Tagged: bizarre

Dazzling Dunes and Lagoons in the Desert: Bizarre Beauty in Brazil [29 PICS]

June 7th, 2014 Permalink

In Brazil, there is an very unusual national park in the desert. While you might expect to see rolling white sand dunes, you would not expect to see the area dotted with lagoons created by rainwater. Here’s a look at those dunes and lagoons in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. [29 Photos]

Lençois Maranhenses, the Paradise of the dunes

Lençois Maranhenses is called a desert, but it’s not really. Instead paradise lagoons are hidden among the rolling white dunes. Photo #1 by LCjournal

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Happy Festival of Numerical Coincidence! Dogs & Cats in Weddings [25 PICS]

November 12th, 2013 Permalink

Happy Festival of Numerical Coincidence! In the United States and Belize, we do dates differently than the rest of the world by using a month/day/year format. Believe it or not, there’s a mad rush to get married on 11/12/13. For example, San Francisco City Hall is all booked up. David’s Bridal compared the date to the Superbowl but for weddings. There’s a psychology surrounding numerical sequences, other than setting a wedding anniversary date that neither couple should forget. For couples who desire such a date, the next sequential date will be next year in December 12-13-14. Since it’s a big day for marriage-seekers, we thought we’d look at weddings featuring dogs and cats while discussing magical calendar dates that set marriage records. [25 Photos]

The Bride and Groom, dog wedding

The Bride and Groom, dog wedding. Sequential dates, such as 11/12/13, have been called the “perfect” date to get married. For math or number lovers, a couple could try to time their increasing number wedding ceremony for 11/12/13 at 14:15:16 seconds. Photo #1 by geckoam

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Alien-looking Island of Bliss: Enter a Different Dimension at Socotra [42 PICS]

May 24th, 2013 Permalink

Enter a different dimension at Socotra, an unusually peculiar-looking world that was long ago called “The Island of Bliss.” Located off the Horn of Africa, in the Indian Ocean, Socotra is about 150 miles away from Somalia and the threat of real-day pirates; it’s a little over 200 miles away from its mainland Yemen. And the landscape makes it “the most alien-looking place on Earth.” Although Socotra has wide sandy beaches rising to limestone plateaus full of caves, some 4.4 miles in length (7 km), wind-swept cliffs and mountains over 5,000 feet high, the island’s iconic image is of the Dragon’s Blood tree; it’s deep red resin was once considered to be ancient dragon blood. Some people have suggested that Socotra might have been the original Garden of Eden. Currently every single Trip Advisor tourist review rated Socotra as “excellent.” Of course, there are high security threats like kidnapping and terrorism; the US State Department warned Americans against traveling to Yemen. In 2011, Somali pirates were using the island as a fuel base. Yet tourists call it a “hidden gem” for those adventurous souls not seeking a luxury resort. Most of us will never visit this out of this world island of Socotra. [42 Photos]

Socotra Island, Yemen

If you are looking for a luxurious vacation, then this is not the right location for you. However, people sometimes say they want to “get off the grid” and this would be an ideal place to visit if you love adventure and nature, and don’t mind “roughing” it a bit. Far away on what appears at first to be an oasis is Socotra Island, Yemen. It is believed that Socotra got its name from Sanskrit, meaning “Island of Bliss.” Others suggest the name was derived from Arabic and means “dripping frankincense.” It may be a bit of both, currently unspoiled by man, but most people know of Socotra as being “the most alien-looking place on Earth.” It’s like a whole another world, like a different dimension. Photo #1 by Martin Sojka

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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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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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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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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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Sensational Sand Sculptures: From Creative Castles to Adorable Dragons [47 PICS]

August 4th, 2012 Permalink

When a person builds a castle, it’s a strong fortress meant to last hundreds of years. Yet some people build temporary, fragile castles of sand. In fact, most sandcastles are not castles at all but, amazing works of sand sculpture art. This is a mixture of nature, of art, of science. Physicists theorize that even more massive sand castles could be built underwater. While that would be cool, it would be much harder for the masses to enjoy the sandy works of art by masters of sand sculpting. We really liked these and imagined what it might be like to walk along the beach, enjoying nature, but taking in giant cultural pieces of sand art at the same time. While it’s still summer hot in the USA and some “kids” will soon start school, let’s globe hop and enjoy a summer day on the beach and these sensational sand sculptures. [47 Photos]

Dragon Dwellers - Amazin' Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia

Dragon Dwellers – Amazin’ Walter and William Lloyds entry in the Tournament of Sand Sculpting Champions at Harrison Hot Springs, British Colombia, Canada. Photo #1 by © Amazin Walter

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Tales from the Crypt [29 PICS]

May 27th, 2012 Permalink

Every crypt has a different story, how it was built, who it was for, but very few of these graves will be decorated or the people remembered on Memorial Day — especially since only two are in the USA. Mostly we don’t know those stories, but we did like the images. Several of these crypts were abandoned and then ‘discovered’ during urbex adventures, or by photographers on very remote and rural adventures. Nature is reclaiming some, others are a bit eerie, while yet others are still beautiful. Tales from the crypts: Happy bizarre Memorial Day? [29 Photos]

The Overgrown Crypt

The Overgrown Crypt — La Recoleta cemetery in Argentina. The photographer wrote, “Every crypt seemed to have its own story… I wish I could have heard the tales of each one. But, on the plus side, I did have my over-active imagination to fill in the blanks.” Photo #1 by Trey Ratcliff

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Creepy Abandoned Haunted Hospital: Soon to House Senior Citizens [70 PICS, 5 Vids]

May 19th, 2012 Permalink

How do you tell grandma or grandpa that you love them? Certainly not by putting them in a formerly abandoned and haunted hospital! Facepalm, you’ve got to be kidding me? That is just so wrong in so many different ways! The six-story Linda Vista Community Hospital, which has been abandoned since 1991, is an infamous Hollywood favorite for filming super scary movies. It also has a notorious reputation for all kinds of paranormal phenomena. After some serious renovations, the supposedly haunted hospital will be revamped into about 100 single-bedroom ‘affordable housing’ apartments — Linda Vista Senior Apartments. Do you still dispute it’s haunted after viewing the 70 photos and 5 paranormal investigation videos as ‘proof’? Even skeptics, would you want your grandma to live anywhere within the top 5 floors of these future senior living apartments? About 42% of the U.S. population admits to believing in ghosts and the decaying and creepy hospital is a hotspot for urban explorers, paranormal investigators and the curious in Los Angeles. And then there’s all those animal sacrifices and allegedly satanic rituals which leave some people asking does the devil live inside Linda Vista Hospital?

While HDR sparked epic complaints on the illegal Six Flags tour, it is an art that we especially appreciate when it comes to enhancing extremely eerie, abandoned places . . . especially ‘haunted hospitals.’ If you’d rather see an abandoned place without HDR, here is Nara Dreamland, a derelict knock-off Disneyland in Japan. Otherwise, photographers, paranormal investigators and urban explorers take us on an urbex tour of this creepy ‘haunted’ hospital. Welcome to Linda Vista, future housing for grandpa and grandma. [70 photos and 5 paranormal investigation videos]

Ray of light in the former maternity ward, abandoned Linda Vista Community Hospital

Dear “low income” senior citizen of Los Angeles, to reward you for all your struggles in life, Hollywood’s most beloved haunted hospital filming location is being refurbished so you can live there. The creepy idea is the facepalm of the day! The 88 year old hospital has been abandoned for 21 years. It’s supposedly and “scientifically” proven to be haunted. Here you see a ray of light in the former maternity ward of abandoned and eerie Linda Vista Community Hospital. Photo #1 by Neil Kremer

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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Beautiful Wolf? (56 Pics)

March 9th, 2012 Permalink

Fear of the wolf –the predator–is woven into folklore, fairy tales, mythology, music, and art to depict wolves as villains. From the Brothers Grimm to present-day sci fi, wolves are infamous for gobbling up people, for huffing and puffing and blowing down houses, and for one of the most famous storybook scenes when the big bad wolf said to Little Red Riding Hood, “Ah the better to see you with, my dear. The better to hear you with, my dear. The better to eat you with, my dear.” But the big bad wolf reputation is totally undeserved as wolves rarely attack humans. Yet untold scores of wolves have been ruthlessly hunted, shot, poisoned or trapped because of how much humans fear these fascinating and beautiful animals. At one point, wolves had been hunted to near extinction. Now their numbers have rebounded due to conservation. Did you know that wolves don’t truly bark or howl at the moon, or that you have a better chance of being struck by lightning that being attacked by a wolf? [56 Photos]

Fighting wolves

Wolves have long been feared, made infamous by the Brothers Grimm in fairy tales, Aesop’s Fables, and legends aplenty from ancient times. But for all their spine-tingling howls, wolves almost never attack humans. Photo #1 by Tambako the Jaguar

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