Artist Diemut Strebe made a living replica of Vincent van Gogh’s ear, grown from genetic samples provided by Lieuwe van Gogh, the great-great-grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. They share about 1/16th of the same genes, including the Y-chromosome, passed down the male lineage.
So not actually Vincent Van Gogh’s ear if you want to get super technical about it— it’s a replica of his great-great-grandnephew’s ear, but that really doesn’t make it less badass.
For the past 100 years, a box of never-before-seen negatives has been preserved in a block of ice in Antarctica. Recently, Conservators of the New Zealand Antarctic Heritage Trust came across the 22 exposed, but unprocessed, cellulose nitrate negatives during an attempt to restore an old exploration hut. The negatives are believed to be from Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party, a group that was stranded in the hut during a blizzard when their ship blew out to sea. They were eventually rescued, but the box remained buried until now.
Ken Kesey’s son is planning a sequel to his dad’s legendary acid-fueled bus journey, only this one will be funded via Kickstarter
Ken Kesey’s 1964 drug-fueled trip from California to New York with a group of friends on a psychedelic bus named “Further” has become a cornerstone of 1960s counterculture legend. The One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author was on his way to NYC anyway for the debut of a new novel, so he got some people together dubbed “The Merry Pranksters” and they drove across America, freaking out the normals in the process. Now in 2014, Kesey’s son, Zane is looking to re-create the journey, funded in the 21st century way— through Kickstarter.
Just outside Prague is one of the Czech Republic’s biggest tourist attractions— the Sedlec Ossuary, or “the bone church”, a small Roman Catholic chapel that’s decorated with the bones of an estimated 40,000 to 70,000 victims of both the Black Death and the 15th-century Hussite Wars. Now, the church needs extensive renovation or the whole thing is going to collapse. The problem is that no one knows how the bones are held together and no one has ever done a full renovation of a building made with hundreds of thousands of human bones— everything from skulls to pinky finger bones.
For centuries, how exactly ancient Egyptians moved massive stone blocks weighing over 2 tons and massive statues across the desert with fairly primitive technology. As it turns out, the Egyptians didn’t make a secret of their secret— it’s right up there in the painting. See it?
They moved stones on flat sleds with an upturned front edge, but if you try to drag a heavy sled across sand, the sand will build up in front, Now see the guy standing at the front of the sled? He’s pouring water on the sand. Because as it turns out, just the right amount of water increases the stiffness of the sand and reduces the force needed to pull the thing by half. Or you can just say it was aliens.
Isaac Newton was without a doubt, one of the most brilliant human beings to ever walk this Earth, and his contributions to pretty much everything can never be underscored enough. But for all of his scientific achievements, Newton had another obsession, and that was with religion and theology. These days, science and religion are portrayed as being on opposite ends of the spectrum, but both in their essence are about asking big questions and trying to learn more about the world we live in. When Newton died, he left boxes and boxes and volumes of theological papers that were kept secret for centuries. Not because it might damage his science street cred, but because it was thought he would be seen as a heretic by the church.
After more than 500 years, investigators feel very confident they’ve found the wreckage of Christopher Columbus’s flagship, the Santa Maria, off the coast of Haiti.
Barry Clifford, one of the world’s top underwater archaeological investigators, says the location on a reef 10 to 15 feet below the surface off Haiti’s northern coast matches Columbus’ description of where the ship was wrecked, per his diary. The ship is the same size as the Santa Maria; rocks found nearby are from the right part of Spain to be the ship’s ballast stone; and the “smoking gun” is a 15th-century cannon, says Clifford, whose previous finds include Captain Kidd’s flagship.