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Abandoned Chinese Village Now Overgrown With Ivy

Just 50 years ago, the Houtou Wan Village—one of the 394 islands known as the Shengsi Islands in China's Yangtze River—was a thriving fishing town. But after the adjacent bay could no longer accommodate the increasing number of vessels, the village was gradually abandoned over the past half a century as residents moved elsewhere.

For a few decades now, almost no one has lived in Houtou Wan, leaving nature to take over. The result is a verdant relic that looks more like a secret garden than an empty ghost town. Ivy covers nearly every inch of what were once homes and businesses, creating a lush scene of dense foliage.

All photos courtesy Jane Qing

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Space
Here’s Why You Should Skip Selfies During the Solar Eclipse
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iStock

Following decades of hype, the Great American Eclipse will finally pass over the contiguous United States on Monday, August 21. If you’re one of the millions of people who will be watching the event, you may be tempted to document it with a quick over-the-shoulder selfie. But even if you’re facing away from the sun, using your phone to photograph it can still do damage, as Gothamist reports.

A viral post that recently circulated on Facebook instructs anyone without protective eyeglasses to view the eclipse live by filming it through their phone’s front-facing camera. Retina expert Tongalp Tezel, MD of Columbia University Medical Center explained to Gothamist why this is a bad idea: “What they may not realize is that the screen of your phone reflects the ultraviolet rays emitted during an eclipse directly toward your eye, which can result in a solar burn."

The power of the sun shouldn’t be underestimated, as NASA has warned people repeatedly in the weeks leading up to the eclipse. The rays that peek out when the sun is 99 percent covered are still enough to fry your retinas' delicate tissue and inflict lifelong damage. And your eyes aren’t all that's at risk—the lens of your camera, whether it’s part of a smartphone or not, also needs to be protected if you plan on pointing it at the eclipse.

If you’ve already secured a solar camera filter and ISO 12312-2-certified glasses, then you should have no trouble witnessing the phenomenon safely. But even without the proper eyewear there are plenty of ways to experience the eclipse without exposing your eyes to direct sunlight. And if you forgot to pick up a camera filter, that's a good excuse to watch the event unplugged.

[h/t Gothamist]

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travel
Meet the Bloggers Traveling the World in Search of Game of Thrones Locations
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HBO

Friends and Finnish travel bloggers Tiia Öhman and Satu Walden make their living trotting the globe in search of locations from their favorite movies and TV shows. For the latest chapter of their project, called Fangirl Quest, Öhman and Walden are attempting to track down the locations from scenes featured in HBO's Game of Thrones, Mashable reports.

So far, the pair has documented 20 filming locations in Ireland and Iceland, and they hope to continue the journey in Malta, Morocco, Croatia, and Spain. With each site they photograph, they include an iPad showing a still of the Game of Thrones scene that was set there.

When they're not following in the footsteps of the Game of Thrones cast, the girls of Fangirl Quest are traveling to places featured in Sherlock, Supernatural, Peaky Blinders, and more. You can follow their adventures on Instagram.

[h/t Mashable]

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