Tag Archives: Offbeat.

Photos that Changed the world.

The Atomic Bomb

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August 9, 1945

The picture was taken from one of the B-29 Superfortresses used in the attack on Nagasaki. The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion rises 18 km from the point of impact.

Over 50 million people died in the Second World war, but, the atomic bomb left humanity fearing the next world war could be utterly devastating.

From a single bomb, over 150,000 people died at Hiroshima and 80,000 in Nagasaki.

Source: Archives.org

Hindeburg Burning 1937

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Zeppelin LZ-129 Hindenburg shortly after catching fire on May 6, 1937 at Lakehurst Naval Air Station

The Hindenburg was not the first rigid airship to crash, but, the widespread media coverage and spectacular photos such as this, led to the end of hydrogen airships as a means of transport. The media coverage was heightened by live commentary by Herbert Morrison, describing the events, as broadcasted to WLS radio. Oh, the humanity!” The crash also became symbolic of twentieth century disasters which were now much more prominent in the public consciousness because of the power of mass media.

Source: wiki

The Great Depression

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“Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California.” – Library of Congress

The statistics of the Great Depression were startling – unemployment of over 25%. Falling output of over 33%. But, photos such as this gave a human face to the economic statistics. This photo of Florence Owens Thompson became one of the most iconic photos of the period. It encapsulates the misery, humanity and helplessness of the period, but, at the same time encompasses a stoic and dignified attitude in the face of adversity. The photograph was taken by Dorothea Lange, who helped to develop the art of documentary photography.

source: Library of Congress

Dead on the Field of Gettysburg

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Incidents of the war. A harvest of death, Gettysburg, July, 1863

In the 1870s, photographer was in its infancy. In fact the civil war was a boom time for photography as families often had photos taken, before their sons went off to war. It was photography that could also bring home to a wider audience the dreadful consequences of war, as this photo illustrates.

Source: LOC

Images from Ground Zero 9/11 2001

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A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center. The attack sent shock waves across the world and altered the course of US and global foreign policy.

Source: wiki

Fall of the Berlin Wall

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Since its creation in 1961, the Berlin wall epitomised the “Iron Curtain” which separated East Europe from West Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall symbolised the end of Communist / Soviet control in Eastern Europe. Germany could once again be re-united.

Images from First World War

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First World War. July 1916. Wounded British troops on the Somme.

The First World War was billed as the war to end all wars. The outbreak of war led to a wave of patriotic feeling and enthusiastic support for going to war across Europe. It was only after shocking casuality figures that the initial euphoria died away. Photos like this presented a much different image of war than the careful propoganda of the protagonists.

Assasination of J F Kennedy 1963

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John F. Kennedy motorcade, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 22, 1963, just a few minutes before the fatal assassination attempt. Photo by Victor Hugo, released into Public Domain

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Taken by Mary Moorman (Mary Krahmer) 22 November 1963 one-sixth of a second after the fatal head shot to JFK. Four US Presidents have been assassinated whilst in office, but, none shocked the world as much as the assassination of JFK.

Source: wiki

The Horrors of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Assasination of J F Kennedy 1963

Source: Archives.gov

Senator Alben W. Barkley of Kentucky, a member of a congressional committee investigating Nazi atrocities, views the evidence at first hand at Buchenwald concentration camp. Weimar, Germany.

Bombing of Guernica – 1937

Bombing of Guernica - 1937

Only 34 years after the development of the first aeroplane, the world was shocked as the German Luftwaffe used planes to bomb the civilian town of Guernica during the Spanish civil war. The damage was extensive and foreshadowed the role of ‘carpet bombing’ of civilian areas which was to be a feature of the Second World War and future wars.

Source: German Federal Archives (link)

Beatles Arrive in the US

Beatles Arrive in the US

The Beatles symbolized the rapid social and cultural changes that occurred in the 1960s. Here they receive a rapturous reception on their first visit to the US.

The Beatles arrive in America. Library of Congress

Lenin and The Triumph of Communism

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Lenin address a crowd during Russian civil war of 1920. The Bolsheviks would emerge as the controlling force in Russia leading to the totalitarianism of Stalinist Russia. This photo was cut in half by Stalinist censors to remove Leon Trotsky from the official history.

March On Washington 1963

March On Washington 1963

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was one of the high points of the civil rights movements. Though boycotted by the Nation of Islam, the march was best remembered for Martin Luther King’s soul stirring speech – “I Have a Dream…”

Source: Wiki

Moon Landing 1969

Moon Landing 1969

20 July 1969 Buzz Aldrin. Photo by Neil Armstrong.

This picture captures the excitement of man’s first walk on the moon.

Source: NASA

First Flight of Aircraft

First Flight of Aircraft

For many years, powered flight was seen as an impossible dream. But, on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright Brothers succeded in developing the first heavier than air aircraft flight. Within the next few decades, aircraft travel was to grow exponentially profoundly changing the nature of long distance travel.

Gandhi on Salt March 1930

Gandhi on Salt March 1930

Gandhi at Dandi, South Gujarat, picking salt on the beach at the end of the Salt March, 5 April 1930.

The salt march was a pivotal moment in the campaign for Indian independence. Led by Mahatma Gandhi, the peaceful protest brought widespread publicity to the campaign for Indian independence both domestically and internationally. Though the British did not give any direct concessions as a result, over 80,000 Indians were jailed as a result and many were inspired to join the independence movement which culminated in Indian independence in 1947.

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10 Strangest Trees on Earth

“If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice its knobs and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.”

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El Arbol de La Sabina

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Trees are important components of the natural landscape and a wonderful living organism which gives shelter, food, warmth and protection to all living things. Though common trees are fascinating immensely but there are some of the more unusual and amazing tree specimens found in the world which is weird and spectacular, yet people are hardly aware of their mysterious properties, strange sizes or unusual shapes. Here are some which top the list of being the strangest trees found on the planet. It’s a treat to the eye!

AXEL ERLANDSON’S CIRCUS TREE

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Axel Erlandson’s passion for sculpting trees, also known as arborsculpture, led him to open a horticulture attraction in 1947 near Santa Cruz, California named The Circus Tree and people flocked in from all over the country to view his strange and striking creations which are nothing short of breathtaking! Using a special set of skills, Erlandson started to sculpt things out of living, growing trees. One such tree is the famous “Basket Tree”. which is actually six Sycamores grafted together in 42 different connections to give it its basket shape.

PIRANGI CASHEW TREE,BRAZIL

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It’s the largest cashew tree in the world and more like a root and bush than a tree covering a span of 8,500 square meters alone! This tree is probably 300 feet by 300 feet in total. It looks like a forest and a bears 8000 fruit in a year .This picture doesn’t do it justice but should give you an idea of the enormity.

TREE OF LIFE, BAHRAIN

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The Tree of Life in Bahrain is one of the mysteries of world which is bound to be in the list of most unusual trees aroung the globe! This four century old mesquite tree survives in the midst of desert without availability of water. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend and the name “tree of life” is absolutely appropriate for the tree, truly representing the magic of life. A legend is also attached to the site where the tree is located. The local inhabitants believe with heart and soul that this was the actual location of the Garden of Eden.

CHAPEL OAK OF ALLOUVILLE – BELLEFOSSE

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Next is the Chapel Tree one of the most famous trees in France – actually, it’s more than just a tree: it’s a building and a religious monument all in one. In 1669, l’Abbe du Detroit and du Cerceau decided to build a chapel in (at that time) a 500 years old or so oak tree made hollow by a lightning bolt. Now, parts of the tree are dead, the crown keeps becoming smaller and smaller every year, and parts of the tree’s bark, which fell off due to old age, are covered by protective oak shingles. As a symbol, however, it seems that the Chapel-Oak of Allouville-Bellefosse may live on forever.

BAOBAB – MADAGASCAR

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Baobabs, with their distinctive shape, are one of the most charismatic group of trees in the world. This particular specimen, located in Madagascar, is referred to as the ‘Teapot Baobab’. These trees remain leafless for most part of the year, and their thick, bloated, fire-resistant trunks store water during the dry months. One would be surprised to find that some baobab trunks are so large that people actually reside inside them!

GERMAN SHERMAN – (SEQUIA NATIONAL PARK)

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General Sherman is about 2500years old tree with a height of 275 feet (83.8 metres), located in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in the United States. In January 2006 the largest branch on the tree broke off. The breakage, however, could not  change the General Sherman’s status as the largest tree! This stunning tree has the base of its trunk measuring about 102 feet in circumference. Witnesses to this spectacular creation of nature can only justify its stature!

SILK COTTON TREES OF TA PROHM,CAMBODIA

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Ta Prohm Temple

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Ta Prohm Temple or the Jungle Temple which is located in the Angkor Thom complex has trees growing here in the most astounding way. Words cannot describe it until you set foot there and see it for yourself. Apparently, the place was left as is over the hundreds of years and the outcome is amazing from what you see now in the place which is also called Angkor Archaeological Park. On every side, in fantastic over-scale, the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants.

TULE TREE OF OAXACA, MEXICO

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Mexico’s most famous tree, the ginormous Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule) grows near Oaxaca City. It may not be the largest or the oldest tree in the world, but it has no contenders for widest girth award which is abround 164 feet in circumference.It’s best not to look at the tree as a single icon. Indeed there is a family of ancient trees. Rooted in the town of Santa María del Tule, the Tule Tree and its environs comprise a unique natural monument.

DRAGON TREE, CANARY ISLANDS

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The Dragon Tree is found at de los Vinos in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, and is said to be between 650 and 1,500 years old. This specimen inherited this name from mythical origins: Hercules had to bring back three golden apples from the garden of the Hespérides, which is guarded by Landon, the hundred-headed dragon. Hercules killed Landon and his blood flowed out over the land, which began to sprout ‘dragon’ trees. The tree exudes ‘dragon’s blood’ – a red sap – when cut.

WOLLEMI PINE, AUSTRALIA

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The unique qualities of the Wollemi Pine lie not in its looks but in its history. It is a “living dinosaur”, and was nearly extinct before it was discovered in Sydney, Australia in 1994. Now called “the crown jewels of the botanical world”, the Wollemi pine had previously been known only from a 120-million-year-old fossil. Very few exist in the wild, but conservation efforts have been made in the recent past.

These strange trees have been molded by Mother Nature into species of their own. Shocking, downright weird or seemingly beautiful, the trees amassed in this collection will leave you to ponder on wondrous creation the Almighty!