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.
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?