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Ilakaka is a small town in the south west of Madagascar along Route Nationale 7, the main road linking the capital city Antananarivo to the port of Toliara. Twenty years ago, Ilakaka practically didn’t exist with barely 40 residents. In less than ten years, its population soared to 60,000 as people from all over Madagascar began flocking here in search of sapphires. Sapphire was discovered in sou Read More »
The Big Circles are a collection of 12 giant circular stone structures spread across parts of Jordan and Syria. Despite they being over 2,000 years old, very little archaeological attention has been given to them and they remain largely unknown, even among local experts. The circles were discovered in 1920 by a British pilot named Lionel Rees when he flew across the deserts of what would become J Read More »
At the Perryville Community Park in Perryville, in the US state of Maryland, not far from the Perry Point Veteran's Medical Center, is a group of about a hundred trees with cryptic messages carved into their barks. The trees sit on land that was once part of the Perry Point Veteran’s Administration Medical Center before becoming the Perryville Park. The Medical Center is a psychiatric hospita Read More »
The Pymatuning Reservoir in Crawford County, in the US state of Pennsylvania, was once a very large swamp. The Shenango River flowed through this ancient swamp and provided sustenance to industries located downstream in the Beaver and Shenango valleys. But when a devastating flood hit the valleys in 1913, the need to tame the river was felt. In 1934, a dam and a reservoir was built to conserve wa Read More »
George Parrott, who was also known as Big Nose George, was a small time cattle rustler and highwayman in the American Wild West in the late 19th century. He was reputed to have a large nose, hence the nickname. Big Nose and his gang enjoyed a successful career robbing freight wagons and stage coaches. In those days, all business transactions were done in cash, and coaches often carried large amo Read More »
Before the arrival of humans, much of northeastern Europe was covered by primeval forests that stretched for thousands of kilometers across the European plains. Today, they have almost entirely disappeared with only a few patches of old growth trees standing in the most remote corners of the Carpathians and other mountainous areas. The Bialowieza Forest, spanning the border between Poland and Bel Read More »
High in the Peruvian Andes, far above the tree line, lies an old gold-mining camp that has, over the years, grown to the status of a city. Over 30,000 people live in this mountainous city five vertical kilometers up in the air—the highest-elevation human settlement in the world. La Rinconada (altitude: 5,100 meters) is so high that its weather condition resembles that of the west coast of Greenl Read More »
About 25 kilometers off the coast of Canada, in the North Atlantic, lies a tiny bit of France. It’s a string of islands belonging to the archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which—despite being located nearly 4,000 kilometer away from the mainland— are still under French control. These islands represent the last foothold of colonial France in the Atlantic. The islands of St. Pierre and Miqu Read More »
In 18th century Germany, where modern forestry began, a curious sort of library began to grow. Enthusiasts began to collect samples of different woods, but instead of simple blocks the samples were fashioned in the shape of books. These wooden “books” could be opened to reveal a hollowed out compartment where botanical samples of the source tree were stored—leaves, seeds, nut, twigs, fruit, flow Read More »
A historic building in London’s Covent Garden, violently slashed through the middle, floats mysteriously in the air with no apparent support underneath the entirely dislocated upper half. A terraced house in Margate has its entire redbrick front slipped away from its frame and lies slumped in its own front garden. A red Vauxhall Corsa hangs upside down with the tarmac peeled back from the pavemen Read More »
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