Early maps warned sailors of the mysteries and dangers of the sea. Wherever the maps ended in unexplored areas, they would leave the iconic message “Here there be dragons.” By far, the most numerous of the creatures that our medieval pioneers reported were sea serpents. These reptilian monsters would be depicted undulating in the water or coiled around ships, where they would devour unfortunate sailors who got too close to their gaping jaws. Their appearance was often thought to be prophetic—they were harbingers of doom and disaster well before they became a zoological mystery. Here are 10 of the more famous of these calamities of the deep sea. Continue reading
“The distinction between the past, present and future is only an illusion, however persistent.” –Albert Einstein
These days, even respected physicists like Stephen Hawking are being forced to admit that time travel may be possible. But has it already happened? These people say it has. Continue reading
Japan. Home of Nintendo, sushi, and a festival celebrating the penis. It certainly is a country near the top of everyone’s must-visit list, and rightfully so. Japan is a country with an absorbing past and a fascinating future.
It’s also a country with more scary stories and fabulous tales than you can shake a stick at: J-Horror, manga, monster movies—the list is endless. Yet Japan’s real freak factor lies in its urban legends. Here are some of the best. Continue reading
Thanks to pop culture, the term “vampire” has a very different connotation today than it did hundreds of years ago. The vampire myth can be traced back to the earliest of recorded history, and most early vampires were far from the elegant, sparkling creature we tend to think of today. Continue reading
According to a 2005 Gallup poll, 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses, and according to a 2013 HuffPost/YouGov poll, 45 percent believe in ghosts. These are surprising numbers, but the next time you hear a spooky sound, don’t call the Ghostbusters—get a scientist instead. Behind every shadow, poltergeist, and disembodied voice, there’s a perfectly rational explanation. Continue reading