Category: bizarre

Flaming Door to Hell in the Devil’s Sandbox along Infamous Silk Road

March 22nd, 2013 Permalink

Out in the middle of a hot, dry Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, along the ancient Silk Road, Soviet-era scientists found a cavern of natural gas and started drilling. But the drill hit another pocket in the cavern, right before the ground collapsed, and the entire drilling rig disappeared into the huge Darvaza Gas Crater. Then poisonous gas started to pour out. So what did the scientists decide to do in order to avoid a potential environmental disaster? Burn it off. Genius! That was in 1971, but the flaming natural gas crater is still burning 42 years later. The locals dubbed it, “The Door to Hell.” Derweze can also be spelled Darvaza and that translates to “gate,” so it is sometimes referred to as “Hell’s Gate” or the “Gates of Hell.” [35 Photos]

Golden Eagle Silk Road, The Door to Hell in Darvaza, Turkmenistan

Back along the “Golden Eagle Silk Road” is the most famous crater, the Door to Hell. After a Soviet drilling accident in 1971, and a decision to burn the gas off, this hole — sometimes also called the Gates of Hell, Hell’s Gate — has been continually burning for 42 years. The locals named this huge gas reserve crater the ‘Door to Hell” because it is on fire with bright orange flames and has boiling mud. Derweze’s large crater is has a 230 feet (70 m) diameter. Photo #1 by Martha de Jong-Lantink

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Mythical Black Lions to Mystical, Marvelous Lion Hybrids: Ligers, Tigons, Jaglions

March 5th, 2013 Permalink

From mythical black lions, lions made black by mud, to marvelous white lions and mystical lion hybrids, here’s a look at what is myth and what real . . . even if some of these lion hybrids seem like they might not be real like ligers, tigons, jaglion, leopons, and lil-ligers. [49 Photos]

Majestic Black Lion

Mythical majestic black lion is a stunner, but it is manipulating our minds via the power of Photoshop as the designer showed the original lion image from which it was created. Yet there are some real lions and hybrid combinations that seem like they might not be real such as Ligers, Tigons, Jaglion, Leopons, Lil-ligers. . . . even though these lions do exist. Photo #1 by © PAulie-SVK (Paulie Design)

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‘Red Tide’ Phenomenon in Rainbow of Algal Bloom Colors [38 PICS]

March 2nd, 2013 Permalink

While you might not stop to think on it, water is full of algae and aquatic microorganisms that play a vital role in marine and fresh-water ecosystems. Not all algae is harmful, but when microscopic algae grows too quickly, then it can cause a phenomenon commonly called “red tide.” Scientists prefer the term algal blooms. Not all of these “red tide” algal blooms are red or dangerous, some even appear to glow with bio-luminescence, but harmful algal blooms can poison shellfish, fish or other wildlife. It’s no longer cool to call these “red tides” because red tides are very often not red; many have no discoloration at all. Red tide also is not the same thing as the wide variety of algal bloom species that are often mistakenly called red tides. Yet when the water appears blood red, which is rare, and dead fish are floating on the surface or the beach, then it freaks people out and rumors start flying about the “end of the world.” There are varying opinions about if it is “safe” to swim in a “red tide” which often comes in a rainbow of algal bloom colors . . . and shades of harmful algal bloom. Would you swim or fish in these waters? [38 Photos]

Red Tide at midnight

When water turns red, would you swim here? “Bioluminescent dinoflagellates (Lingulodinium polyedrum) lighting a breaking wave at midnight. The blue light is a result of a luciferase enzyme (like firefly luciferase, but the enzyme in L. polyedrum shares no similarity with that of the firefly enzyme). Under the right conditions, the dinoflagellates become so numerous that the water takes on a muddy reddish color (hence the name ‘Red Tide’). The bioluminescence is only visible at night. The photo was taken 6/26/2005 with a Canon Rebel XT – 6s, f5.6, ISO 1600, 85mm (135mm equiv).” Photo #1 by Mike (msauder)

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Heart Shapes From Above: 48 Giant Hearts on Earth

February 3rd, 2013 Permalink

In part one, 38 Great Hearts in Nature, we saw that there are heart shapes all around us if only we take the time to notice. There are also hundreds of giant hearts all over the Earth’s surface, but you must be looking down from above to see the heart shapes. This is a collection of giant heart-shaped nature-made and man-made lakes, woods, ponds as well as aerial and Bird’s eye map views hovering over the Earth’s hearts. [48 Photos]

Saxifrage Peak, Valentine Lake

Created by nature: Saxifrage Peak, BC. The photographer added, “The heart shaped ‘Valentine Lake’ in the foreground.” Photo #1 by Tim Gage

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38 Great Hearts in Nature: To YOU <3 Love, Nature

February 1st, 2013 Permalink

Happy February! Valentine’s Day is in this short month and there are heart shapes all around you if only you take the time to notice. Some photographers hunt out heart-shaped nature to capture and share. Do you suppose it’s a reminder that nature loves you? Or do people in love seem to see hearts everywhere? Most of these heart shapes are easy to see without cocking your head to the side and squinting. Take the time to start finding nature sharing her heart with you. To: YOU — Love, Nature [38 Photos]

The hole in the clouds allowing the sunlight is shaped liked a heart, Seen at Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy

Sun’s rays that the photographer called “Earth Light” as seen in Vibo Valentia, Calabria, Italy. The hole in the clouds allowing the sunlight is shaped liked a heart. Photo #1 by Giacomo Bartalesi

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Living Rainbow: Rainbow Eucalyptus, Most Beautiful Tree Bark on Earth [36 PICS]

January 29th, 2013 Permalink

Does a living rainbow exist? Yes! Extremely cool yet natural outdoor coloring can be found under the shade of this living rainbow. The Rainbow Eucalyptus is truly one of the most amazingly stunning trees and it definitely has the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. [36 Photos]

Rainbow Eucalyptus

While this may appear to be a cool tree with camouflaged bark, it actually continues to morph in all the colors of a rainbow. If you enjoy the forest, then you probably like trees. This isn’t Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but somewhere under the rainbow, so if you don’t live in a warm, moist climate, then you might not have ever come across the most beautiful bark of any tree on Earth. With bright and uniquely-colored trunk and branches, the Rainbow Eucalyptus is “one of the most amazingly colorful species of tree,” noted the photographer. Photo #1 by Roberto Verzo

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Wait, You Are Where? 44 Unusual Place Names [69 PICS]

January 18th, 2013 Permalink

If you’ve ever lived in or visited a town with an especially peculiar name, then you’ve experienced another person giggling or snickering before asking, “No really; where are you?” There are thousands of such strangely rude street names, but many times it is a town itself with the odd name. For example, by 1994 the U.S. Geological Survey listed 60 places within the USA with ‘Hell’ in the name. Worldwide there are some extremely bizarre or otherwise unusually named towns, villages, cities, counties and even mountains. Some places are named after swear words or other controversial and offensive terms not usually mentioned in polite company. The names of some other places do not have sexual undertones in their native language, but seem that way due to the “English” pronunciation. Very often, the town experiences a high number of sign thefts. There are probably thousands of such places, but here are 69 photos of 44 unusually named places that are strange, rude, or cause a childishly funny giggle. [69 Photos]

Intercourse, Pennsylvania welcome sign

Intercourse, Pennsylvania welcome sign. On the amusing Wikipedia list of unusual names, it said of Intercourse, “Oh, those crazy Amish…”. Intercourse was founded in 1754 and the current population is about 1,558. Signs in this town are often targeted by thieves. Photo #1 by Derek Ramsey

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New Year’s Day Adrenaline Rush: Polar Bear Plunge [50 PICS]

December 29th, 2012 Permalink

If you are adventurous and like adrenaline rushes, then have you considered starting off the New Year with a polar bear plunge? “Polar Bear Swims”, “Plunges”, or “Dips”, are a New Year’s Day tradition in numerous countries. Thousands upon thousands of brave souls race toward the icy cold water and then make a mad dash back out. In the USA, folks are freezin’ for a reason as most polar bear plunges are to raise money for a charitable organizations. In Canada and the Netherlands, polar bear plunges are associated with New Year’s Day. 36,000 people participated in ‘Nieuwjaarsduik’, New Year’s dive, January 1st 2012 in the Netherlands. Since 1960, every New Year’s Day, at least 10,000 people dive collectively into the icy cold sea water at Scheveningen which is the Netherlands’ main beach resort town. While New Year’s Day is not the only day for taking up such an extreme sport, for some it is Superbowl Sunday, one thing is the same worldwide for people in polar bear swims . . . the look of shocked faces as if they cannot believe the water is that cold or that they took part in a polar bear plunge. Whether it’s brave, stupid, or simply invigorating, kudos to all those folks! [50 Photos]

Polar Bear Swim in Kangasala, Western Finland

Polar Bear Swim in Kangasala, Western Finland. The photographer added, “Polar bear swimming on Christmas Eve. It was -26 C (-14 F) out and +90 C (+195 F) in the sauna.” Photo #1 by Karri Ojanen

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Ho Ho Ho! Bring on the Snow: 40 Christmas Snow Globes

December 10th, 2012 Permalink

As Charles Schulz, the American cartoonist for Peanuts, said, “Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.” So here are 40 fantastic Christmas-themed snowy scenes captured for an eternity in globes of water. If you are still wondering about a present for someone, perhaps you will be inspired by Oren Arnold who said, “Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

Lights Around the Globe

Lights Around the Globe. “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful,” ~ Norman Vincent Peale. Photo #1 by Jim (wiserbailey)

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Not Granny’s Penguin: Happy Holidays From Tux, With Love to Linux Users

December 2nd, 2012 Permalink

What can you get ‘for free’ to virtually wish Linux lovers a happy holiday season? How about a hat tip to Tux, the cute little iconic penguin mascot representing free and open source Linux? This Tux probably is not your grandma’s penguin. Here’s Tux as seen traveling and bashing shells ‘in the wild.’ Cats and dogs love Tux. In fact, there are tributes to the Tux mascot via food, toys, and even from a few future Linux hacker babies. Tux inspires art like digital wallpapers as well as Tux graffiti. We’ll toss in a few interesting Linux facts and hopefully dear Linux lovers, you will at least smile and remember that it’s the thought that counts? Smile and have a great day! [69 Pics]

Tux in A Holiday Dream

Tux in A Holiday Dream. Unless your granny bashes shells, then this is probably not your grandma’s penguin. Once upon a time, James Hughes called this penguin “Tux;” he said that it stood for “(T)orvalds (U)ni(X).” This is Tux the penguin, the official mascot for Linux. There are many different Linux distributions, a bit like operating system flavors, that utilize the Linux kernel, but even if displayed in various styles, Tux is iconic for Linux distros and free, open source software. Photo #1 by LaserGuided

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Hitchcock’s The Birds & Poe’s The Raven: When Birds Are Sci-Fi-like Scary [60 PICS]

October 26th, 2012 Permalink

When the woods is Brothers Grimm scary was sort of far out, fun and freaky, so here’s another peculiar collection where spectacular flocks inspired some photographers to think of Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Birds or Edgar Allen Poe‘s The Raven. Flocks can be beautiful, peaceful but then . . . when the birds are scary? [60 Photos, 2 Videos]

Boreray

Boreray. Tribute to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Photo #1 by steve_w

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When the Woods Are Scary: Enchanted Forests Like Brothers Grimm Broken Fairytales

October 18th, 2012 Permalink

Ah, the approach of Halloween seems to call upon a special spooky theme, but we’ve covered tombs for Tales from the Crypts, fields of Halloween horror via the corn maze craze, even a Lego Monster Mash before. So then we considered man-made haunted trails that people purposefully visit to be spooked for Halloween . . . but there are other times when a person is totally alone in some eerie forest that seems a bit enchanted. When the woods seem scary, it could be because you let your imagination run wild. It might be local folklore about a foggy forest, or a moody mist attached to legends and claims that the woods are haunted. How we interpret a setting may be our state of mind at the time, but artists of all kinds have taken to the forest for inspiration. J.R.R. Tolkien used Puzzlewood as his mystical, magical muse that inspired him to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. In our Fall Fantasy post, we quoted Vincent Van Gogh as saying, ‘Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.’ Perhaps to truly enjoy these pictures, you may need to think of it like an art game….for each picture, imagine if you were all alone in these woods. We were curious what made the streak of fear strike the hearts of photographers who are out alone in the forest. All of these photos were tagged with words like spooky, dark, scary, foggy, or haunted; on any other day, and different state of mind, these might be interpreted as sweet alone time in nature. But tap into your inner artist and let your imagination run wild to “see” what the photographers saw when these “enchanted” woods seemed “haunted” or “spooky” or just flat-out Brothers Grimm scary. [66 'Scary' Pics] {At least it’s not 666?}

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA

The misty forest Sequoia Bayview Trail, Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA. Instead of man-made Halloween haunted trail attractions, this is when a “horror” setting has been created by nature. Think of twisted fairytales and enter where the woods are scary. Imagine if you were all alone in these woods . . .. After you? Please take the Sandman’s hand and enter now. Photo #1 by Tom Holub

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