The River Fleet – An Amazing River In The Underground Of London

It’s not enough that whole London has a complete underground system, it has a underground river too. It’s called the River Fleet and is London’s largest subterranean river. Long time ago Victorian engineers built a whole system of tunnels and chambers under London.

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The river can fill up to the roof in about 30 minutes, so if you’re a traveler that wants to experience River Fleet, you should be aware of its danger, and get out as soon as the water starts rising.

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When this network of tunnels were made, the river water was clean and clear, but throughout the years it has gotten rather pollute by waste and blood. So soon it became a place you could throw junk into, even dead bodies.

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A lot of things were tried to be done to fix everything, but the stink was unbearable. Luckily its somewhat clean today, and you can visit the whole network, just be safe. And here are some other places in London that you can visit while you’re at it.

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Via Sub-Urban @ Flickr.

Puzzlewood – Tolkien’s Major Inspiration For LOTR

Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland site in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. It has become a popular location for filming, and as you may know, J.R.R. Tolkien has used this woodland as inspiration for Lord of the Rings.

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Only he has called it Middle-Earth. This place is so magical that you would really think there are elves, wizards and hobbits there. When it comes to geology, Puzzlewood is full of scowles, and it has an amazing cave system.

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It also include ancient trees and a confusing maze of paths. The owner of this woodland laid down a mile of pathways to provide access to the woods, but today it’s a tourist attraction.

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Though Tolkien never used Puzzlewood as a movie locations, other BBC TV shows have, like Merlin, “The Labyrinth of Gedref” and “The Nightmare Begins”. Not far away you can find Hobbit-looking homes in Wales.

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Via Flickr.

Welcome to Cave City in Georgia

In the European country Georgia you can find the beautiful Cave City of Vardzia. This is actually a cave monastery from year 1185 that is dug into the side of a mountain in southern Georgia. The purpose with the monastery was to protect citizens from the Mongols, and it could fit a lot of people because it consisted of around six thousand apartments. It was actually a woman that wanted this monastery built; Queen Tamar was on the throne of Georgia in 1185 at a young age, and she was threatened by many because of her gender, but she ended up ruling over Georgia for 29 years.

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Today the monastery looks like a place that has been used in Lord of the Rings, it is mysterious but still very beautiful. Unfortunately it has been destroyed a bit by an earthquake that managed to rupture the cave system inside the monastery, and some parts even collapsed. If you thought that the place is abandoned, you are wrong; a group of monks are staying there to guard its history. One of many other caves in the world is the amazing Crystal Cave 1000ft under the Mexican desert.

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Salar de Uyuni – The World’s Largest Salt Flat

Salar de Uyuni is placed in southwestern Bolivia and it is the world’s largest salt flat. It covers the surface of about 10,000 square kilometers. Its white surface and bright blue sky sometimes can make incredible scenes for viewers especially during the wet season when those salt fields are covered with water, then, this place looks like a huge mirror.

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According to experiences of people who have previously been there, this place can be dangerous for pedestrians who decide to challenge the desert because people can experience pretty bad visual disorientation in such white fields.

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Slar de Uyuni is over 3,500 meters above the sea level, it is placed near the crest of the Andes. It is placed above the 20-meters deep lake.

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Local people are telling the ancient legend about this place which says that this field was created when the Giantess Tunupa cried while breastfeeding her child after she was abandoned by her husband Kushku and this place has formed as a product of her tears mixed with her breast milk. That is why this place is also known by its other name, Salar de Tunupa.

Via Colt Rane.

The Great Blue Hole of Belize, World’s Deepest Sea-Hole

If you ever come by near the coast of Belize, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit the Great Blue Hole, one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders. The Great Blue Hole is located in Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, about 60 miles away from Belize City. It is believed that this hole is the world’s largest sea-hole. It is about 125 meters deep and its diameter is about 300 meters wide. It has been created as a cause of sea level increase about 65,000 years ago.

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Its almost perfect circular shape made it very popular amongst tourists who often visit this place. This place is most attractive for scuba divers who are exploring the depths of this hole. It is known that there are a plenty of cave networks in this place. Divers are also attracted with plenty of rare animal species and forms of life which can be found only in this place.

More info at Wikipedia.

Abandoned Complex of Russian Anti-Missile Defense System

You have probably heard about American project Echelon which is used by American intelligence to intercept different communication signals from all ower the world. They are pretty famous by their mysterious sphere-like shape. Well, United States are not the only who made such buildings. Russians made a few of them which are almost exactly same as those in US but Russians used them for a little bit different purpose.

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Here you can see an abandoned complex of buildings which used to be Russian anti-missile defense system, long time ago. They are located near Russia’s capital, Moscow and this anti-missile system is known by it’s codename A-135.

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It was built during Cold War in 1971. The purpose of this complex was to eventually discover and destroy any balistic missile which enters Russian air space. Luckily, the system was never used and now it is completely abandoned and open to visitors.

Via Frantsouzov @ LiveJournal.

Mysterious Fairytale Land In Ukraine

Fairytales are one of the nice thing we happily remember from our childhood. Almost every child who have heard some fairytale got a wish to be a part of it. Fairytale land could be imagined as the place with a lot of colors, flowers, unusual plants, colorful mushrooms and similar things.

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Someone in Kiev, Ukraine, decided to make something what could be described as an entrance to fairytale land. Those photos were taken in some private apartment in Kiev but photographer refused to reveal the location and the author of this masterpiece.

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As you can see, a few techniques were combined while making this. We can’t call it just sculpture, or painting or mosaic, it is a little bit of all. It seems that whole apartment is decorated in this way. There is a plenty of different fairytale-like sculptures in there, fixed an painted with a lot of care and style.

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I just wonder, if this is the entrance of the fairytale land, then, how incredible the fairytale land itself could be, since the location and the author of this artwork remains unknown, we probably will never know that but our imagination could tell us.

Via Mozart Kiev.

Pitch Lake – A Natural Asphalt Resource

Sir Walter Raleigh first discovered the Pitch Lake while cruising through La Brea in southwest Trinidad. The Pitch Lake is one of the several natural asphalt lakes in the world. Since its discovery in 1595, several investigations and research have been conducted to determine the chemical composition and use of this substance found in the lake.

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The lake has awed explorers, scientists and common man alike. The Pitch Lake is 40 ha and 75 meters deep. The lake houses asphalt mines, as asphalt thus produced in large quantities is used in road construction supplies.

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Various theories and postulations have been suggested to explain the formation of the Pitch Lake with its rich asphalt resource. According to one such theory, the lake is produced as a result of two faults, related to the subduction of the Caribbean plate of the Barbados arc.

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Due to immense pressure a deep deposit comes to the upper crust; lighter elements evaporate leaving being the natural asphalt. This may be degraded by bacteria to form petroleum. There are various legends associated with the lake. Local Chaima Indians believe that it is the wrath of their Gods.

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Nevertheless, the Pitch Lake is famous for its natural resource of Asphalt and draws crowds from all spheres of this world .Each year people pour in to behold and marvel the pitch lake with its natural bounties.

Via Wikipedia.

Beautiful Mirabell Gardens – The Dwarf Garden In Salzburg, Austria

Amidst the beautiful Mirabell Gardens, in Salzburg, Austria, the “Dwarf Garden” (‘The Zwerglgarten’) is located. It was built by Prince Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach in 1715, to commemorate the dwarves who were the models of entertainment, served in the Prince’s court. It has an inspiring history for the foreigners and the peasants of the town.

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The Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria had a misconception taking the dwarves, in concern for his wife and their unborn child. Perhaps he assumed them to be ominous and ordered for their seizure and removal from the Dwarf Garden. But its great value to the Salzburg’s cultural heritage was forgotten, and the sculptures got auctioned.

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But the Salzburg Society for the Preservation of Local Amenities had taken great interest in restoring back the iron sculpts from the city councilors, and got the dwarves placed at the more deserving place.

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Today, some of the retrieved ones are placed in the Bastion Garden, waiting for the remaining sculptures to join them.

Via Flickr.

San Zhi-Haunted Homes Of Taipei

San Zhai looks like an abandoned housing complex from Taipei, Taiwan. The rounded domes of the houses are an architectural delight and fantastically futuristic. The houses were built in the early 1980’s and targeted at rich Taipei residents of that time. The homes were built far from the city and served as homes for vacation or rehabilitation.

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Strangely, the housing complex construction was abandoned midway. Some say that the construction was abandoned as the developer had run out of money and resources. But there is another weird reason for the abandonment, locals say that, the place is haunted and evil spirits caused a series of fatal accidents at the construction site. Thus the developer decided to halt all plans of construction.

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The houses are cantilevered, looking like modular pod houses. The architecture of the houses resembles an Archigram; more or less it looks like an UFO. These space age houses look pretty awesome but they also give you a creepy feeling. Some may look like tattered space ship. The San Zhai homes are very modern for the present times.

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To imagine that these structures were made in the early eighties is fascinating. These abandoned homes, looking amazing and futuristic with a weird story make it a major tourist attraction outside Taipei in Taiwan.

Via Notcot.