A fiery crater that has been burning for 38 years
In the hot, expansive Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, near the 350 person village of Derweze, is a hole 328 feet wide that has been on fire, continuously, for 38 years. Known as the Darvaza Gas Crater or the “Gates of Hells” by locals, the crater can be seen glowing for miles around.
The hole is the outcome not of nature but of an industrial accident. In 1971 a Soviet drilling rig accidentally punched into a massive underground natural gas cavern, causing the ground to collapse and the entire drilling rig to fall in. Having punctured a pocket of gas, poisonous fumes began leaking from the hole at an alarming rate. To head off a potential environmental catastrophe, the Soviets set the hole alight. The crater hasn’t stopped burning since.
Famed Italian explorer Marco Polo never learned to swim.
Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute. Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.
Sgriob: (Gaelic) The itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whisky
L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”
Pari-pari and Saku-saku: (Japanese) Hard-crispy verses Soft-crispy, i.e. a rice cracker versus fried chicken
Stam: (Hebrew) An agreement out of amusement and frustration that something doesn’t have a satisfactory answer among those talking.
Forelsket: (Norwegian)The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.
Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.
In 2004, a lab at a university in Texas received a $6 million federal grant to breed radioactive armadillos for possible use in warfare.
If you multiply 111,111,111 by 111,111,111, you get 12,345,678,987,654,321.
Dromedary camels can walk a perfectly straight line for hundreds of miles with their eyes closed.