What’s a surefire way to keep thieves from even entering your home? Back in the Edo period in Japan, there obviously weren’t electronic alarm systems to keep intruders out.
While they had guards, these guards were no match for sneaky ninjas who could sneak in without being detected. So instead, they created the uguisubari or nightingale floors.
They look like regular floors, but the secret lies beneath the planks.
Nightingale floors look like regular floors, but beneath the floorboards, it has a unique twist. It gets its name from the sound it makes when people step on the planks. The woodworkers and craftsmen who install these floors would place planks of wood on supporting beams.
However, they’d be placed securely enough to hold weight without dislodging, but they’d be left just a little loose. This way, when the planks are stepped on, the clamps securing the beams would rub against the nails to create a chirping noise.
These beams would rub together to create a noise when someone steps on them.
Here’s a closeup of the beams that create the famous chirping sound:
One of the most famous nightingale floors can be found in the Nijo Castle in Tokyo, Japan. Nijo Castle was the main seat of Japan’s power, and as you can imagine many important people would stay there.
Nijo Castle, once the seat of power in Japan, has nightingale floors that tourists can try out.
Naturally, there’s always the threat of theft or assassination, so these nightingale floors served to warn them if an intruder is lurking in the castle. In fact, these floors can even give out a unique sound so guards can pinpoint exactly where the intruder is!
Other nightingale floors can be found in the Chion-in Temple in Higashiyama-Ku, Eikan-do-Zenrin-Ji temple, and the Shingon Buddhist Temple, Daikaku-Ji in Kyoto.
Watch this video to hear the sound of these nightingale floors:
The Story of the 2,300-Year-Old Fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree in Yosemite National Park
Know the tale of this fallen beauty.
If you've been to the Yosemite National Park, chances are you've seen the famous Wawona Tunnel Tree, now also known as the Fallen Tunnel Tree. The Wawona was once a towering sequoia that stood in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park in California, USA until February 1969. It is estimated to have been around 2,300 years old by the time it fell.
The Wawona had a height of 227 feet (69 m) and was 26 feet (7.9 m) in diameter at the base. It is not clear where the word 'Wawona' came from, but some believe it to mean either 'big tree' or 'hoot of the owl.'
The famous Wawona Tunnel Tree can be found in Yosemite National Park.
The Story of Kolmanskop, Former Diamond Mine and Now Ghost Town in the Namib Desert
The town has long since said goodbye to its glory days.
Ghost towns may be creepy, but they always have good stories to tell. Case in point, the Kolmanskop in the middle of the Namib desert in South Africa. Here, no humans can be found, only decrepit houses partly swallowed by the sand. They are witnesses to a once thriving town.
The story goes that in 1908, railway worker Zacharias Lewala, while shoveling in the desert, noticed a sparkling stone. Convinced the stone was a diamond, Lewala decided to show his discovery to his supervisor, German railway inspector August Stauch, for confirmation.
Kolmanskop is located in the middle of the Namib desert in South Africa.
Scotland Residents Make Unexpected Archaeological Find In The Aftermath of A Strong Storm
After their place was hit by a wild storm, residents discovered an ancient settlement in their midst.
Sometimes significant discoveries come at quite an unexpected time and at an unexpected place. Remember that gigantic Pharoah Ramses II statue found buried in the slums of Cairo? Archaeologists never guessed that such a thing was in the area and now the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities is describing the statue as one of its “most important archaeological discoveries” ever.
Well the same can be said regarding this find in the Orkeny Islands, in Scotland. As it turns out, the island was struck by a wild storm in the winter of 1850. At the aftermath of the storm, however, they were surprised to see a secret settlement and archaeologists began coming over to learn more about it.
The settlement, researchers claim, is estimated to have been occupied by around 50 to 100 people over 4,500 to 5,100 years ago. It has since been excavated, explored, and named Skara Brae.
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