Strange and Unusual

Strange and Unusual Places

Tufa pinnacles at Mono Lake in Sierra Nevada - Mono Lake is a closed hydrological basin - water flows into it but it doesn't flow out. The only way for water to leave is through evaporation. Four vertical feet of water can evaporate during the course of a year.

Lake Baikal in Siberia freezes over but the water is so clear that you can see an astounding 130 feet below you. Wind, temperature differences, frost and sun in the ice crust cause cracks and ice hummocks to form.

A lightning bolt crashed against the Grand Canyon illuminating the steep canyon walls. The bright blue bolt illuminated the South Rim of the canyon, considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The Door to Hell is a natural gas field in Derweze, Ahal Province, Turkmenistan. The Door to Hell is noted for its natural gas fire which has been burning continuously since it was lit by Soviet petroleum engineers in 1971.

The elephant rock formation in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada - A strange natural sandstone rock formation resembling an elephant.
Don Juan Pond is a shallow hypersaline lake in the west end of Wright Valley, Antarctica. With a salinity level of over 40%, Don Juan Pond is the saltiest known body of water on Earth

The Great Blue Hole in Belize - A large submarine sinkhole which is over 984 feet across and 407 feet deep. The sinkhole was formed during several episodes of quaternary glaciation when sea levels were much lower.

The Dune of Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe. It is located in La Teste-de-Buch in France, 60 km from Bordeaux.

The Wave in Utah - Carved rock eroded into a wave-like formation made of jurassic-age Navajo sandstone that is approximately 190 million years old.

Aogashima is south of Tokyo in the Philippine Sea. The island is known for having a volcanic caldera within a larger caldera.

The sliding stones of Death Valley, California - The movement of the rocks continue to baffle experts, with some rocks sliding across a flat bed despite weighing up to 700 pounds each.

Urup is an uninhabited volcanic island near in the south of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean

The Beauty Pool of Yellowstone National ParkThe hot spring allows luminous algae and bacteria to flourish creating a vivid array of colors

Fraser Island is considered to be the largest sand island in the world at 1840 km².

Danxia Landforms in Zhangye, Province of Gansu

Thor’s Well, Oregon

The Moeraki Boulders of New Zealand The gigantic boulders started forming on the ocean floor and can now be seen sitting on the coastline thanks to erosion.
The Eye of Africa official name the Richat Structure was spotted in central Mauritania by astronauts on early space missions. In the expanse of the Western Sahara Desert, the formation has a diameter of about 30 miles.

Seaside lava ledges on Kauaʻi of the main Hawaiian Islands.

The Fly Geyser, near Gerlach, Nevada

Strange and Unusual Creatures
An adult star-nosed mole. The mole literally inhales its food, taking less than a quarter of a second to identify a piece of food, grab it, eat it, and then look for more.

The megalara garuda, also known as the king of the wasps, is an enormous wasp discovered in the Mekongga Mountains on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi in 2011.
The elephantnose fish (Gnathonemus petersii).

"Human Faced Fish" are hybrids of common carp and leather carp.

Belonging to the Ogcocephalidae family of batfish, the Louisiana pancake batfish is a bizarre looking creature native to the Gulf of Mexico. The species was discovered in 2010

First described in 2008, paracheilinus nursalim is a new species of flasher wrasse discovered in the Bird’s Head Peninsula in Western New Guinea.

The lesula is a new species of African monkey discovered in 2007. It was discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo
A millipede named lllacme plenipes (Latin for "the pinnacle plentiful feet") is found only in a small area of Northern California and has 750 legs.

Matamata (Chelus fimbriatus)
Furry lobster (Kiwa hirsuta)

Sucker-foot bat (Myzopoda aurita)
Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)

Fathead fish (genus Psychrolutes)
Frill-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)

Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis)
Strange and Amazing Discoveries
The Baltic Sea Anomaly is a 60-metre (200 ft) diameter circular rock-like formation on the floor of the Baltic Sea, discovered in June 2011.

The rock likely formed in connection with glacial and postglacial processes. Glaciers often have rocks embedded in them. At the end of the Ice Age, when glaciers across Northern Europe melted, the rocks inside them dropped to the Earth's surface, leaving rocky deposits all over the place. These are sometimes called glacial erratics or balancing rocks.
Kepler-78b is a planet that should not exist. This scorching lava world circles its star every eight and a half hours at a space of less than one million miles – among the tightest known orbits. Based on present theories of planet formation, it could not have formed so close to its star, nor could it have proceeded there.
The ancient burial site “El Cementerio,” near the Mexican village of Onavas was disturbed in 1999. Villagers unearthed 25 skulls, 13 of which did not look entirely human.

Experts theorize that the deformity of the skulls were intentionally produced through the ritual of head flattening, otherwise called cranial deformation, in which the skull is compressed between two wooden boards from childhood.

Otzi the Iceman. In 1991, a group of hikers were trekking in the mountains of Austria when they came across an awful sight: a frozen body was buried in the ice at their feet. That body belonged to a 5,300 year old man.

By studying the body, scientists have been able to discover some surprisingly specific facts. When he was alive, he had parasites in his intestines, was lactose intolerant, and had been sick three times in the past six months. His death seems to have been caused by an arrow wound to his back.

In 2012 Australian scientists unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon.

Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to roam the earth, weighing up to 2.8 tonnes, lived between two million and 50,000 years ago and died out around the time indigenous tribes first appeared.
Pachacamac is an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Most of the common buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire.

The adult dead in the newfound tomb were found in the fetal position and were surrounded by a ring of baby skeletons.
Road crew workers working on a road from Weymouth, Dorset to the lsle of Portland came across a mass grave of fifty-four skeletons and fifty-one heads of Scandinavian men who were executed sometime between A.D. 910 and 1030.

Archaeologists determined it was likely the grave of the Jomsvikings, who terrorized the coast of England around 1000. An execution of the Jomsvikings captured in the Battle of Horundarfjord occurred in A.D. 986.
A super massive dinosaur has earned the name “Dreadnoughtus schrani” (Dreadnoughtus means “fears nothing”). The titan was 26m (85ft) long and weighed 65 tons, as much as 12 African Elephants.
Coke is said to have been created under the influence of cocaine in the summer of 1886. The pharmacist who created the ubiquitous soda, John Pemberton, expounded on the Coca leaf’s status as a panacea for everything from depression to morphine addiction.

Containing both coca leaf extracts and kola nuts, Pemberton’s bookkeeper offered the name “Coca-Cola”, and thus the red and white icon was born.
The Trachte brothers discovered a famous Norman Rockwell painting hidden behind a false wall in their deceased father's Vermont, home. The painting, entitled "Breaking Home Ties," netted $15.4 million at Sotheby's Auction House.

The unfinished painting of Jesus and Mary has long been in the family of US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Martin Kober. The painting had hung in the Kober home but was knocked off the wall by a stray tennis ball 27 years ago, so it was wrapped up and put behind the couch.

A letter in the Vatican library points to the painting having been done by Michelangelo for his friend Vittoria Colonna around 1545. The painting later belonged to a German baroness who left it to a lady-in-waiting, who was the sister-in-law of Mr Kober's great-grandfather. It arrived in America in 1883.

Now in a bank vault, the painting is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions
The Lycurgus Cup is a 4th-century Roman glass cage cup made of a dichroic glass, which shows a different colour depending on whether or not light is passing through it; red when lit from behind and green when lit from in front. It is the only complete Roman glass object made from this type of glass.

The dichroic effect is achieved by making the glass with tiny proportions of nanoparticles of gold and silver "dispersed" in colloidal form throughout the glass material. The exact process used remains unclear. The early history of the cup is unknown. Lionel de Rothschild owned it by 1862. In 1958 Victor, Lord Rothschild sold it to the British Museum.
Five-year-old Emelia Fawbert was helping her dad at an excavation when she found a vertebra bigger than her head. Although the excavation turned up a couple of other bones, Emelia’s was by far the best. It once belonged to a giant rhinoceros that roamed the Gloucestershire area of England about 50,000 years ago.
As many as 140 World War II Spitfire fighter planes – three to four times the number of airworthy models known to exist – are believed to be buried in near-pristine condition in Myanmar.

The British brought crates of Spitfires to Myanmar in the closing stages of the war, but never used them when the Japanese gave up the fight in 1945.
The Curse of Pompeii
Most tourists who visit Pompeii every year leave with nothing but memories. Some take away a little extra – pieces of Pompeii. Many of those who have slipped a piece of one the world’s most important archaeological sites into their pockets have come to regret their actions.

Tourists who took relics from the ruined Roman city have been returning them to the site, claiming they are cursed.
One man wrote from Latin America saying that he and his entire family had experienced “trauma after trauma” after he took a piece of stone from Pompeii. Massimo Osanna, Pompeii’s archaeological superintendent, said he had received up to a hundred packages from across the world in recent years containing items from the site, often accompanied by letters explaining the relics had brought them bad luck.
The “curse of Pompeii” says the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 was punishment inflicted by the gods after legionaries destroyed holy buildings.

“At a certain point, people started believing in this story again,” said Mr Osanna. “Even proper thieves have returned things to us.”
Submerged ancient Egyptian treasures go on display in Paris
More than 200 objects are showcased at a new exhibition of Egyptian artifacts discovered in a sunken ancient city. Dating back some 2,300 years they were found over a decade ago near what is now the city of Alexandria.

In ancient times, the port city of Thonis-Heracleion was the main port of entry to Egypt for all ships coming from the Greek world.
The city was founded around the 8th century BC, underwent natural catastrophes, and eventually sunk entirely into the depths of the Mediterranean in the 8th century AD.

James Dean's cursed Porsche 550 Spyder
James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955) was an American actor. He is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956). Dean's enduring fame and popularity rest on his performances in only these three films, in two of which he is the leading actor.

He became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Last photograph of James Dean taken hours before his death.
Since James Dean's death in 1955, the Porsche 550 Spyder has become infamous as the car that killed him.

While filming Rebel Without A Cause, James Dean had upgraded from the 356 to the 550 Spyder and decided that he wanted to make it uniquely his. Dean called upon George Barris, of movie car fame, to customize the Porsche. He gave it tartan seats, two red stripes over the rear wheels and plastered the number ‘130' on its doors, hood and engine cover.
On September 23 1955, Dean met actor Alec Guinness outside of a restaurant and had him take a look at the Spyder. Guinness told Dean that the car had a "sinister" appearance and then told Dean: "If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week." Seven days later, Dean would be killed in the car.
Dean was travelling U.S. Route 466 at approximately 5:15 p.m. when a 1950 Ford Tudor made a hesitant attempt to turn away from an intersection, placing him at the center of the road. The porsche slammed into the driver's quadrant of a Ford Tudor, flipped and crossed the pavement onto the side of the highway. The driver, Donald Turnupseed, exited his damaged vehicle with minor injuries. A trapped Dean sustained numerous fatal injuries, including a broken neck.
George Barris, who customized the 550 originally, bought the wrecked car and soon after it slipped off its trailer and broke a mechanics leg. Not long after Barris sold the engine and drivetrain to Troy McHenry and William Eschrid. While the two were both racing against one another in cars that had parts from the car, McHenry lost control and hit a tree, killing him instantly and Eschrid was seriously injured when his car suddenly locked up and rolled over while going into a turn.

Barris still had two tires from the 550 which were untouched in Dean's accident. He sold them and not long after, both blew out simultaneously causing the new owner's car to run off the road. Barris had kept the car but it caught the attention of two would-be thieves. One of the thieves arms was torn open trying to steal the steering wheel while the other was injured trying to remove the bloodstained tartan seat.
The curse continued when the car was being transported when the truck carrying it lost control which caused the driver to fall out and somehow get crushed by the car after it fell off the back. The car fell off two more transport trucks while travelling.

The car mysteriously vanished and has not been seen since.


The A3 Burpham Ghost Crash
On December 11, 2002 at roughly 7:20 PM, drivers on the A3 in Surrey began to call in about an accident involving a car that had swerved off the road with its headlights blazing and went into the underbrush down the embankment off the side of the highway at Burpham near Guildford.

When officers went to investigate, they found no sign of the vehicle. Indeed, it appeared to have vanished. The underbrush itself was high and thick; it did not look disturbed at all. A further search was ordered, with chilling results.
Just 20 yards from the reported 'crash scene' and buried in twisted undergrowth was the remains of a wrecked car and the skeleton of a man.

Police believed that the driver's body had laid undiscovered for five months. Motorists are now wondering if what they saw was a ghostly apparition of the original crash.
The body was identified from dental records as that of 21-year-old Christopher Brian Chandler from Middlesex, who had been on the run from the Metropolitan Police since July 16 that year. He was wanted for robbery. Chandler crawled from his Vauxhall Astra, but could not climb the bank of the A3 at Burpham, Surrey, to seek help. The inquest was told that the driver's door was badly damaged and it was likely that Mr Chandler had crawled out using the passenger door.

Dr Ashley Fegan-Earl, a pathologist, said it was impossible to establish the cause of death, but Mr Chandler had suffered injuries to his right side consistent with a crash.


The Ghost Car of West Chester Pike
In the 1950s Newton Square, Pennsylvania was a sleepy farming community.

On December in the mid 1950s the local paper reported a particularly bad traffic accident. A local family driving home from Christmas services on West Chester Pike shortly after midnight were struck by another car. The entire family—a mother, father, and their teenage son were killed instantly.

Opening of New West Chester Pike — 1956
It was found that a young male driver who was drunk and driving recklessly caused the accident. He and his one male passenger survived the accident virtually unscathed.

The young man’s family was well connected politically and he avoided persecution. It was stated he felt no remorse for what he had done. In fact, he joked about the accident and the deaths he had caused several times.
An early Christmas morning, a year later, the man with the same friend in the car were out driving drunk and reckless—again on West Chester Pike. The 1938 Plymouth hot rod the young man drove overturned on the trolley tracks that went along the highway.

It was very near the spot were they had hit and killed the family twelve months before. Both men were killed.

Red Arrow cars on West Chester Pike before end of rail service in June 1954.
That part of West Chester Pike is patrolled by Pennsylvania State Police and municipal police from Newtown Township. Reports soon appeared of a recklessly driven '38 Plymouth that they couldn't manage to bring down. The chase always happened in the early morning albeit it was not dependent on the season. Roadblocks would be set but the quarry would never arrive.

Once an officer did manage to pull alongside the Plymouth and see the occupants. He wrote that they were "two young men in strangely out-of-style slicked back duck-tail haircuts, with expressions of absolute and abject terror and pain, as though they were seeing Hell and knew they could never escape".


Top Spooky Ghost Photos
In 1966 retired clergyman Rev. Ralph Hardy took a picture of the spiral staircase in the Queen's House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Historians say that 300 years ago, a maid was thrown from the top of the stairs and fell 50 feet to her death.

In 1959 Mabel Chinnery was visiting the grave of her mother when she took a picture of her husband, who was alone in the car.

It wasn't until the film was developed that they realized her husband hadn't been alone. The picture shows a person wearing glasses sitting in the back seat. Mrs. Chinnery immediately recognized the figure as being her mother -- whose grave they had just visited.
When the TV show Ghost Hunters visited Philadelphia's historic Eastern State Penitentiary, they captured this footage of something running up towards the camera and then turning and running back the other way.

Denise Russell took this photo of her grandmother in 1997 just before her death. No one noticed the man standing behind her grandmother for over three years. When they finally noticed him they recognized him to be Denise's grandfather, who had been dead since 1984.
Taken in 1939, the photographers were visiting Raynham Hall in Norfolk to take pictures for Country Life magazine when they captured the original lady of the house, Lady Dorothy Townsend, descending the staircase. She died under mysterious circumstances on 29 March 1726.
In 1946 Mrs. Andrews took this picture of her daughter's gravestone in Queensland, Australia. When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was shocked to see the image of an infant girl looking directly into her camera. Years later, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy found the graves of two infant girls very near to Mrs. Andrews' daughter's grave

The wrecked vehicles were taken to a local impound lot, and the employees there witnessed something on their surveillance cameras: a white figure moving around the destroyed cars.
In Oklahoma 2007 there were three fatal car crashes that killed several people.
Photographer Neil Sandbach was taking pictures around a farm in Hertfordshire when he captured this picture. When Sandbach looked at the digital photo later he couldn't believe his eyes; he was certain that he had not overlooked a child. The owners confirmed that they had witnessed a boy in white night clothes many times before.

Famous Curses
Gillette, the maker of shaving products may be cursed ... at least when it comes to its athletic promoters.

Gillette's most recent ambassadors, Thierry Henry, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer careers may have been cut short by the razor's curse. In addition, the former face of Gillette, David Beckham, seemingly suffered the effects of the curse for several years after the company ended its agreement with him.
Da Billy Goat Curse. In 1945, William "Billy Goat" Sianis brought his pet goat, Murphy, to Wrigley Field to see the fourth game of the 1945 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers. Sianis had purchased two box seats for him and his pet goat, and prior to the game he paraded the animal–wearing a sign proclaiming “We Got Detroit’s Goat”–around the field.
The Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908 -- no other team in the history of the game has gone as long without a championship.
Sianis and his goat were later ejected from the stadium after complaints because of the goat’s objectionable odour. Sianis reportedly put a curse on the team that day. Ever since, the Cubs have had legendarily bad luck.
Rasputin and the Romanovs. Rasputin was a self-proclaimed magician and cult leader. Eventually Rasputin's power went to his head and the Romanovs allegedly decided to have him killed. But he proved to be exceptionally resilient.

Reportedly it took poison, a fall down a staircase, repeated gunshots and drowning before Rasputin was finally dead. It's said that he mumbled a curse as he died, assuring Russia's ruling monarchs that they would all be dead themselves within a year. The Romanov family was murdered in a mass execution less than a year later
Tecumseh's Curse. Tecumseh's Curse is a widely spread explanation for why, from 1840 to 1960, every U.S. president elected (or re-elected) every 20th year has died in office.

Rumour has it that Native American leader Tecumseh administered the curse when William Henry Harrison's troops defeated his forces at the Battle of Tippecanoe.
Curse of the Kennedys. The Kennedy curse is a term sometimes used to describe a series of tragic events involving members of the high profile, powerful and iconic Kennedy family.