Nazca Lines of Peru - A sign of Alien Occupation?

No matter how many places you go, Nazca lines (or Nasca) the weirdest and the most perplexing sight in the world. These figures were drawn by Nazca tribes around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, and sometimes ranging over six hundred feet wide.

Bamiyan Buddhas of Afghanistan

When the Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed, the Taliban Muslims were shocked to find what was beneath the statues. Behind the statues were around 50 caves which was used (once upon a time) as a dwelling place for buddhist pilgrims.

Angkor Wat of Cambodia

with more than 200 acres in land, the temple is carefully safeguarded by a moat. The sheer size of Angkor Wat will make you speechless. It was built in the honor of Vishnu, a hindu god. The design is based on Mount Meru, which is the mythical abode of Devas (Hindu Deities).

Montreal, Canada - A great place for vacation

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Chillingham Castle - A Scary Place

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The Great Pyramid Of Giza

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Fiji Islands - Pristine Beauty

A country of over 330 islands, over two thirds of them are uninhabited. The scenic beauty is unparalleled, and it is the best place to go whether you want to relax, or have fun round the clock!

Ancient Indian Entrance & Exit Signs Revealed - Airavatesvara Temple, Darasuram

 I am currently researchingat the Darasuram Temple in India and wanted to show you something very interesting. As you can see there are lots of both local and foreign tourists that come to visit these temples and they often complain that there are no entrance or exit signs. So they get confused and don't know which way to get in and which way to get out because there are so many chambers and sub chambers in the temple.
Why don't Indian temples have entrance or exit signs? In fact, archeologists and religious experts will tell you that no such signboards or even writings have been found in ancient temples marking these doorways.  This is mind boggling because Indians have been writing in languages like Tamil and Sanskrit for at least 2000 years and you can even see these writings in the very temple that I am currently researching on.
Rest of the pillars have a twisted tail, making a ring
But I am gonna show you how intelligent the builders were many centuries ago. Let's say you are inside the sanctum and want to get out. Focus on the pillars and you will see the sculpture of this animal called yali on all the pillars. Notice that the tails of all these animals are curved or twisted. All of them except one, which is straight. Just walk towards this pillar and that's the way you should get out. This is the ancient way of marking the exit sign.
The pillar marking the exit sign, is not twisted and does not make a ring
Is this just a coincidence? No, because I am gonna show you the entrance sign as well. When you are outside and want to get in,  you can see the front side of the same figure on all the pillars. Now you can see that the trunks of these figures are slightly curved and point up.
The rest of the pillars have a straight trunk which point up

 Even though you see the stairs right here, don't enter through this way because you haven't seen the entrance sign yet. Now, I am walking around and you can see that the trunks are all straight except one.  This is the only sculpture with a twisted trunk. This is the way to properly enter this temple's chamber.
The entrance sign is marked with a twisted trunk that points down
This is a classic example of how valuable ancient knowledge has been lost. In fact, I just rediscovered this after many centuries because I checked with the local priests and archaeologists and they told me they had no idea about these signs.
This is the entrance stairway - On the right is the entrance sign
Just think, the ancient builders who historians describe as unsophisticated people, have created these signs many centuries ago, this temple being at least 850 years old. And we, who are supposed to be modern and sophisticated people are actually not so perceptive and don't pay attention to these nuances. 
Even though there is a stairway between these pillars on the other side, it is not an exit (It is the entrance)
If historians are right about ancient people, who could have used these secret signs? These signs prove that there was a better system in place - they had to enter through a certain doorway and exit through another. Today,  people random enter and exit through whichever way they can.  

Another remarkable feature is that there is no way you can see the exit sign from the outside because you don't need to see it as long as you are outside and it only becomes visible once you are inside and want to get out. And Vice Versa is also true. These sign boards if you will, need no maintenance and are immortal because they can't be destroyed. They are not just some external signs that can be removed and replaced, but they have been incorporated with the infrastructure of the temple. This proves that ancient sculptures were not only created just for art, optical illusions and humor but also to create a system.  

After discovering these ancient signs, I went to several modern temples built in the last few centuries to see if this tradition is still being followed. Sadly, these little nuances have been lost in the last 500 years and modern temples don't have these carvings that mark entrance and exit signs. I also noticed that the purpose of Yali, the animal on the pillars, had become a mere decorative one. 

Optical Illusions of Ancient India - III - Dandy Dancers of Darasuram

The Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram is a gold mine for sculpture buffs.  Here you can see this fabulous sculpture of a team of dancers. A girl dances in the middle flanked by 2 men who are playing musical instruments. At first sight, this carving looks completely normal, but look carefully and you'll notice something very strange. There should be 6 legs for 3 people, but there are only 4 legs.
Watch the video above or read on
This is yet another optical illusion carved at least 850 years ago. This creates some fabulous visual effects. If I cover the 2 men on the sides, you can see the girl showing off an excellent dance pose. 
This trio only has 4 legs!
Now if I cover the woman's body, you'll see that the 4 legs match with the bodies of 2 men. It looks like these 2 guys are playing musical instruments shown turning away from each other. One mysterious detail about this carving is that it appears that the woman's hands are glued to the heads of the men. Was some kind of a strange act where the performers tied themselves together? Below is a carving on a pillar at Darasuram which seems to confirm this theory. 
A small sculpture which also employs a similar optical illusion
Now if you look around, you can see a lot of sculptures that all show dancing or some kind of art form. Out of a thousand different sculptures in this amazing temple, there are only a few that are created with these kind of illusions involving human beings. The most famous illusion is of course, the Bull or Elephant Illusion. Below is another carving which also employ a similar optical illusion. 
Yet another sculpture carved at Darasuram
Here is another carving where you can see 3 guys playing musical instruments while a woman dances to your left. But instead of 6 legs for these 3 guys, only 5 legs have been carved. If you ignore the guy playing cymbals on the left and focus on the other two, you'll notice how they share a leg.
2 guys on the right share the middle leg
If you cover the torso and one leg of either guy, the other person appears to be complete. Traces of various colors are found on all these sculptures which means that 850 years ago they were richly painted to highlight the optical illusion effect. The Cholas are known not only for creating beautiful sculptures, but also for employing brilliant tactics like illusions and even humor in their carvings. Below is a similar carving at Darasuram.
Another sculpture with a similar optical illusion
As you can see, most of the sculptures are still in very good condition. I wish the oldest optical illusion carved at Mahabalipuram would have also remained in such condition. 

Hilarious 850 Year Old Sculptures at Airavatesvara Temple, India

While visiting the Airavatesvara temple in India, I was struck by a curious carving on one of the walls which shows a man beating his wife. He is actually pulling her hair and you can see the wife taking it quietly. As you can see, this is an isolated sculpture with no relevant carvings nearby and I've always maintained that even the smallest sculpture in ancient India usually means something.

I couldn't understand the meaning of this until I was examining the walls on the other side of the temple. Here is the other sculpture which shows the rest of the story. Here the wife is pulling the hair of the husband.

It is very interesting to put these 2 carvings side by side. Notice when the man pulls the hair, he is only doing it gently, probably just to intimidate her and look at the mouth of the wife. She is taking it quietly because there is no actual pain. But when the wife is doing it, it is clearly hurting the man, because he is screaming and the open mouth is carved so skillfully.

Notice the outstretched arm of the woman and the firm grasp, showing her intention to hurt. The meaning of these 2 sculptures is very interesting. When this man is threatening his wife, it is happening in public because they both have ornaments and headdresses. This man is merely showing off  that he is more dominant than his wife in public. However when they go home, as shown in the next carving with no ornaments or headdresses, the wife is the real  dominant person of the house. 

Now, the real question is even though this was carved at least 850 years ago, have things changed at all in our private lives? What do you think? Please leave your comment or ask your boss's permission before doing so :)

P.S: Check out this optical illusion carved in the same temple or the Man/Woman sculpture in the Thanjavur Art Gallery.

Optical Illusions of Ancient India - II - Darasuram Temple

The ancient Airavatesvara Temple in India is known for its wonderful sculptures. On one of the walls, you can see this strange animal  sculpted at least 850 years ago. As you can see it has 8 legs and a very unique face! Now quick, What do you see? Do you see an elephant or do you see a bull?

 If you see both right away, congratulations - you have a sharp mind. This is called a 2 in 1 or an optical illusion sculpture. If I cover the left side, you can see the elephant. You can see the body, and the head. Here is the eye and the curved trunk. Now if I move to the right side and cover the other half, you can see the bull. You can see the mouth, nostrils and the eyes. You can also see 2 horns and the hump. It is easy to see the rest of the body.

Looking at the whole picture, you can see how the body parts of 2 animals are skillfully overlapped. For example, the trunk of the elephant is also the hump of the bull. The horns and ears of the bull have become the mouth or snout of the elephant.  Also, notice that this carving is not made of a single stone. On the right, you can see that part of the elephants body has been carved on a different stone. 

About a year ago, I saw with a similar carving but is a little bit more complicated. This carving is found in Mahabalipuram, and you should be able to see a baby elephant and a calf as well. 

If you don't see the optical illusion above, click here. These sculptures stand as proof that Ancient Tamils possessed remarkable insight. This is especially true of Chola dynasty, their bronze sculptures are considered the best in the country. Today, these types of illusions are used by psychologists to see if you are right brained or left brained.  So, look again and tell me what you see. The bull or the elephant? Do leave a comment.

Optical Illusions of Ancient India - I - Mahabalipuram

The ancient city of Mahabalipuram in India is a very mysterious place. Some of the rocks will make you wonder if they were indeed built by Gods. On one of the pillars, a unique optical illusion is carved. Archaeologists estimate that it was carved around 7th century A.D which makes this the oldest optical illusion ever carved. It is at least 1300 years old!

     Watch the video above or read on!
This type of illusion is sometimes called 2 in 1 art. If you look at this sculpture casually, you are more likely to see a cow and a calf on its mother's udder. You can see the cow's horns, the cow licking the calf's head as they often do, and you can also see all the four legs of the cow and its tail. Seems like a regular piece of carving.

Cow and Calf
However, if you put your hand over the center, the carving transforms into an elephant and a baby elephant. You can see the elephant's trunk and the whole body with legs and the tail. And the baby elephant is standing between its mothers legs with its face and the trunk looking at the opposite direction.
Elephant and its baby
Needless to say, this is a pretty incredible sculpture. Historians and archaeologists often portray ancient builders as simple-minded, unsophisticated people. Carvings like these cannot be conceived and carved unless they had a fabulous imagination combined with superior sculpting skills.
Just a simple movement of the hand is enough to reveal the illusion
Recently, I found yet another optical illusion at Darasuram Temple, which is about 850 years. Unlike Mahabalipuram, the carving below has been remarkably preserved and has not corroded. To read about this illusion, click here.

 optical illusion sculpture at Darasuram

Haunting at The Oldest House in Key West, Florida

The oldest house on Key West was built around 1829. Now, you may ask: how is that possible? Where did people live here in the 15, 16 and 1700s? They lived in houses but none of them survived the major hurricanes. So, the right phrase is “the oldest surviving house in Key West”. Let’s get to the story of the haunted house that I wanted to tell you about.

The family that lived in this house was the Watlington family. Captain Watlington, his wife Emma and nine daughters. If you have 9 kids you have a lot to take care of. So he is guiding ships through the reefs, he is a captain for the confederate navy and a member of the U.S house of representatives.  If you work so much, the wife has to take care of all the 9 kids by herself. Three of these girls ended up with yellow fever. Back then, nothing was known about the disease. Most people who got yellow fever would just die. If you got it, you’ll have constant headaches, back pain and would be throwing up all the time. Imagine being a little girl and getting yellow fever, you’d freak out because of these symptoms. 

Front view of the Oldest House in Key West
So Emma would be sitting upstairs, in her rocking chair, with the kids in her lap and just rock them back and forth. She hoped this would soothe their minds.  Sometimes, the kids would play with marbles upstairs.  In spite of trying their best to save the kids, all three of them passed away.

This is where one of the daughters breathed her last
When this became a museum, the original caretaker lived on site. He would sleep in the downstairs bedroom. Each night he would hear something like this: Thump thump, Thump thump. Exactly how the rocking chair would make if somebody were using it above you. Sometimes he would hear marbles coming down the stairway. For the first few nights, he would freak out because he thought there was someone sniffing around. So, he turns on the lights, goes up and finds nothing. After so many sleepless night, he decides, he doesn’t need to live onsite anymore.

A bedroom inside the Oldest House
At the back of this house is a big garden, which has an interesting story on its own. Because of the heat, they always had the kitchen outside the houses back then. At nights, you might see a girl in a wedding dress speaking Cuban Spanish. It is not a real person of course, but who is it? It is rumored that the body of Elena Hoyos who was decomposing for 8 years was kept hidden here for a few weeks when Count Von Cosel was on trial. 
The kitchen in the backyard where the body of Elena Hoyos was stashed
While the Oldest House serves as a lively museum during daytime, it has a very different energy after dark. Right in the middle of the downtown and even though the gates are never locked, you will never see locals hanging out in the garden. If you are truly into ghost hunting, visit this place during midnight.
Back side view of the house at midnight
There's a lot more haunting in Key West! Check out Robert The Doll, Club Chameleon, St. Paul's Graveyard, and The Haunted Hard Rock Cafe.   

Indian God Rock - Forgotten Petroglyphs of Pennsylvania

A large boulder sits majestically on the bank of Allegheny River, near Rockland, PA. This abandoned rock bears rock carvings that are a thousand years old and used be a popular tourist attractions. Known as the Indian God Rock, it has about 56 different petroglyphs or rock engravings created  between 900 and 1750 C.E. Archaeologists are not sure who created them. 

This is the back side of the Rock, but you can see the entire rock is completely covered with modern day carvings of names. These were carved mostly by European settlers, and the original Native American carvings are actually found on the side facing the river.  

The latitude and longitude coordinates are roughly 41°19'50.0"N 79°49'42.0"W

It is a very large block of sandstone, measuring about 22 feet long and 13 feet wide. This is the best look you can get of this rock’s front and you can see it is very flat and smooth, making it perfect for carvings. 
The Front side of the Indian God Rock which bears the ancient petroglyphs
The rock engravings are gone because vandals have carved over them, and it is impossible to take a good look because of the angle and how it is facing the river.

These strange petroglyphs were officially cataloged by Archaeologist  James Swauger
So, we have to depend on the archaeology department’s documentation. There are about 56 original designs created anywhere between 900 to 1750 C.E. There are many strange figures of humanoids and animals. They also have some carvings which we simply cannot understand.
Humanoid or Spirit Otter? What do you think?
Let me show you some humanoids first. This definitely looks human but it is called the “Spirit Otter” by James Swauger who spent a lot of time documenting the Petroglyphs of Ohio valley.

Here is another figure with arms stretched out and has some kind of an extension sticking out of its head.

This figure looks very strange and neither looks human nor animal. You can see one eye and the mouth and there are some extensions from the head, but it doesn’t have any limbs.

Other than humanoids and animals, they also carved an object. This is the only non-living thing that is seen on petroglyphs in Ohio valley: Bow and Arrow. Looks like archery was very important back then for survival.
Here are some animals. Archaeologists think the above figure is Mishipeshu, the mythical underwater panther which a lot of tribes worshiped including the Algonquian, Monongahela, and the Mound Builder people. However, this theory is inconclusive just like their attribution of Mishipeshu to the Alligator Mound in Ohio.  
Here are some more animal figures and may be you can figure out what they are. One weird fact is that there are no turtles or water birds, which are seen, carved on other ancient sites. This rock also has some other interesting facts attached to it. In 1749, Captain Celeron de Bienville, a French man from Canada buried a lead plate underneath this rock to assert French claim to Ohio valley. He buried several plates in specific locations, but only three of them have been found so far.
If you look at an old photograph, you can see a lot of rocks here. But today they are all gone, because people have removed them in search of this plate which was never found.  This has also made it impossible to have a place to stand and observe the petroglyphs.  Believe it or not it was a popular tourist attraction at one point where steamships sailing in the Allegheny River would stop at this rock, so passengers could observe the rock art.
Modern day graffiti has entirely destroyed the authenticity of the Indian God Rock
It is in the middle of nowhere and you have to walk or bike a few miles to get here and even if you do, you really can’t see the ancient petroglyphs. I was told even if I take a Kayak and see the front side, vandals have completely covered it with modern day carvings making it impossible to see the original rock engravings.

If you would like more information about the Indian God Rock, contact the Venango Museum in Oil City, PA. 


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