- Ice Cave Near The Mutnovsky Volcano, Russia - Ice caves like these form in the glaciers surrounding the Mutnovsky Volcano in Russia. Some of them are formed by vents that release volcanic heat and gases called fumaroles. (photo by Florian Wizorek)
- Glowworms Cave, New Zealand - The Waitomo glowworm caves are home to a unique insect – the glowworm. These insects hang glistening silken strands from the ceiling of the cave and glow to attract unsuspecting prey. (photo by waitomo.com)
- Son Doong Cave, Vietnam - This is the largest currently known cave in the world. It is filled with countless wonders including isolated ecosystems, weather systems and geological formations. (photo by National Geographic)
- Batu Caves, Malaysia - These caves have been used by English and Chinese settlers as well as the indigenous Temuan people. The bat guano in the cave was mined for agricultural purposes, but now the cave is filled with statues and is open to visitors. (photo by Danny Xeero)
- Marble Caves, Patagonia - Theses caves are known for the spectacular reflections that the turquoise water casts on the white marble ceiling of the cave. They are also called the Marble Cathedral because of their beautiful and arching forms. (photo by kellywhite)
- Phraya Nakhon Cave, Thailand - This cave was historically a popular visiting place for local kings because of the illumination provided by the collapsed roofs. The pavilion in the center was built for the visit of King Chulalongkorn in 1890. (photo by Wasitpol Unchanakorrakit)
- Ellison’s Cave, United States - This photograph is of the Fantastic Cave pit, part of Ellison’s Cave in the state of Georgia. It is a popular attraction for pit cavers – those who enjoy rappelling down vertical subterranean drops. (photo by secondglobe.com)
- Vatnajokull Glacier Cave, Iceland - This cave is located in the largest glacier in Europe. Caves like these form due to melting glacial icewater, but they can be dangerous because glaciers are constantly breaking and changing. (photo by Einar Runar Sigurdson)
- Cave in Algarve, Portugal - Due to its location, the cave is prone to various seaside formations because of the rock face’s relative solubility in water. This specific cave near Lagos is accessible only by water. (photo by Bruno Carlos)
- Reed Flute Cave, China - The Reed Flute Cave in Guangxi, China has been visited by tourists for at least 1200 years. The cave is home to a spectacular array of stalagmites and stalactites. It is named for the reeds that grow at its mouth, which can be made into flutes. (photo by Pasquale di Pilato)
It’s that time of year again. As each year passes, the holiday season seems to start earlier with Christmas ads appearing before we even have time to put away our Halloween costumes. However your family celebrates this time of year, remember that Christmas never came in a box - it’s a time to remember what’s important in life and spend it with the ones you love.
No other artist has ever captured the sentiment of the holiday season like Norman Rockwell. Rockwell is America’s most beloved early 20th century illustrator. His connection to holiday-inspired art can be traced to his youth, when at the tender age of 15, a parishioner of his family’s church employed his talents for Christmas card designs.
As an adult, Rockwell would become as synonymous with the holidays as Santa Claus himself. He also became the most famous fixture at Hallmark, the greeting card company that continues to market his holiday illustrations. It’s also likely that Rockwell will retain his unsurpassed world record of creating more covers for a single magazine – he illustrated more than 300 covers for The Saturday Evening Post.
He captured life of early 20th century American society in such a unique way that his style his undeniable and easy to recognize. His art shows the wonder and joy of life during a simpler time in American culture, one not obsessed with youth and technology. His art joyfully depicts real people in recognizable situations, enjoying life and love together. Merry Christmas to you and yours from Curious History.
Learn all about his life and work at the Norman Rockwell Museum online.
- Dead Horse Mill, Crystal, Colorado, United States (source)
- Mont Saint, Michel, France (source)
- Fairytale Tree Tunnel, Ireland (source)
- Lake Brienz, Switzerland (source)
- Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona, United States (source)
- Maroon Bells, Colorado, United States (source)
- Forest Bridge, Japan (source)
- Enchanted Forest, Bavaria, Germany (source)
- Bend in the Yangtze River, China (source)
- The Matterhorn towering over the village of Zermatt, Swiss Alps (source - © Brian Jannsen)
The Man Who Had an Iron Spike Go Completely Through his Head and Lived — The Sad and Bizarre Story of Phineas Gage
Phineas Gage is the most famous person to have survived severe damage to the brain. His accident illustrates the first medical knowledge gained on the relationship between personality and brain damage. After his injury, he turned into a completely different person - an entirely new personality.
A well-liked and successful construction foreman, Phineas Gage was contracted to work for the Rutland & Burlington Railroad in Vermont. In September 1848 while Gage was preparing a railroad bed, an accidental explosion of a charge he had set, blew a 13-pound tamping iron straight through his head.
The tamping iron was 1 1/4 inches in diameter. It went in point first under his left cheek bone and completely out through the top of his head, landing about 25 to 30 yards behind him.
Despite his torn scalp and fractured skull, Gage remained lucid and rational during the ride to the hospital and was even able to speak. Cage not only survived losing a chunk of his brain, he was able to returned home in only 10 weeks. Unfortunately, Gage’s recovery was not a complete success.
The once friendly and well-liked man became mean, impatient, rude, and seemed to have lost any empathy toward others. Those who knew him before the accident said he was “no longer Gage.”
Cage worked in several livery stables for the next ten years until 1859 when his health began to fail. He moved to San Francisco to live with his mother and began to experience the epileptic seizures that would lead to his death in 1860. The tale is heart-breaking.
His story is still standard content in medical, anatomy, and psychology textbooks. His skull and the tamping iron are currently on display in the Warren Museum Exhibition Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.
Matt McConnell, of McConnell Studios, pushes the boundaries of sculpture with not only his use of materials, but how he uses them and his latest piece is no exception. Rhythm had a home waiting for it at The Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, which sits adjacent to the new Nashville Music City Center and The Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, so it’s only natural that this massive sculpture would be music-related.
Incredibly Creepy Collages
San Francisco-based artist Dianne Hoffman creates magnificent mixed media assemblages using recycled and salvaged materials. Each piece is incredibly unique and a bit unsettling. Hoffman’s collection can be viewed on her Flickr page and website. Of her urge to create art, she states:
I have a tendency to personify inanimate objects and feel genuine compassion for those that are damaged or disregarded. I see potential in broken bits and find beauty in rust and erosion. The older an object, the more haunting and alluring its ghost. Collage & assemblage art allows me to indulge these concepts by creating small worlds in a box where tall tales are told, jokes are cracked, emotions stirred, poems imparted and songs are sung. By using images that replicate the past and objects that authenticate it, my pieces become storytellers, dream interpreters and memory inducers. They are innately lyrical and flicker along to their own silent film.