just off of the 10 freeway sits Georgette, a scrap metal camel and…

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The bizarre medieval trials against animals

Even if it might seem bizarre to modern observers, animal trials were commonplace public events in medieval and early modern Europe. Pigs, cows, goats, horses, and dogs that allegedly broke the law were routinely subjected to the same legal proceedings as humans, in a court of law, where they were treated as persons. The history of animal trials has its roots in the Low Middle Ages, and saw a series of “beasts” being judged, in some cases executed, according to the normal human laws. From the thirteenth century until the…

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Point Nemo: the most remote place on Earth, and Space Vehicles cemetery

People often vaguely refer to “the middle of nowhere,” but as it turns out, scientists have actually figured out precisely where that point is. Point Nemo, the most remote location on Earth, is so far removed from civilization that the closest humans to that location at any given time are likely to be astronauts! The Nemo Point – The red circle indicates the distance to the nearest islands: Submerged in the depths of the Pacific Ocean lies the ancient city of R’lyeh, where it sleeps a sleep similar to the…

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A lost japanese village uncovered in the British Columbia forests

In 2004, a retired forester reached out to Capilano University archaeology professor Bob Muckle about investigating what looked like the remnants of an old logging camp in the forests of British Columbia, Canada. According to North Shore News, each spring for the next 14 years, Muckle took his students there to help him excavate what he now believes was a sort-of-secret Japanese settlement. The site is located on the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver. It’s approximately the size of a football field and…

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Hi Jolly: Quartzsite’s legend of a camel driver~

The thing most people notice right away when they enter the Quartzsite Cemetery is a stone pyramid topped by a copper camel. There’s an insteresting story behind its presence. The monument marks the grave site of a man they called Hi Jolly, who came to this country in the 1860s to act as a camel driver for the U.S. Army during an ill-fated attempt to use the animals as beasts of burden for military purposes in the deserts of the Southwest. During the mid-1800’s when much of the southwest of…

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A curfew has been introduced in Australia for “nuisance” cats.

Mount Barker council in Adelaide, Australia, says it will curb “delinquent” behaviour by the region’s cats and they need to stop roaming the streets by night. The council has vowed to crack down on the “nuisance behaviour” of local cats, passing new regulations to limit the number of felines per property and forcing owners to keep their pets inside at night. So, residents of Mount Barker will face penalties if their cats are found roaming the streets at night after the local council passed tough new regulations. The new by-laws…

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It’s Great To Be Alive! An unintentionally funny safety booklet from the 1950s

According to this 1950s Police Safety League booklet there is life threatening danger at every corner for the teen and pre-teen! Looking at these scanned images from the guide It’s Great To Be Alive!, two things are absolut obvious: kids from the 1950s were terrible bicycle riders and they also did a lot of stupid, dangerous things. So, just in the 1950s, was created a comic book to tell kids what hideous fates could befall them if they took risks and failed to spot danger signs. This little booklet didn’t…

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The “Unknown of the Seine”: the most kissed face of all time!

In the late nineteenth century, around 1880 the body of an unidentified young woman was pulled from the River Seine in Paris. The custom at the time with unknown bodies was to display them at the morgue so that friends or relatives of a missing person could visit and identify them. This body was no different from others, and was put on public display in the Paris Morgue in the hope that she would be recognised. However, one hundred years later, the young woman face is recreated tens of thousands…

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An evening at the theater in Vancouver: Vogue and Orpheum, and the resident ghosts!

Vancouver is a stunning mountain set city, but in addition it have a lively cultural scene fostered within ornate and historic theaters. Granville Street lies in the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district and is know as one of two of the most haunted places in town, at least, according to some. And they are both theaters! One of two haunted theater of Granville Street is the Vogue Theater. This art deco entertainment hub, located in the southern half of Granville Mall, was intended to function as a movie house and…

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Caracciolo Castle: an abandoned jewel in the heart of Abruzzo – Italy

Tocco da Casauria loses its origins between history and legend. The first information of an inhabited place in this territory is in the year 872. It was the primitive village of Tocco, so called because the term probably would mean “village on the rock”. A favorable and particularly strategic position then allowed that over time this small village became one of the most important social and cultural centers of the region. The epithet Casauria, on the other hand, will be added only much later, in 1862 to seal the link…

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The mystery of the abandoned plane on the Linate Airport runway.

From the 27th of July the Linate airport has closed its doors, the restoration works of the tracks, taxiways and the structures will last until the end of October. The usually crowded airport runways have been cleared and are now deserted. It’s well know that the airport of the city of Milan is preparing to undergo a transformation: the first of the interventions that will be carried out will be the rebuilding of the Linate take-off and landing runway, but also the restyling of the boarding area and the plant…

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The macabre Bohnický Hřbitov Cemetery, the ‘cemetery of fools’ near Prague

Behind a rusty gate, under tall, dark trees in the suburbs of Prague, there is an old graveyard that used to belong to the nearby mental asylum in the village of Bohnice, even if the last dead were buried here in 1963. The graveyard has been abandoned since then. Today not many people take care of this neglected cemetery and the graves have been robbed by thieves and marked by acts of vandalism throughout the years. Crosses have been stolen and sold for iron, tombstones have been taken and incorporated…

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Georgetown Castle: an allegedly haunted mansion with a tragic, tawdry past.

Victorian house in Georgetown looked like a dream home to me at first. But after the stories I heard, I probably wouldn’t even spend a night alone in the “Georgetown Castle.” In fact, it seems that the house is home to a healthy population of ghosts! In the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, most of the buildings are single story homes and, of course, house shaped. But if you’re searching for something different wherever you go, look no further than this building, located in the old, industrial area of Seattle, WA,…

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