Earlier in 2021, YouTube channel Mind Boggler dropped a brand new video called “10 Strange Things Found In the Middle Of a Desert” and a few of them were pretty mind-blowing but the fourth entry really threw us for a loop, we think it’ll have you scratching your head too.
10. The Huge Happy Cat that predates the Nazca Lines in Peru.- According to ArsTechnica, “The cat joins the ever-growing list of about 900 shapes and images that ancient people etched into the Nazca Desert soil. At 37 meters (121 feet) long, the cat is among the smaller geoglyphs in the desert; some of the largest shapes, down on the flat valley floor, span more than 500 meters (1,600 feet). Like other geoglyphs in the Nazca Desert, the cat’s ancient designers etched it into the ground by clearing away the dark surface sediment to form pale lines.” Because the Nazca lines weren’t weird enough, now we have them as a meme too…
9. Blades of Ice filled with Life.– ScienceAlert.com writes “They’re one of the weirdest, most incongruous-looking natural phenomena you could ever see on Earth’s surface: massive dagger-shaped blades of vertically aligned ice, assembled in mysterious flocks in the middle of the desert. These strange ice spire formations – called ‘penitentes‘ due to their resemblance to penitent, praying folk – take shape at high altitudes in cold, dry environments, like the hyper-arid wilderness of the Atacama Desert in Chile.” They’re spikes of snow and ice filled with Algae… in the middle of the desert.. wasn’t this on X-Files one time?
8. Toto Forever– A modern art display playing “The Rains Down In Africa” by Toto on permanent repeat. According to NPR, “Namibian-German artist Max Siedentopf installed Toto Forever late last December while back home with his family in Namibia. Six speakers are placed atop individual plinths and attached to an MP3 player that contains only the song; the entire thing is powered by solar energy with the promise that it will run “for all eternity.” This is a live action meme. Imagine: being stranded in the desert… miles and miles from any water or shelter and you start hearing that haunting beat… the tinkling of marimbas and 80’s nostalgia synthesizers… only to find a half dozen speakers rigged to a solar powered mp3 player with Toto on repeat, no water and no way to call for help…. You’d die alternating between laughter and cursing this curious monument’s creator.
7. The Tree of Ténéré– It’s a tree…. in the middle of the desert… with nothing, but nothing, but nothing around it for 400km in any direction… and it isn’t even there anymore! It was hit with a truck in 1973, now the dead tree is in a museum and they left a wonky looking pole in its’ place. I know, I’m asking myself too… How’d they manage to hit it?!?! The only thing for thousands of square miles and they nailed it with a truck! Un-luckiest. Tree. Ever.
6. “Desert Breath”, another modern art display that represents a mathematically derived monument worthy of the ancient egypitians and hearkens to something otherworldly. Somewhere in this wide, wide world somebody looked up at the great pyramids of Giza, the sphynx, the ancient obelisks of Alexandria and Cairo and said to themselves.. “Yeah, but did they do a fractal sequence spiral of alternating holes in the ground and mounds with a little pool in the middle that dried up later?”
5. Slab City at the former USMC Camp Dunlap in California a squatter’s town, a shanty-town, a hobo-village. This former Marine Corps training camp for Artillery crews was built in 1942 and decommissioned in 1961. Afterword the camp was torn down leaving the slabs that the squatter community is built upon. Smithsonian Magazine in 2018 said “There are clearly people there who don’t want to be found, so there’s something about disappearing, and the desert offers that kind of opportunity”
4. Area 06 in The Nevada Desert- Area 6 is a non-descript asphault landing strip at the Yucca test site 12 miles away from the legendary Area 51 in Nevada. Google Earth images show multiple hangars that appear to service the strip and little is known of what goes on there. We know that the site is used by both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Officials have been mum about what actually goes on there, but in a 7,500 page text about the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project that was torpedoed by Sen. Harry Reid there is a brief paragraph that according to LiveScience.com describes Area 6 as “an “aerial operations facility.” “The purpose of this facility is to construct, operate, and test a variety of unmanned aerial vehicles. Tests include, but are not limited to, airframe modifications, sensor operation, and onboard computer development. A small, manned chase plane is used to track the unmanned aerial vehicles,” according to a 2008 report in the Yucca Mountain repository license application filed by government contractor Bechtel SAIC, which built the airstrip for $9.6 million.”
3. Fairy Circles in the Namibian Desert– The “Fairy Circles” of the Namib desert are mysterious naturally occuring cirlces in the grasslands that dot the landscape for hundred s of square miles which according to Princeton mathematician Corina Tarnita could be from a combination of plants competing for moisture and sustenance and termite colonies. ScienceFriday wrote, “You look at them from a satellite image and you think, ‘oh, they fit beautifully with this theory of the plants competing for water,’” Tarnita says.
“But then you go underground and you find that under each one of these spots, there’s a termite colony.” When Tarnita and her team created a model of the two hypotheses, they found that plant competition and termite colonies could both independently create the circles. But only when combined together could the researchers create the entirety of the landscape, she says. ”
2. The Ghost Town of Kolmanskop in Namibia– Kolmanskop is a ghost town in southern Africa’s Namib Desert, in the middle of a region known as “the forbidden zone.” That’s not a setup for a horror movie or anything is it? According to National Geographic, Kolmanskop was part of the struggling colony of German South West Africa founded right before WWI after a Namibian railroad worker Zacherias Lewala discovered a diamond while shoveling the tracks clear, he promptly brought this to the attention of his employer, who promptly took credit and left Lewala without a dime… because German South West Africa…
1. The Portuguese Ship Bom Jesus which was lost with a cargo of gold coins, muskets and elephant tusks in 1533. It was recovered in a dry lagoon in Namibia in 2108. According to HistoryCollection.com,
“In 2008, a miner working for DeBeers was conducting his usual search for diamonds when he came across gold. Further excavation revealed metal, wood, and pipes, a discovery that perplexed the miners to the point where they called in an archaeologist. Dieter Noli was one of the experts called to the scene, and he described it as a “disturbed beach” with “bits and pieces.” He quickly uncovered elephant tusks and a 500-year old musket and immediately knew it was a shipwreck.
Buoyed by their findings, archaeologists went to work and uncovered 44,000 pounds of copper ingots, weaponry such as cannon balls, bronze cannons & armor, ivory tusks, pewter bowls and around 2,000 gold coins worth over Â£9 million. The gold coins were predominantly Spanish excelentes although archaeologists also found Venetian, French and Moorish coinage among others.”