Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Places I’d Never Want To Live (But Would Make Excellent Book Settings)



Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is bookish worlds I’d never want to live in. That topic doesn’t work for me because I mostly read realistic fiction, so I’m doing my own thing this week. Here is a list of real-life places where I’d never want to live, but would make excellent book settings.




Places I’d Never Want To Live (But Do Want To Read About)








1. Great Blue Hole, Belize. This is a massive sinkhole in the ocean off the coast of Belize. What’s down there? Darkness and mysterious stuff, probably.








2. Lake Natron, Tanzania. The water in this lake is caustic alkaline brine, and it can get up to 140°F (60°C).  Most animals find it inhospitable. (The water probably tastes pretty nasty, too.) The most interesting thing about this particular lake is that it calcifies dead animals. What does a calcified animal corpse look like? Photographer Nick Brandt will show you.


I wouldn't go in there, if I was you.






3. Places where it rains raw meat. Have you heard of The Great Kentucky Meat Shower? On March 3, 1876 raw meat rained down on Bath County, Kentucky, USA. The meat looked like beef, but the townspeople who decided to taste it couldn’t agree on what it was.

This “meat shower” wasn’t an isolated incident. It has happened in other places. Nowadays, scientists think meat showers are caused by vomiting flocks of buzzards. When buzzards eat too much, they vomit while flying. If a whole flock of buzzards overindulges on tasty corpses, many birds can vomit at once. This creates a “meat shower” for the people on the ground.


The meat probably didn't look like this.


Speaking of meat showers, in 1970, the people of Florence, Oregon, USA used dynamite to explode the rotting body of a whale that had washed up on the beach. That turned out to be a terrible decision. Chunks of rotten whale flew about 800 feet in every direction.

Unfortunately, dead whales don’t require dynamite to explode. Sometimes they do it spontaneously. In Taiwan in 2004, a buildup of gas inside a dead whale caused it to burst. The whale explosion happened in a crowded urban area, so . . . yeah. Meat showers for everyone!  








4. Whale Bone Alley, Russia. Let’s stick with the whale theme for a minute. On the shore of Yttygran Island in Siberia, there are shrines made from carefully arranged whale bones. The island may have once been used by native people for butchering and storing whale meat. Now it just looks eerie and abandoned.








5. Mendenhall Ice Caves, USA. Have you ever wondered what’s under a glacier? In Alaska, you can find out! (If you’re willing to kayak to the glacier, then climb up the glacier, then hike to the caves.) The insides of the caves are made from bright blue ice. Why blue? The ice absorbs every color except blue, so that’s the color you see. Is it dangerous to go inside a glacier? Yes.








6. Huashan Mountain, China. If you made a list of the most dangerous hiking trails in the world, this one would be on it. This trail is basically some wooden planks nailed to the side of the mountain. What’s at the end of this deadly trail? A tea house. You have to really like tea to put yourself through this.








7. Antarctica’s haunted houses. No place is free of ghosts, I guess, and Antarctica is famous for killing everyone. Some people claim the abandoned buildings on the continent are haunted. If the cold doesn’t kill you, the angry ghosts might. Actually, Antarctica has a lot of creepy-sounding places. Ghost mountains. Blood Falls. The “blood” is actually iron in the water, but whatever. It’s creepy.


Not blood.






8. Isla de las Muñecas, Mexico. The island of the dolls. Supposedly, a little girl drowned in a canal and started haunting the island. To appease her spirit, the owner of the island started hanging dolls from the trees. Now, visitors do the same. The island is full of rotting, tree-dwelling dolls.








9. The Paris catacombs, France. No list of strange places would be complete without catacombs. The catacombs under Paris hold the bones of approximately six million people. In the 1700s, Paris’s cemeteries became overcrowded, so they started chucking the dead into old mines. Seems reasonable to me. I’m all about repurposing. 








10. Cat Island, Japan. On Tashirojima, feral cats outnumber humans 6 to 1. That is a lot of cats, people. Local legend says that feeding the cats will bring you wealth. I don’t know about wealth, but feeding the cats sure does seem to bring more cats.







What’s a place that you’d never want to live, but would want to read about?








44 comments:

  1. Sinkholes and deep mysterious places do interest me but I was really fascinated by that meat shower!

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  2. Some of these places look lovely...and utterly horrifying. I can't believe people actually ate meat that fell from the sky. So they could have eaten buzzard puke? I'll skip that meal. Also, those calcified animals - really cool and super scary. I can see a whole horror movie about them. And I gotta mention The Island of the Dolls - NO WAY. I find dolls terrifying as well. I didn't have them as a child and much preferred Stuffed Animals - except Cabbage Patch Dolls. I did like them. GREAT POST!

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    1. I know! Why would someone eat meat that fell from the sky? Yes, they most likely ate something that had died, was eaten by buzzards, and then thrown up by buzzards. Yuck.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  3. Haha I love your interpretation of the prompt! All of these places seem creepy and/or dangerous and I would never want to visit, but I would read a book set there.

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    1. Yeah, I’m going to stay far away from these places.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I'm all for cat island. Although I can only imagine the cat urine smell. I think the whale alley would be cool to visit. I'm gonna have to pass on the creepy hanging dolls and catacombs though. That's just a bit too creepy for my tastes. LoL

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    1. I have a feeling that cat island is one of the worst smelling places on earth.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  5. Wow, your list is fascinating! These places all sound so interesting, but I definitely don't think I'd want to be in any of them either. The catacombs have always intrigued me. I think I'll pass extra hard on the under-glacier exploring and the meat showers... yikes. :/ And and ISLAND of dolls? No no, I'm fine, thanks.
    Awesome list, I love what you did with the prompt!

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    1. I’ll also pass on the doll island and the meat showers. Just . . . no.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  6. Oh such a cool twist on this week's list! I'd love to explore the Paris catacombs, they sound so cool!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/29/top-ten-tuesday-161/

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    1. Thanks! I’d also like to visit the Paris catacombs. They’re like a real-life horror setting.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I have read a historical fiction book about the Paris graveyards being dug up and the bones being emptied out to make space for more dead people. It was a good novel, but right now all I can remember is that the cover might have been dark-coloured. If I recall any actually useful information (title/author!) I'll pop back :-)

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    1. YES! If you remember the book, please come back. It sounds like something I’d read.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  8. Sink holes are really cool. The island of dolls have creeped me out since I've heard of it. Awesome list.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. Sinkholes are interesting. Unless they’re under my house. Then they’re really NOT interesting.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  9. Ooh The Great Blue Hole- mysterious. Probably monsters, best left alone.

    Meat showers? Wow... the ice caverns sound neat! Too much work to get there though. :)

    Love the sound of Cat Island though. Imagine the yowling on THAT place...

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    1. I don’t think Cat Island would be a nice place to live. It’s probably very loud and very stinky.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  10. Thanks for the creepy doll picture! Nightmares coming my way. Love your take on the topic - who needs fantasy or dystopian worlds - ours is crazy enough!

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  11. I've never heard of any of this places but they all sound and look terrifying. And OMG I never knew meat showers were a thing. That's really creepy!
    - Adri @ Little Fox & Reads

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    1. Yeah, having raw meat rained down on me is something I hope to NEVER experience.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  12. I am so grossed out by the meat showers right now!!! I had never heard of such a thing. So gross.

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    1. I think I gagged the first time I heard about meat showers. That’s really nasty.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  13. I love how you put an original spin on the TTT topic. I had never heard of many of these places, so this was absolutely fascinating. Meat showers and islands filled with creepy dolls are two fears I didn't know I had until now, so thanks for that!

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  14. These are awful places (raw meat rain?!?!) but you're right, kind of interesting too -- and I never though I'd say that about places that rain raw meat (great take on this btw!)

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    1. The Earth is weird. There are so many strange and awful places.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. I learned SO much from this post?! Thank you for that, also I'm slightly inspired to write stories about all of these strange places now. I'm just like you though, I wouldn't want to visit any of these places, especially the dolls' island, I would be so creeped out there haha.
    Lovely post <3

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    1. The doll island would freak me out so much. I hope you do write stories about these places. They’d make excellent settings.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. That first location gives me chills! I'd love to see a movie set there! Same with the ice caves! I have some serious thalassophobia, but I love seeing video and pictures!

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    1. I’m also freaked out by the Blue Hole. What’s funny is that when I searched for free stock images of it, the first one that came up was of a cute manatee. I guess the Blue Hole isn’t _that_ scary.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  17. If i had to do one of these, I would definitely do Cat Island, Japan. Because hello! cats! I love animals very much and cats and dogs are my top favorites since I have both:)
    This was a pretty awesome and interesting post, I learned a lot of new things, tho I could of lived out the creepy dool one, lol.
    Hope you have a great day. 💋

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    1. If I had to live in one of these places, I’d probably pick Cat Island, too. Cats are probably the least creepy/deadly thing on this list.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  18. Seriously, how do you find these things? Meat shower? That's something so strange, and you know my mind went right away to Rainy with a Chance of Meatballs. Another extremely enlightening post.

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  19. Just the idea of glacier caves makes me nervous! Hard pass on the Island of Dolls as well but I might consider Cat Island. That could be fun.

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  20. Very cool post! My dad was there when they exploded the whale in Oregon, because he was a photographer at the Oregonian newspaper. And they still show footage from time to time, just for the LOLs. I saw some catacombs in Vienna when I was 11, and yeah, that really sticks with you. Bones. Lots of bones. Hard not to get at least a tiny bit philosophical about life and death in that setting.

    I was once in a tiny fishing village in Latvia, and bent down to pet a fluffy kitty, and all of a sudden cats started running towards me from all sides. They were super cute, so it wasn't scary, but it was still kind of...intense. They were all clearly related, sort of a herd of wild cats that begged for food and reproduced in great quantities.

    I actually liked dolls fine as a kid, but decaying dolls hung from trees? No thanks.

    Again, fabulous post--horrifying, fascinating, hilarious!

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  21. OH MY GOSH! What a list!!! Great Blue Hole, Belize would be so interesting!! I'd love a horror book set there! :)

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  22. I kind of love the Paris catacombs. Morbid and eerie yes, but the atmosphere is just the right amount of creepy.

    And omg, buzzards vomiting up their kill? NO THANK YOU.

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  23. Um this is the coolest list ever. Idk why I looked at the calcified animals, but it was interesting, if sad. The meat showers are probably the worst, because how do you even avoid that? Like I can just NOT climb up the Tea Mountain of Death and Doom, but the whale showers and such? Nope, what's a girl to do? Honestly I'd read a book about any and all of these, the weirder the better!

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  24. 🤣 OMG, meat showers... Vomiting buzzards... I had no idea that was a thing! And who the hell picks up a piece of meat that has fallen from the sky as part of some unexplained 'meat shower' and thinks "Mmm, I wonder if this is tasty?" 🤢

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  25. Oh. My. Gosh. I've never ever heard of meat showers. That is just horrific and creepy and ick. I can't even fathom having to clean up that mess. And I've seen pictures of Huashan Mountain and all I can think of is you did that for tea?! I mean obviously it's for more than that and I love tea with all of my heart but that's what's at the end? I just can't lol!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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