During the summer months, water tumbles from the clifftops in Eidfjord, Norway. But come winter, this majestic landscape is transformed as the waters are suspended mid-flow — creating frozen waterfalls, or icefalls. These stunning structures are popular with ice climbers who frequently scale the 500-meter tall structures during daylight hours. But never has their delicate beauty been captured in such a colorful way at night.
In January 2013, a team assembled by Swiss mountaineering apparel and equipment company Mammut traveled to the area, which lies three hours east of the city of Bergen. Climbers led by Swiss mountaineer Dani Arnold prepared the frozen ground by fixing spotlights and flares in the ice before extreme sports photographer Thomas Senf set to work capturing the amazing effects on film. “Photography and filming at night is a big challenge,” Senf said in a statement. “The right lighting determines whether you succeed or fail. The ways to play with the factors of light, time and environment are boundless and fascinating in equal measure.” Arnold and his team used a network of ropes and cables to suspend the lamps on the icefalls. The lights created by Swiss artist David Hediger cast an otherworldly glow over the frozen Nordic landscape. Click here to watch footage of the expedition.
Arnold is one of the world’s most accomplished climbers and holds the speed record for climbing the north face of the Eiger. The 29-year-old completed the climb, in the Swiss Bernese Alps, in a time of two hours 28 minutes in April 2011. The expedition to Norway was his first. “It was a special trip, something really different. I was really impressed by the light,” he said. “We lowered all the material down from the top of the falls and often had to improvise because of the crazy ice formations; it required complete concentration.”
Temperatures during the expedition ranged between -5 to -10 degrees Celsius, says Arnold — who is happy climbing whatever the time of day. “When it gets dark, I just turn on my headlamp and keep going,” he says.
German-born Senf moved to Switzerland in 2002 at the age of 21. His love for photography started when he was training to be a mountain guide. “I had considered for a long time how to work with artificial light, which is normally only possible in a photo studio, in major mountains. The transparency and reflective properties of ice in the sun had often caught my eye. With its virtually unlimited number of icefalls, Norway seemed like the perfect place to put our ideas into practice,” Senf said in a statement. (via CNN)
Norway Store Sells Severed Meat “Hands” for Halloween
Many shops are pulling out all the stops to market their products this Halloween, but a discount store in Norway, has stirred up controversy by selling fake severed hands in their meat freezers.
The Europris discount shop thought putting realistic plastic human body parts in their freezers would help their customers get into the Halloween spirit. However, they were rather surprised to discover that parents who came in with their kids were furious after, among witches and monster costumes, they found severed human body parts wrapped in plastic and packed just like ordinary meat products.
The bloody limbs, which came from a made-up butcher called the “Chop Shop”, not only looked incredibly realistic but also came with nutritional information stickers, which only added to the gruesomeness of the stunt. This story gained more ground as it was featured on television. So the store pulled out its entire range of gruesome products as a result of the backlash.
10 of the Most Scenic Roads in the World
- Highway 1, Big Sur, California
- Guoliang Tunnel Road, China
- Stelvio Pass, Central Eastern Alps, Italy
- The Atlantic Road, Norway
- Road Transfagaras, Romania
- Chapman's Peak Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
- Glacier National Park in Montana, US
- Tianmen Mountain Road, Hunan, China
- Seven Mile Bridge, Keys, Florida
- Dades Gorge, High Atlas, Morocco
Perfectly Designed but Terrifying Lookout Point
On a mountain range in Norway, the perfect lookout point has been constructed on the top of a mountain. From this vantage point, the magnificent scenery includes a crystal blue lake nestled at the base of snow-covered mountains. However, it makes you feel like you’re going to walk off the end of a cliff.
Commissioned by the Norwegian Highway Department, the Aurland Lookout is located above the small town of Aurland in Sogn og Fjordane. Designed by architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen and constructed using materials that blend into the existing terrain, the viewing platform is made to look like giant wooden diving board. Fortunately there is a glass barrier at its very edge to dramatize the fact that you are standing over thin air, at least 40 feet past the top of the mountain.
Lucky and Unlucky Numbers Around the World
The number 7 is considered lucky in many parts of the world (days of the week, number of ancient wonders of the world, number of ancient planets, number of deadly sins). On the other hand, the number 13 is considered unlucky in many countries because the number 12 is thought of as “complete” (apostles, months of the year, zodiac signs) and 13 is just one “off”. Many countries have superstitions about numbers being lucky and unlucky. The list is not complete but provides a few examples of the superstitions behind certain numbers.
- 4 — In Germany, the number 4 is the amount of leaves on a lucky clover.
- 8 — In Japan and China, the symbol for the number 8 is pronounced the same as the words for wealth and prosper.
- 3 — In Sweden and Italy, the number 3 is lucky because there are 3 sides to a triangle which is considered an indestructible shape and all good things come in 3’s.
- 9 — In Norway, the number 9 is considered sacred according to Norse mythology.
- 4 — In China, the pronunciation of the word for the number 4 is similar to the word for death. Many buildings in China skip a 4th floor, just as US builders generally skip a 13th floor.
- 9 — In Japan, 9 is feared because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for torture or suffering.
- 17 — In Italy, the Roman numeral for 17, which is XVII, can create the word “VIXI”, which in Latin means “my life is over.”
- 39 — In Afghanistan, the number 39 translates into morda-gow, which literally means ‘dead cow’ and is also a well-known slang for a pimp. When Afghans see a car with number 39 on the license plate, they head the other way.
- 666 — In the Bible’s apocalyptic Book of Revelation, John the Apostle refers to 666 as “the number of the beast.” This “beast” represents the Antichrist and thus the number is a sign of the devil. The incredibly long and strange word “hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia" means fear of the number 666.
Making the Best of the Situation
Heine Braeck, 33, from Sarpsborg, Norway, has been without a right arm since he lost it during a freak accident when he was 13. Now he has decided to make the stump look like a dolpin’s head with the help of Bulgarian tattooist Valio Ska.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Spectacular Display of the Northern Lights in Norway
It is easy to see why our ancestors were in awe of this magisterial display. Cowering lest they be sucked into the skies, they imagined that what they were seeing were the spirits of the dead; they saw warriors with burning swords, shoals of shimmering fish, the reflections of departed maidens. They felt it was dangerous to be outside.