The Door To Hell

Located in the middle of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan lies a burning crater with a diameter of 70 metres and depth of 20 metres: The Door to Hell – noted for its natural gas fire.

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The history behind this crater starts in 1971, whereby Russian scientists thought it was a great oil field site. Pleased with finding gas resources they started to store the gas. However, the ground collapsed; creating the crater seen above – releasing methane gas. Fearing the release of poisonous gases the scientists decided to burn it off. Expectations were that the gas would burn off in a couple of days, however its still burning after four decades.

The name of the crater isn’t too hard to understand its origins, it really does look like the opening of hell. A man-made one at that – and a wonder of the world in my eyes.

Here are a few more pictures to ‘tickle your fancy’.

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Sources:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2179622/The-Door-Hell-Giant-hole-Karakum-Desert-40-YEARS.html

The African Desert Memorial

I first got introduced to this amazing memorial by my brother – apparently there have been several people exploring Google maps and what appears to be in the African desert is a black spot. When zoomed in we’re met with the following picture (alternatively click here to see for yourself on Google maps).

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So what is it? It’s a memorial for the UTA Flight 772, which unfortunately succumb to an explosion – scattering and breaking up over the Sahara Desert, killing 155 passengers and 15 crew members. The flight was scheduled to depart at Brazzaville, Republic of Congo and arrive at Paris, France.

18 years later, families of the victims gathered at the crash site to build a memorial. One of epic proportions and meaning. Even then, pieces of wreckage were found at the crash site – due to the remoteness of the location. With help of local inhabitants the memorial was built mostly by hand; dark stones were used to create a 200ft diameter circle, depicting the outline of a compass. 170 broken mirrors were placed around the circumference – used to represent the victims. Among the things being used to create the memorial, a wing from the aircraft (which was rescued 10 miles away from the site) was used to display the names of those who had died.

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The finished memorial was completed a few months later, depicting a compass with an aeroplane in the centre – as said before, the memorial is so vast that it can be seen from Google maps and Google earth.

If you’d like to see pictures of its construction please see the link in the sources section below.

Sources:

http://www.viralnova.com/i-noticed-this-tiny-thing-on-google-maps-and-when-i-zoomed-in-well-nothing-could-prepare-me/

Ajanta Caves

The Ajanta Caves are among the world’s most prestigious religious locations in the world, sacred to Buddhism. Located in India, these caves were carved thousands of years ago from the mountain side; displaying inhuman-like capabilities as the tools and technology we have today would not have been accessible or invented when the caves were formed. The caves include paintings, sculptures and signs of astronomical knowledge and have been subject to wide-spread tourism and speculation as to how they were built.

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The caves were discovered in 1819 by a British office on a hunting party. Hidden by dense forestation the caves were said to be lost for centuries after the downfall of Buddhism in India in the early millennium. The Ajanta caves were said to be a ancient monastery for Buddhists, including space for living, teaching and worship; this is reflected by the fact that most caves are connected by the exterior.

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Another fascinating feature of these caves are their relationship with the summer and winter solstice’s. The sun shines directly through gaps in the mountain to light up and illuminate significant religious Stupa’s (a place for meditation) at the back of the caves. It’s amazing because precise calculations and tools would have been needed to be able to orient the caves to the solstices since the caves are carved inside the rock. This has led people to believe that alien activity or interaction was involved in the feat of constructing the caves. There’s plenty of information regarding these caves and documentaries surrounding them. Check out the video in the sources below!

Sources:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHeel1GNFFY

El Caminito del Rey: The World’s Most Dangerous Path?

El Caminito del Rey (translated to The King’s little pathway) is a walkway pinned along the walls of a narrow gorge in El Chorro, Spain. Starting construction in 1901, the walkway wasn’t finished until 1905. It was built for transport purposes, to help workers at the power plants (Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls) exchange materials alongside facilitate inspection and maintenance of the channel. The walkway was given its present name in 1921, when King Alfonso XIII crossed the walkway for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce.

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Ground view of the walkway.

The walkway is currently undertaking restoration, a project costing 9 million euros! Before late 2011, the path was deadly, with concrete parts of the walkway collapsing and large gaps in the walkway itself. Several people have died and the entrances were closed after 1999-2000. There’s some great videos on Youtube which show people climbing up the walkway. Click here to see someone challenging themselves and tackling the walkway.800px-Caminito_del_Rey_4 (1)

People attempting to walk the walkway

You can imagine how it must have been for the people building the walkway in 1901-1905. The path is only 1 meter wide and 100 meters above the ground, all that alongside the heavy winds that can occur; its just amazing how it was built. It saved a lot of time for workers once completed; saving them from climbing up and down the mountains continuously.

The World’s First Computer: Antikythera Mechanism

I was told about this (again) by a family-friend (after a few years of forgetting about this amazing bit of technology); a machine that can ‘look into the future’, built over 2000 years ago in ancient Greece, now formally known as the first computer in the world.

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It was discovered in 1901 by sponge divers, near the island of Antikythera, Greece; Among the worlds largest find of Greek treasure, ever. The divers rescued some of the most beautiful Greek treasures, including many marble and bronze statues, silver coins and many more! However, the significance of the relic wasn’t understood until a century later.

The Antikythera Mechanism was split into several pieces, tiny gear wheels and marks were discovered on the pieces; specifically engineered to tell the time. Other technologies approaching its complexity didn’t appear until the 14th century by which astronomical clocks were being built in Europe. There have been many reproductions of this clock, one can be seen below. You have to admit, it’s pretty unbelievable something this complex was made 2,000 years ago!

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Learn more about this amazing piece of technology and history, alongside its importance below:

Documentary link (1 hour of awesomeness)

Sources:

Documentary above! GO WATCH IT!

Royal Tombs of Peru

Protected by 30 tonnes of stone, archaeologists secretly dug a archaeological site, afraid of grave robbers in Peru, now the site has unearthed an untouched grave site, thought to be over 1,200 years old!

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Belonging to the Wari Empire, it’s full of mummified women, gold and other relics; the site was recently under-covered this year, boasting clues of the rule of women. The women were buried with their finely engraved ear pieces and other jewellery, previously believed to only be used by men. Most of the women were sat in an upright position, indicated royalty and other indicators of power. However, there was evidence to suggest that sacrifices were made as remains were found to be ‘buried’ on top of the tombs with their bodies spread out.

_-untouched-royal-gold-tomb-peru-gold_68843_600x450Jewellery found at the site.

The Wari ruled the Andes (centuries before the famous Inca) and had a long span of influence for about 600 years. In association to the Wari, a city was discovered in Peru in 2008. You can found out more information here.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wari_Empire

http://www.kpopstarz.com/articles/32763/20130628/tomb-discovered-in-peru-wari-human-sacrifice.htm

The Devil’s Kettle

A waterfall in Minnesota, along Lake Superiors north shore, a river forks at a rock outcropping; known as the Devil’s Kettle, it empties half its contents into a deep hole, disappearing (apparently) forever. Why? Well, that’s still a mystery, and not because of a lack of trying – It has puzzled hikers, geologists and tourists for generations. Experiments (using ping pong balls, dye and logs) have been tried to see if the water comes out elsewhere, such as under the lake superior, but none so far has found the location of its terminal.

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The situation only gets weird and baffles us even more when you realise how much water is actually going missing, the notion that some underground river exists is a bit far-fetched considering the rarity of it. Moreover, the reality is that these phenomenon only happen in soft rock such as limestone, however, geologists will tell you that for Minnesota, this isn’t the case.

So, where does the water go? Well nobody knows, but if you happen to stumble across a large quantity of dye, ping pong balls and logs (and even a car according to locals) then I’m sure a geologist in Minnesota or even the world would love to know. As of yet, anything thrown into the hole has yet to be seen again!