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Feeling abandoned: urban spelunking on the internet

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For some reason, internet junkies who rarely leave the safety and comfort of their living rooms seem to love poking around old, abandoned sites and structures -- virtually, of course. There are innumerable photo-explorations of such sites across the internet, a number of which have appeared on this very blog. We wanted to introduce you to some of our recent faves, so you can explore a bit on your own. Remember: bring a dust mask, two flashlights and clothes you never want to wear again. Or ... just click:

Abandoned amusement park
Neatorama recently linked to a Japanese site featuring some really evocative, misty pictures of a rusting, tumbledown amusement park in Northern Japan. No more fun to be had here, kiddies. Only hobos and tetanus.

More desolation after the jump! Meanwhile, don't forget to reminisce with our past posts on abandoned mines, abandoned buildings in Detroit (as explored by famous authors) and the unfortunate town of Pripyat, Ukraine, just outside of Chernobyl.

Abandoned missile silo
Ever wanted to see the inside of an old American missile silo? Here's your chance, courtesy Kevin Kelm of Triggur.org. Before you go and find one of your own to explore, however, take a gander at the really off-putting warning Kevin has posted at the top of the site (all caps are his):

DO NOT TRY TO ENTER ONE OF THESE SITES YOURSELF! HAD ONE OF US BEEN HURT BENEATH THE SURFACE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE THE VICTIM/BODY, GIVEN THE CONDITION OF THE ENTRANCE, NOT TO MENTION THE PRESENCE OF ASBESTOS AND OTHER CHEMICALS IN THE TUNNELS. BECAUSE OF THE POOR AIR CIRCULATION, THERE IS ALSO A SIGNIFICANT CHANCE THAT THE RADIOACTIVE GAS 'RADON' BUILDS UP DOWN THERE, TOO. THE LONG TERM HEALTH RISKS ARE NOT WORTH IT JUST TO SEE SOME RUSTED MACHINES. WE HAVE BROUGHT THIS PHOTO-TOUR TO YOU SO THAT YOU WON'T HAVE TO GO THERE YOURSELF TO SEE IT. MISSILE BASES LIKE THIS ONE ARE FOUND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, MOSTLY IN THE MID-WEST, AND OWNERSHIP USUALLY REVERTS BACK TO THE RANCHER/FARMER, WHO WILL VERY LIKELY BE WATCHING FOR TRESPASSERS WITH A LOADED SHOTGUN.

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Tour of the London Underground
sewer8.jpg... circa 1898. This is excerpted from a 100+-year-old issue of Strand magazine, which proves that we bloggers weren't the first writers to be fascinated by dark, scary trespass.

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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images
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Space
Can’t See the Eclipse in Person? Watch NASA’s 360° Live Stream
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Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images

Depending on where you live, the historic eclipse on August 21 might not look all that impressive from your vantage point. You may be far away from the path of totality, or stuck with heartbreakingly cloudy weather. Maybe you forgot to get your eclipse glasses before they sold out, or can't get away from your desk in the middle of the day.

But fear not. NASA has you covered. The space agency is live streaming a spectacular 4K-resolution 360° live video of the celestial phenomenon on Facebook. The livestream started at 12 p.m. Eastern Time and includes commentary from NASA experts based in South Carolina. It will run until about 4:15 ET.

You can watch it below, on NASA's Facebook page, or on the Facebook video app.

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Art
Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former War World II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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