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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.

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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.

This discovery enticed German miners to settle in the area. It was then declared a “Sperrgebiet” or forbidden territory, and the miners started exploring (and exploiting) the diamond field.

It used to be a bustling town and a rich diamond field.

Inspired by the sudden wealth of the first diamond miners, more and more people resided in the area and developed a busting little town with German-inspired architecture. The town had a hospital, school, ballroom, power station, casino, ice factory, skittle-alley, theater and sport-hall, the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, and the first tram in Africa.

Sand storms were very frequent in the town.

Despite the fast development, the townspeople had to deal with harsh sand storms that happened daily. So impactful were these sand storms that the town’s name came from an incident that happened during one. ‘Kolmanskop’ is Afrikaans for ‘Coleman’s hill,’ named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, in the middle of a sand storm, left his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement.

After World War I, diamond prices went down.

Kolmanskop reached its peak in the 1920s. But after World War I, diamond prices crashed, and then began the town’s decline. During this time, there were about 300 German adults, 800 Owambo contract workers, and 49 children residing in Kolmanskop.

The people of Kolmanskop decided to leave.

Slowly, the townspeople left. The diamond field in Kolmanskop had been exhausted, and newer, richer fields were discovered further south. By 1954, the “Little Germany in midst of the Desert” had been abandoned. The desert slowly swallowed the once thriving town.

Some structures have been restored to remember the glory days of the town.

In the 1980s, the mining company De Beers restored some of the structures and opened a museum as remembrance of the former glory of the town.

Today, it’s a famous tourist destination.

Kolmanskop may have been abandoned turning it into a ghost town, but today, tourists, photographers, and movie buffs frequent the place. Kolmanskop has been used as a movie location for various films, including The King Is Alive and Dust Devil.

Permits need to be secured to take a tour of the now ghost town.

Source: Katie Hunt

Since it’s still in the restricted area of the Namib desert, tourists must secure a permit to enter the ghost town. Permits may be bought at the gate into the town.

History

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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History

Meet the Man who Fought in World War II with a Sword and a Bow

What a badass guy!

When you think of men wielding swords, you're probably picturing a medieval infantryman wearing armor and heading off to battle. You're unlikely to be thinking of a man in full military gear in World War II. However, there was one brave soldier who went into battle in full gear along with a bow, a quiver of arrows, and a basket-hilted claymore by his side.

Meet John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, aka Mad Jack, second in command of a British infantry company. Mad Jack was a decorated soldier who fought in the battle of Dunkirk in 1940, wherein 300,000 troops became stranded on the beaches and needed to be evacuated. One of his great achievements in this battle is shooting down a German soldier with one of his arrows!

Jack Churchill aka Mad Jack, one of WWII's greatest badasses.

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History

America Once Accidentally Dropped a Nuke On Little Girls’ Playhouse

Fortunately and remarkably, no one got seriously hurt.

Sixty-one years ago, a nuclear bomb was accidentally dropped in South Carolina. It happened on March 11, 1958 and not a lot of people know that something like this happened. The Boeing Stratojet belonging to the U.S. Air Force took off from the base and flew to the United Kingdom and then to Africa, carrying nuclear weapons just in case a war with the Soviet Union would ensue.

By accident, the captain pulled the emergency release pin that resulted to the bomb, a Mark 6, falling off the plane.

Thr US Air Force accidentally dropped a nuclear bomb in South Carolina.

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