A Blast From The Past: Episode 21

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From the archives of Amusing Planet.

A Place Called Earth

Earth is a small town in Lamb County, West Texas, United States and is possibly the only place on planet Earth that is named Earth.

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The Ice Road to Tuktoyaktuk

The Tuktoyaktuk Winter Road is an ice road that connects the Northwest Territories communities of Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in Canada. It is open to traffic only during the winter (December to March) when the water of the Mackenzie River Delta freezes tracing a natural road over the length of the river and parts of the Arctic Ocean. During summer the road melts and forms a flowing river. During this season the village of Tuktoyaktuk can be reached only by plane or boat.

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Tottori Sand Dunes: A Mini Desert in Japan

Who would have thought there is a desert in Japan? Well, not quite a desert but a huge sand dune that looks nearly a desert to me. It’s the Tottori Sand Dunes located near Tottori City in Honshū, Japan. The dunes stretch along the coast east of Tottori City for 16 kilometers and extend up to 2 kilometers away from the coast. The dunes are spread over an area of 30 square kilometers – not like the Sahara, but not small either.

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The Train Graveyard in Bolivia

Located some 3 km outside the trading town of Uyuni, in southwest Bolivia, lies an antique train cemetery.  In the past, Uyuni was an important transport junction, connecting key cities in the region, but plans to turn the town into an even greater railway hub died an early death.

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The Kalashnikov Museum in Izhevsk

AK-47, the notorious assault rifle, has a museum in its honor - the Kalashnikov Museum also called the AK-47 museum. The museum was opened on November 4, 2004, in Izhevsk, a city in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The museum chronicles the biography of General Kalashnikov – the creator of the rifle - as well as documents the invention of the AK-47. The museum attracts some 10,000 visitors each month.

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Hoba Meteorite: The Largest Meteorite on Earth

The Hoba Meteorite lies on the farm "Hoba West", not far from Grootfontein, in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia. It was uncovered by farmer Jacobus Hermanus Brits while tilling one of his fields behind his ox in 1920 when his plough got stuck. The meteorite was excavated soon after but because of it was so massive – about 60 tons - it was never moved. The Hobe meteorite is not only the largest known meteorite but also the most massive naturally-occurring piece of iron known at the Earth's surface.

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The Mushroom Tunnel at Mittagong

Buried underneath the hillside, alongside Mt Gibraltar between Mittagong and Bowral in New South Wales, Australia, lies a disused railway tunnel. This single track tunnel was built in 1866 and used up until 1919 when a new double track tunnel was built alongside. The single railway tunnel remained unused until in the 1950’s when it became one of the first cultivated mushroom farms in Australia.

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Spectacular Pictures of Laser Guide Star System

How do astronomers compensate for the ever changing and unpredictable atmospheric conditions? Lasers!

Wave Rock at Hyden, Australia

Wave Rock is an interesting natural rock formation located east of the small town of Hyden in Western Australia. It derives its name from the fact that it is shaped like a tall breaking ocean wave. The Wave Rock is composed of granite and the total outcrop covers several hectares. The rock is about 15 meters high and approximately 110 meters long.

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The Dark Side of Barbie

Photographer Mariel Clayton explorers the evil and hitherto unknown side of the famous doll character. When asked why she did it, Clayton explains: ‘Because I hate Barbie. I intensely dislike the stereotype that the “ideal” female fits no current authentic female form. You can’t get to be Barbie without an ocean’s worth of peroxide, 27 plastic surgeries and a complete lack of intelligence, so it irritates me immensely that this is the toy of choice women give to their daughters to emulate. Behind the vacuous perpetual lipsticked-smile lurks the black heart of the true sociopath, just like in real life’.

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