Category Archives: Weird Stuff

Pineal Gland – Weird Stuff Within

Pineal Gland – Weird Stuff Within

Wondering around on the internet, you can come across a lot of cool, weird Stuff these days, and this particular subject does not disappoint. Hidden in the bodies of humans and animals alike, the Pineal Gland is a little known yet indispensable endocrine gland which is arguably the source of both our waking state and our dream state, controls our sexual development, and protects our bodies from cell damage.

The Pineal Gland is thought of by many to be perhaps the most mysterious aspect of the human body, a notion that has been understandably prominent throughout  history, largely due to its potential to have the ability to promote higher consciousness. Regardless of whether the Pineal Gland has this capability or not, it is still rather difficult to diminish the control over our lives that we are certain is has.

Pineal Gland Weird Stuff Withinphoto credit: Lauro Roger McAllister – www.lrmck.com via photopin cc

The Pineal Gland is shaped like a pine cone, and is located between the two hemispheres of the brain. Its function is to regulate Melatonin levels in the body through the synthesis and secretion of this hormone. Melatonin is responsible for maintaining the Circadian Rhythm, or waking and sleeping cycles of the body, as well as protecting the body from free radical cell damage, and influencing sexual development. This effect of Melatonin is found in humans as well as other animals, and dictates much of our lives.

One of the most interesting things to know about the Pineal Gland, and one that sparks much speculation, is the fact that it is actually filled with water. It is known that over time, the gland becomes calcified, due in large part to what we eat and drink, as well as high concentrations of Fluoride which collect in the gland. This calcification is clearly visible in CAT scans and can actually be used to detect brain tumors, as well as help to locate them, though the calcification of the Pineal Gland is not a good thing. Studies have actually found that this calcification of the Pineal Gland is associated with reduction of Melatonin production and disruption of wake/sleep cycles.

“Fluoride is likely to cause decreased Melatonin production and to have other effects on normal Pineal function, which in turn could contribute to a variety of effects in humans.” (National Research Council 2006).

There is also evidence indicating that through this effect on the Pineal Gland, Fluoride may be contributing to the rapidly increasing and startling trend of children reaching puberty at earlier ages, which can cause a variety of health issues both immediately and later on in life.

Another interesting thing about the Pineal Gland? Get this, in some lower vertebrates such as birds and reptiles the gland actually has a well-developed eye like structure! One example of this is found in the Green Iguana wherein the Pineal Glands of these lizards literally serve as a functional third eye, with a lens, a retina, and nerve connections to the brain! This strange eye looks like a clear window on top of the lizards’ head, and though the exact function of the eye is unknown, we do know that it is extremely sensitive to changes in light and darkness. So, it is no wonder that the Pineal Gland has long been a major subject of interest! If only Iguanas could talk, imagine what they could tell us!

Pineal Gland Green Iguanaphoto credit: Kieran (AU) via photopin cc

Though this eye like structure is not found in all lower vertebrates, it functions as a light receptor in any case, and again, the full purpose for this function is not yet fully understood.

Also referred to as the “Third Eye”, the Pineal Glands’ connection with visual abilities, and its prominent involvement in the mysterious state known as sleep are the reasons for the stigma which has surrounded it for centuries,  leading many to speculate that it may serve further functions in regards to sleep, such as dreaming, and perhaps even various states of higher consciousness.

Regardless of what comes of all of this speculation, we must admit that the Pineal Gland is definitely one of the most intriguing components of the body, and certainly merits further research and study in hopes of discovering its full potential!

Pineal Gland – Weird Stuff Within

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Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming

Lucid Dreaming, or the theoretical act of controlling your dreams by remaining conscious while dreaming, has become a very popular subject in recent years, but Lucid Dreaming is by far not a new concept.  Tibetan Buddhist monks have practiced this form of heightened self-awareness and dream control for over a thousand years, as have other spiritual cultures, while artists, philosophers, and authors have noted this ability in their personal journals over the ages, and no doubt used it in conjunction with their work.

Scientifically documented in numerous modern studies, the act of Lucid Dreaming has been researched by modern scientists using various methods of testing to conclude that it is in fact a real ability that we can all perform, but for those who have experienced Lucid Dreams for themselves, they don’t need any other proof that this conscious dream state exists.

Lucid Dreaming 5photo credit: LiLauraLu via photopin cc

Regardless of being considered some pretty weird stuff by some, people all over the world report enjoying this ability on a regular basis; having become able to have a Lucid Dream whenever they wish, they use it to become more aware of their true feelings about something, or to escape the confines of the physical world and have experiences they cannot have while awake. Whether it is used for serious soul searching, or stress free fun, the ability to have Lucid Dreams is something that most of us would like to experience in our lives. After all, what’s not to like, right?

Regardless of your interests, the possibilities of a Lucid Dream are endless; unlike waking reality, there are no limitations on what you can do, or think, or say during this state. Some claim to come up with their best ideas during Lucid Dreams, focusing on pondering a certain subject while sleeping, they report waking instantly afterwards with the solution to a current problem, or a great new idea, finding to their delight that when they apply it to real life it is in fact a viable answer or idea that works. Some claim to take regular “vacations” via Lucid Dreams, visiting places they would most like to see for the first time, or return to a place they enjoyed in reality, any night of the week! Meanwhile, others use it to explore a risky side of life they would not dare venture into otherwise, which can be beneficial in confronting fears or becoming less fearful of life in general.

Lucid Dreaming (2)photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

So how do we enter the mysterious world of Lucid Dreaming?

There are countless videos and books on the subject, and numerous recommended techniques which all basically have to do with training yourself to be more aware of your conscious and unconscious states. Most of these methods include the same two basic initial steps; testing your conscious state regularly while training yourself to have “cues” for Lucid Dreaming, and training yourself to remember your dreams.

The first step can be practiced by regularly checking that you are awake during the day, using a method that would have a different result if you were sleeping than when you are awake. For instance, stop several times a day to ask yourself the question “Am I awake?”, then gently attempt to push the fingers of one hand through the palm of your other hand. Since this is obviously impossible in waking reality, the only time you will see your fingers go through your palm is when you are having a Lucid Dream! The second step is to wake first thing in the morning and write down as much as you can remember about your dreams. If you remember your dreams regularly and vividly already, this may not take long, but if you rarely remember your dreams it is likely to take longer and be more difficult. (For more information about how to have a Lucid Dream, Click Here.)

Lucid Dreaming 1photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc

If you already have vivid dreams that you remember on a regular basis, you can simply try focusing on staying conscious as you drift off to sleep. Try saying to yourself “I will have a Lucid Dream tonight.” As you feel yourself drifting off, try to stay aware that you are going to sleep. Some prefer to envision walking into a fog as they drift off, allowing sleep to wash over them with the fog, but staying conscious of traveling through it, to come out on the other side into a dream which you are conscious of being in.

It should be noted that though everyone is capable Lucid Dreaming, some have more trouble with it than others, while some are just naturally inclined to do so. In fact, you may be sitting there reading this thinking “I know, I do this every night!”, or you may be one of those who rarely ever remember your dreams, let alone encounter consciousness while dreaming.

Lucid Dreaming 4photo credit: mark sebastian via photopin cc

One thing is for certain, as with all of the abilities our minds and bodies possess, you have to exercise an ability in order to use it and develop it. Abilities of the mind are no different that abilities of the body, such as doing the splits or lifting weights; if you do not regularly stretch out your muscle groups you will not be able to do the splits, if you do not lift weights every day you will not be able to bench twice your weight for long. If you do not use it, it will shrink and be less and less useful, the ability less and less attainable. The good thing about this is that just like athletic capabilities they are never completely lost; even after a long period of not stretching out, loosing the ability to do the splits, you can begin to stretch out regularly and eventually be able to do the splits again!

As our society becomes more and more open to the possibility of what the human mind can accomplish, as well as opening our minds to different spiritual possibilities, Lucid Dreaming is sure to continue to be a more and more popular method of experiencing life -without limitations!

Lucid Dreaming

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Abandoned Places

Abandoned Places

Abandoned Places tend to strike us as weird, and appeal to our interest in the strange and unusual. However, perhaps one of the weirdest things about abandoned places like these is the unsettling thought of a bustling accomplishment of modern man turning into a vacant, desolate shadow of its self, often within very little time. After all, most of us find ancient ruins positively interesting and are drawn to them to observe and contemplate the wonders that were created by man long before our time, but on the average most people don’t find an ancient abandoned city to be weird stuff at all.

We tend to have a much different sensation when viewing an ancient piece of pottery that was unearthed in an ancient city, than we do when viewing an old Pepsi can or mattress languishing away in what was once a busy building full of people; the pop cans’ colors fading, the mattress stained from the elements that have broken or seeped through the  structures’ roof or walls.

But regardless of exactly why we find them weird, we find modern abandoned places to be a tempting subject, an oddity we can’t resist, and we love to see pictures of these places, so here we go!

Abandoned Places
photo credit: Bert Kaufmann via photopin cc

Chateau Miranda in Celles, Belgium (Above)
Built by French aristocrats around the time of World War II and abandoned in 1980, the Chateau Miranda in Celles, Belgium appears to have the feel of the mansion in the movie The Haunting. The overgrown gardens and unkempt appearance of the Chateau set the mind awhirl with notions and most would agree it would be an excellent backdrop for a great ghost story!

Abandoned Places 1photo credit: vicjuan via photopin cc

Sanzhi UFO Houses – San Zhi, Taiwan 
This next abandoned place is “out of this world” mainly because it features what most would consider as being very modern accommodations, in a state of deteriorating disappointment. Their appearance is strikingly odd and interesting even if you suspect they may have been built as a resort for movie stars or eccentric wealthy people, but finding out that they were actually built to house US military officers in 1978 may make this abandoned place even weirder.

sanzhi-ufo-housesphoto credit: vicjuan via photopin cc

Better yet, the houses were intended to be sold to the officers, but were never completed due to loss of investment!

sanzhi-ufo-houses 2photo credit: vicjuan via photopin cc

What a waste of open, modern design, they look like they would have been very cool to live in.  At least they weren’t evacuated due to nuclear fallout like our next abandoned place!

Pripyat, Russia
Once a bustling city of almost 50,000, Pripyat had the unfortunate circumstance of being located near Chernobyl in Russia. When the nuclear disaster occurred at the power plant there in 1986, the city was quickly and permanently evacuated.

Chernobylphoto credit: Timm Suess via photopin cc

Chernobyl 1photo credit: Timm Suess via photopin cc

Residents left many personal belongings behind in the rush to leave, and it is these belongings that seem to have the biggest impact when people look at pictures of the city. Another odd feature of the city is the amusement park which sets eerily still, its bumper cars rusting away, its lonely Ferris wheel silently standing right where it provided its last ride almost 30 years ago.

Since the nuclear disaster, this once large city is populated only by buildings full of rooms decorated in flaking paint, long forgotten furniture and personal possessions, and the odd feel of a modern city abandoned in a flash and left for the ravages of time to slowly consume. The only living inhabitants are now local wildlife who have made the city their home in the absence of people.

Abandoned Places - Chernobyl 2photo credit: Timm Suess via photopin cc

abandoned-detroit 2photo credit: nitram242 via photopin cc

Believe it or not, the picture directly above was not taken at Pripyat, this is an image from…

Detroit, Michigan, USA 
One of the most shocking abandoned places was not left behind due to contamination but the receding US economy; since the economic downturn of recent years, large areas of Detroit have been mostly abandoned and left to fade away. Entire blocks of apartment buildings and streets full of houses now sit without anyone to care for them, representing a sad fact of the times. Another example of modern ruins that just seem plain weird.

abandoned places-detroitphoto credit: nitram242 via photopin cc

abandoned-detroit 3photo credit: nitram242 via photopin cc

El Hotel del Salto (Below)
Built in 1928 to accommodate wealthy tourists visiting the astonishing 515 feet high Telquendama Falls nearby, El Hotel Del Salto fell into ruin, reportedly after the river water of the falls became contaminated, causing visitors to stay away.

Located 18 miles southwest of Bogotá, Colombia in South America, the hotel is thought to be haunted as well which may actually be a great attraction to bring visitors back to the area if it is refurbished as rumors suggest may happen.

el-hotel-del-saltophoto credit: Alveart via photopin cc

Despite all of our best intentions and no matter the grand design, any number of towns, cities, or structures we build may wind up abandoned, in fact, over time they all do. We are always likely to find those most recent Abandoned Places to be the most unsettling, the most weird, and the most eerie, perhaps because we never know what location in the world may become abandoned next…

Abandoned Places

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Strange Dragon Blood Trees

Strange Dragon Blood Trees

Despite their appearance, these strange trees are not some fictional foliage from a Harry Potter movie! Still, these Strange Dragon Blood are truly…weird to behold, especially knowing that their name “Dragon Blood Trees”, is due to their red colored sap or resin!

Strange Dragon Blood Trees

Dragon Blood Trees, also known as Cinnabar Trees, are found on Socotra Island, Yemen, as well as a precious few other places on earth. The trees can live to be more than 300 years old; some sources say they can live up to 600 years or more. They are a slow growing species possessing natural coloring and medicinal properties which were knowingly utilized by ancient Greeks and Romans.

These bizarre looking trees are hand planted and cared for by local residents, producing blossoms in February which take five months to produce fully ripe fruit. Despite the name of the tree, they do not produce the famed “Dragon Fruit”, though they do have great ecological importance, not only as a flagship species, but as an indicator species and an umbrella species as well.

Strange Dragon Blood Trees of Socotra Island Yemen

Immature Dragons Blood Trees, like the ones shown in the image above, will eventually branch out and acquire the upside down, “umbrella” shaped tops the trees are so well known for.

 Socotra Dragon Blood Trees

Other than medicine, Dragons Blood Trees are also used to make incense, clothing dye, and varnish, placing them on the list of very useful, and at the same time very odd looking, natural resources!

Strange Dragon Blood Trees

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Image Credits (In Order of Appearance)
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