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wrangel island

from mammoths, extinction posted in history by pete_nice

Located in the Arctic Ocean off the Siberian coast, Wrangel Island is thought to be the last known location for wooly mammoths.

Research indicates that the mammoths were inhabiting the island as late as 2000 BC, which is nearly 5,000 years after they are thought to have gone extinct on the mainland.

Today, Wrangel Island is home to a weather station and to Chukchi (indigenous Arctic) fishing villages.

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ryugyong hotel

from north korea, totalitarianism posted in history by pete_nice

From reddit: "The Ryugyong Hotel is an unfinished 105-story, 330 metres (1,080 ft) tall pyramid-shaped skyscraper in Pyongyang, North Korea. The building is also known as the 105 Building, a reference to its number of floors.

Construction began in 1987 but was halted in 1992 as North Korea entered a period of economic crisis after the fall of the Soviet Union. After 1992 the building stood topped out, but without any windows or interior fittings.

In 2008 construction resumed, and the exterior was completed in 2011. It was planned to open the hotel in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung's birth, but this did not happen.

A partial opening was announced for 2013, but this was also cancelled. As of 2017, the building remains unopened."

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word origin: sardonic

from word origin posted in history by prof_improbable

Webster's dictionary defines the word sardonic as "disdainfully or skeptically humorous : derisively mocking."

The word originates from the ancient peoples of the island of Sardinia off the Italian coast (from Wikipedia):

In 2009, scientists at the University of Eastern Piedmont in Italy claimed to have identified hemlock water dropwort (Oenanthe crocata) as the plant responsible for producing the sardonic grin.

This plant is the candidate for the "sardonic herb," which was a neurotoxic plant used for the ritual killing of elderly people in pre-Roman Sardinia. When these people were unable to support themselves, they were intoxicated with this herb and then dropped from a high rock or beaten to death.


That is so totally metal.

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thonis-heracleion

from ancient egypt posted in history by pete_nice

A lost city with two names, Thonis-Heracleion was discovered about 6.5 km off the coast of Alexandria in 2000 by underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio. Called Thonis by the Egyptians and Heracleion by the Greeks, this important port city was founded in the 8th century BC, and sank to the bottom of the Mediterranean by the 8th cetury AD. To put that in context, Alexandria wasn't founded until 331 BC.

Goddio has been doing extensive excavations on the site, bringing up statues that I don't feel bashful calling marvelous. Check out Goddio's website here.

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the murder castle

from chicago world’s fair, serial killers posted in history by pete_nice

Owner and operator of a drug store at this intersection, Dr. H. H. Holmes bought the adjacent lot and proceeded to construct a mammoth building. The three-story building had a 162' x 50' footprint, and was dubbed "The Castle" in the neighborhood. Holmes named it "The World's Fair Hotel", and it served as a hotel during the World's Columbian Exposition (aka The Chicago World's Fair) in 1893.

Holmes constructed a variety of rooms with the intent of killing his boarders, and carried out numerous murders in "The Murder Castle." He sold the skeletons of his victims to medical schools, while stealing the belongings of the deceased.

The "Murder Castle" was burned from the inside by arsonists in 1895, but the building survived and remained in use until it was torn down in 1938.

The story was retold in Erik Larsen's book The Devil and the White City, and an adaption of this work by Martin Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio is in production.

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