The Confucian Village of Misfortune

The village of Dachuan – in Yongjing county, Gansu province, China – endured great suffering between 1948 and 1991. It also saw just a little bit of redemption. 85% of households in Dachuan claim male-line descent from Confucious, China’s foundational moral philosopher. This quirk of ancestry hurt the villagers under Mao, failed to save them from […]

The South Sea Scam Colony

From 1879 to 1881, a French nobleman found several hundred willing dupes, took their money, and packed them off to a nation he’d made up. Dazzled with promises of land and ease, these peasants found only pestilence and death beneath the hot Pacific sun. The audacity of the scam, the ambiguous motives of the scammer, […]

The Holy Crown of Hungary

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Dartmoor

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Spells of Ecological Succession

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Caddo Lake

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The Wonders of Sir John Mandeville (Asia)

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The Missouri Leviathan

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