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Archive for June 29, 2011

The Manhattan of the Desert: Shibam, Yemen

Deep in the middle of Yemen lays a town nearly two-thousand years old that pioneered skyscrapers.  Shibam, a town of about 7,000 people, was founded sometime around the 3rd century AD.  The town was built in its unique way to help protect residents from regional Bedouin attacks. Enormous clay walls were built around the city and residences were built upward rather than outward. Shibam is often referred to as “the oldest skyscraper city in the world,” and is one of the oldest examples of vertical urban planning. Read more…

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Falling From Airplanes

Imagine being seated in the back of a plane and, while you’re flying at 33,330 feet, the plane blows up in mid-air. After being knocked unconscious, you later wake up to find yourself on the ground and in much pain – but still alive, the only survivor. This is precisely what Vesna Vulović claimed, and for this she holds the Guinness Book World Record for having survived the highest fall without a parachute. Read more…

Over 200 Dead Bodies on Mount Everest

As of mid-2011, Mount Everest has claimed the lives of over 216 known mountain climbers. The area above 26,000 feet is called “the Death Zone”, where breathing fresh oxygen from canisters is necessary for all but the most experienced climbers.

The atmospheric pressure is about a third of that at sea level, meaning there is about one third the amount of oxygen to breathe.  The air is so thin recovery of bodies has proven impossible.  Given this, many victims lay where they took their last breath.

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Town for sale, needs TLC: Klomino, Poland

The village of Klomino (located in northwestern Poland) is the only “official” ghost town in Poland. Originally known as Westfalenhof, it was a large garrison and training ground of the German Wehrmacht during World War II. Read more…

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