When Allies and Germans fought together in World War II: The Battle for Castle Itter

Austria seems to have a certain magnet for unusual military events. It was in the Austrian village of Itter in the Tyrol that one of the strangest battles of the entire Second World War took place. It was liberated on May 5, 1945, just five days after Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker, and…Continue readingWhen Allies and Germans fought together in World War II: The Battle for Castle Itter

The spectacular coloured mountains of China and Peru

There are times when Nature seems capricious and turns something that should fall into the category of normal into a visual spectacle that, in the end, serves to draw attention to it and, paradoxically, to protect it. It happens with some of those living beings that we can consider rare and also happens in certain…Continue readingThe spectacular coloured mountains of China and Peru

Rettungsboje, the rescue buoy devised by the Germans in World War II to save downed pilots

Searching for a castaway lost at sea is an arduous and often frustrating task. Unless the search area can be narrowed down a lot, the task can be prolonged so long that probably when he or she is finally located – if at all – he or she is already dead from hypothermia, dehydration or…Continue readingRettungsboje, the rescue buoy devised by the Germans in World War II to save downed pilots

The enigmatic 512 Manuscript describing an ancient Mediterranean civilization in pre-Hispanic Brazil

Like a Lovecraft tale, the Rare Works section of the National Library of Brazil jealously guards a strange ten-page document baptized with the suggestive name of Manuscript 512. It narrates an eighteenth-century expedition during which the ruins of an ancient city were discovered that seemed to have developed a classical civilization in the Mediterranean style.…Continue readingThe enigmatic 512 Manuscript describing an ancient Mediterranean civilization in pre-Hispanic Brazil

How many times has the Vatican’s Swiss Guard come into combat?

If anyone thinks that the Vatican’s Swiss Guard has a mere representative function and that its members are only there to adorn the corners or take pictures with tourists, they are totally wrong. It is a military corps that really has the mission of looking after the Pope’s safety and guarding that small state. And…Continue readingHow many times has the Vatican’s Swiss Guard come into combat?

Agotes, the mysterious cursed race of the Basque-Navarrese Pyrenees

The marginalization and/or persecution of ethnic or social minorities in Spain is not limited to Jews and Moors. Those are the tip of the iceberg and, for very complex reasons to detail here, those that have focused historical attention. But there have been others that may not have been so numerous or so tragic: the…Continue readingAgotes, the mysterious cursed race of the Basque-Navarrese Pyrenees

The embarrassing human zoos of the colonial era

In 2012, the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, an institution dedicated to ethnology and anthropology, organized an exhibition entitled Exhibitions. L’invention du sauvage, which, through photos, posters, films and postcards, and driven by French ex-footballer Lilian Thuram, reminded the public of the embarrassing existence until very shortly before unusual zoos that exhibited human beings…Continue readingThe embarrassing human zoos of the colonial era

The Russian novel that inverts the roles in The Lord of the Rings: Sauron and the orcs are the good ones

It is doubtful that there is anyone who has not heard, even by minimal references, of The Lord of the Rings; some by his literary version, others by the cinematographic ones, many by both. The work of J.R.R. Tolkien is a fantastic story of epic tone that has captivated generation after generation with the heroic…Continue readingThe Russian novel that inverts the roles in The Lord of the Rings: Sauron and the orcs are the good ones

10 of the weirdest laws from ancient times

Human progress is measured in many ways. One of them are the laws and rules, which since ancient times flourished in the most advanced civilizations as a means of guaranteeing coexistence and politically organizing the territory. If we find similarities in many of them, there is also no lack of somewhat special, not to say…Continue reading10 of the weirdest laws from ancient times

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