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Welcome to Curious History - Named one of the 20 best Tumblrs by MSN. The world is filled with strange and natural wonders. You will find them here. Please consider a small donation (upper left corner)!

Victorian Postmortem Photography

Painting the dead was a common occurrence for centuries, so it’s no surprise that in the Victorian era, postmortem photography became standard practice. 

The beginnings of memento mori photography can be traced back to the invention of photography. During the 19th century, postmortem portraits were used to announce and mourn the death of a loved one, especially a baby or child. All social classes engaged in the practice, which became more widespread after the introduction of the daguerreotype photo in 1839. The subjects of the photos were generally arranged to appear as if asleep or even in standing positions. 

For the poor during this era, many peoples only photograph was taken after they died. Families would scrape together enough money to have a memorial photo of the deceased family member with surviving members. For many, these staged photos were the only family portraits ever taken. These photos were kept in the family’s memorial album.

source 1, 2, 3

Amazing Abandoned Places

Urban explorer, Odin’s Raven, captures some of America and Europe’s most beautifully haunting abandoned places. The above photos are just a few examples of hundreds of stunning photographs in the collection:

  1. Morgue
  2. Bowling Alley
  3. Swimming Pool
  4. Amusement Park Ride
  5. City Hall
  6. High School Auditorium
  7. Church


Spring Flowers Around the World

  1. A woman carries a branch of peach blossom flowers for sale at a field in Hanoi, January 24. The peach blossom is believed to bring luck to families. (Kham/Reuters) #
  2. A boy runs amid field mustard, symbolic flowers to herald the start of spring, in full blossom at a park in Tokyo, Japan, March 19. (KIMIMASA MAYAMA/EPA) #
  3. Raindrops sit on crocus blossoms in a park in Munich, Germany, February 21. (SVEN HOPPE/EPA) #
  4. Almond tree blossoms on Ainos mountain on the island of Cephalonia, Greece, February 6. The blossom of almond trees is a sign of the arrival of spring. (ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU/EPA) #
  5. General view of several peach trees in blossom in the spot La Macetua, Murcia, eastern Spain, February 20. (MARCIAL GUILLEN/EPA) #
  6. People sit in front of blossoming crocuses in the Botanical Garden in Berlin, Germany, March 10. (Britta Pedersen/EPA) #
  7. Robins feed on staghorn sumac on a tree in North Adams, Massachusetts, March, 20. The sight of robins have often been linked to the beginning of spring. (Gillian Jones/The Berkshire Eagle via Associated Press) #
  8. Japanese plum blossoms in full bloom in the city of Isumi, Chiba prefecture, Japan, March 4. The ripening of the fruit in June coincides with the rainy season in Japan, which is called ‘plum rains.’ (Everett Kennedy Brown/EPA) #
  9. A slackline walker enjoys the sunny and warm weather in a park at the river Rhine bank in Duesseldorf, Germany, March 20. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)#

Amazing Art on Japanese Manhole Covers

In Japan, there are many cities and towns that place visually stunning works of art right underneath pedestrians’ feet. There are almost 6,000 of these covers around the country, turning unattractive necessities into eye candy. Photographer S. Morita has documented hundreds of these covers over the years which are available on Morita’s Flickr page.

(Source: flavorwire.com)

Newly Discovered Deep Sea Worms Unknown to Science

Scientist and marine researcher Alexander Semenov, recently released a number of incredible new photographs of worms, several of which may be completely unknown to science.

Half of the photos were taken near the Great Barrier Reef in Australia during a 2-week conference on marine worms called polychaetes. Semenov photographed 222 different worm species which are now in the process of being studied and documented by scientists.

The other half of the photos were taken during Semenov’s normal course of work at the White Sea Biological Station in northern Russia where he’s head of the scientific divers team. 

(Source: thisiscolossal.com)

Artist Lives in Egg-Shaped, Floating Micro-House for One Year

To explore “the meaning of place at a time of great environmental change”, artist Stephen Turner teamed up with the association of SPUD Group and PAD Studio to build the “Exbury Egg”, an egg-shaped micro-home that floats on water. 

Designed to be “tethered” like a boat, this unusual little house is made to “rise and fall with the tide”—containing bare necessities like a shower, a stove and a hammock bed, the Exbury Egg allows its occupant to more directly experience the seasonal cycles and processes of nature. 

From 15 July 2013 to 14 July 2014, Turner will be living and working inside and around the house, documenting his unique one-year residency in the micro egg home on his blog.

(Source: designtaxi.com)