Sights & smells

Things found in caves

Things found in caves

Caves are often thought of as little more than empty holes in the ground, but this is only half right; they’re holes with things in them. Far from being just a hollow space, caves are full of curiosities – unusual rock formations, prehistoric artwork and, frequently, hard-hatted men who need rescuing.

4 bridges that go nowhere

4 bridges that go nowhere

Bridges connects things. It’s the most important thing about them. Literal bridges connect one piece of land to another. Metaphorical bridges connect one person (or thought, or idea, or thing) to another. If a bridge doesn’t link something (or someone) to something (or someone) else, can it really be called a bridge? If it can’t, what’s it called? And if it can, what effect would this have on the word’s use as a metaphor? Would we have to start using “tunnel” instead?

403 strange underwater things from around the world

403 strange underwater things from around the world

On a planet that’s 70% water, it’s perhaps no surprise that there are some interesting objects under the sea. Here we take a look at just 403 of them. Some of these things occurred naturally; some were put there deliberately. One of them may have been made deliberately but nobody can remember.

The Trulli of Alberobello

The Trulli of Alberobello

When I first saw the Italian town of Alberobello, I was convinced I was actually looking at the setting for a children’s TV programme. I imagined it to be inhabited by little white, fluffy things with adorably cute but artistically very simple faces (much like Moomins or something). But Alberobello is a real place, inhabited by real people (or so the internet would have me believe…)

Palais Idéal: The palace that was built by a postman

Palais Idéal: The palace that was built by a postman

Where I live, the only things left behind by the local postmen are letters for the person who used to live in my flat and the odd discarded rubber band. But in Hauterives, France, the local postman left a little more than that… Ferdinand Cheval left an entire palace, made from stones he’d picked up on his daily mail round!

The weird art of Denver International Airport

The weird art of Denver International Airport

There are examples of unusual public art all around the world, but rarely are these examples as consistently and suspiciously strange as those at Denver International Airport. With apocalyptic visions, biblical references and hints towards the New World Order, it’s little surprise that the artworks here are frequently used as evidence of secret goings-on at the site.

Aokigahara: Japan's suicide forest

Aokigahara: Japan's suicide forest

It’s said that going for a quick walk outside can lift even the most stubborn feelings of depression. A few minutes taking in the fresh air, the birdsong and the sound of the wind blowing through the trees can cheer you up and put a spring in your step. This is all assuming, however, that you’re not going for a walk in Japan’s Aokigahara forest. Because, chances are, a walk in Aokigahara will end in the taking of your own life.

Bizarre public toilets from around the world

Bizarre public toilets from around the world

In the USA, public toilets are called “restrooms”. I can only assume that this is an example of the famous American use of irony, because there’s nothing restful about them. A visit to a public convenience is a frightening experience full of nauseous confusion and, given the option, most people would avoid them altogether. Often though, this isn’t an option. Fortunately, designers from around the world have been working hard to make our inevitable toilet visits just a little bit more exciting…