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The Femme Fatale Whose Tragic End Festers in the History of Rome

photograph by Emanuele Beatrice Cenci haunts Rome. Though plenty of tour guides are eager to rehash stories of her headless body wandering the Sant’Angelo Bridge at night, she hardly needs that kind of...

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What Happens to a Cemetery After Foreclosure?

Memory Gardens, Imperial, California (all photographs courtesy zachofalltrades)Out beneath the scorching sun of Imperial Valley, California, is a cemetery that became a wasteland. For decades, Memory...

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The Real-World Locations of 14 Sci-Fi Dystopias

In some science fiction cinema, the future looks pretty bleak, with dystopic visions of a world struggling with overcrowding, high crime, pestilence, and the aftermath of war. And it can also look...

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Scavenger Cities

Landfill operations in Jamaica Bay, New York (1973) (photograph by Arthur Tress)Before the rise of modern waste management systems, the trash produced by the intense urbanization of the 17th century...

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Life in the Jungle: the delicate art of eating ants, channeling gods and...

Our fellow explorers over at Hendrick's Gin have been up to some very interesting things, taking an expedition to Venezuela in search of a mysterious botanical with veteran explorer Charles Brewer...

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The Most Beautiful Anatomical Theaters

Anatomical theaters were where students viewed dissections, scholars witnessed human anatomy, and surgeons explored new techniques of treatment. For patients, however, the time below the knife in the...

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Abandoned Dreams of Wind and Light

Abandoned Solar Two Tower (photograph by Marcin Wichary)Like the vanished, money making dreams that spawned them, it can be hard to find abandoned solar and wind farms.The most impressive are in the...

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Reading in Restraint: The Last Chained Libraries

In the Middle Ages, books were incredibly scarce, and although many wanted to share knowledge with the masses, they didn't quite trust the public. So the chained library was born, and while most of...

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Five of Berlin's Hidden Ruins, From Anatomical Institutes to Underground Bunkers

Heilstätten Hohenlychen (all photographs courtesy the author/Abandoned Berlin)Berlin and its surrounding areas play host to a multitude of discarded, unwanted, or unloved deserted buildings. Most are...

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Society Adventures: A Clandestine Catacombs Affair with Philippe Petit

The dark beauty of Green-Wood Cemetery's catacombs at night(all photographs by Steven Acres, visit http://stevenacr.es to view more of his work)Last week, the New York Obscura Society and Riverhead...

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Inside the Oldest Museum in Borneo

all photographs by the author A VISUAL LOOK AT MASKS, SKULLS AND TAXIDERMY CREATURES[Sarawak Museum 1.JPG – The proboscis taxidermy display.]Entering the galleries in the Sarawak Museum, you probably...

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10 Places 12-Year-Old Me Would Love to Live

The Swing at the End of the World in Ecuador (photograph by Rinaldo Wurglitsch)Home is where the imagination lives. My 12-year-old self only required a small bedroom to create an expansive world of...

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Statues We Love to Hate

At a fundamental level, art is intended to elicit an emotional state. Statues in public spaces in particular are lightning rods for controversy, possibly due to the implication that the piece will...

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New Uses for Old Mines

Underground in the Virginia-Pocahontas Coal Company Mine (1974) (photograph by Jack Corn, via US National Archives)You may recognize the name Iron Mountain — it’s a major records management and data...

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Has the wreckage of the ship that "changed human history" been found?

Christopher Columbus, painted by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1519 (via Wikimedia Commons)One of America’s top underwater archeologists says he’s found the remains of the flagship that sailed on Christopher...

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Dyeing the Dead: The Artful Science of Diaphonization

Diaphonized mouse by Sadie Stednitz, image copyright Chad LoweYou've likely seen diaphonized creatures on display in natural history museums, where transparent specimens of dead fish, frogs, and snakes...

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Distilling Gin in the Heart of the Jungle

 Our fellow explorers over at Hendrick's Gin have been up to some very interesting things, taking an expedition to Venezuela in search of a mysterious botanical with veteran explorer Charles Brewer...

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Where do objects go when they die?

Just like human beings, machines eventually wear out and cease being useful. But where do machines—and other types of inanimate objects—go when they die? Around the world, there are many areas set...

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Dante's Dust: A Curious Discovery in Florence's Central Library

National Central Library in Florence (photo by Kaylyn Wernitznig)In 1999, workers repairing bookshelves on the second floor of Florence's National Central Library came across a small envelope hidden...

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Zombie Mines Haunt the Landscape

Earlier this week, we bought you an article on new and inventive uses for old mines. Part two in the series looks at what happens when mines are left abandoned.From salt and coal to diamonds and gold,...

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