Upside Down Houses Around The World

A clich├ęd yet popular tourist attraction that never fails to amuse is an upside down house, with a faithfully reproduced exterior and interior with inverted furniture, doorways and windows. These houses can be found all over the world either as part of an amusement park or a tourist attraction on its own. Let us look at some of the best made upside down houses.


WonderWorks is a museum and learning center focused on science exhibits, located in numerous places in the US — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Panama City Beach, Florida; and Syracuse, New York. With the exception of New York, each location features an upside down building that appears to have crashed on to the earth with telltale signs of cracks and wreckage. The building is very well done on the outside.


WonderWorks in Orlando, Florida. Photo credit: Carlos Rios/Flickr

Shigir Idol: The World’s Oldest Wooden Sculpture

In the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore in Yekaterinburg, Russia, is a 9 feet tall wooden statue enclosed in a glass box. Called the Shigir Idol, it is the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world, made 11,000 ago or about the same time man discovered farming. The original statue was even taller — 17 feet. During Russian's 20th century political turmoil, more than 8 feet of the idol was destroyed.

The incredible discovery was made in 1894 in a peat bog in Shigir, on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals, approximately 100 km from Yekaterinburg. The sculpture was found broken in numerous fragments, but otherwise unharmed, thanks to the excellent preservation properties of peat. When the fragments were pieced together, an immense figure of a man emerged, its surface covered in Mesolithic symbols and geometric designs, whose meaning the archeologists are still puzzling over.


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Try Galileo’s Gravity Experiments From The Leaning Tower of Gingin

In the late 16th century, famed Italian scientist Galileo Galilei supposedly dropped balls of different weights from the Leaning Tower of Pisa to demonstrate that they reached ground at the same time irrespective of their mass. Prior to Galileo’s findings people had believed that objects of different mass fell at different speeds. While this story of Galileo's experiment has been retold in popular accounts, historian believe that it was merely a thought experiment and that Galileo never actually dropped anything from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Nevertheless, the story is well known and its folklore is widespread, inspiring who knows how many people to drop objects from apartment windows into the sidewalk? Indeed, when astronauts stepped on the moon, they dropped a hammer and a feather to demonstrate that in the absence of air resistance both objects fell at the same rate.


Photo credit: seekme/Panoramio

The Multi-Layered Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague

In the past when a cemetery ran out of space and there were no more land to expand, a new cemetery was created by layering more soil over the old graves. This was what happened in the Old Jewish Cemetery, in the Jewish Quarter of Prague. Not once, or twice, but twelve times.

The Old Jewish Cemetery is among the oldest surviving Jewish burial grounds in the world. It was founded in the early 15th century, with the oldest gravestone dating back to 1439. The last burial took place in 1787. Between these two burials, a period of approximately 350 years, more than 100,000 people were interred here stacked on top of each other up to twelve layers deep.


Photo credit: Sarah Ackerman/Flickr

The Realmonte Salt Mine in Sicily

In the southern cost of Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, lies the town of Realmonte where there is a huge underground salt mine with tunnels that goes on for 25 km some 100 meters below the ground. The walls of the salt mine are naturally adorned with alternating bands of dark and light colored rocks arranged in concentric circles and stripes. These colored bands were formed approximately 5 million years ago by deposition of salt when seawater evaporated away leaving large quantities of dissolved salt as precipitate. During this period the Mediterranean Sea was undergoing a cycle of partly or nearly complete desiccation, which geologists call the Messinian Salinity Crisis. The precursor of the Strait of Gibraltar had closed tight and the Mediterranean Sea was blocked off from the Atlantic, resulting in the increase in salinity of the water. Because of the generally dry climate conditions, within a millennium the Mediterranean basin nearly completely dried out, forming a deep dry basin that reached 3 to 5 km below the world ocean level.


Photo credit: Giuseppe Fallica/500px

The UFO Watchtower in Hooper, Colorado

Smack in the middle of the San Luis Valley, in Hooper, Colorado, is a ten foot tall platform called UFO Watchtower atop which one can watch strange things being unfolded in the sky above. While not exactly a hotspot for UFO watchers, Colorado has its fair share in the UFO business, and taking advantage of it is former cattle ranch owner Judy Messoline, who moved from Denver to Hooper in the mid-1990s. After Messoline failed to raise cattle, she decided she would make more money by simply raising a platform.

Messoline erected the UFO Watchtower in 2000, but she didn’t expect anybody would actually be drawn to it, much less, pay $2 to climb it. After all, "when you're already at 7,600 feet, you don't need to be much higher," she told Roadside America. But it did. Throngs of people flocked to Judy’s property and made it a popular stopover. Sometimes visitors would camp on the property for the middle-of-the-night viewings. As of August 2015, there have been 96 reported sightings from the structure, 26 of which by Messoline herself.


Photo credit: Larry Lamsa/Flickr

The Bahrain World Trade Center Has Built-In Wind Turbines

Since the last few years an increasing number of green buildings are being constructed in the developed and developing world, focusing on environmentally responsible and resource-efficient design. This include everything from using locally available natural materials to generating power to meet the buildings' energy expense and reduce the dependence on the grid. While most buildings harness the energy of the sun (or avoid it), there is one that chose a very unconventional energy source, at least, for a building — wind.

The Bahrain World Trade Center, located in the seafront of Manama, Bahrain, is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design. The highly visible and dramatic wind turbines are seen as a strong iconic statement about the importance of alternative energy sources.


Photo credit: Atkins

The 13th Century Kelburn Castle Covered With Colorful Graffiti

Who said castles need to be somber colored stone buildings with grey and brown exterior? Ask the Earl of Glasgow, who had his transformed into the brightest in all of Scotland.

The Kelburn Castle, near Fairlie, 35 miles west of Glasgow, has been the family home of the Boyles since its construction in the 13th century, making the castle the oldest in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by the same family. In 1703, the Parliament of Scotland created the title of “Earl of Glasgow” for the then owner David Boyle, who was one of the commissioners who negotiated the Treaty of Union uniting England and Scotland into Great Britain. Since then the Kelburn Castle has been the home of a long line of Earls the family has produced.


Photo credit: Tim Kirman/Flickr

The Atomic Bomb Crater in Mars Bluff, South Carolina

Not too many families had a nuclear bomb dropped in their backyard, and survived. The Gregg family of Mars Bluff, South Carolina, was one of them.

On March 11, 1958, a group of four U.S. Air Force Boeing B-47E-LM took off from Hunter Air Force Base in Savannah, Georgia. They were heading to England to take part in a mission called Operation Snow Flurry, where they would perform mock bomb drops. This was a time when the Cold War was in full swing, and Air Force bombers, such as the ones taking part in Operation Snow Flurry, were issued a MK 6 nuclear bomb each that were to be carried onboard in case the planes needed to activate during an emergency wartime situation.


Photo credit: DTMedia2/Wikimedia

The Center of The Universe in Tulsa

Named after the city’s burgeoning music festival, the Center of the Universe in downtown Tulsa, in the US state of Oklahoma, is a strange attraction consisting of a worn out concrete circle, approximately thirty inches in diameter, in the middle of another circle eight feet in diameter and made up of thirteen rows of bricks. The circle is located on the Boston Avenue Pedestrian Bridge between Archer and 1st Street. The specialty of the attraction is that when someone stands in the center of the circle, facing any direction, and makes a noise, that noise is echoed back several times louder than it was made. The same thing happens if one stands a foot or less away from the circle and speaks to a person directly across the circle. The curious part is that the echo is not audible to anyone outside of the circle.


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