Monday, November 29, 2010


Hashima Island off the coast of Japan was once the most densely populated city on planet earth. From 1890 to 1974, the island was a coal mining facility. But when petroleum replaced coal in the 1960's, coal mines across Japan began shutting down and Hashima was abandoned, giving it a new nickname, “Ghost Island.”

Mitsubishi bought the island in 18901 and began using it as a coal mining facility. When space for the workers began to run out, they built Japan’s first large scale reinforced concrete apartment block on the island in 1916. More concrete tower blocks followed, and by 1959 the population of Hashima reached its peak of 5,259 – an astonishing 1,391 people per 10,000 square metres within the residential district – which is said to be the highest population density ever recorded in the world. The 15-acre island is one of 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. Sightseeing boat trips around the island are provided by two operators; Yamasa-Kaiun from Nagasaki Port, Kyodo Co. from Nomo Island.

As of April, 2009, the island is open again for public visits, with Yamasa Kaiun providing transportation to the island from Nagasaki. When petroleum began to replace coal here in the 1960s, coal production at Hashima began to decline, and Mitsubishi officially announced the closure of the mine in 1974. Today there is nobody left at all. Protected by a high sea wall, and completely off-limits to the public, the island is now an empty, rotting and collapsing ghost town, as clearly demonstrated.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Zhang Yujian, a Chinese stuntman from Mudanjiang City, Heilonjiang Province, has eaten two light bulbs during his performance. The glass-eating master has a record of three light bulbs eaten in just 120 seconds. He certainly made short work of the sharp glass, without any serious cuts.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual festival which takes place during the summer in Boryeong, South Korea. The first Mud Festival was staged in 1998 and, by 2007, the festival attracted 2.2 million visitors to Boryeong.

The mud is dug up near Boryeong, trucked to the Daecheon beach area, and dumped at a 'Mud Experience Land'. The mud is considered rich in minerals and used to manufacture cosmetics.

Some of the final weekend participants are foreign tourists, and especially American Soldiers, but most of the participants during the week are Koreans, attracted by clever marketing by the town. The town fathers and mothers discovered that the mud is more lucrative as a tourist attraction than using the muddy fields for agriculture. The economy generated from the festival supports the many hotels and restaurants along the waterway and several blocks inland. There is also a great deal to see and do in the vicinity and a free tourist bus takes visitors to local sites, including an impressive coal mine and a famous Buddhist shrine.

Boryeong Mud Festival took place from July 17-25, 2010.