The Transforming Cat Candle
PyroPet is a family of animal shaped candles that each reveal a surprise within as they burn. The first PyroPet product is a cute little cat called “Kisa”. (“Kisa” means “kitty” in Icelandic). A cute cat shaped candle reveals a grinning metallic skeleton inside. The candles are available to pre-order on Kickstarter.
Curious History’s Recommended Top Ten Posts for September, 2013
- Animated Gifs of Amazing Animal Facts - 119,327 Notes
- The Twisted Trees of Slope Point, New Zealand - 57,387
- Mysterious Coin-Covered Wishing Trees - 48,963
- 9,000 Soldiers Stenciled into Sand at Normandy - 36,219
- Still-Practiced Pagan Ritual Costumes - 22,589
- Haunting Images of Abandoned Amusement Parks - 18,518
- The “Hello Kitty” Caterpillar - 18,420
- Stunning Metal Sculptures from Old Watch Parts - 13,657
- The Amazing Fly Geyser - 11,444
- Incredible Miniature Pencil Sculptures - 11,167
These were the most popular for the month of September. Click on a link to check them out. October will have a Halloween theme so stay tuned.
Bat Skeleton and Facts
The bat’s skeleton exhibits amazingly fine bone structure. This skeleton reveals the inner structure of their webbed forelimbs which allows them to sustain actual flight. They are the only mammals that can fly. Also interesting are bats’ very sharp teeth. Although they have a reputation for sucking blood, the majority of the roughly 1,100 species of bat are insectivores. They eat up to one third of their body weight in insects each night. The remainders are mostly herbivores or frugivores (fruit eaters).
Bats are unique in their use of echolocation, a phenomenon in which the bat emits ultrasonic sounds that echo back, revealing to the bat its surroundings and location of prey. Bats can travel up to 800 kilometers at a time in search of food. Bats are crucial to healthy ecosystems through their pollination of flowers and dispersal of fruit seeds.
The Brno Ossuary is the second largest ossuary in Europe. The town of Brno, located in the Czech Republic, was settled in the year of 1243. The discovery of the bodies occured quite recently and definitely by accident.
Before completing renovations in the small town, it is standard practice to complete a preliminary archeological dig. When the digging began in 2001, it turned up some 50,000 skeletons that were stuffed under the square into a medieval charnel. Once piled in neat rows, at some point water and mud had flooded the gigantic underground ossuary and jumbled thousands upon thousands of bones.
The bones are thought to be from the 1600 through the 1700s and are believed to have been moved from an old cemetery to make space for more burials. This is the case for most of the ossuaries and catacombs in Europe. It is the sheer amount of skulls, bones and skeletons that makes it the second largest ossuary in Europe, with the first being the Catacombs in Paris.
Because of the different colors on the bones, It is clear that many of the people died of various diseases. Though all the bones are tinted yellow, having never been exposed to sunlight, the extra yellow ones likely died of cholera, while the red tinted bones probably died from the plague.
Vintage Bookplates Featuring the Grim Reaper
On each bookplate, you will notice the words Ex Libris. A bookplate, also known as ex-librīs [Latin, “from the books of…”], is usually a small print or decorative label pasted into a book, often on the inside front cover, to indicate its owner.
Bookplates typically bear a name, motto, device, coat-of-arms, crest, badge, or any motif that relates to the owner of the book, or is requested by him from the artist or designer. The name of the owner usually follows an inscription such as “from the books of…” or “from the library of…”, or in Latin, ex libris….
Bookplates are important evidence for the provenance of books. In the United States, bookplates replaced book rhymes after the 19th century. The earliest known marks of ownership of books or documents date from the reign of Amenophis III in Egypt (1391–1353 BC).
However, in their modern form, they evolved from simple inscriptions in books which were common in Europe in the Middle Ages, when various other forms of “librarianship” became widespread (such as the use of class-marks, call-numbers, or shelfmarks). The earliest known examples of printed bookplates are German, and date from the 15th century.
Eerie Images of Ghosts Haunting the Historic Witches Prison
The images appear to show the ectoplasmic outlines of humanoid figures slinking around a historical landmark known as The Cage, a property previously used to imprison those accused of witchcraft. According to Vanessa Mitchell, current owner of the building, the two images were snapped without manipulation by spirit photographer Ron Bowers in front of a room full of onlookers.
At one time The Cage served as the village prison for all criminals in St Osyth, Essex in the United Kingdom, but is best known as the place that held infamous witch Ursula Kemp and fourteen other local women who were accused of witchcraft and subsequently hung in the late 1500s. It was alleged that Ursula used “familiars” to heal and/or kill her neighbors, acts she supposedly admitted to during questioning. But hey, they didn’t leave you much wiggle room back then.
In 1921, two female skeletons were discovered on the property, one of which was thought to be Kemp’s. The bones were then put on display as a sort of local curiosity.
Many paranormal investigators, including Vanessa Mitchell, believe that Ursula haunts the prison to this day. “I have seen three ghosts in there as clear as I could see someone living,” she wrote in a personal statement. “I also experienced activity that was unexplainable to me, i.e. [water] taps turning on and off, door latches rattling through the day and night, a coke can whizzing across the table, objects disappearing then turning up in unusual places or not turning up at all.. something walking up and down the stairs in the night, physical touch, aggressive touch, voices as if people talking to each other..”
The strange tales told by Vanessa and others only serve to make the ghostly images captured at The Cage even more intriguing.
The Dance of Death
Dance of Death, also variously called Danse Macabre (French), Danza de la Muerte (Spanish), Danza Macabra (Italian), and Totentanz (German), is an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the Dance of Death unites all. The Danse Macabre consists of the dead or personified Death summoning representatives from all walks of life to dance along to the grave, typically with a pope, emperor, king, child, and laborer. They were produced to remind people of the fragility of their lives and how vain were the glories of earthly life. Its origins are postulated from illustrated sermon texts; the earliest recorded visual scheme was a now lost mural in the Saints Innocents Cemetery in Paris dating from 1424–25.
The Dance of Death (1493) by Michael Wolgemut, from the Liber chronicarum by Hartmann Schedel. English speaking bibliophiles, however, have long called the book the Nuremberg Chronicle, after the city in which it was published. Finally, Germans have recently begun to call it Die Schedelshe Weltchronik (‘Schedel’s World History’) after its author, Hartmann Schedel, whose name appears no where in the printed edition.