- Spree Park, Berlin, Germany
- Hotel del Salto in Colombia - featured previously on Curious History
- Gulliver’s Travels Park, Kawaguchi, Japan
- Abandoned mill in Sorrento, Italy
- Mirny (Mir) Mine is a former open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia - The second largest man-made hole in the world
- The abandoned flats in Keelung, Taiwan
- Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States
- Craco is an abandoned commune and Medieval village in Italy
- Dadipark Dadizel in Belgium
- Abandoned train depot in Czestochowa, Poland
A sensational trial in Germany in 1589 saw a man accused of making a deal with the devil, shape-shifting into a wolf, and killing 128 people, among other assorted gruesome crimes.
Known as the “Werewolf of Bedburg,” Peter Stubbe (or Stumpp) was executed on October 31, 1589, along with his daughter and mistress. As an example to others tempted by the devil’s offer of magical shape shifting garments, the execution was spectacularly horrific. The story was spread throughout Europe in a pamphlet describing the trial, torture, and death with relish. Then, as now, a story with a title like A True Discourse. Declaring the Damnable Life and Death of One Stubbe Peeter, a Most Wicked Sorcerer sold like hotcakes, and the werewolf myth gained more ground in the popular mind.
After lurid accounts of his supposed crimes including assorted murders, acts of cannibalism, and the ripping of children from the wombs of their mothers, after which he “eate their hartes panting hotte and rawe,” his final execution was described thus:
…his body laide on a wheele, and with red hotte burning pincers in ten seue∣ral places to haue the flesh puld off from the bones, after that, his legges and Armes to be broken with a woodden Are or Hatchet, afterward to haue his head strook from his body, then to haue his carkasse burnde to Ashes.
Today there is debate over whether Stubbe was a spectacularly bad man — a serial killer of the day — or if perhaps the spate of deaths might in fact be blamed on actual, non-demonic, non-shifting wolves, or whether he simply found himself, like so many others, on the wrong side of an inquisitor’s political or religious agenda.
…So much more on the long, storied history of Wolves, Men, and Delicious Little Girls…
The Glass Woman, 1935
Claimed to be the first exhibit of its type, a life-sized anatomically correct human figure with transparent “skin”. The model has detailed visible internal features and is internally illuminated. It created a sensation when first displayed and inspired many copies and imitations. The “glass” is actually Cellon, an early type of cellulose-based plastic. Cellon was also used during World War I when Germany experimented with “transparent” aircraft.
The original Gläserne Frau is still on display at the German Hygiene Museum, Dresden - Central Institute of Medical Education.
Hedi Xandt is a German-born artist that mixes styles and materials with talent. The artist invites the viewer to discover his dark and intense universe with his new macabre artwork. The above pieces are a series that the artist refers to as “skull-ptures”. They combine the aesthetics of naturally shaped bone with state-of-the-art and experimental production techniques. The pieces remind me of the old craniometers that were used to measure the external dimensions of skulls.
What the World Eats
These amazing portraits feature pictures of families from different countries with a week’s worth of food purchases. The photos, from the book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluision, reveal a stark contrast between cultures and expose the proliferation of processed foods in the western diet and in the diets of many developing countries. Some people have more to eat and, too often, eat more nutritionally questionable food. And their health suffers. It’s no wonder that we are seeing an increase in diseases related to diet & lifestyle choices. We also learn that diet is determined largely by uncontrollable forces like poverty, conflict and globalization.
- United States
- Great Britain
10 Incredible Gargoyles & Grotesques
In architecture, grotesques are often confused with gargoyles because both are eerie, strange creatures that are carved from stone and placed on the tops and sides of buildings. However, the distinction is that gargoyles are figures that contain a water spout through the mouth which conveys water away from the sides of buildings, while grotesques do not. Grotesques are used for ornamentation. Architects often used multiple gargoyles on buildings to divide the flow of rainwater off the roof to minimize the potential water damage from a rainstorm.
- Cologne Cathedral — Cologne, Germany
- St. Mary’s Cathedral — Edinburgh, Scotland
- Westminster abbey — London, England
- Magdalen College — England
- Nidaros Cathedral — Trondheim, Norway
- Marble Church, Bodelwyddan — Clwyd, Wales
- Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya — Barcelona, Spain
- Château d’Amboise — Amboise, France
- Winchester Cathedral — Winchester, England
- Notre Dame Cathedral — Paris, France