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Is This the World's Most Interesting Border Crossing?

 There are more than 100 enormous topiary sculptures in the Municipal Cemetery in Tulcán, Ecuador, five miles from the border with Colombia. (All photos: Eric Mohl)Across the Americas, border towns can...

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The Woman Who Ate Chernobyl's Apples

For the past couple of years, a young woman known only as “Bionerd23” has been making strange, dangerous videos in and around one of the most infamous nuclear zones on Earth—the Chernobyl Exclusion...

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See the Candied Animals Once Sold By Ninjas in Japan

A candy elephant at Amezaiku Yoshihara. (Photo: wombatarama/Flick.)At a tiny shop in the old downtown of Tokyo, you can see an art form that almost died out—and eat it, too. The craftspeople at...

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Object of Intrigue: 19th-Century Greenlandic Seal Fur G-String

Photo: National Museum of Denmark/Roberto FortunaThe National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen has a formidable collection of animal-skin garments once worn by the indigenous people of Greenland, North...

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Man-Made Batcaves: 6 Unnatural Places Where Winged Rodents Have Taken Roost

Oh hello. Thanks for the house. (Photo: ITU Pictures on Flickr)Gotham City isn't the only place with a batcave. All over the world, bats have taken advantage of the cozy nooks and crannies created by...

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Exploring America's Largest Collection of Early Tavern Signs

 Early tavern signs at the Connecticut Historical Society. (All photos: Luke Spencer)The early American colonists were ferocious drinkers. It’s thought that the average person back then inhaled around...

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The Victorian Gentlewoman Who Documented 900 Plant Species

Marianne North painting a Tamil boy in Ceylon, 1877. (Photograph by Julia Margaret Cameron)This is the first part of a five-part series about early female explorers. Born into wealth in 1830 as the...

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Shakespeare Gardens, Where Roses of Every Name Smell Sweet

 Holly at the Central Park Shakespeare Garden. (Photo: James Adamson on Flickr)Edmond Bronk Southwick had been the official entomologist of Central Park for almost 30 years in 1913. That was the year...

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The Lost Resorts of Hog Island

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Gh0st5 0f the Pa5t: 5 Places to View Your iPhone's Ancestors

Can a computer look... sad? (Photo: Marcin Wichary on Flickr)It shouldn't be too much longer until computers the world, so its important to understand the roots of where our future overlords. Computing...

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Disruptive, World-Changing And Incredibly Mundane: The Story Behind 8 Film...

Ten years ago today, the very first video ever was uploaded to YouTube, “Me at the Zoo,” by the site’s cofounder, Jawed Karim. It’s a fantastically interesting piece of history despite the fact that...

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7 Hedge Mazes To Enchant (And Entrap) You

"I say we make base camp here, and start again in the morning." (Photo: Tim Green on Flickr)The lush, green hedge maze has long been a symbol of baroque opulence and slightly creepy mystery. And while...

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Forgotten Wonders of the Digital World: World of Warcraft

The giant, random crystals of Silithus (All images by Eric Grundhauser)As more and more of our time and lives move into the digital world, the online landscape is becoming so vast, we have begun...

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Shipwrecks, Scurvy and Sea Otters: the Story of Naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller

A 1751 sea otter illustration by Georg Wilhelm Steller. (Drawing and all photos via Wikipedia Commons)In 1741, Georg Wilhelm Steller became the first European to step foot in Alaska. Marooned there for...

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The New Jersey Cemetery Trapped in the 19th Century

At one point, all these rocks were covered by weeds. (All photos by Luke Spencer.)In 2008, a retired woman named Eileen Markenstein and a small group of volunteers decided to clean up Jersey City’s...

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Saying Goodbye To Your Favorite Mummy

This post first appeared online in In the Artifact Lab,  a blog run out of the .My family has a tradition that we honor at the beginning of every school year that we call “goodbye old pals.” As kids,...

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Saying Goodbye To Your Favorite Mummy

This post first appeared online in In the Artifact Lab,  a blog run out of the .My family has a tradition that we honor at the beginning of every school year that we call “goodbye old pals.” As kids,...

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Unusual Duels: The Princess Vs. The Countess

The counting of steps, the smell of gunpowder, the sound of clashing swords. This is the duel; gentleman’s right, settler of disputes, restorer of honor, a really easy way to get yourself killed. Duels...

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7 Of The World's Most Heated City Rivalries, Ranked

Sometimes one city doesn’t like the look of another city. There’re many reasons for that – rankable reasons, too – and they’re explored below. If your city isn’t mentioned or there’s a category you’ve...

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The Strange, Bitter 19th Century Debate Over Where Toledo Was

From a different era of Toledo: redlining maps. (Courtesy of Ohio State University Libraries,) From our smug (though extremely temporary) perch atop history, we can safely say that we know exactly...

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