Dragons/ Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day:

Dragons And Other Mythical Creatures


You are a wayfarer at sea venturing through Europe, East Asia and Greece. The wind whirls around you. Endless tufts of water surround you on all sides. Situated in a boat that is being tossed about the ocean blue like a buoy on a beach in a storm, you look up. There is nothing but sky above you, no sign of land before you. You appear to be in the middle of nowhere and yet… you are here. Where is here exactly? In the sea of the serpents my friend, that place where the dragons be.

Dragons: Why We’re So Obsessed With Them

First of all they’re fire breathing. Plus, they fly. This is not to mention the fact that dragons add a little hint of mysticism to just about everything they’re featured on from globes to video games to movies but the main point of intrigue is this… They might actually be real.

Dragons: Gracing Ancient Maps and Modern Legends

“Hic Sunt Dracones” declares the Hunt-Lenox globe of 1510, a globe you can still see displayed at the New York Public Library. The controversial phrase is allegedly Latin for “Here Be Dragons”. For supporters of the “dragons do exist” theory, this spherical map is all the proof that they need but it isn’t really all the proof they have. Several attempts at disproving dragons have been unsuccessful and, in truth, the scientific community is somewhat baffled by the phenomenon. Experts claim that maps from the ancient world were elaborate and colorful intentionally. They were designed to make journeymen and journeywomen want to, you know, journey. Brave the seas and hunt for treasure and come home with elaborate, colorful stories of their own. As legend would have it, this is the reason maps and globes were so often decorated in mythical creatures— in order to arouse intrigue.

Why This Theory Doesn’t Hold Water

This theory doesn’t hold water mainly because when it comes to our own planet, we’ve almost completely stopped exploring. It appears that facing the roaring sea and staring into the eye of the ocean or even the giant squid for that matter, is no longer at a high point on our list of priorities. We feed our fancies with virtual realities, leaving the real life monsters out there lurking in the muddy waters.

“But we have tons of maps,” you might be thinking. And that’s true. We have all sorts of digital directions stored in data bases across the globe but here’s the problem. 95% of the oceans still remain uncharted and when you consider the fact that 71% of the planet is water, you’re talking about a whole lot of unaccounted for space. There’s a debate in here that I’d like to propose— Which do we know more about, Earth or Mars?

Could Dragons Really Exist?

Well, here’s what we know for certain. Dragon stories have been in heavy circulation since even before the written history of humankind emerged. There is also some archeological evidence for dragons. You’ve seen this evidence in museums but you know it by a different name—Dinosaur bones. The thing about the rumors, myths and legends related to dragons that’s rather shocking is the descriptions were near identical. We’re talking about a time when villagers from even neighboring towns were unlikely to meet due to the sheer danger posed by travel. Yet people from all corners of the Earth who likely didn’t know each other shared eerily similiar stories. Today, paleantologists think they have the answer to this mystery.

The Tie Between Dragons and Dinosaurs

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Meet Draconex Hogwartsia whose name was inspired by Harry Potter. He’s pictured above. This prehistoric skeleton is what paleontologists believe all the fuss was about. According to independent scholar and author Adrienne Mayor, the knobs, horns and muzzle all support the theory that this fossil is in fact a dragon and not a dinosaur as was previously presumed. Records indicate that it could be as ancient as 66 million years old. It recently took center stage at “Dragons Unearthed”, an exhibit that examines ancient stories and the fossils that coincide with them.

Yes. Ancient Stories Have Fossils That Support Them

It makes sense that our ancestors were probably too busy struggling with basic survival to be bothered telling fictional tales. Stories were once the only way information was passed around so these stories were probably sacred. More than likely, they were also probably true. The aforementioned scholar has dedicated a great deal of time to proving the links between myths and fossils in an attempt to show that many mythical creatures were, and maybe even are, real. Other legendary characters that went from the fiction to the non-fiction section of the library include:

  • Giant Squid
  • Unktehi (the horned sea serpent)
  • Chupacabra

While the above listed species went by different names and were often found to be slightly different from the tales it doesn’t change the fact that they exist(ed).

Were Dragons Just From Prehistoric Times?

Given our inability to further examine the oceans of the planet, the world may never know…

Choose A New Obsession

“None of the animals is so wise as the dragon. His blessing power is not a false one. He can be smaller than small, bigger than big, higher than high, and lower than low.”

         Chinese scholar Lu Dian

 

dragon stories from around The World

Here is a brief overview regarding what people in different regions said about dragons and Sea Monsters.

Asia’s Dragon Tales

In Asia, dragons were beheld in a realm with deities. In addition to fire breathing powers and the ability to soar through the air, they were also believed to:

  • Change the Seasons
  • Control All Bodies of Water on Earth
  • Bring Rain
  • Give Out Magical Powers
  • Protect Land and Sea

The small details varied from village to village but the descriptions of the actual dragons along with the respect for their authority was agreed upon. The dragon has held a spot in Asian culture for more than 4,000 years. To this day, these mystical beings are widely accepted power sources for various religions like:

  • Buddhism
  • Taoism
  • Confucianism

The Dragon Fables of Ancient Greece

The fabled dragons of ancient Greece were spookily similar to those described in Asia. Much like the inhabitants of the Orient, the Greek often worshipped them and ascribed powers to them. The dragons of Greek mythology were winged, ferocious and magical. Many were believed to have multiple heads. One multiple headed dragon known throughout Greece as Lernaean Hydra was closer to a Sea Serpent. He was made famous after allegedly being slayed by Hercules and henceforth, his picture graced many a piece of ancient pottery. Fanged and venomous, he was also reputed to be immortal, that is, until he was slayed. While this elaborate description may not shock you at first, please consider that this same description was retold elsewhere…

 

Sea Serpents Chronicled in the Middle East

 

At this point, it might come as no surprise to you that the fabled maritime monster known as Lernaean Hydra in Greece was being called by a different name in the Middle East. Nevertheless, this guy was spotted donning multiple heads and battling a slew of different deities. Other regions that bear records of a multi-headed sea dragon include:

  • Syria
  • Scotland
  • Scandinavia
  • Denmark
  • The British Isles

While many speculate this dragon tale was based largely on the giant squid it is notable to mention that giant squid were thought to be fictional until 2004. Also worth looking into— the mention of the Sea Serpent in the bible along with stories of a Catholic Saint who slew him.

Was Dragon Talk Just Whisper Down the Lane?

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Pictured above is one of those elaborately decorated maps we mentioned earlier but it’s an important one because this particular map marks the onset of an era. The 15th century, ironically the time the talk of dragons began, was historically significant for a different reason. This era was known as the Age of Discovery and it was right about the time when sailing started getting smooth. As a result, the spice trade, another one of my obsessions, ensued. The spice trade brought people from all corners of the Earth together for the very first time. Did they get together and embellish wild stories about giant lizards, snakes and fish? You decide.

Some Have Entered, Some Have Crouched-Dragons In Pop Culture

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If dragons really were just an exaggerated tale (tee hee), then none have told a taller tale than we. We’ve perpetuated the myth and the monster in everything from film to festival. We even ride the serpent on our boardwalks. Here are just a few fun facts and modern dragon spottings to peruse.

Gaming Dragons

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Rayquaza is back with a vengeance thanks to the reemergence of the beloved Pokemon which, by the way, made $14 million in its first week. But let’s not forget about an equally cute, awe-inspiring dragon by the name of…

Yoshi 

 

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Yoshi’s first spin off was created by the same crew that brought you Pokemon so double bank for them. Another fun Yoshi fact is that his character was inspired by a Japanese video game called Devil World. Speaking of Asian inspired video games… 

The Mortal Combat Dragon

 

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Finish Him!

And that’s my obsession. Dragons— Fact or fable, fiction or fossil? Did they leave behind a legend or a legacy? The verdict’s still out and there’s definitely room for a sequel.

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Blogging about dragons has stirred in me thoughts about fossil hunters, Earth Vs. Mars, Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, video games, Stanford researchers, arcades, lanterns and moats. Stick around because any or all of these subject matters are bound to show up in coming posts.

the obsession that started today’s topic

This topic was brought about after I obsessed over Ancient Maps, an obsession that was driven by my first published obsession: Underwater Worlds.

Sources

Whenever possible, I like to gather my information the good old fashioned way—by heading over to the library. Below are the books and websites I relied upon to create this post along with which part(s) of the topic they covered.

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s DracorexDisplay, Age of Discovery,Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra, 1875-1876, by Gustave Moreau – Art Institute of Chicago Sea serpent and Flickr’s Here be Dragons!, Black Dragon Pool Park (黑龙潭公园)  Dragon and This dragon breathes fire at random times. It’s very cool. #harrypotter #universalstudios, as well as Deviant Art Yoshi pretends to be godzilla all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

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Unique Restaurants/ Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day:

Unique Restaurants/ Plate It Up


You can tell alot about a person by the way they eat. In fact, you can tell alot about an entire society by studying gastronomy aka the science of cooking. There are many scientists who believe that it is, in fact, the way in which we humans eat that puts us at the top of the food chain. It could be argued that our consumption of food and drink is definitely unique, particularly when you consider the fact that humans are the only known species on Earth that heat their food and furthermore, the fire is lit, not just out of tradition, but also out of necessity. Imagine what would happen if you consumed a chicken the way a coyote would, by devouring it raw in a secluded place in the wee hours of the morning. So today, I serve you up another new obsession— Unique Restaurants. Bon Appetit.

Human Diet and the Paleolithic Period

 

For all intents and purposes, it should be known that ancient man had a much stronger stomach and a less finicky palate altogether. Should you ever get the urge to scroll through the stone age diet, you’ll be surprised to find that despite a lack of fire, our stone age ancestors from the Paleolithic period were die hard carnivores who appear to have consumed about 73% of their food intake from meat alone. Depending upon who’s telling the story, this meat was entirely raw. It is suspected that carbohydrates were introduced to the human diet when the concept of cooking was introduced. This is where the Paleo diet stems from— the idea that it is healthier to eat the way humans are believed to have eaten prior to the innovation of flame but of course to still cook the meat since modern day stomachs aren’t equipped to ingest raw meats.

Unique Restaurants: Who Started The Fire?

The question of when fire was actually introduced to the diet is much more complex than it appears. Scientists are in disagreement and their disagreement is millions of years apart and also dependent upon much more complicated scientific theories like evolution. One point they all do agree on is the profound impact the command of fire had in propelling humankind to the top of the food chain. What we also know is that prior to 3,000 B.C., cooking with fire was little more than described. People ate to satisfy their hunger and of course, to socialize but there were no spices, no drawers full of recipes, no fancy flatware and no cookbooks.

Even more interestingly, if you study the history of cooking, is that you will notice that during times of crisis humankind has the tendency to revert back to its ancient ways, to leave out the seasonings and cast the elaborate silverware aside. Because of this, you can often get a glimpse into how nations and generations are faring simply by setting your eyes on their meals. In effect, it is indeed feast or famine.

 

The World’s First Recorded Cookbook-China 3,000 B.C.

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By The earliest recorded cookbook is believed to have come into existance some 47 centuries ago. It emerged from China via the great emperor Shennung and it contained everything from pasta to soyfoods. Its technictal knowledge remains unparelleled to this day.

Who Invented the Fast Food Chain? Rome or China?

Did you ever pull up to a drive through window and wonder where it all began? Well, you now know the origin of recipes and cookbooks so it might not surprise you to learn that China had a hand or two in some of the very first restaurant-like kitchens of the world but guess who their competition was? Rome. That’s right; the toga clad cosmepolitanites were set to leave their mark on everything, including cooking. At the peak of Roman rule, civilians could have their fill of food and drink by pulling up to the local thermopolium which you see pictured above. Thermopoliums were social spaces where communal meals were cooked and consumed. They were also quite often the place where violence broke out and laughs were shared.

The Chinese precursor to Mickey D’s was more than just a restaurant. It was a full on experience complete with vendors, menus and theatrical performances. The earliest known Chinese restaurant was situated in Eastern China and it was there that a myriad of entrees were served. Delicacies ranged from tea to soup, from dumplings to pie and this Asian restaurant hub became a popular gathering place from locals and travelers alike. Today, buried in the ashes of Asia and Pompeii, archeologists are still uncovering remains from the predecessors of modern day eateries.

The Fall of Food and Economy

The Dark Ages was a dark time, particularly for foodies. At approximately 1,000 A.D., following the fall of Rome, gastronomy teetered on the edge of non-existence, at least in the European section of the globe. There were other happenings for sure, some even more catastrophic and others much less so, but when Rome fell, food fell like the Romans. Culinary art simply wasn’t at the top of the list of priorities in this space of decline. Society crumbled and barbarity ensued. Plates and minds alike were vacant. People were eating to live and, if the theory that commandeering in the kitchen is what keeps civilization afloat holds true, then it could be said that when the culinary coals went out the light of humanity did the same.

In regards to general meal consumption in the Dark Ages, it’s safe to say that things were truly darkest just before the dawn. Historians have pinpointed a link between poverty and cannibalism, particularly in Prehistoric Europe as it seems to have played a large role in the spread of various different plagues. On the contrary, it would appear that this heinous practice altogether vanishes whenever social circles prosper and food reemerges as art. This brings to the forefront an immensely pressing question. How important is the art of eating really?

Africa, the Middle East, the Spice Trade and Beyond

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While the Roman Empire may have fallen and chaos swept the European landscape, countries like Africa were fairing far better and the proof was, quite literally, in their pudding. Enter the spice trade and you will soon see that while Rome and China were busy building up an intimate eating atmosphere, Africans and those of Middle Eastern descent had something entirely different abrew— Seasoning. It was, indeed, all the rage. The search for spice was so prolific at the time that salt and pepper drove the world economy and Africa and the Middle East were well ahead of the game. Some of the common spices that were treated like treasure aside from pepper and salt of course were:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom

The last spice mentioned played a huge role in the cultivation of coffee, a topic deserving of its own obsession page.

Choose A New Obsession

“The best ecclesiastical brains on the continent studied the egg, and discovered the formulae for making it appear on lenten boards as a rose, a cabbage or a roasted duck.”

m.f.k. fisher “the art of eating”

 

unique restaurants around The World

Today, the culinary arts have reached an all new plateau and restaurateurs aim to build eateries that are aesthetically pleasing and satisfying for the palate. Below, you will find amazing and unusual eateries located all over the world.

The Wreck Bar-Florida U.S.A.

This one’s rather appropriate when you consider my first obsession. The Wreck Bar is a sunken city themed restaurant complete with live mermaids and realistic looking debris. Come in off the sands of Fort Lauderdale and cool down with the sights and sounds of the sea. Other awesome Florida Faves include the Murder Mystery Dinner Train and Kissime’s Medeival Times. Whether you prefer jousting, mystery or mermaids, there’s a unique restaurant for you in Florida.

Dinner in the Sky-Various Locations

One table for up? Why absolutely. In case you can’t tell from the above photograph, Dinner in the Sky is exactly what you;re picturing in your head right now. Do you see the giant red crane looming over the landscape dangling an ablong tented contraption overhead? Well, that’s the dinner table and seated there are some rather daring foodies waiting to dig in. The gentleman depicted below is one such customer. He looks pretty thrilled to be dining at high altitude.

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Dining in the Sky is a unique restaurant that started out in Belgium and is slowly but surely making its way across the globe. You can catch this hard to miss attraction popping up just about everywhere now, from Copacabana to Dubais. Wondering what’s on the menu aside from the clouds? Dining in the Sky proudly serves an aptly diverse menu that the chef described as “Classical French Mediterranean with strong Pacific Rim & Asian influences”. Eaters are urged to dress for wind and weather as this table can be adjusted to max out at 165 stretching feet into the atmosphere.  

 

The Snow Castle of Lumilinna- Finland

 

Finland’s exotic Snow Castle boasts the largest restaurant made entirely of snow in the world. Notice we said the largest, not the only. Other “cool” places you can go to get your meals and your seating on ice include:

  • The Pommery Ice Restaurant in Montreal
  • The Minus5 Ice Bar which maintains locations in Vegas, Orlando and NYC
  • The Chill Out Sub Zero Lounge in Dubai

Shady Maple Lancaster, P.A.-U.S.A.

You may have heard of the concept of farm to table dining. If you aren’t familiar with farm to table dining, all you really need to know about it is that the food you eat in a farm to table restaurant comes directly from a farm. It’s not processed, packaged or shipped which is why it’s now a trending delicacy. What you may not know is that this concept definitely isn’t new to Pennsylvania. There are several farm to table dining establishments in the state of Pennsylvania that have been implementing this practice for decades. Shady Maple is one of them but what makes this particular eatery so unique is that it’s a farm to table buffet. Oh, and also, it’s run by the Amish.

So if you like the idea of an Amish run, fresh from the farm buffet that’s situated right on the outskirts of Pennsylvania Dutch territory and just so happens to be adorned in floor to ceiling 3D sculptures depicting historical moments, you’ll love Shady Maple. It’s a three story building complete with a gift shop and surrounded by authentic Amish attractions.

Treehouse Restaurants-Various Locations

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Dr. Suess must have been onto something all those years ago because dinner in a tree, while it might not be green eggs and ham, is definitely trending. Some of the most awe-inspiring treehouse restaurants on the map to date include:

France’s Treehouse in Dienne

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The U.K.’s Alnwick Gardens

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New Zealand’s Yellow Treehouse

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If you’re a diehard Dr. Suess fan, you can try other dining options he suggested in his books such as:

  • Dining on a train at the All Aboard Diner in Chicago-U.S.A.
  • Dining on a plane at Los Aviones- Puerto Rico
  • Dining in the dark at Blindekuh- Zurich, Switzerland

Or, how about this for a unique restaurant…

Suess Landing Restaurant —Green Eggs and Ham for All

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When it comes to unusual eateries it appears I haven’t had my fill, so be on the lookout for a future installment related to this post. Something along the lines of unique restaurants a-z or within that vicinity.

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Writing about unique restaurants has me thinking about spices, bazaars, the Mediterranean, coffee, museums, streamliners, Dr. Suess and tree houses. Stay tuned for any or all of these subjects in upcoming posts.

the obsession that started today’s topic

This topic was originally an offshoot of my obsession with caves which stemmed from my first published obsession: Underwater Worlds.

Sources

Whenever possible, I like to gather my information the good old fashioned way—by heading over to the library. Below are the books and websites I relied upon to create this post along with which part(s) of the topic they covered.

  • For a thought provoking look at eating we highly recommend the foodie oriented novel “The Art of Eating” by M.F.K. Fisher.
  • For more on the dietary evolution, see this post from National Geographic.
  • To continue reading about ancient Chinese and Roman restaurants, check out history.com.

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Food and dining in the Roman Empire, Tree House , Islands of Adventure and Flickr’s Dinner in the Sky at the top, Yellow Treehouse and Dinner in the sky, Riga 2013 (38) as well as iha.com, all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

Learn About Philadelphia

We at TPG certainly hope you’re feeling inspired. Don’t forget to like, share and sign up for our email list to get caught up with the new features we’ll be adding everyday!

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Boardwalks/ Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day: boardwalks/ The paths best traveled in the sun


The summer breeze weaves in and out along a sand ridden corridor. A million sounds and sights and smells accompany it. Overhead, the roar of speeding amusement rides and the squawk of seagulls echo out. Below, the dunes that meet the ocean waves are ever so still, sending forth a sandy, salty mixture that’s pleasant to the nostrils, less pleasant to the bikini area. Here, where the lights are all neon and everything’s covered in confectioner’s sugar, is that place where vacation begins.

If this is your idea of a boardwalk, you’re not alone, but like most things, boardwalks didn’t quite start out the way they are now. These heavily travelled walkways were once  simple paths designed to keep millions of beach combers en-route. It wasn’t until the innovation of adding commercialized property to the waterfront that the term boardwalk became synonymous with summertime, cotton candy, roller coasters, first kisses and oversized teddy bear prizes. Let’s walk…

USA Boardwalks: The Beginning

For practical purposes we’ll begin where it all started, which, ironically, is also the place diehard boardwalk lovers claim it all ended—the notorious Jersey Shore. Here’s a glimpse of what America’s oldest boardwalk once looked like cerca a postcard sold in the early 1900’s:

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As you can see, the promenade holds promise but it certainly lacks its present day allure. Out on the elevated oceanway, beach goers lean over the rail and eyeball the main attraction which, at this point, is still the ocean.

Enter the world renowned Million Dollar Pier and watch the beach combers swoon:

boardwalks 2

Here you get a better idea of the direction the boardwalk is headed in. By 1917, major corporations had already begun to make use of the esplanade. Below, you’ll witness its first Coca Cola billboards and what appears to be the predecessor to the tramcar.

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While the picture above certain shows the commercial transition it still doesn’t explain the wide variety of features we see on present day boardwalks. So how is it that we wound up with so many different kinds of candy, amusement and goods for sale? The answer, simply put, is immigration.At the turn of the 20th century, the United States was a virtual magnet for immigration, with swarms of people sailing in from near and far. The boardwalk, the promenade above the sea , slowly but surely became emblematic of diversity. Everyone from gypsies to hippies to today’s reality stars left their mark along the pier.

Changes In the Economy: Changes In the Tide

By the onset of 1970, after the Great Depression and the Stock Market Crash had turned the economy on its heels, people from all walks of life and all corners of the Earth looked to the Boardwalk as the place to build their empire. They set up shop, selling goods and entertainment that was native to their place of origin. The marvel you see before you today is comprised of millions of different people’s stories. It’s just a tiny glimpse into who they were, the shadows of the corner stores they built.The lights simply illuminate the story but the magic is in who the boardwalk represents as opposed to what the boardwalk presents. 

Night and Day: Today’s Atlantic City Boardwalk

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Boardwalk Sights, Sounds And Smells

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The carousel, like the one depicted above that is ridable in Singapore, is just one of the many sounds you’ll likely hear on a traditional USA boardwalk. Other classics include:

  • Funnel cake
  • Arcade Games
  • Boardwalk Fries
  • Tramcars
  • Bicycles
  • Seagulls
  • Ocean Waves
  • Fudge
  • Pretzels
  • Photo Opportunities
  • Ferris Wheels and More

Paving the Esplenade

In closing, when it comes to USA boardwalks, it was Atlantic City that paved the way for future classics like:

  • Coney Island-Home to the Wonder Wheel and the now defunct giant elephant hotel, Coney Island presented the first roller coaster to the world.
  • Ocean City-This famous boardwalk survived an ancient shipwreck.
  • Wildwood-Home of the “tramcar” and, as of 2015, home of the vintage hot rod. You better watch that tramcar please…
  • Kemah-Houses the only roller coaster on the Texas Gulf Coast.
  • Myrtle Beach-aka the “seaside golf capitol of the world”.
  • Rehoboth-This award winning boardwalk hosts the famous Sea Witch Festival.
  • Bay Lake- Where else can you catch a show, a roller coaster ride and a healthy dose of character acting all while stocking up on your favorite Disney Merchandise?

Onward to bigger and better things, boardwalk enthusiasts will delight to hear that there’s talk of a year round, fully functioning Steel Peir in A.C. with a 200 foot ferris wheel in the works as well.

Choose A New Obsession

In front of Nathan’s, Coney Island 2007

“I liked the boardwalk’s smell: grease and sugar wafting from the takeout stands. cigar smoke. roasted peanuts. ” louis greenstein, “mr boardwalk”

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beautiful boardwalks around The World

The United States isn’t home to the only or even the oldest boardwalk on Earth. In fact, many countries have their own take on these stunning boarded walkways. Fun fact—a boardwalk is still a boardwalk with or without the ocean but a boardwalk with an ocean isn’t just a boardwalk. It can also be referred to as an oceanway. Here are some of our favorite boardwalks from around the world:

Basin Head Provincial Park Boardwalk-Canada

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Canada’s breathtaking Prince Edward Island is home to this oceanway that traverses the “singing sands”. This area is geologically unique for several reasons, the first one being the high pitched sound the sand makes underfoot. Equally interesting is the fact that Basin Head is the only place on the planet where Chondrus, a specific type of Giant Irish Moss, is known to grow. That being said, please bear in mind the fact that our planet is still adorned in undiscovered territories so this grass could be growing someplace we’ve yet to find.

Victoria and Alfred Boardwalk-Africa

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Complete with a towering ferris wheel, a centuries old Clocktower and over 450 Outlet Stores, Africa’s awe inspiring Victoria and Alfred Boardwalk attracts a surplus of more than 23 million unique visitors annually.

Dōtonbori Boardwalk-Japan

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Predating the aforementioned boardwalks by over 200 years, Japan’s Dōtonbori Boardwalk was certainly ahead of its time. Today, it stands as a popular tourist attraction illuminating the Dōtonbori canal.

Honorable Mention: The Promenade Plantee-Paris

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Always the trend setting city, Paris puts a foot forward toward the seemingly inevitable sustainable future by presenting their Promenade Plantee, a stylish rooftop skimming walkway that has been described as the world’s first elevated park. Are elevated parks the future for boardwalks? Should we expect to see more green and less neon in coming years? Only time will tell.

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Writing about boardwalks has me thinking about amusement rides, skywalks, sand, sea, surf, Prince Edward Island, clock towers and Paris. Be on the lookout for any or all of these topics in upcoming posts.

the obsession that started today’s topic

This topic began as an offshoot of my pirates obsession which came about directly from my first published obsession: Underwater Worlds.

Sources

Whenever possible, I like to gather my information the good old fashioned way—by heading over to the library. Below are the books and websites I relied upon to create this post along with which part(s) of the topic they covered.

  • For a spirited look at 1970’s Atlantic City, we highly recommend the totally beach worthy novel “Mr. Boardwalk” by Louis Greenstein.
  • To continue learning about the Steel Pier, have a look-see at the Philly Voice.
  • You can also refer to Wikipedia for a briefing of the different types of boardwalks.

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Boardwalk and Million Dollar Pier, Atlantic City, NJ , A mile of the Atlantic City boardwalk, Atlantic City, NJ , Coney Island in popular culture  and Dotonbori Flickr’s Boardwalk and Hunts Starlight Ballroom, Wildwood by the Sea, N. J.  Ocean City NJ Boardwalk at Night and Split Tone Beach Boardwalk – Blue & Pink all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

Learn About Philadelphia

We at TPG certainly hope you’re feeling inspired. Don’t forget to like, share and sign up for our email list to get caught up with the new features we’ll be adding everyday!

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Pirates/ Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day: Pirates/ Warriors Of The Sea


Planet earth is but a mass of water speckled by the occasional bit of land. For most of us, dipping a toe in the ocean or a fishing hook in the sea is enough to satisfy our craving for exploration. But then, there are pirates. Warriors of the open water answering to the laws of nature, adhering to the tide. Today, I shall attempt to follow them, their unorthodox ways and nautical directions into a land I otherwise would not know. Presenting pirates – – – my obsession of the day.

Pirates: Fearless Voyagers, Maritime Thieves or Both?

In order to be considered a pirate today or anytime in the past, one must engage in criminal conduct while along the open water. Due to the mysterious nature of nautical journeys, theft at sea is almost always at an all-time high. Still it is arguable to say in the least, that the rules when navigating a maritime adventure are simple, there are no rules. Look at it this way, the Golden Age of Piracy was a time of sheer mayhem when there was a huge difference between what was legal and what was humane. Certainly things like murder, torture, theft and even piracy appeared to be both legal and illegal at the same time. How so? Well, it all depended on who you were murdering, torturing, stealing from or pirating, with the hierarchy ever leaning in favor of the wealthy, as can be expected. With this thought in mind, it might suffice to say that open water was a haven for some and a formidible destination for others; that in the end it was a place where the lines between legality, morality and even reality often blurred and what was left was the waving of the sails and the crashing of the ocean. Many of The earliest pirates to be recorded throughout history hailed from the Mediterranean in roughly 14th century BC but they certainly weren’t the patch clad crusaders Hollywood later made them out to be…

Pirates: Why We’re Obsessed With Them

As mentioned above, the main reason for the obsession is Hollywood’s depiction of these adventurous, treasure hunting outlaws, who often seem more mysterious than murderous. In actuality, quite the opposite is true. The harsh reality is that pirates often led short, torturous lives wherein their treasures consisted of basic necessities— stuff like food, cotton and thread,  the shipmates followed laws and voted in a semi-democratic spirit and their clothing was often dull and tattered. All disappointments aside, pirates are still pretty fascinating for all of the following reasons:

  • They were explorers of the ocean
  • They employed the use of ancient maps
  • Although rare, they did occasionally uncover treasure, discover new lands, engage in fencing battles and get put to death via the walking of the plank.

In other words, sunken treasure, diamonds and gold and triangular trading, glamorous expeditions, sea monsters, (yes, see monsters) and certain death, all of the stuff legends are made of was really out there on the open water. It was rare, but always present and that’s what drew people in.

Choose A New Obsession

 

 

“pirates could happen to anyone.” tom stoppard

tpg pirates 5jpg

 

Famous Pirates

tpg pirates 4

While not necessarily a determining factor in pirate rank, it is notable to mention that many of the most famous pirates in the West had ties to both militia and the slave trade. In fact, some sailors were considered pirates simply because they turned against the slave trade, the military, or their leaders. You didn’t necessarily have to steal anything to be called a pirate, rescuing someone from captivity could also earn you the unfavorable moniker. Then there were the pirates who started out on the other side of the fence, as pirate hunters. And last but not least there were pirates who were hired by their kings to smuggle treasure and information from rival countries. After scrutinizing the wreckage of sunken sea rover ships one thing is clear— the ocean had its own way of making equals out of man, woman and sea creature alike. Here are some of the most noted pirates in history:

Henry Every A.k.a. The King of Pirates

tpg pirates 3

The richest pirate in recorded history, Henry Every who went by many aliases but was known to most as the King of Pirates cruise the high seas in the mid to late 1600s. His booty consisted of 11+ sea vessels and what would be the equivalent today of $52.4 million in precious jewels. The bounty put forth for his capture was an exuberant amount for the time, but Every was resourceful and found refuge in New Providence, a notorious pirate laden locale and thus he was never found or heard from again.
The Proclamation Condemning Henry Every: King of Pirates

 

Black Bart

Above: Black Bart’s Flag Featuring Death and An Hourglass

Dubbed the most successful pirate to tackle the tides during the Golden Age of Piracy, Bartholomew Roberts, better known as Black Bart, lost his life in a bloody battle on the high seas. His legacy left behind booty from an approximated 470 captured vessels.


Female Pirates

One interesting speculation related to female pirates is the fact that many of their legacies have been written off as simply being urban legends despite the vast amount of historical evidence surrounding their lives and their deaths. Even in the face of court documents and discovered artifacts, their lives are often linked to legend. Could it be that, subconsciously, society still isn’t ready to accept the idea of a female warrior or were their lives simply too far from the ordinary to be accepted by historians?

Alvilda The Viking

This ferocious, Danish sea rover was known mostly for her beauty but also for her booty. Legend has it that she confiscated a pirate ship, battled the Prince of Denmark and later became his queen.

Jeanne de Belleville

tpg pirates 10

This 14th-century daughter of a nobleman led the Black Fleet, a series of painted warships, into battle with the French along the English Channel. Her moniker, the Lioness of Brittany left quite a legacy behind.

The Lives of Pirates

The vast majority of pirates appear to have led short, simple lives. Treasure hunters and shipwreck excavators have uncovered the following artifacts that give us all a glimpse into the lifestyle of the everyday pirates: Dice comprised of bones 14th Century Treasure Coins Derived from the Frome Hoard a Treasure Chest Brimming with Gold discovered in the Whydah Gally, a ship that was believed to have belonged to famed bucaneer Captain Samuel Bellamy who reined in the Golden Age of Piracy. Other, more common items that have also been discovered include cereal bowls, forks, knives, clothing, weapons, flags and medical supplies.

Pirate Dice Were Often Made Of Bones

Pirate Ships

Contrary to popular belief, there were no specific ships that were designated for piracy. The reason for this is because pirates pride themselves on confiscating legal vessels that were riding the high seas. As such, this section of my obsession will simply focus on the ships that were most popular during the Golden age of piracy. Of them are:

Frigates 

101021-N-7642M-317 BOSTON (Oct. 21, 2010) USS Constitution returns to her pier after an underway to celebrate her 213th launching day anniversary. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald/Released)

Frigates were highly sought after warships equipped to carry heavy artillery. Their billowing sails and thick, heavy planks were made famous to pirates courtesy of Blackbeard.

Schooners

tpg pirates 12

Originating in the Netherlands, these gaff-rigged ships were often carrying wealthy occupants, hence their allure to the pirates of olden times.

 

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Researching pirates has me eager to learn about shipwrecks, treasure hunting, Hollywood, harbors, ships through the ages, boardwalks, Disney World, amusement parks, New Providence and triangular trade.

the obsession that started today’s topic

This topic began as an offshoot of my very first documented obsession: Underwater Worlds.

Sources

Whenever possible, I like to gather my information the good old fashioned way—by heading over to the library. Below are the books and websites I relied upon to create this post along with which part(s) of the topic they covered.

 

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Henry Every, pirate ship in harbor, Black Sea Fleet (BSF) frigate Ladny, FrigateDiceand the geograph’s Sailing barge Henry all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

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Ancient Maps/ Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day: Ancient Maps/ The Key To Earth’s Legend


It’s common knowledge that the earth is round, but never forget the fact that there was once a time when it was common knowledge that the earth was flat. Discovery, and its many forms, is the end result of exploration . How better to learn your way around the cracks and crevices of the Earth’s surface than with a map? Here’s a look at ancient maps, my obsession of the day.

Ancient Maps: The Onset of Navigation, Civilization and More 

Picture yourself in a cave off the coast of somewhere, waves crashing against the shoreline. You’re alone when that white streak in the sky disappears and nothing but darkness surrounds you. Bearings are difficult to gather since you don’t even have an understanding of which way the tide rolls in. As such, figuring out where to pitch your hut and not get eaten in the process is somewhat challenging. This was life before cartography, when everyone who wandered truly was lost. Today, it may look like we’ve covered lots of ground, but believe it or not, there are plenty of unmapped corners to go and that’s only on this planet. When you take into consideration the vast spinning universe, it becomes clear that we still know very little about our surroundings.

Ancient Maps: Why We’re Obsessed With Them

Sure today’s maps are likely more reliable and definitely easier to make but part of the allure of these quondam documents lies in their imperfections. Modern day maps tell us a bit about where we’re headed. The maps of yesteryear however, tell us a lot about where we’ve been, why we went there and what the world looked like through the eyes of ancient voyagers. Spacial information, the scientific stuff that maps are made of, isn’t always easy to convey. In fact, there’s an entire school of thought dedicated to the map makers’ perspective and how that perspective influences the map itself. More on that in a minute. For now, let’s just focus on the most intriguing part of the ancient map making process.—The escapade. You see, back then, if you wanted to map a course for the world, you had to take a journey, often one of the treacherous, life altering variety.

Choose A New Obsession

 

 

“I have indeed—praise be to God—attained my desire in this world, which was to travel through the Earth, and I have attained this honour, which no ordinary person has attained.” IBN Baṭūṭah, World Traveler 1304-1369

 

Famous voyagers Who Brought Us The World On Parchment

What did it take to brave the high seas of yesteryear and return to your homeland with treasures and visual aids? Well aside from courage and fleets of ships and sailors to help navigate said ships, you also needed:

  • Money — in order to fund your stay in various destinations upon arrival as well as upkeep of the ship, crew, etc.
  • Connections— Theft was common at the dawn of exploration so maintaining worldly connections was a great way to avoid the perils of life on the open water and world.
  • Sea legs—Travel by water was often safer, faster and more effective.
  • Medicine— Falling ill whilst on a journey was  common and could often be fatal

Ancient Maps Could Never Exist Without These Great Explorers

The below listed voyagers had all of the aforementioned attributes and something else too—a deep understanding of our ever changing planet. Meet them and the ancient maps they brought forth.

Ibn Baṭūṭah
ootd maps ibn 2Hailing from Tangier, Morocco, Ibn Baṭūṭah was a Muslim scholar and world traveler revered as one of the “greatest travelers of all time” — quote from Glimpses of World History. His many maps charted multiple places in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Incidentally, he happened to be one of the wealthiest Islamic intellectuals and voyagers of the Medieval Times.

Ancient Map from Medieval Times

ootd maps ibn 3

Sieur De La Salle

La Salle University was named after this renowned French traveler who set sail across the Great Lakes of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico. You might have heard of the La Salle Expedition. If not, look out for it in an upcoming obsession.

Leif Erikson

Iceland native Leif Erikson is notable, not only for his exploration, but also because his sole existence as an explorer defies a lot of what is often taught in social studies in regards to Christopher Columbus. While it is widely known that Christopher Columbus didn’t exactly discover America (due to the fact that people were already living there) he is still regarded as having brought the discovery of America back to Europe. Upon further archeological scrutiny, however, it becomes clear that Erikson, who was of Norse descent, was actually the first European voyager to set foot on American soil. Depicted below you will find one of the ancient maps of Iceland and Greenland or Groenland as it is believed to have been called.

Charles A Lindbergh

Speeding things forward in time, let’s have a look at Charles A Lindbergh whose flight from New York to Paris in 1929 single handedly changed the course of aviation for years to come. While there were several previous failed attempts at what is now known as a “Transatlantic Flight”, many of which involved hot air balloons, his was the first successful mission to be completed. Refer to the below depicted maps for a look at the course of aviation directly following Lindbergh’s success.

ootd maps lindbergh 2

Map makers-putting it all into perspective

As stated above, ancient maps were often flawed, or at the very least, influenced by the map makers’ perception of the world. Notable inaccuracies that caused quite the stir include:

  • The depiction of Africa which was frequently drawn as much smaller than its actual size
  • Ficticious locations drawn seemingly deliberately on maps such as those that depicted Mount Richard and Sandy Island, neither of which have ever existed
  • Errors due to natural and environmental changes. This happens when long periods of time lapse and old maps remain in circulation. In order to provide you with a firmer understanding of just how quickly things can change. Here’s a look at Southeast Asia from 120 AD up into the 1800s’.

From Ptolemy’s Perspective In Roughly 120 AD

ootd Ptolemy_Asia_detail

Southeast Asia in 400 AD

OOTD Asia_400ad

And Again, the Same Area in 1801

ootd se asia

I know what you’re thinking-what about all the monster maps?

Wait a minute—monster maps? While you might not have learned about them in history class, ancient maps are absolutely littered with mythical creatures. Things like sea monsters, dragons and dinosaurs roared ugly heads upon even the most famous of documents, particularly during the notorious Medieval era when legend had many a missing person written off as devoured by a fire-breathing monstrosity or worse but here’s something really noteworthy— many of the descriptions of these monsters were identical despite the fact that the accounts were given by travelers from different corners of the Earth who likely didn’t know each other or have contact with each other at all. Ahhh… The things that breed my new obsessions. Fire breathing dragons. Check.   

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Researching ancient maps has me looking forward to learning about fire breathing dragons, hot air balloons, the LaSalle Expedition, aviation history, stamps, unmapped lands and undiscovered waters.

the obsession that started today’s topic

This topic began as an offshoot of my very first documented obsession: Underwater Worlds.

Sources

Whenever possible, I like to gather my information the good old fashioned way—by heading over to the library. Below are the books and websites I relied upon to create this post along with which part(s) of the topic they covered.

  • To continue learning about Ibn Baṭūṭah please refer to wikipedia
  • For more information related to notable ancient explorers please see “Magill’s Choice Explorers“.
  • To continue learning about map projections, errors, inaccuracies and the most accurate map created in medieval times please see this post on Cartography  

 

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Ibn Battuta, Faroe stamp 225 Discovery of America – Leivur Eiriksson, History of Greenland and History of Southeast Asia all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

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We at TPG certainly hope you’re feeling inspired. Don’t forget to like, share and sign up for our email list to get caught up with the new features we’ll be adding everyday!

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Caves / Obsession of the Day/ The Poet’s Guide

Obsession of the Day : Caves/ Majestic Wonders From All Over the World


Spelunking through an underground realm, the likes of which could never be replicated to its most natural form, is the epitome of adventure travel.  To journey the cosmic rock formations and unearth the mystery of weathered slag; a process that takes time and precision, is arguably one of the best ways to study life on this planet and possibly even the worlds beyond. A deeper understanding of the universe that stretches light years before us could be closer than we realize as we expand our knowledge of tectonic force, atmospheric erosion, microorganisms and more through the twists, turns and tunnels of caves. Let’s start at the beginning.

Caves : Not Exactly What You Thought They Were

Unlike other architectural structures scattered throughout our planet, caves are not manmade. One of the most fascinating aspects of caves is the fact that they contain “rooms” and other elements found in post and pre-modern architecture, and while mimicking Mother Nature’s blueprint is a tried and true past-time for mankind, many of us are still completely unaware of the exact attributes of caves (i.e. what makes a cave a cave and so forth). This is because the study of caves requires the utilization of many different sciences, including but not limited to:

  • Archeology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Meteorology
  • Cartography
  • Coastal Morphodynamics and, of course…
  • Speleology— a science dedicated specifically to the study of caves from structure, to history to physical attributes

For the layman’s introduction to caves, we’ll skip the scientific hypothesis and just get straight to the point. Picture yourself in a dark and mystical cavern; stalactites looming overhead, columns carved of limestone and gypsum adorning the interior. It’s pretty safe to assume you’re in a cave in this situation. But not all caves are made of rock. Some are made of lava, some of salt, some are even made of glaciers and above all, it’s important to understand that there are various different types of caves. Cave types are classified not just by what they are comprised of, but also by the ways in which they were created. For example, a cave comprised of lava that came to be as a byproduct of volcanic activity is not classified as the same type as a cave that is comprised of rock fragments and made its mark on the world as the end result of a landslide. Educating yourself on cave types is an excellent way to stay on par in terms of recognizing caves but understanding what isn’t a cave is of equal, maybe even greater importance. One good rule of thumb that can help you decide if something isn’t a cave is to seek out any signs of manmade components. If an opening or tunnel appears to have been manufactured as opposed to organic, it probably isn’t a cave. Examples of entities that look like caves but are not caves are:

  • Quarries
  • Mines
  • Culverts
  • Man-made tunnels underground

Why We’re Obsessed With Them

For eons, caves, in all of their mystifying forms, have been utilized by humankind for shelter, worship, burial procedures, art and storage. So much of what we know about prehistoric civilizations comes directly out of caves, which is what makes caving such a crucial activity.  Examples of the many finds brought forth via spelunking include:

  • Tools
  • Artwork
  • Minerals, gems, precious metals etc.
  • Never before seen creatures
  • Early evidence of graphic communication (i.e. symbols, carvings and etchings)

 

The Best Treasures Are Hiding Between These Walls

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

caves that rock

Caves are undeniably some of the coolest cracks in the Earth’s surface. They’re surrounded by danger and mystery and they’re often brimming with rare finds that hold monetary and/or historical value. Here are just some of the most magnificent caves around:

 

Brazil’s Poco Azul

Encrusted in diamonds, shrouded in gold and surrounded by crystal blue waters, it’s no wonder the locals say that Poco Azul is enchanting. An underwater excavation through this colossal cavern is complete with rushing waterfalls and towering trees from a time long past; even the bones of undiscovered beasts have been uncovered between these walls. This is the stuff that legends are made of.

Iceland’s Kverkfjoll Ice Cave

See what happens when fire and ice come together to create a 1.8 mile cavern you won’t soon forget. Earth science fans will marvel at the conditions that make this ice cave a reality—a glacier settled on the edge of a boiling hot spring. This adventure is not without its share of ever prevalent uncertainty, albeit the mountain range upon which it stands is abundant with active volcanoes.

China’s Reed Flute Cave

So vibrant and beautiful that one photograph alone could never do it justice. China’s Reed Flute Cave, which now basks in a Technicolor glow, is said to be more than 180 million years old and judging by its size and peculiar formations, it’s definitely seen its share of visitors. This cave is most well known for its Tang Dynasty notations which can be seen scrawled in ink along the walls.

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant In Diana Beach, Kenya

ootd cave restaurant

This cave and all other caves that have been converted into gathering places are uber cool. What sets Ali Barbour’s apart, aside from the limestone of course, is its exotic beach location, the amazing selection of seafood and the sunroof Mother Nature carved overhead that filters in the starlight for the ultimate romantic touch.

Martian Caves

ootd spelunking in space

Scientific evidence does little to prove and/or disprove the possibility or reality of life on Mars but one thing we know for sure is on Mars—Caves. Picture this for the wave of the future: Spelunking in Space. 

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Researching caves and their excavation has me excited to learn about unusual eateries around the world, graphic communication, the ice age,

speleotherapy, martian caves and Coastal Morphodynamics.

the obsession that started it all

This topic and, notably all future topics, started as an offshoot of my very first documented obsession: Underwater Worlds.

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Reed Flute Cave, Poco Azul, Vatnajökull – Kverkfjöll – Glacier cave , Caving in New Zealand and  Flickr’s Mexico Restaurant Cave all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

We at TPG certainly hope you’re feeling inspired. Don’t forget to like, share and sign up for our email list to get caught up with the new features we’ll be adding everyday!

 

 

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Underwater Worlds / Obsession of the Day

Obsession of the Day : Underwater Worlds


Planet Earth is plentiful with forgotten cities. Piles of ruins often help us to unravel the mysteries of ancient lifestyles. At times, we find these cities amidst dust and rubble in what was perceived to be uncharted territory. As such, the excavation of places like caves is incredibly common. Archaeologists dig deep into the histories of past civilizations and utilize their findings when making decisions for our future. Many of their discoveries are made on solid ground. But what about those finds that are buried just a tiny bit deeper? Like, for example, the awe inspiring remnants that send us deep down into the depths of the ocean, searching for answers. Here is a look at these underwater worlds, the beautifully abandoned cities floating just beneath the surface.

Underwater Worlds by Definition

By definition, an underwater world must be beneath the surface of a mass of water, below the line of a vessel in order to qualify. Many of these cities submerged reveal artifacts that date back tens of thousands of years. An unfathomable number of these types of cities have already been found and evidence suggests that this journey has only just begun.

Why We’re Obsessed With Them

These underwater worlds are remarkable for a wide variety of different reasons from where they are located to how they are examined and ultimately, the discoveries they yield. Were it not for the excavation of oceanic remnants, we would know a lot less about marvelous historical figures like Lord Krishna, Cleopatra, Noah and more. Discoveries made in the ocean’s depths turn facts to fiction and vice versa. They answer questions and raise even more questions. Most importantly, they keep us coming back for more.

People Continue To Risk Their Lives Exploring Underwater Cities

Deep sea exploration is certainly not for the weak at heart but somebody has to take the plunge. Brave nautical voyagers face a vast number of threats that constantly put their safety at risk and their lives on the line in the process. To give you a brief explanation of the world they’re submerged into, here’s a description of a typical nautical deep environment:

  • Extreme temperatures— from the very hot (752 degrees Fahrenhe it in the deep sea) to the extraordinarily cold (32-38 degrees Fahrenheit in the deep polar ocean)
  • Limited vision— pitch black on all sides with the ever present hazard of floating debris and carnivorous sea creatures lurking at every corner
  • Floating debris— as noted above
  • The possibility of faulty equipment— in addition to natural dangers, deep sea and ocean divers also face a myriad of man made menaces such as faulty equipment causing short circuits, loss of oxygen, explosion, implosion and more.

To spite it all, many science enthusiasts see these risks as a necessary evil. Sylvia Earle, owner of Deep Ocean Exploration Inc. argues that the absence of risk in regards to oceanic discovery could cause us to miss finding key information related to mankind, ocean life, the environment and more. “What really is at risk is our future,” she concludes.

 

The Best Treasures Are Buried At The Bottom Of The Ocean

 

How The Phenomenon Of Underwater Worlds Impacts Our Future

Underwater cities have brought all of the following plus more into our lives:

  • Ostracon (bits of stone with writings etched along the surface)
  • Ancient columns
  • Statues
  • Maps
  • Flatware that is thousands of years old
  • City streets
  • Buildings
  • Tombs
  • Coins
  • Cemetaries

In addition to uncovering lost objects that tell us tales of the past, these submerged cities also give scientists insight into the causes of flooding such as erosion, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes and more.

Take A Dive:

Underwater Cities You Can See For Yourself

While it is notable to mention the fact that approximately 90% of our ocean’s depths remain unexplored, Wikipedia still lists a total of 29 underwater cities, some of which sprawl on for acres, containing whole buildings, roads, even cemeteries. If you’re a true adventure traveler, here are three you can examine on an escapade.

Canada’s Lake Minnewanka

tpg ootd underwater worlds 5

This 21 kilometer glacial lake isn’t just the longest lake in the Rockies (the Canadian Rockies that is) but it also happens to be home to a great underwater village along with a submerged, dilapidated dam and bridge that scuba divers are free to peruse.

Egypt’s Alexandria

tpg ootd underwater worlds 4

Set your sights on Egypt if you want to explore the underwater world of the captivating Cleopatra. This breathtaking dive site features a surplus of more than 7,000 objects, proving it to be one of the most historically rich archaeological sites on the planet to date.

China’s Lion City

tpg ootd underwater worlds 2

Since this specimen was intentionally submerged, it features all of the allure of a well preserved historical site. The only difference is this… It’s 30 plus meters under the sea.

In Conclusion

If underwater ruins have taught us nothing else, they serve as a reminder that no matter how royal, talented or successful you seem, no matter the size of your fortune or the strength of your army, you’ll never be as powerful as the tide. All it takes is one small crack in the pavement, one short rumble of the Earth, the lapse of a dam or the shift of a glacier and your whole world can get twisted upside down quite literally.

upcoming obsessions Fueled By this topic

Researching underwater worlds and their remains has me amped and ready to learn about caves, tombs, erosion, pirates, archaeology, glacial lakes, ancient maps and Egypt.

This webpage contains unaltered versions of Wikimedia’s Aquarius (laboratory), Pixabay’s Remains, Abandoned and Creepy Places’ Underwater City, China, Wikimedia’s Koneswaram Temple and  Underwater Archeology all of which were available under Creative Commons licensing.

We at TPG certainly hope you’re feeling inspired. Don’t forget to like, share and sign up for our email list to get caught up with the new features we’ll be adding everyday!

 

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