The Yara-ma-yha-who is a creature from Australian Aboriginal folklore. This creature resembles a little red man with a very big head and large mouth with no teeth. On the ends of its hands and feet are suckers. It lives in fig trees and does not hunt for food, but waits until an unsuspecting traveler rests under the tree. It then drops onto the victim and drains their blood using the suckers on its hands and feet, making them weak. It then consumes the person, drinks some water, and then takes a nap. When the Yara-ma-yha-who awakens, it regurgitates the victim, leaving it shorter than before. The victim’s skin also has a reddish tint to it that it didn’t have before. It repeats this process several times. At length, the victim is transformed into a Yara-ma-yha-who itself. According to legend, the Yara-ma-yha-who will only prey upon a living person, so (hypothetically speaking) you could survive an encounter with this monster by “playing-dead” until sunset; the creature only hunts during the day.
The story goes as follows: Long ago, a Samurai was walking at night down the road to Kyōto, when he heard someone calling out for him to wait. “Who’s there?!” he asked nervously, only to turn around and find a man stripping off his clothes and pointing his bare buttocks at the flabbergasted traveler. A huge glittering eye then opened up where the strange man’s anus should have been.
On May 21, [1908, Charles] Guthrie succeeded in grafting one dog’s head onto the side of another’s neck, creating the world’s first man-made two headed dog. The arteries were grafted together such that the blood of the intact dog flowed through the head of the decapitated dog and then back into the intact dog’s neck, where it proceeded to the brain and back into circulation. Guthrie’s book Blood Vessel Surgery and Its Applications includes a photograph of the historic creature. Were it not for the caption, the photo would seem to be of some rare form of marsupial dog, with a large baby’s head protruding from a pouch in its mother’s fur.
The transplanted head was sewn on at the base of the neck, upside down, so that the two dogs are chin to chin, giving an impression of intimacy, despite what must have been at the very least a strained coexistence….too much time (twenty minutes) had elapsed between the beheading and the moment the circulation was restored for the dog head and brain to regain much function. Guthrie recorded a series of primitive movements and basic reflexes, similar to what Laborde and Hayem had observed: pupil contractions, nostril twitchings, “boiling movements” of the tongue.
The first dog heads to enjoy, if that word can be used, full cerebral function were those [of] transplantation whiz Vladimir Demikhov, in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Demikhov minimized the time that the severed donor head was without oxygenby using “blood-vessel sewing machines.” He transplanted twenty puppy heads—actually, head-shoulders-lungs—and forelimbs units with an esophagus that emptied, untidily, onto the outside of the dog—onto fully grown dogs, to see what they would do and how long they would last (usually from two to six days, but in one case as long as twenty-nine days).
In his book Experimental Transplantation of Vital Organs, Demikhov included photographs of, and lab notes from, Experiment No. 2, on February 24, 1954: the transplantation of a one-month-old puppy’s head and forelimbs to the neck of what appears to be a German shepherd. The notes portray a lively, puppy like, if not altogether joyous existence on the part of the head:
09:00 The donor’s head eagerly drank water or milk, and tugged as if trying to separate itself from the recipient’s body.
22:30 When the recipient was put to bed, the transplanted head bit the finger of a member of the staff until it bled.
February 26, 18:00. The donor’s head bit the recipient behind the ear, so that the latter yelped and shook its head.
Dr. Vladimir Demikhov’s work, among others, was deeply influential for the future science of organ transplant, as he pioneered many different forms of transplant in the 1940s and 1950s, including the use of immuno-suppressants. His work was well known by other scientists and during the 1950s and 1960s, numerous heart transplants were performed on dogs in the United States by Dr. Norman Shumway of Stanford University and Dr. Richard Lower of the Medical College of Virginia. The first human heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard in South Africa, in 1967, however, as they did not have the chemical agents to utilize immuno-suppressants, the patient receiving the transplant did not do very well.
On March 14, 1970, a group of scientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, led by Robert J. White, a neurosurgeon and a professor of neurological surgery who was inspired by the work of Vladimir Demikhov, performed a highly controversial operation to transplant the head of one monkey onto another’s body. The procedure was a success to some extent, with the animal being able to smell, taste, hear, and see the world around it.
The operation involved cauterizing arteries and veins carefully while the head was being severed to prevent hypovolemia. Because the nerves were left entirely intact, connecting the brain to a blood supply kept it chemically alive. The animal survived for some time after the operation, even at times attempting to bite some of the staff.
White later wrote:
“”…What has been accomplished in the animal model - prolonged hypothermic preservation and cephalic transplantation, is fully accomplishable in the human sphere. Whether such dramatic procedures will ever be justified in the human area must wait not only upon the continued advance of medical science but more appropriately the moral and social justification of such procedural undertakings…what has always been the stuff of science fiction - the Frankenstein legend, in which an entire human being is constructed by sewing various body parts together - will become a clinical reality early in the 21st century… brain transplantation, at least initially, will really be head transplantation - or body transplantation, depending on your perspective… with the significant improvements in surgical techniques and postoperative management since then, it is now possible to consider adapting the head-transplant technique to humans.”
In 2002, other head transplants were also conducted in Japan in rats. Unlike the head transplants performed by Dr. White, however, these head transplants involved grafting one rat’s head onto the body of another rat that kept its head. Thus, the rat ended up with two heads. The scientists said that the key to successful head transplants was to use low temperatures.
A human head transplant would most likely require cooling of the brain to the point where all neural activity stops. This is to prevent neurons from dying while the brain is being transplanted. Ethical considerations have thus far prevented any reported attempt by surgeons to transplant a human being’s head.
Boy Scout Lane, sometimes written Boyscout Lane, is an isolated road located in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. A number of ghost stories and urban legends have become associated with the road, including the fictional deaths of a troop of Boy Scouts. The area has been the subject of several paranormal investigations, and has been a ‘haunt’ for youths hoping to experience a paranormal event. The land surrounding Boy Scout Lane is now privately owned and is off limits to the general public
According to a local urban legend, the road is named for a troop of Boy Scouts who were killed while on a camping trip in the 1950s or 60s. In some variations the murderer is the troop’s Scoutmaster. In others it is their bus driver. In other versions of the legend, a small group of Scouts leave their camp during the night and accidentally drop their lantern, resulting in a forest fire that kills the entire troop.
Other variations of the story exist including one in which the Scouts are killed after their bus crashes or accidentally catches fire. There is also a version in which the Scouts vanish without explanation and are never found. In some versions of the legend, two Boy Scouts escaped the fate of the rest of the troop and tried to find help, only to become lost in the woods where they die of starvation and/or exposure. In most variations of the legend it is said that the dead Scouts haunt the forest where they died and can be heard hiking through the undergrowth, or their lights can be seen at night as they seek help or their fellow Scouts.
There is an associated legend in which the killer (usually the Scout leader) hangs himself from a tree in the area after coming to terms with what he has done. In this legend, the tree is said to be an elm tree overhanging the road.
Stories circulated in “haunted travel guides” include visitors reporting a strong sense of foreboding or “being watched”, the sound of footsteps or breaking branches coming from multiple directions, red or white lights sometimes described as resembling swinging lanterns or flashlight beams, ghostly buses or figures, and “childlike hand prints” on cars stopped in or driven through the area.
Boy Scout Lane is in the Town of Linwood, Portage County, Wisconsin. It is located west of the Wisconsin River Golf Club, on West River Drive (West), and is situated between Cemetery Road and Little Chicago Road.
Historically, the road was named Boy Scout Lane because the land that it is located on was once owned by the Boy Scouts of America, who planned to use the land to build a Scout camp. Although the camp was never constructed and the land remains woodland, the name was still used.
When one geologist stumbled across a massive mound 65 years ago, he had no idea his discovery would spark one of the world’s strangest scientific mysteries.
The site in Irkutsk, Siberia was discovered in 1949 and is a huge convex cone with a funnel-shaped recess and a rounded hill in the middle, which looks a little like an eagle’s nest with an egg nestled inside it.
The origin of the Patomskiy crater has baffled scientists for decades and theories for its existence have ranged from a nuclear blast to a secret gulag mine and even a meteorite strike.
The current thinking is that the site was indeed created by a meteorite strike, but no evidence has been found to support the theory.
The cone is 80metres tall and has a diameter of 150metres at its widest. The depth of the inner circle ditch is around 10metres.
It was named Patomskiy after a nearby river and was discovered by a geologist called Vadim Kolpakov who tried and failed to arrange a scientific trip to examine the site, but numerous expeditions have taken place since and one last year collected samples.
Theories that the mound is a giant slagheap have been thrown out as there were not enough people living nearby when the crater is thought to have formed to create such a pile.
And there were never labour camps or gulags in the region.
Half a tonne of samples were taken from the site and removed by helicopter last year.
The samples led scientists to dismiss ideas of a uranium ore explosion as the background radiation at the site is low and no uranium has been found nearby either.
This left them with two main theories – one of a volcano and another of a meteorite.
However, the mysterious site has not given up any meteoritic material and the area is not thought to be volcanic.
In fact there are no volcanoes within thousands of kilometres of the Patomskiy crater and it also seems to be relatively new.
Scientists thought the crater was only between 100 and 500 years old and could be the result of the Tunguska meteorite, which fell in the Krasnoyarsk region in 1908, but whose crater has never been discovered.
It is thought the meteorite was sighted just 70km away from the ‘eagle’s nest’ and that distance is a mere 10 to 15 seconds of flight.
As the Tunguska event occurred in 1908, the age coincides, but modern tests have shown that the crater is actually 250 years old – so it could have been formed by a previous meteorite that fell when the area was virtually unpopulated.
Scientists now think that there is something with a high iron content and ferromagnetic materials buried between 100 and 150 metres underneath the crater.
They believe it could be a meteorite or another incredibly dense object, but they are not certain.
The fact that the crater is ‘alive’ as its shape changes constantly - by rising and falling - and that the trees nearby the site are reported to grow abnormally fast, adds to the mystery.
Dragon’s teeth were used by all sides in the European Theatre. The Germans made extensive use of them in the Siegfried Line and the Atlantic Wall. Typically, each “tooth” was 90 to 120 cm (3 to 4 ft) tall depending on the precise model.
Land mines were often laid between the individual “teeth”, and further obstacles constructed along the lines of “teeth” (such as barbed wire to impede infantry, or diagonally-placedsteel beams to further hinder tanks). The French army employed them in the Maginot Line, while many were laid in the United Kingdom in 1940–1941 as part of the effort to strengthen the country’s defences against a possible German invasion.
Behind minefields were the dragon’s teeth. They rested on a concrete mat between ten and thirty meters wide, sunk in a meter or two into the ground (to prevent any attempt to tunnel underneath them and place explosive charges). On top of the mat were the teeth themselves, truncated pyramids of reinforced concrete about a meter in height in the front row, to two meters high in the back. They were staggered and spaced in such a manner that a tank could not drive through. Interspersed among the teeth were minefields, barbed wire, and pillboxes that were virtually impregnable by the artillery and set in such a way as to give the Germans crossing fire across the entire front. The only way to take those pillboxes was for infantry to get behind them and attack the rear entry. But behind the first row of pillboxes and dragon’s teeth, there was a second, and often a third, and sometimes a fourth.
This absurd yet also pretty awesome train crossing a river is in Georgia, on route 11, 14 km from Khertvisi to Akhalkalaki. The river below is also known for its strong currents, so definitely not the kind of water you want to be falling into.
The length of the lake is about 600 metres (2,000 ft). The lake is surrounded by a rim of sand and a dense woodland of paperbark and eucalyptus trees with a narrow strip of sand dunes covered by vegetation separating it to the north from the Southern Ocean.
The most notable feature of the lake is its pink colour. It is such a significant distinguishing feature of the archipelago that air passengers often take note of it. The colour is permanent, and does not alter when the water is taken in a container.
Although the source of the pink colour has not been definitively proven in the case of Lake Hillier, the pink colour of other salt lakes (e.g., Pink Lake) in the region arises from a dye created by the organisms Dunaliella salina and Halobacteria. Another hypothesis is that the pink colour is due to red halophilic bacteria in the salt crusts. Despite the unusual hue, the lake exhibits no known adverse effects upon humans. From above, the lake appears a solid bubble gum pink, but from the shoreline it appears more of a clear pink hue. The shoreline is also covered in salt crust deposits.
Bouvet Island is the most isolated uninhabited place on Earth. When people say “out in the middle of nowhere” about an area where they could potentially walk to civilization, they are not thinking of Bouvet Island. Imagine a place that is nearly covered in ice and surrounded by the coldest ocean in the world and you would have a good idea of what Bouvet Island is like. It is not Antarctica, but Antarctica is the closest piece of land to the island. Bouvet Island is situated between the tip of Africa and the coldest continent on Earth. It is not the sort of place where it is likely you would find yourself shipwrecked. It is hard for even people who know where it is to find it. How is then that an expedition discovered an abandoned lifeboat on Bouvet Island?
Only the most adventurous travelers visit Bouvet Island and only a very unfortunate soul would wind up there in a lifeboat, unless it was a landing craft. Most modern expeditions onto the island are made by helicopter because landing a boat on Bouvet Island is difficult under the best conditions and impossible under average conditions. It is 90% covered in glaciers, under which is an active volcano. The sides of the island are almost all sheer, icy cliffs. Let’s put it this way, if you find yourself lost and stuck on Bouvet Island, you will probably be spending the rest of your now short life there with no food and maybe water, if you have something with which to melt ice.
Because of its location, weather researchers have long thought it a great place to put a weather tower. In 1964, Lieutenant Commander Allan Crawford was sent to the island to investigate a new area of the land, created by lava flow ten years prior to the expedition. He and his team landed via helicopter and began checking out the landscape. There, Crawford saw a lagoon with a very strange feature — an abandoned lifeboat.
Crawford later reported that the abandoned lifeboat on Bouvet Island had no markings on it that would suggest its origins. It also had no motor and no sails. He found the oars on shore, along with a flattened copper tank and a barrel. He was unable to do a thorough search of the area, given the harsh nature of the terrain and the work he had come to do, but what he was able to search of the landscape turned up nothing else. There was no evidence that people had stayed on the island or died on the island. There was nothing.
Two years after Crawford’s Bouvet Island expedition, another expedition did a survey of the area around the lagoon. They described the lagoon, but made no mention of a lifeboat, so it must have disappeared by then, but where could it have gone? It is unlikely that another expedition would have retrieved it, as dragging an extra boat back into the water or bringing a lifeboat onto a helicopter are far-fetched scenarios. There is the possibility that it sank into the lagoon. However, without knowing how deep the lagoon is, it is hard to say. All we do know is that Crawford’s lifeboat is gone.
As for the origins of the lifeboat on Bouvet Island, no one has come forward to say it was theirs. It could have been left by an expedition, but the lagoon was no more than ten years old, so there is only a small space of time during which the lifeboat could have appeared. Research into who visited Bouvet Island during that ten-year span has turned up nothing about an abandoned boat.
It seems unlikely that the lifeboat came from a shipwreck, as Bouvet Island is a small speck in a vast land-free ocean. Visibility is extremely poor, as well. Then, there is also the question of why the boat was left there at all. Did a shipwreck victim or the victim of a failed expedition die there? If so, why did he not use his boat for shelter? Why did he not camp near the lagoon? Did he camp, but have the traces of his stay later wiped out by the weather? There are just too many unanswerable questions regarding the mysterious lifeboat of Bouvet Island. It seems we will never know if it signified a disaster or if it was simply unable to return to a bigger ship during a successful expedition.
Dash, Mike, An Abandoned Lifeboat at World’s End
Because nothing says fun, amusement and good times for all the family like bible studies, there was Holy Land USA, a Christian tourist attraction filled with religious exhibits in Waterbury, Connecticut between 1958 and 1984. At its height, Holy Land attracted up to 40,000 visitors a year to the park.
An offshoot of the KKK to compliment one if its nearby summer camps? Not quite. Founded by John Baptist Greco, a Waterbury-based attorney, Holy Land was intended to be a place where all people, no matter their race or religion, could find peace (and a miniature replica of Bethlehem village)..
Largely built by community volunteers using reused materials and cinder blocks, by the 1980s, Holy Land USA needed a bit of a face lift and closed in 1984 for refurbishment and expansion. Two years later, with the works still unfinished, John Baptist Greco passed away. Holy Land USA never again re-opened to the public. Today the park is in an ‘advanced state of disrepair’. RoadsideAmerica.com recommends exploring the abandoned attraction “with caution (and with an up-to-date tetanus shot)”.
After Greco’s death, the park was left to the Religious Sisters of Filippini who still held weekly prayer meetings at the park for many years after its closure. It’s been suggested the nuns turned away volunteer efforts to restore the park for fear of liability lawsuits. In 1997 a group of boy scouts were allowed to repair the illuminated “Holy Land USA” and in 2008, the original 56-foot cross that was visible all over the city, was replaced with an illuminated 50-foot stainless steel one. Both later broke and have never been repaired. Year by year, Holy Land USA continued to be vandalised and fall further into disrepair.
In 2010, the eerie remains of Holy Land USA turned truly sinister when news broke of the rape and murder of a 16 year-old girl inside the park. Finally this summer, after numerous failed attempts to sell the property, the Waterbury mayor and a car dealer jointly purchased Holy Land USA for $350,000.
Long gone is the Garden of Eden replica, the dioramas and numerous statues, but the land still includes some remnants of the Holy Land attractions as well as a residential area where sisters from the Religious Teachers Filippini lived. The new owners plan to clean up and “revitalize” Holy Land as part of a community effort.
Around 2:00 in the afternoon on September 20, 1911, in Colorado Springs, the bodies of Alice May Burnham, her six-year-old daughter, and her three-year-old son were found dead in their beds. Alice’s sister, who discovered the bodies, ran to the road, attracting the attention of all the neighbors except for the Wayne family, who lived next door. When people went to check on them, they too were found dead in their beds. The young Wayne family consisted of 30-year-old Henry, 25-year-old Blanche, and their one-year-old baby.
Sometime in the night, the killer had climbed in through one of the windows, knocking over a bottle of ink. He then grabbed an axe, leaving a handprint on the handle from the ink. One by one, he beat the victims to death with the blunt side of the axe. He then neatly made the beds, tucking the still-warm corpses into their bedsheets, and left, leaving the axe in the house.
When the murders were discovered, A.J. Burnham, who was Alice’s husband, wasarrested but not charged with the crime. Using the handprint left on the axe, cold-case researchers are still looking into the crime. One investigator believes that the murders were committed by a serial killer who rode the rails and claimed the lives of 25 people across the Northwest.
In Nezametnaya Cove, located inside the Arctic Circle in the far north of Russia, lies a Soviet submarine graveyard. Starting in the ’70s, military submarines, many of them nuclear powered, were simply abandoned in the cove on the isolated Kola Peninsula. The Soviet shipyards were apparently too busy filling orders for new submarines to care about disassembling the old ones.
Access to the area is forbidden without a permit, so information on the graveyard remains limited. It is known that some of the subs were finally scrapped in the ’90s amid concerns over water pollution, but Google Earth images, pictured above, seem to indicate that there are at least seven remaining.
This legend involves a man who checked into a hotel for a few nights. After he obtained his room key, the woman at the front desk warned him that there was a door with no number on the way to his room. She explained that the locked room was used for storage, and she also warned him not to go into the room, or even look inside. The man, although intrigued, went straight to his room without asking any more questions.
But by the second night, his curiosity had got the better of him. He tried turning the door knob, but found it to be locked, just as the woman had claimed. Not to be deterred so easily, the man proceeded to peep through the keyhole. Beyond the door was what looked like a normal hotel room, exactly like his own. However, in the corner stood a very pale woman with her head resting against the wall opposite the door. Confused, the man returned to his room.
On the third day, the man decided to look through the keyhole once more. This time, all he saw was the color red—nothing else, just a constant, deep shade of red. Maybe the woman had suspected that someone was spying on her and had blocked it with something. The man decided that he would ask the woman at the front desk. She sighed and asked if the man had looked through the keyhole. After he confirmed that he had, the woman proceeded to tell him the whole story. Many years ago, she said, a man had murdered his wife in that very room, and her ghost now haunts it. Her ghost is said to be very pale, except for her eyes, which are bloodshot red.
In April 1980, a seniors’ home in Saint-Jean-de-Losne, France started to go up in flames. The workers at the home tried to evacuate the building but, sadly, 14 women and 7 men lost their lives in the fire, and 10 more were seriously injured. In fact, only three residents of the home made it to safety without injury.
While investigating the blaze, authorities discovered that the fires had deliberately been set in four different areas in the nursing home. One of the fires was started with an old coat, and another began when a Bible, a crucifix, and a cloth chalice cover were set alight. The police believe that it was the work of a mentally disturbed resident, but admit that none of the residents had a history of mental illness. No suspects were ever arrested in connection with the deadly blaze.
It might look like a traveler’s paradise, but this picturesque road is counted amongst the most dangerous in the world. Known as les Grands Goulets and built between 1843 and 1854, the legendary route is carved out of the cliffs of Vercors, a massif of mountains in the Rhône alpes region of France. After 156 years of leading travellers through the mountains by its winding and narrow road, the French government were forced to permanently close the historic road in 2005 after a series of fatal accidents.
In the early 19th century, without any passable roads for horse-drawn vehicles, the 5,000 strong residents living in Vercors were feeling increasingly isolated from the rest of the world. The decision was made to build a road that would connect Vercors with the South, a mind-boggling investment of man-power, time and money. Without the technology we have today, the construction of such a road seems inconceivable. A short video re-enacts the perilous methods used to build the road, involving hanging down the side of the mountain on a rope ladder and throwing dynamite into the rock, swinging out of the way just in time to avoid being blown up. (It has to be seen to be believed).
Ten years after construction began, the road was finally ready; a breathtaking but daredevil journey with sharps turns and blind curves.
The space between two mountains is unnerving at points and the road is often so narrow that squeezing past an oncoming car was a dangerous and time consuming ordeal (if you were lucky enough to even see it coming around the corner). Often very steep and high up in the gorge, the road had no guardrails.
After its eventual closure in 2005, a modern 1.7 km tunnel was built to replace the route from Pont-en-Royans to Les Barraques. Today the old road sits abandoned and untravelled. Not even cyclists or hikers are allowed to venture its long and winding route. While there are rumours that it might re-open for such purposes, the tourism office maintains that les Grands Goulets and its spectacular sights are closed forever and closed to all.
Luckily we have those crafty urbex explorers willing to bend the rules! French photographer Baptiste Ales gained access to the road in 2012 and snapped these awesome shots of the empty road. It appears to remain in good condition, if not a little eerie and slightly overgrown. For 2km, he ventured alone to immortalise this legendary but forbidden road in its magnificent setting…