7 Of The Coolest (And Creepiest) Mysteries From World War II

Even after countless books, movies, and TV shows have been written and produced about the Second World War, there’s still so much that those of us on the outside don’t know.

From the lost identity of a man who changed the tides of the war to the disappearance of a high-ranking Nazi, here are some of the greatest mysteries surrounding World War II.

Heinrich Müller

To this day, the German head of the Gestapo, Heinrich Müller, remains the senior most figure of the Nazi regime ever captured. Although historians found a death certificate that says he died in Berlin in 1945, it’s impossible to prove its legitimacy.

Some reports say that Müller was spotted in Cuba and Argentina long after that. At one point, a man in Panama named Francis Willard Keith was believed to be Müller himself. Even Müller’s wife thought it was him! Unfortunately, fingerprint scanning proved that this wasn’t the case.

U-530

Even after Admiral Dönitz ordered the war’s end, German U-boat U-530 did not surrender. Instead, it traveled to Mar del Plata, Argentina, and eventually gave itself over to the Argentinian Navy. The suspicious thing about this craft is that the sub’s captain, Otto Wermuth, refused to explain why it took them two months to get to Argentina, why they dismantled their own deck gun, why the crew had no identification, or why there was no log on the ship. Some speculate that their secrecy covered up the ferrying of high-ranking Nazis to South America, including Adolf Hitler himself.

The Amber Room

The Amber Room was used by Russian tsars to entertain their guests for centuries. Filled with beautiful amber panels and priceless gold pieces, the room was considered the Eighth Wonder of the World…until World War II, when the room, along with the rest of Catherine Palace, was raided by the Nazis.

While some believed that the room was taken to Königsberg for display, it actually disappeared from the face of the Earth. A replica was constructed in 2003, but the whereabouts of the original are still unknown.

The Body from Operation Mincemeat

When the Allies decided to take back Italy, they figured that the best way to do so was to make the Germans think they were going to Greece. They did so by planting classified documents on a dead body, but those documents actually contained falsities designed to throw Germany off track.

When the fallen soldier carrying the identity card of “Major Martin” washed ashore in Punta Umbría, Spain, the Germans thought they’d stumbled upon a game changer. Operation Mincemeat was a success, but the true identity of Major Martin is still a mystery. There are those who believe he was John “Jack” Melville, a sailor who died in the explosion of the HMS Dasher. Others say it was a homeless alcoholic from Wales named Glyndwr Michael.

Herschel Grynszpan

On November 7, 1938, a young Jewish refugee named Herschel Grynszpan shot and killed Nazi diplomat Ernst vom Rath in Paris. This assassination provided the Nazis with the pretext to start the Kristallnacht program, which effectively kicked the Holocaust into high gear.

Grynszpan almost escaped, but the Nazis seized him when they invaded France. His trial was supposed to be a symbol of Jewish betrayal, but due to the war, it kept getting postponed. If Grynszpan survived the war at all, he never came forward to family or friends. He was last seen in 1943.

Who betrayed the Frank family?

It may be the most recognizable story from the war, but some parts of it are still shrouded in mystery. The main question is this: Who alerted the Nazis to the Frank family’s whereabouts? The son of Otto Frank’s friend Tonny Ahlers came forward to say that his father betrayed them. There are some who believe it was Wilhelm van Maaren, the warehouse manager. To this day, nobody knows for sure.

Glenn Miller

Between 1939 and 1943, Glenn Miller was a best-selling recording artist whose most notable tracks included “Moonlight Serenade,” “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” While traveling to entertain troops in France during World War II, his plane mysteriously vanished over the English Channel. There are some who believe that the plane crashed due to faulty equipment, but there is another strange theory that says it was accidentally hit by a bomb from an Allied aircraft.

(via Reddit)

Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg seem pretty hell-bent on covering every single aspect of the war in a slew of Oscar-nominated films, but the fact that there are still so many unsolved mysteries from this dark time in history suggests that there’s really no way to examine everything. After all, dead men tell no tales.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/world-war-ii-mysteries/

Strange And Dangerous Neighborhoods Exist Around The World. Here Are The Weirdest.

Mr. Rogers claimed that he wanted to be everyone’s neighbor. But even he would think twice about these neighbors. Questionable hygiene, cramped quarters, and eerie inhabitants make these neighborhood undesirable destinations. Paying your neighborhood dues won’t seem so bad after seeing a few of these places. (I suddenly appreciate my homeowner’s association.)

…Though that underground city does seem pretty sweet.

1.) Kowloon Wall, Hong Kong

Before it was demolished in 1994, this home to 33,000 residents was the most densely populated area of Hong Kong and existed without any police or protective service. The only thing close to being governed was the control of the Triad gang. On top of the prolific criminal activity, the buildings themselves were not structurally sound and were prone to catching on fire.

2.) Gibsonton, Florida

This town just south of Tampa was formed by traveling “freak show” performers on their off-seasons. While most of those shows have fallen on the wayside of traveling entertainment, many descendants of folks like the Bearded Lady, Fire Eater, and other sideshow attractions still live in the town. You can even still find some remnants of amusement park rides and an exotic animal or two.

3.) Manshiyat Naser, Cairo

The 60,000 residents of this Cairo neighborhood are surrounded by literal trash at all times. They are known as “garbage collectors” who go from door to door throughout the rest of the city requesting their waste, take it home, and sort through it. Most of the items end up recycled, but they live amongst the filth in the meantime.

4.) Roswell, New Mexico

The town became a mecca for conspiracy theorists who believed the government was hiding alien lifeforms on the nearby Area 51 military base. Over the years since the supposed UFO spotting, UFO festivals, museums, and other sci-fi seeking tourist attractions popped up around town.

5.) Miyakejima, Japan

The island is home to Mount Oyama, a mountain volcano that erupted several times over the years and killed 11 people in 1940. Residents were evacuated in 2000 when 17,500 earthquakes occurred in only a month’s time. There was an eruption in 2005 and sulphuric gas continues to flow ever since. However, there are still 2,800 residents on the island who are forced to wear gas masks 24/7.

6.) The Villages, Florida

This retirement area in Florida is the premiere party spot for the over 55 crowd. Golf carts are the only vehicles allowed to be driven within the gated community, and children can visit…but not for very long. Residents seem a little too interested in hooking up than hanging out with their families, anyway. Black market Viagra and STD scares run rampant, and it has the highest level of beer consumption per capita in the entire state.

7.) Amsterdam Red Light District, Netherlands

There are several “red light” districts around the world, but Amsterdam is definitely the most infamous. The seedy section of the city offers sex shows, sex shops, and prostitutes. There are also non-sex workers who live their ordinary lives surrounded by all the scandalous activity without blinking an eye.

8.) Coober Pedy, Australia

Residents of this mining town decided to beat the heat by staying underground. Currently, over 1,900 live in the community which includes several churches and a museum. There’s also a bed and breakfast for those looking to experience the underground life for a bit themselves.

9.) Miracle Village, Florida

The residents of this village are made up entirely of convicted sex offenders. Yep, that’s right. Due to laws that restrict the offenders from living near schools and other institutions, this controversial community was created to give them somewhere to rehabilitate.

10.) Slab City, California

Three hours outside of Los Angeles (near the Mexican border) this state-owned area of the desert is promoted as a haven for RV travelers. There is no electricity or running water, which leads to some waste removal issues. The residents are artistically minded and adhere very strictly to the “Golden Rule.”

(via Reddit)

And I thought my neighbors were weird. They’ve got nothing on these places.

Read more: http://viralnova.com/weird-neighborhoods/

12 Ridiculous Jobs That Thankfully Don’t Exist Anymore

Everyone complains about work every now and then. It’s impossible not to.

Most people are expected to undergo at least four career changes by the time they turn 32. For those of you looking for a new career path or just standing around the water cooler complaining about your current job, remember that thanks to technology and other advancements, the possibilities are endless. (After all, a “social media specialist” was not a thing a few years ago.)

Although we have our fair share of bizarre jobs, these 12 occupations from the past are pretty odd, too.

1. Rat Catcher

It’s pretty self-explanatory, but rat catchers would travel the streets of London during the Victorian Era, catching mice and rats with their bare hands. Sometimes, they used poison and terriers to help them out.

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2. Body Snatcher

Also known as resurrectionists, body snatchers would dig up bodies from graves and sell them to medical schools.

3. Ornatrices

This is the Ancient Roman equivalent of a beautician. An ornatrice would be hired to ensure that members of the nobility were always up on the latest trends.

4. Barber-Surgeon

Barber shops still are quite popular today, but in the 1500s, your neighborhood barber would be responsible for trimming hair, removing lice, pulling teeth, and administering blood work. Fun.

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5. Roman Orgy Planner

This takes party planning to the extreme. In Ancient Rome, orgy planners were in charge of planning every aspect of these sexual events. This included the guest lists, the food, and the locations of the orgies.

6. Litter Carrier

We’ve all seen royals making grand entrances in movies while being carried by four strong men. Luckily, this form of transportation was made obsolete by carriages.

7. Knock Knobbler

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Perhaps a boring job, knock knobbler’s were tasked with shooing stray dogs out of churches in Elizabethan times.

8. Computer

Believe it or not, before there were Macbook Pros or Dells, there were human beings that would perform all the tasks now associated with our laptops. NASA used to hire people for the job of “computer.” This female-dominated industry would require them to generate error-free mental calculations for hours at a time.

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9. Groom of the Stool

These helpers, who aided the king with going to the bathroom, received their own places on the king’s court. That being said, it was still a crappy job.

10. Cat Meat Deliverer

Some lucky cats were able to have their meals delivered daily by a cat meat deliverer. They would go from slaughterhouse to slaughterhouse collecting meat scraps to serve to kitties belonging to wealthy families.

11. Lector

These factory workers were tasked with reading the news and other forms of literature aloud to the other employees over the course of the day.

12. Pinsetter

Prior to automatic resetting machines, bowling pins had to be set up manually.

See? Your job doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?

(via AllDay)

After all, just think about how horrible it’d be to scream the news in a noisy factory all day.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/odd-jobs-in-history/

This Artist Takes Something We Associate With Grandmothers And Makes It So Cool

When it comes to crafting, the words “cool” and “crochet” typically exist on different planes. While edginess and crochet hooks are mutually exclusive on most accounts, one NYC-based artist who goes by the name of Olek subverts all of those notions and takes crocheting into the realm of high art.

Drawing inspiration from films, music, and city life, she uses her hook to create immense installations that’ll make you wonder why no one thought of this sooner.

By swapping out off-white yarn for strands of the neon variety, Olek takes the art of sculpture into previously uncharted territory.

For Olek, trying to draw lines in the sand between life and art — and trying to say that one imitates the other — is a fruitless endeavor. If you ask her, life and art are completely inseparable, with one running seamlessly into the other.

“I crochet everything that enters my space — text messages, medical reports, found objects,” she writes. She finds the bulk of her inspiration, however, in films.

“The movies I watch while crocheting influence my work, and my work dictates the films I select.” For Olek, the creative process is cyclical.

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“My work changes from place to place,” she writes. “I study the science of culture.”

Her desire to create in the vacuum of her atmosphere inspired the artist to leave Poland and start a new life in New York City, where she finds endless creative stimulation.

And Olek puts a lot of stock in creating art that’s meant to be viewed in public spaces. Through her work, she wants to create public discourse on the “social and economic realities of the community.”

“I’ve always sought to invite color, life, and the element of surprise into living spaces.” By disrupting familiar spaces with a largely unfamiliar approach to art, she does exactly that.

If you live in New York, be sure to keep an eye out for these unique works of public art. If not, head over to her website for more details. She also posts regular updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/crochet-art/

This Abandoned Facility Was Once Home To Weapons Capable Of World Destruction

In movies, we often see men in suits pushing the “red button” that launches a missile at an enemy nation, but rarely does the camera show us the facility where the missile was launched from.

Urban explorer Jim Sullivan managed to sneak his way into an abandoned Titan I ICBM missile complex in Colorado.

And he took some pretty eerie, but interesting, pictures. ?

At one point this facility was state of the art…

But now, it looks as if it’s from an alternate universe where the Cold War erupted into a nuclear street fight.

This is a map of a typical Titan launch complex.

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In recent years, the Titans have all been decommissioned.

They were replaced by what is currently the only land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, the LGM-30 Minuteman.

There are about 450 LGM-30 Minuteman silos hidden in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

Hopefully, the Minuteman silos are in much better shape.

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And, of course, an urban exploration journey wouldn’t be complete without an eerie shot of a black silhouette hiding in the corridors…

To see more of the abandoned places Jim explores, check out his website!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/missile-silo/

They Created A Home Theater On A Budget, And It’ll Make You So Jealous

One of the biggest signs of wealth and class is having a home theater. After all, a place to watch movies without interference is something that most people want.

Well, these people somehow created one on a budget. They put together a theater room in their basement, and they only spent $100 in the process. Check out how they did it, and be prepared to be amazed.

This is how the basement started out.

It was an empty room devoid of character.

First, they constructed a white wall to serve as a projection screen.

They added some seating to make it comfy.

They also made sure that the couch was up high enough to make for a great viewing experience.

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They put in additional side seating, too.

They even threw a hammock up on one side, because why not?

They then built the hanger for their projector.

And they used curtains to darken the room.

Putting a black curtain behind the projection screen provided a bit more contrast.

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The room was nearly complete.

They just needed a little mood lighting.

This really makes it feel like a theater.

After that, all they had to do was play the movie!

The project made their basement infinitely better.

Here’s the final product! Impressive, right?

(via Imgur)

This is totally awesome, and I want to do something like this immediately. Will you try this out in your home?

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/basement-theater/

She Was Driving In A Thunderstorm When She Caught This Epic Explosion On Camera

When I was little, my parents used to tell me that lightning was just God and the people in heaven having a really elaborate photoshoot.

Nothing says summertime quite like an afternoon thunderstorm. The loud crashes of thunder mixed with the flashing imagery of lightning provide the perfect cinematic entertainment without having to pay to go to the movies.

As cool as thunder and lightning may be, the latter can also be incredibly dangerous. There are an estimated 100 lightning strikes on Earth every second, and each bolt can possess around one billion volts of electricity. Nearly 2,000 people are killed each year as a result of being struck by lightning.

Check out these 18 insanely awesome yet terrifying lightning strikes.

1. This incredible lightning strike at a train station caused a massive explosion that forced the cancellation of many departing trains.

2. This plane just narrowly escapes being struck by lightning.

3. It’s a bird. It’s a plane. Nope it’s just super-fast lightning!

4. This slow-motion video of a lightning strike looks like a bunch of tiny hands reaching out into the night sky.

5. A photo like this happens once in a lifetime.

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6. Luckily no one was on the beach during this lightning strike.

7. This compilation of lightning strikes is truly shocking.

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8. There’s a light at the end of this rainbow!

9. I promise, this isn’t the beginning of the apocalypse.

10. They say lightning never strikes the same place twice. I think they’re wrong.

11. Who knew upward lightning was even possible?

12. Looks like there’s trouble in paradise.

13. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the filming of these lightning strikes.

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14. Golden skies like these can only bring about bad news.

15. That was a close one!

16. This Peruvian soccer player survived being struck by lightning in the middle of the game.

17. A little too close for comfort.

18. This lightning really didn’t like that telephone pole…

I think I’ll keep watching lightning storms from the comfort of my living room window, thankyouverymuch.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/lightning-chaos/

Ready To Give Up On Life? What These Celebs Are Paying $800 For Will Certainly Help

On today’s episode of Everything is Terrible and Money’s the Worst, we present to you yet another celebrity atrocity.

When it comes to melting Amex cards, few do it better than the celebs we all love to resent with every fiber of our being. While we’re over here pinching pennies so that we don’t have to start eating cat food, they’re out living painfully lavish lives just ’cause.

Before we get into the thing that’s going to make you throw any hope you had left to the wind, let’s think for a moment about what someone could buy with, say, $800.

1. A new set of Goodyear tires with money to spare.

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2. About 20 killer pairs of shoes from JustFab.com.

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3. Roughly 645 boxes of dry pasta, because pasta will never leave you.

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4. A 6.5-year subscription to Spotify.

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5. A round-trip ticket from New York City to London.

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6. A 2-year supply of paper towels.

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7. An all-inclusive, 3-night getaway in the Bahamas.

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But celebrities are over here like, “Forget all that. I need drop exorbitant amounts of money on something I could easily grab at Target.” Ladies and gentlemen, meet the infamous $800 sweatshirts by VÊTEMENTS.

Not everything produced by the brand, which is directed by Demna Gvasalia, is a complete and utter waste. In fact, the design house’s offbeat take on high fashion typically yields beautiful results. Even I must admit that this hoodie looked pretty fierce when it hit the runway.

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But fierce enough for me to give up my half of the rent this month? Absolutely not. I think it’s safe to say, however, that these stars don’t see things the way I do. What’s up, Kanye?

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Riri is apparently putting in the work it takes to wrap herself in $800 poly blend.

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And if you ask Selena Gomez, there’s nothing better than turning a trip to the airport into a gross display of wealth!

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Italian style darling Chiara Ferragni spits in the face of accessible fashion, because why relate to the millions of people who follow your blog, anyway?

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Later that day, Kylie Jenner cried golden tears into her $30 açaí bowl on national television, because her struggle is “literally so real.”

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Oh, and guess what. Both of these sweatshirts are completely sold out. Let that sink in.

(via The New York Post)

Am I bitter? Absolutely! Do I wish that I was in a financial position that made spending $800 on leisure clothes seem like a good idea? Yup. Sadly for me (and basically everyone else), that’s probably not in the cards. If you need me, I’ll be in the throes of an existential crisis or something.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/ridiculous-hoodies/