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Fingal’s Cave

Queen Victoria, Matthew Barney, Jules Verne, and Pink Floyd are not names you usually hear in the same sentence, but then the place that they all share is itself quite uncommon. Known as Fingal’s Cave, it bears a history and geology unlike any other cave in the world.

At 72 feet tall and 270 feet deep, what makes this sea cave so visually astoundingly is the hexagonal columns of basalt, shaped in neat six-sided pillars, that make up its interior walls.

The cave was a well-known wonder of the ancient Irish and Scottish Celtic people and was an important site in the legends. Known to the Celts as Uamh-Binn or “The Cave of Melody,” one Irish legend in particular explained the existence of the cave as well as that of the similar Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. As both are made of the same neat basalt columns, the legend holds that they were the end pieces of a bridge built by the Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (a.k.a. Finn McCool), so he could make it to Scotland where he was to fight Benandonner, his gigantic rival.

The legend, which connects the two structures, is in effect geologically correct. Both the Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were indeed created by the same ancient lava flow, which may have, at one time formed a “bridge” between the two sites. Of course, this happened some 60 million years ago, long before people would have been around to see it. Nonetheless, the deductive reasoning of the ancient peoples formed the connection and base of the legend that the two places must be related.

full story at : Atlas Obscura

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lost Civilization Found: Archaeologists Discover 1500-Year-Old Giant Spherical Stone in Bosnia [Photos]

April 15th, 2016 | by Amando Flavio
Lost Civilization Found: Archaeologists Discover 1500-Year-Old Giant Spherical Stone in Bosnia [Photos]

WORLD
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A team of archaeologists have discovered a giant spherical stone in a forest called Podubravlje, near the Bosnian town of Zavidovici, after spending years digging in the area.

The discovered stone is said to have a radius between four to five feet, as well as an extremely high iron content. It is said the area where the stone was discovered used to be a home of such spherical stone into the 20th century, but many of them were destroyed in the 1970s, due to mythological rumors that there was gold hidden in the middle of them.

Bosnia’s famous archaeologist, Dr Semir Osmanagic said the giant round stone could be the oldest stone sphere made by human hands. Dr Osmanagic is the leader of the team that discovered the giant stone.

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He told local media outlets that the sphere proved the existence of an advanced lost civilization, which could date back more than 1,500 years ago.

However, some European archaeologists have dismissed Dr Osmanagic’s claim that the stone was man-made. Critics believed the stone was formed naturally by the precipitation of natural mineral cement within the spaces between sediment grains.

Mandy Edwards, a lecturer at the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences in the University of Manchester, told MailOnline that the spherical stone may be an example of concretion.

But Dr Osmanagic is still holding on to his claim, saying that access to the rock is granted to researchers who would like to verify that it was made by humans in the past.

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Dr Osmanagic is not new to criticisms. In 2005, he made the headlines in the media in Europe for his work on the supposed existence of ancient pyramids in the Visoko Valley, which he said then, that the pyramids are hidden in plain sight as a cluster of hills.

He said then that once his research is completed at the Visoko valley, it will be taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. He was widely criticized and ridiculed by his fellow academicians for his claims on the pyramids.

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But regardless of the criticisms, the Bosnian government has given him financial backing, enabling excavations to be carried out in the region. The United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization has also given the excavation its backing.

Dr Osmanagic is known as Bosnian Indiana Jones. He now lives in Austin in Texas, United States, and travels around the world to investigate ancient sites.

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According to Osmanagic, the phenomenon of this new stone discovered could be linked with ancient civilizations around the world, especially the stone spheres of Costa Rica.

The stone spheres of Costa Rica numbering around 300 and weighing up to 15 tonnes, are believed to have been created by the now extinct Diquis culture in the pre-Columbian indigenous culture of Costa Rica. The stones are also believed to be about 1500 years old.

It is unclear how those stones were created, but it is believed they were first sculpted from a local stone before being hammered and polished with sand.

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If what Dr Osmanagic and his team have found is proven by an independent body to be man-made, it will be the largest man-made stone ball ever found, twice as heavy as the Costa Rican ones.

Osmanagic is said to have been researching stone balls for the past 15 years. He has said in the past, that the ancient civilization used the stone balls in the belief that it attracted positive energy, and was able to offer healing benefits.

On his new discovery, Osmanagic was quoted as saying “It is once again further proof that there was an advanced civilization here with a high level of technology about which we know very little.”


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The Strange and Beautiful Buildings of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Conventional travelers would typically recommend mainstream international destinations that are home to popular historical landmarks, monuments, mountains, and cities. While it is true that these destination have achieved fame for their beauty and history, it is always refreshing to deviate from the beaten path and visit a place that may not be as popular, but may be just as magical. Little known destinations offer uncrowded streets and unspoiled beauty. And speaking of unusual destinations, we have a good feeling you may not be completely familiar with our featured city—Ashgabat. Here are the most unusual yet best destinations found in the city of Ashgabat.

1. Ertugrul Gazi Mosque

Photo Source :  Wikipedia

Photo Source : Wikipedia

Ertugrul Gazi Mosque, also called as the Ärtogrul Gazy Mosque, is a mosque built to honor Ertugrul, which is the father of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I. It features exquisite interior decorations with magnificent stained-glass windows. Its construction resembles another iconic mosque which is the Blue Mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey.

full story at When on Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

22ND MAR, 2016

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If the internet was to ban photographs of abandoned places or funny dog videos, I really don’t know which one I would be more upset about. Both get my clicks every time. But of course the internet would never do that; it just keeps on giving. Take this photo project for example, by Dutch photographer Alice van Kempen, who went road-tripping around Europe exploring abandoned places with Claire, a 3-year-old bull terrier as her companion.

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Together, they crawled under fences, climbed walls, jumped through windows and sometimes just walked through the front door.

“Finding a new location is great fun but getting inside is where the real fun starts,” Alice tells Caters News. “Once we’re inside we check the building from top to bottom and I always start photographing the best spot in the house first.”

FULL STORY AT MessyNessy

 

Chaharshanbe Suri – Ancient Iranian Fire Festival (Photos)

Chaharshanbe Suri is an ancient ceremony dating back to at least 1700 BCE. Iran’s largest dictionary, Dehkhoda, describes it as: “A festival arranged on the last Tuesday evening of the old year, where you light fires and jump over them, to achieve happiness and good health in the New Year.”

The celebration usually starts in the evening and people leap over the flames, singing “zardi-ye man az toh, sorkhi-ye toh az man”, literal translated as “my yellow is yours, your red is mine”, asking the fire to take their pallor, sickness, and problems and in turn give them redness, warmth, and energy.

Traditionally, it is believed that the living were visited by the spirits of their ancestors on the last day of the year. Many people specially children, wrap themselves in shrouds symbolically reenacting the visits. By the light of the bonfire, they run through the streets banging on pots and pans with spoons (“Gashog-Zani”) to beat out the last unlucky Wednesday of the year, while they knock on doors to ask for treats. Sometimes the treat is a mixture of seven dried nuts and fruits (pistachios, roasted chic peas, almond, hazelnuts, figs, apricots, and raisins) and is called “Ajeel-e Chahar Shanbeh Suri”. The practices are very similar to Halloween, which is a Celtic version of similar festivals celebrated throughout the area in ancient times.

Photos: Chaharshanbe Suri in Iran, 2016

Families customarily enjoy snacks during the evening and a supper at night after the end of the festivities. In Ker­man and Shiraz the main dish is usually polow with pasta soup (“ash reshte“); the longer the pasta strands, the better the chances for a long life for each member of the family.

The ancient Iranians celebrated the last 10 days of the year in their annual feast of all souls, Hamaspathmaedaya (Farvardigan). They believed Foruhars (faravahar), the guardian angels for humans and also the spirits of dead would come back for reunion. These spirits were entertained as honored guests in their old homes, and were bidden a formal ritual farewell at the dawn of the New Year. The ten-day festival also coincided with festivals celebrating the creation of fire and humans. Flames were burnt all night to ensure the returning spirits were protected from the forces of Ahriman. This was called Suri festival. Zoroastrians today still follow this tradition.

The celebration was not held on this night before Islam and might be a combination of different rituals to make them last. Wednesday is likely to have been prompted by an Arab superstition where it represents a bad omen day with unpleasant consequences. This is contrary to Zoroastrian cosmology where all days were sacred and named after a major deity. By celebrating in this manner Iranians were able to preserve the ancient tradition. The festival is celebrated on Tuesday night to make sure all bad spirits are chased away and Wednesday will pass uneventfully.

Today, there is no religious significance attached to it any more and is a purely secular festival for all Iranians (Persians, Azerbaijani people, Armenians, Kurdish people, Assyrians, Bahá’í, Jews, Christian and Zoroastrians). The night will end with more fire works and feasts where family and friends meet and enjoy music and dance.

Fire Festival in Sweden
In Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden they celebrate Eldfesten, a Swedish version of the Persian Chaharshanbe Soori. This year, 2016, is the 25th anniversary of the festival in the city of Gothenburg, where it has become one of the most popular public cultural celebrations in the city. Thousands of people, including non-Iranians, attend each year to celebrate the arrival of spring with crackling fires, music, fireworks and fragrant Persian dishes.

Photos: Eldfesten 2016 in Sweden

Sources: Iran Chamber Society, Enciclopædia Iranica, Wikipedia | Chaharshanbe Suri, IRNA 1,IRNA 2, IRNA 3, IRNA 4, IRNA 5, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, Mehr News AgencyFacebook | Eldfesten 2016,Göteborgs-Posten, goteborg.com

Chaharshanbe Suri in Tehran, Iran – 2016

What Paris Metro Workers Found Sealed behind the Walls by NessyMessy

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When your walls start to look outdated, there’s always the option of just painting over them, which is a little bit like what the Parisian metro has done over the years to update its stations. When the old white tiling of yesteryear needed a revamp, they simply covered them up with more modern materials. A quick and easy fix, it didn’t require even removing the old posters and advertisements pasted along the platforms. So when present day metro workers went in last week to begin preliminary renovations and strip back the walls of the Trinité station in the 9th arrondissement, they uncovered a layer of the city’s history lost in time…

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(c) Yann Covès

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(c) Yann Covès

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Public transport schedules dated June 20th, 1959, household advertisements, vintage city maps, concert promotions and even a record of criminal convictions that took place within the metro network– a time capsule of mid-century poster design was unveiled, forgotten behind the walls since they had been entombed during renovation work in 1960 for a city-wide initiative to modernise the stations after the war.

full story at MessyNessy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22 Most Vibrant Light Festivals You Should See

GLOW, Eindhoven, Netherlands

Photo Credit: Jolieke_s

Photo Credit: Jolieke_s

GLOW is an annual light festival in Eindhoven displaying bright installations, sculptures, projections, and performances created through a collaboration of different artists, designers, and architects.

Kobe Luminarie, Japan

Photo Credit: Marufish

Photo Credit: Marufish

Kobe Luminarie is a light festival held every December in Kobe, Japan. It was originally celebrated as a commemoration to the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995.

Amsterdam Light Festival, Netherlands

Photo Credit: BEN Rijks

Photo Credit: BEN Rijks

The city of Amsterdam lights to beat the dark winter season and visitors can either choose to view the light-filled waterways via boat or walk around the illuminated streets of Weesper and Plantage in Amsterdam East.

SIGNAL Festival, Prague, Czech Republic

Photo Credit: tukan73

Photo Credit: tukan73

One of the most visited cultural events in Czech Republic, the SIGNAL Festival catches eyes through their video-mapping exhibits, and interactive and light installations located at the city’s historical sites.

Read the full story over at When on Earth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

The Shushtar Hydraulic System in the island city of Shushtar is a complex irrigation system that dates back to the time of the Achaemenid king Darius the Great in the 5th century BCE. Described by UNESCO “as a masterpiece of creative genius”, the Shushtar Hydraulic System involved the creation of a diversion canal on the river Karun to form a moat around the city, over which bridges and gates were built to keep away unwanted visitors
read the full story at AmusingPlanet

16 Quirky Jobs Around the World You May Be Interested In

  1. Panda hugger – China

Photo Credit: osito_tai

Photo Credit: osito_tai

China’s Giant Panda Protection and Research Centre has been looking for people who’ll “spend 365 days with the pandas and sharing in their joys and sorrows”, paying them about $32,000 a year to cuddle, feed, clean, and play with baby pandas.

  1. Cuddle girl – Japan

Photo Credit: osito_tai

Photo Credit: osito_tai

If cuddling pandas isn’t your type, you might be interested in cuddling with a human instead – for a price. Tokyo, Japan’s Akihabara district is filled with cuddle cafes which lets their customers have a chance to cuddle with beautiful girls with no strings attached. The cheapest cuddle for 3,000 yen lasts for 20 minutes and some add-ons like “staring at each other” costs 1,000 yen.

  1. Churrasquerio (Steakhouse chef) – Brazil

Photo Credit: Christyam

Photo Credit: Christyam

A Brazilian barbecue called churrasco won’t be a legitimate churrasco in a churrascaria (restaurant) without thechurrasquerios (barbecue chef) – got it? Barbecuing meat is a serious job that churrasquerios are treated as specialized knowledge workers in the US.

  1. Manual Scavenger – India

Photo Credit: PACS India

Photo Credit: PACS India

Manual scavenging is a term used to describe the removing of human excrement from dry toilets and sewers using basic tools such as thin boards, buckets, and baskets lined with sacks carried on the head. Basically, those who do this job are called manual scavengers. The job has been banned in India for decades, but continues to be an inescapable job for the Dalits, also known as the untouchables, the lowest rank of Indian society.

  1. Mourners for rent – China

Photo Credit: DailyMail

Photo Credit: DailyMail

In China, absence of tears during funerals means that the deceased wasn’t loved, and is a disgrace to the family. To show everyone that the deceased is loved, families hire actors to cry at funerals especially when the deceased’s relatives are too busy to be present. The hired actors, mostly young women, wail loudly with full makeup and wearing traditional clothing while encouraging other visitors to join the cryfest. A man n UK was inspired by this odd job that he even made his own rent-a-mourner company in the country.

full story with even more unusual jobs at:When on Earth

 

 

 

 

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