Germany is known for its scenic and picturesque towns and cities, with its beautiful houses and colorful tiled roofs. One specific destination, aptly named The Romantic Road, stretches from Würzburg and Füssen in southern Germany.
It is along this scenic region that the famous town of Nördlingen is found. But aside from its beautiful sceneries and romantic ambience, Nördlingen also has a unique history – the land the town is standing on is an 15 million year-old meteorite crater.
Nördlingen is one of the few remaining medieval towns with an intact city wall.
It is located in the center of Germany’s Romantic Road and lies within Nördlinger Ries, an impact crater created by a meteorite believed to have hit earth around 14.5 million years ago in the Miocene period.
Nördlinger Ries measures 25 kilometers in diameter, with the depth of its depression currently around 100 to 150 meters below the rim.
According to scientists, the meteorite which impacted Ries was estimated to be around 1.5 kilometers in diameter, with an impact velocity of 45,000 miles per hour (mph). The explosion due to the impact would have been equal to roughly 1.8 million Hiroshima atomic bombs.
A satellite image of Germany’s Ries Crater or Nördlinger Ries.
The location of Nördlingen.
Unbeknownst to medieval European settlers, they built the town on the actual site where the meteorite crashed, matching their one-kilometer wide walled city to the supposed diameter of the meteorite. Proof of this is one of the iconic landmarks in the area, St. George’s Church, which is situated in the center of the town.
St. George’s Church with its tower
Its tower, called Daniel, was discovered in 1960 by geologist Eugene Shoemaker to be made of suevite, a type of breccia made from the impact of an asteroid or other cosmic bodies. This discovery further debunked the theory that the town was built on a crater that is of volcanic origin, which was the prevailing theory before the 1960s.
Aside from this amazing find, what makes the town more unique is the discovery of microscopic diamonds, formed from the impact of the meteorite with the graphite-rich soil of the town. The diamonds, however, are too small to have any value as gemstones and are thus only used to build houses in the area. Where else can you find a place with houses containing diamonds?
The Ries Crater museum also houses a piece of moon rock, a gift from the crew of Apollo 11.
Being a walled city, tourists can also walk around the walls, and it is from there that the unique views of the town and its medieval houses can be best appreciated.
Nördlingen, with its rich and out-of-this-world history and beautiful structures, is definitely worth a visit!
In Siberia, You Can Find the Loneliest Toilet in the World
I’d rather take a dump somewhere else, thank you.
I've seen my share of interesting toilets and bathrooms from all over the world, thanks to the internet. So far, this takes the cake for the most extreme of them all.
Perched on a cliff 2,600 metres (more than 8,500 feet) above sea level in Siberia, this extreme toilet is not for the faint-hearted. It serves as the only toilet for the five-man staff of the remote weather station at Kara-Tyurek — which began operation in 1939.
Nobody Wants This $400,000-A-Year Small Town Job
The salary is more than substantial, and the benefits are great. Still, no one seems to be interested in the job.
It’s not easy to find a high-paying job. In fact, thousands of people worldwide are finding it even more difficult to get a decent occupation. So, how come the doctor who posted an Ad for a General Practioner job that promises to pay a hefty salary of $400,000-a-year says that no one wants to apply for the position?
According to the New Zealand Herald, Dr. Alan Kenny took to online job sites after four medical recruitment firms failed to find him a suitable candidate over the past couple of years. But he said he also hasn’t received even a single application since he placed the advertisement a few months ago.
The Plague Island of Poveglia, The World’s Most Haunted Island
The historically rich island now stands barren, empty, and abandoned, for fear of its macabre history.
A quarantine colony, a resting place for plague victims, and an asylum for the mentally unstable - these were the quite unsavory purposes the rather quaint island of Poveglia has served in the past hundred years or so. However, the historically rich island now stands barren, empty, and abandoned, for fear of its macabre history.
Located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon in Northern Italy, the island of Poveglia was first recorded in history as a sanctuary for refugees fleeing invasions of Padua and Este. However, in the 1700s, it was transformed into a confinement station for people infected with the plague, and ultimately as a quarantine station doubling as an asylum for the mentally insane in the 20th century. By 1968, the island was completely abandoned. Even now, water taxis traversing the Grand Canal rarely transport tourists to the island.
An aerial view of the island of Poveglia
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