C.Y. O’Connor Horse and Rider

Charles Yelverton O’Connor (11 January 1843 – 10 March 1902) was an Irish-born engineer who found his greatest achievements in Australia, before tragically committed suicide. His life has been commemorated in monuments across Australia, but his death is remembered by a bronze horse and rider who peek out of the waves off the coast of the beach where he died. Born at Gravelmount, Castletown, Meath, Ireland, in 1865 he migrated to New Zealand, where he worked initially on the locating and survey of a route for the first dray and…

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Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse: the picturesque cliffside beacon that no longer calls to sailors but shines once a year in honor of a famous shipwreck.

The cliffside lighthouse is built on a 41-meters wall of rock overlooking Lake Superior. The structure was designed by lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham and was completed in 1910 by the United States Lighthouse Service at a cost of $75,000, including the buildings and the land. It was built after the disastrous Mataafa Storm wrecked 29 ships in the area five years previous, and one of these shipwrecks, the Madeira, is located just north of the lighthouse. At the time of its construction, there were no roads to the area:…

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The Inca legend of Lake Titicaca and other mysteries about its origin

We are in Peru. The history of the creation of some local cities is sometimes based on the Inca mythological legends. One of the best known is the myth of the origin of Lake Titicaca, whose main characters are the inhabitants of Puno, a city in southeastern Peru, not by chance located on the shore of lake. Lake Titicaca is the biggest freshwater lake in the world. It is located in the Andes, on the border between Bolivia and Peru, with a surface elevation of 3,812 metres, and It’s always…

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La maison dans la Loire: the sunken structure that looks like the victim of a catastrophic flood.

Known simply as “La maison dans la Loire” (literally the House in the Loire), the three-storey building looks like the victim of a flood that once swept it away, but sometimes appearances can be deceiving…. If you walk along the river Loire, near the town of Lavau-sur-Loire, just a stone throw away from Nantes, are a rather unusual sight: a tilted building located right in the middle of the river. You’d think it was brutally swept away by some catastrophic flood, or something similar, but it was actually placed there…

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2nd March: Holy Wells Day

Of Norse origin, Ceadda was a deity connected to sacred, healing and underground waters and therefore also to springs and wells. Historians have not yet come to the conclusion whether Ceadda was a god or a goddess, although many favor the latter hypothesis, given the main attributes connected to the chthonic sphere and healing waters. Later she passed into the Celtic pantheon and here her symbol became the Crann Bethadh, that is, the Tree of Life. The tree ideally connected the underground world with the celestial one and its roots…

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The strange story of the Farne Island devils

The island that Saint Aidan (born around 590 and died in 651), an Irish monk that restored Christianity to Northumberland, (and later St Cuthbert) chose for his retreat was the largest and closest to shore of the Farne Islands, a volcanic archipelago off the coast of Northumberland, England. It is known as Farne Island (Farena Ealande), which may mean literally “Island of the Pilgrims”, and sometimes as Inner Farne. In summer, artic terns nest in the island’s carpet of sea campion and over-protective parents divebomb the heads of visitors treading…

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Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt, Dutch for “water quarter”, is a state of the art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer, in Ijburg district. The floating homes are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses, that float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pilons and they only move vertically with the changing tide. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a “no-nonsense, basic design” but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 65 km…

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Zipper Fastener Ship: the boat shaped like giant zip that looks like It’s opening the water

Japanese designer Yasuhiro Suzuki has created a unique boat shaped like a giant zipper puller that looks like it’s opening up the water when sailing. Unveiled as part of the Designart Tokyo 2020 event, the zipper puller boat, officially known as Zipper Fastener Ship, is the brainchild of Japanese designer who claims it was the result of a simple observation. He was looking down from the window of an airplane and saw a ship sailing through Tokyo Bay. The movement of the water as the boat passed created the illusion…

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January 11: Iuturnalia in honor of Juturna, goddess of the springs

The 11th January is the day in honor of Juturna, born as a nymph of the sources and later became a true goddess of the springs, ponds and streams. On this day the Vestals drew water from her sacred spring which they would then use in lustration rituals. In honor of the nymph, wreaths of flowers were thrown into the springs and fountains, whose waters were considered sacred. According to Plutarch and Gellius, her name derived from the verb “iuvare” (to benefit), because pure waters are beneficial for human beings.…

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Underwater abandoned Aquarium of Silver Cay, Bahamas

We are on Silver Cay, part of the city of Nassau and Island of New Providence, Bahamas. The Coral Island Marine Park is located on a small cay off of Nassau city and was once a popular tourist destination. Opening in 1987 by Coral World International, it was the biggest park developed by the company at the time, and it was an instant hit in Nassau becoming the leading tourist attraction in the city. It offered a museum, underwater observatory, shark, turtle and stingray pools, but also snorkeling trails and…

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Barra Head: the highest lighthouse in UK that shines from an abandoned island

We are in the island of Barra Head, the southernmost in the Outer Hebrides, an island unprotected from the ravages of ocean storms. In the fall of 1833, on October 15, the Barra Head Lighthouse lighted on for the first time, meant to help sailors near the island’s cliffs deal with the incredible waves. The lighthouse identifies the southern entrance to The Minch, a strait in north-west Scotland, separating the north-west Highlands and the northern Inner Hebrides from Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides. The 18-metre stone tower stands…

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Kiipsaare Lighthouse | Saaremaa | Estonia

The slender lighthouse (Kiipsaare Tuletorn in Estonian) off the coast of the Estonian island of Saaremaa, on the Harilaid peninsula, casually leans to one side, continually beaten by the tireless waves of the Baltic Sea. When the beacon was built, in 1933, it stood on solid ground, more than 25 meters in from the coast. However, over the course of the later 20th century, due erosion, the tower was literally set out to sea. So, the concrete structure has kept moving farther into the sea (or, rather, the sea has…

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England’s Bolton Strid: the most dangerous stretch of water in the world

The Bolton Strid, a narrow segment of the River Wharf in North England, is a picturesque stretch of river that looks like the type of place one might find fairies frolicking in the heath. However, it has a reputation that doesn’t quite suite its appearance, and just beneath the surface is a natural booby trap that has claimed a number of lives. It is informally known as the most dangerous stretch of water in the world, with an alleged fatality rate of 100% for everyone lucky enough to have fallen…

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The frozen lighthouse of Cleveland, Ohio

In Cleveland, Ohio, there is a lighhouse that is placed so close to Lake Erie, one of the Great Lakes of the Midwest, that a wonderful weather phenomenon takes place. Each winter, in fact, the West Pierhead Lighthouse is literally fully encrusted with ice. It started during the winter of 2010, when local Cleveland news stations began reporting on a gorgeous natural phenomenon: an ice sculpture rising from the waters of Lake Erie. But this wasn’t a work of art, but the lighthouse encased entirely in ice, looking like a…

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SS United States and its unknown fate

SS United States is an ocean liner that still makes America proud, even though it is now fully docked and immovable. Historically, It was initially inspired by ships from the United Kingdom. During the Second World War the United States required service from the United Kingdom to help them transport their soldiers to the shores of Europe. In order to do it, the United Kingdom put some of their best vessels up to the task: the famous RMS Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. Pleased with what they saw, the United…

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Roosevelt Island Lighthouse: a little lighthouse in New York surrounded by mysterious stories of insanity-driven construction

Built in 1872 and known then as the “Blackwell Island Lighthouse”, the 15-meters-tall stone lighthouse at the northern tip of Roosevelt Island was constructed, if the legends can be believed, by the deranged occupants of a nearby insane asylum. But what’s not in doubt is that it was built by the city as a navigation aid for boats avoiding the rocks in the so-called “Hell Gate” waters. Historically, for nearly two centuries, Blackwell was the name that identified the island that lies in the East River just off Manhattan. For…

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Whiting: the natural phenomenon that causes Nevada’s Lake Pyramid to turn turquoise

Once every 7 to 10 years, a remote lake in Nevada experiences an algae boom so significant that its color changes from dark blue to a vibrant turquoise, in a phenomenon known as “whiting”. Located in a remote desert area of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes’ Reservation, about 40 miles northeast of Reno, Lake Pyramid is famous for the whiting events that occur there every decade or so. In the course of a few weeks the water turns light blue, turquoise, and, in rare cases, even white. Despite this spontaneous…

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Fingal’s Cave, the “Cave of Melody” in Scotland

Usually you not hear, in the same sentence, names like Queen Victoria, Matthew Barney, Jules Verne, and Pink Floyd but, strangely enough, there is a place that they all share. We are on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. Known as Fingal’s Cave, it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world. At 22 meters tall and 82 meters deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars that make…

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Holy Well of St. Madron – Cornwall

Cornish culture is legendary and mystery awaits around every corner in its land. Despite holy wells are water sources with specifically Christian associations, identified from as early as the 6th century AD, and the custom of venerating springs and wells as sacred sites have characterised pre-Christian religions in Britain, it is clear that some originated as earlier sacred sites. The cult of holy wells continued throughout the medieval period. Its condemnation at the time of the Reformation, around 1540, ended new foundations but local reverence and folklore customs at existing…

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Wreck of the MV Creteblock – North Yorkshire, England

Probably the name “Creteblock” seems rather strange for a vessel, but it’s extremely accurate for one that was essentially just a concrete block. Although concrete might at first seem to be a wholly impractical and rather cumbersome material to use in shipbuilding, in fact it makes a lot more sense than you might think. For boats over 7 meters long its often the cheapest and easiest material to employ. It doesn’t need a weatherproof coating and it won’t rust. Also a 10 meters, 8 ton displacement vessel made of wood…

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The mystery of WWII bomber plane that still lies in North Carolina’s Badin Lake

Apparently some North Carolina lakes of considerable depth generate as many legendary tales, expecially fish tales, but not only. Badin Lake, just outside the town of Albemarle, is not an exception. Created in 1917 by the damming of the Yadkin river, the 5300-acre lake reaches depths of over 60 meters and holds in its belly the remains of farmhouses and entire forests, as well as, according to a legend, the mysterious wreckage of a World War II B-25 Mitchell bomber. As story goes, Mary Elizabeth McDaniel hurried through an early…

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Kaizō-ji temple and its legends – Japan

Kamakura was the capital and religious center of Japan from the 12th-14th centuries. The city is scattered with medieval Shinto shrines and numerous Buddhist temples, including temple Kaizō-ji, which dates back to 1253. Due to the fact that flowers bloom all year long on its grounds, Kaizō-ji is commonly known as “the Flower Temple”, but it is also popular for its Sokonuke-no-i, a legendary “bottomless well” located in front of the gate. Of course the well is far from bottomless, and it originates from a 13th-century poem written by a…

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The beautiful old shipwrecks visible from sky above to crystal clear water of Lake Michigan

In these days of quarantine, in which nature seems to be reborn thanks to the forced interruption of human activities, many photographs circulating on the web of clear waters, or animals that reclaim spaces previously occupied by man. The images of wrecks that stand out distinctly on the bottom of Lake Michigan, in the United States, could seem to be taken these days, due to the extraordinary transparency of the water. Instead, each spring on this lake, if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see shipwrecks due to the incredibly…

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The White Spring: a dark Victorian well house now plays host to mystical waters and pagan shrines.

We are in England. It is one of the greatest mysteries of Avalon, the legendary island featured in the Arthurian legend, that two different healing springs, one touched red with iron, the other white with calcite, should rise within a few feet of each other from the caverns beneath Glastonbury Tor, and both have healing in their flow. The quaint sculpted gardens of the Chalice Well surround Glastonbury’s most famous natural water source, the Red Spring, so called for the iron oxide it deposits in its basin. But just opposite…

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The New York City’s cemetery where ships go to die

As with the legendary elephants’ graveyard, ships go to die at Rossville on Staten Island, although this wasn’t always the original intent of the space. Squeezed between Staten Island and New Jersey is Arthur Kill waterway (“Kill” is merely a dutch word for “creek”, in this case not as creepy as it sounds) and the Witte Marine Equipment Company. Since the 1930s, the company would dredge, salvage, and resell materials from the wrecked and disused vessels of the New York and New Jersey waterways – the space originally being called…

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Blub swimming and leisure center – Berlin

A lost waterpark sits in the Britz area of Neukölln district in Berlin, Germany, or, at least, what remains of it. The place seems to be inhabited only by rats now, and all they wanted was to swim and frolic like anyone else, even if today the place is totally destroyed. And, It seems, that the problem of people was only rats and the thought of peaceful coexistence never even occurred to them. Allegations were made, with accusations and threats. Gangs of youths took over the pools, scared other people…

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Libreria Acqua Alta: one of the most interesting bookshop in the world.

Perched on a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea, the beautiful city of Venice evokes countless quaint aquatic images, from gondolas and vaporetti lumbering down the canals to tiny bridges arching between its sidewalks. However, sometimes, water becomes more than an idyliic backdrop to the city: strong tides in the Adriatic can cause water levels to rise, creating the so-called “Acqua Alta,” floods that force the lagoon to pour from the canals onto Venice’s sidewalks and into its buildings. Keeping a collection of books in a city where the roads are…

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St. Jacob’s Well – Kansas, between sightless fish and a ghostly cowboy~

St. Jacob’s Well is a water-filled sinkhole in the Big Basin Prairie Reserve just south of Minneola, Kansas. The Big Basin Prairie Preserve is 1,818 acres of native mixed grass prairie managed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. According to the legend, St.Jacob’s well it has never been empty, not even in the driest seasons. But that’s just one of the many popular stories about this mysterious body of water. One local story, that has been whispered through the century, is that the well is actually bottomless, or…

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The Library of Water

In the sleepy little town of Stykkishólmur, Iceland, is a very interesting long-term project known in the native Icelandic as “Vatnasafn” or “Library of Water”. It is a very interesting project that has set out to capture the spirit of Iceland through its waters, weather, and words. Located in a former library building built on a coastal promontory, this installation by American artist Roni Horn, is both an art piece and natural history collection, and it was created in 2007. There are three parts to the exhibition, the beautiful building…

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The almost forgotten charm of the Marsh Arabs of Mesopotamia

The two great rivers of ancient Mesopotamia, Tigris and Euphrates, rises in the Taurus mountains in southern Turkey, and after flowing through Turkey and then Syria, enters the vast desert kingdom of Iraq. Before it flows into the Persian Gulf, the rivers split into dozens of small streams and channels that meander across an enormous plain in southern Iraq forming what once used to be the largest wetland ecosystem of Western Eurasia, covering some 20,000 square kilometers. In this vast fertile region, civilization was born some 5,000 years ago. After…

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