atlasobscura
theoddmentemporium:

The Paris Morgue was built in 1864 on the Île de la Cité, one of the two islands in the Seine, [and was] where the bodies of unidentified dead – most of them suicide cases – were displayed on marble slabs for friends or family to identify. This edifice soon became a fixture in the Parisian social round, with tens or hundreds of people shuffling into the morgue to gawk at the dead and gossip over their possible origins and reasons for death.
Each day, from early morning to the evening hour of six, the curious of this earth [were] seen going into and coming away from the ugly pile. Persons out of work are impelled by curiosity to go and see the “macchabées,” as the exposed corpses are termed in local slang; but others go to seek on the cold, bare slabs for the body of some dear one who departed this life by suicide or was the victim of an atrocious crime. [Source]
According to  Vanessa R. Schwartz’s book, Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris:

…the morgue transformed the banality everyday life by spectacularizing it. To us, looking at dead bodies seems at best an exercise in morbid curiosity. And some of the late nineteenth-century Parisian press did consider the attraction rather morbid. Yet, as cultural critic Jay Ruby argued, assuming morbidity as the impulse to represent death merely reflects “our culturally encouraged need to deny death.” In fact, although the morgue clearly displayed dead bodies, the discussion of the popularity of public visits to the Paris Morgue generally placed it outside the death-related and morbid topics of its day: cemeteries, slaughterhouses and executions. Instead, the morgue was characterized as “part of the cataloged curiosities of things to see, under the same heading as the Eiffel Tower, Yvete Guilbert, and the Catacombs. [Source]

[With eternal thanks to freckledspace for bringing this particular oddment to my attention]

theoddmentemporium:

The Paris Morgue was built in 1864 on the Île de la Cité, one of the two islands in the Seine, [and was] where the bodies of unidentified dead – most of them suicide cases – were displayed on marble slabs for friends or family to identify. This edifice soon became a fixture in the Parisian social round, with tens or hundreds of people shuffling into the morgue to gawk at the dead and gossip over their possible origins and reasons for death.

Each day, from early morning to the evening hour of six, the curious of this earth [were] seen going into and coming away from the ugly pile. Persons out of work are impelled by curiosity to go and see the “macchabées,” as the exposed corpses are termed in local slang; but others go to seek on the cold, bare slabs for the body of some dear one who departed this life by suicide or was the victim of an atrocious crime. [Source]

According to  Vanessa R. Schwartz’s book, Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris:

…the morgue transformed the banality everyday life by spectacularizing it. To us, looking at dead bodies seems at best an exercise in morbid curiosity. And some of the late nineteenth-century Parisian press did consider the attraction rather morbid. Yet, as cultural critic Jay Ruby argued, assuming morbidity as the impulse to represent death merely reflects “our culturally encouraged need to deny death.” In fact, although the morgue clearly displayed dead bodies, the discussion of the popularity of public visits to the Paris Morgue generally placed it outside the death-related and morbid topics of its day: cemeteries, slaughterhouses and executions. Instead, the morgue was characterized as “part of the cataloged curiosities of things to see, under the same heading as the Eiffel Tower, Yvete Guilbert, and the Catacombs. [Source]

[With eternal thanks to freckledspace for bringing this particular oddment to my attention]

atlasobscura

atlasobscura:

La Ruta de las Caras (The Route of Faces) - Cuenca, Spain

Intricate faces sculpted into the natural facade of the environment merge with the already-beautiful and symbolic landscape of the swamps of Buendia in a place known as the Ruta de las Caras. The name translates to “Route of the Faces,” where a series of hiking trails or “routes” take visitors along a cultural and artistic journey of spiritual discovery.

More on the formation of La Ruta de las Caras: The Route of Faces on Atlas Obscua…

atlasobscura

atlasobscura:

Dead Vlei - Namibia

In the Namib-Naukluft National Park, in the central Namib Desert is a strange and alien landscape.

Found among towering red dunes is an area known as Sossusvlei. The dunes that surround the area are rich red and owe their red color to age, as over the thousands of years, the sand has literally rusted.

Sossusvlei itself is a salt/clay pan; a wide, flat, salt-covered expanse with a dense and compact layer of clay in the subsoil. When dry, Sossusvlei is hard and arid, and when wet, as it gets every 5-10 years when fed by the Tsauchab River, it becomes sticky and plastic. For the Tsauchab River the area is its final destination, and even in the wettest of years the river is simply soaked away into the salt/clay pan, giving the area its nickname, “place of no return.”

Keep reading for giant dunes and another place of no return… Dead Vlei on Atlas Obscura!