Unique Places on Earth: Ruins of Cumberland island


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Cumberland Island lies off the coast of Georgia and is the largest of the State’s barrier islands at just under 18 miles in length.  Virtually no one lives on the island all year round these days but at the southern end of the island you will find Dungeness, once owned by the famously rich Carnegie family.  The house is now in ruins but perhaps if you listen closely you might hear the strains of a ghostly Charlston
There are few visitors to the island.  No bridge joins the island with the mainland and as such visitors must get there via a boat ferry.  Yet the house echoes its former glories in the way that the magnificent ruins of Rome do, somewhat eerily but with a stillness that can provoke thoughtful musings on the fleeting nature of life.  Where this mansion once housed a family of nine children and two hundred servants, only ruins remain.  Here is the story of the house they named Dungeness.

If you want a microcosm of the history of the United States, you could do worse than to study the history of Cumberland Island and the Dungeness mansion.  Wars with the British, Civil War, Emancipation, fabulous wealth and economic crashes all feature in its fascinating tale.  While only three hundred people are allowed on the island at any one time, the place is well worth a visit.
Although the current ruins do not go back so far, the origin of the name Dungeness goes back to 1733 when the English General James Oglethorpe (left) alighted there.  He founded a hunting lodge on the island (which was named after the eponymous Duke back in England) which he named after a headland in the English county of Kent.
After the English defeated the Spanish in 1742 the need for the island as a strategic point of defense became redundant and now no trace of the lodge or the associated forts survive.    Nathaniel Greene (left) bought land on the island in 1783 in order to harvest its oak tree but he expired only three years later.  It was his wife who on her remarriage ten years later built the first mansion, named nostalgically after Oglethorpe’s hunting lodge. 
Coincidentally, the British used the mansion as their headquarters during the three years of the War of 1812.  Although the war was very much prompted by the actions of the British on their arrival on Cumberland Island they promptly freed all of the slaves who lived there. When the British left you can guess what happened.  Records of 1846 show that there were over 400 slaves living on the island as well as 36 white people.
Slavery ended after the end of the Civil War and like many plantation owners the descendents of the Greenes found that it was no longer profitable when they had to pay wages.  The family moved and Dungeness was left to its own devices.  It burned to the ground in 1866.  This, unfortunately, would not be the last time that this fate would befall a house built on this spot.
Thomas M Carnegie (seen on the left with his older, more famous brother Andrew) and his wife Lucy bought land and started to build a new Dungeness in 1884.  It was inspired by castles that the couple had seen in Scotland and although Thomas never saw it finished (like the unfortunate Mr Greene he died before it was finished) his wife lived in Dungeness with his huge brood of nine children for many years.  When complete, it must have been (after her family of course) her pride and joy.
As well as the fifty nine rooms there were swimming pools, a golf course and many other small buildings in which lived their 200 plus servants. 
The last recorded use of the Dungeness mansion was in 1929 when one of Lucy’s daughters tied the knot there. So started the road to ruim, as it were.  Outbuildings were left to their own devices.
1929 – and all that.  The Great Depression meant the end of the Carnegies on the island although they continued to own it, the left it vacant.  Then, one night in 1959 a disgruntled poacher who had been shot in the leg by the housekeeper for trespass purportedly burned the house to the ground. Since then the mansion and surrounding buildings and quarters have slowly gone the way of all things.
Even the cars have been left to rust where they were last parked.
So the ruins stand to this day, testament to a long and colorful history.  Descendents of the original families still live or holiday on this island to this day but there has never been any attempt to rebuild Dungeness.  
Perhaps its history is a little too littered with misfortune for anyone to countenance such a proposition.

Unique Lake in World: Heaven Lake in China


The above pics are of The Heaven Lake  which is a crater lake on the border between China and North Korea. It lies within a caldera atop the volcanic Baekdu Mountain, a part of the Baekdudaegan mountain range and the Changbai mountain range. It is located partly in Ryanggang Province. It appears so strange and so magnificent to see a lake and that too on the top of a mountain. Now that is what is called as Nature perhaps, it never fails to astonish us and surprise us.

Haunted Places in World: The Myrtles Plantation is a Haunted House


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So you say ghosts don’t exist, but this place has a different story to tell.
Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, this stately old home on Myrtles Plantation is said to be haunted by several restless ghosts. 
Some researchers say as many as ten murders have been committed there, but others, such as Troy Taylor and David Wisehart, have only been able to confirm one murder at Myrtles. (Those two authors provide a very good history of the house in their article, The Legends, Lore & Lies of The Myrtles Plantation).
Even they agree, however, that the place is seriously haunted and easily qualifies as one of the “most haunted.” These are some of the ghosts that allegedly haunt the house:
•    Cleo – a former slave who was allegedly hung on the premises for killing two little girls. (Those murders and even the existence of Cleo are in question.)
•    The ghosts of the two murdered children have been seen playing on the veranda.
•    William Drew Winter – an attorney who lived at Myrtles from 1860 to 1871. He was shot on the side porch of the house by a stranger. With his life’s blood pouring from his body, Winter staggered into the house and began to climb the stairs to the second floor… but didn’t make it. He collapsed and died on the 17th step. It is his last dying footsteps that can still be heard on the staircase to this day. (Winter’s murder is the only one that has been verified.)
•    The ghosts of other slaves allegedly occasionally show up to ask if they can do any chores.
•    The grand piano has often been heard to play by itself, repeating one haunting chord.
Now a bed and breakfast, The Myrtles Plantation has opened its doors to guests who often report disturbances in the night.
Of course something might be there..something terrible….the story is for you either to explore or to believe.

Unique Places on Earth: The Cavern of Death


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The Liyobaa Cave
After the conquest of South America by the Spanish Conquistadores, the Catholic priests who were attempting to convert the heathen Indians discovered a cave entrance to what they called “Hell.” 
This entrance has since been sealed off with tons of rubble, dirt and huge stones and boulders.
“The village of ‘Liyobaa’ or to translate, ‘The Cavern of Death,’ was located in the province of Zapoteca, somewhere near the ancient village of ‘Mictlan’ or the village of the ‘Underworld.
“The Cavern of Death was actually located in the last chamber of an eight chamber building or temple. This temple had four rooms above the ground and four more important chambers built below the surface of the Earth. This building was located in “Theozapotlan,” and the tunnel entrance led one beneath a mountain.

This is also called as the secret entrance to creepiest underground tunnels of the world

Weird Places In World: Glory hole – Monticello Dam


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You simply cannot dismiss it as just yet another hole you might have seen on earth. It is really different and unique from the rest of the holes.

It is a glory hole which is found in monticello dam in california. This is considered to be the largest hole in the world.

A glory hole is used when a dam is at full capacity and water needs to be drained from the resevoir.

The size of this glory hole is big enough to consume 14 ??400 cubic feet of water every second.

Unique Places World:Don Juan Pond


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So you thought always that Dead Sea is having the saltiest water in the whole world, then perhaps you are wrong. It is not the Dead Sea but Don Juan Pond which is said to be the saltiest water body in the whole world.
It was first discovered by two pilots Lt Don Roe and Lt John Hickey in the year 1961 and has been name after them only.It is a small lake, only 100m by 300m, and on average 0.1m deep, but it is so salty that even in the Antarctic, where the temperature at the pond regularly drops to as low as -30 degrees Celsius, it never freezes. 
You will be quite surprised to know that the water in the pond is around 18 times more saltier than the sea water while the Dead Sea Water is just 8 times saltier than the sea water.