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Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And sometimes truth can inspire fiction.

Crypts serve as people's capsule homes in Manila's North Cemetery.[1]

Coober Pedy is an underground mining town built right into the mine. [1]

In video games, a town is supposed to be a safe place. So why are there bottomless pits? To protect the town from criminals. The village al-Hajjarah was built into a cliff.[1]

A tulou is a ring-shaped apartment building where all apartments face a central courtyard.[1]

In China's Shaanxi province, people live in holes dug into the side of a hill and farm the land on top.[1] (I would have gone for a reference to Tolkien's hobbits rather than Wells's Eloi and Morlocks here, but whatever. Perhaps the authors of this article had used up all their "Tolkienesque" capital earlier for a bit about a city built under huge boulders.)

For Energy: Termites make hydrogen.[2]

Street frontage design for a small town[1]

Why do computer RPG item shops make the user order from a menu system like a restaurant or a vending machine? They're simulating pre-Piggly-Wiggly grocery stores, where all products were behind the counter.[3][4]

In one trip to a city somewhere in Noen, a scout reports seeing a "road toboggan" motorcycle, a rowbike, a round 2-seat scooter looking like a bumper boat, and some other land transport contraptions that never took off in the real world.[5]

In the American West, the bank, general store, and saloon tended to be located near the sheriff's office.[6]

Vikings had accurate sundials with light-concentrating prisms, and ancient China had saltwater and natural gas pipelines.[7]

Dumpster diving

Dumpster diving is a living in Manshiyat Naser, a slum whose residents live off Cairo's garbage.[8] The same is true of Cateura, a village built on the landfill of Asunción, Paraguay.[9] But searching trash dumps for valuable things to sell happens even in industrialized countries,[10] and not just the socially disadvantaged parts.[11]

The city of Austin, Texas, held a campaign to rename its city dump. Austin turned down a name involving Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst and went with "Austin Resource Recovery". The name was said to sound like landfill mining.[12]

And some scrappers enter abandoned buildings illegally to steal metal.[13]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Eric Yosomono, Ivan Farkas. "9 Insane Cities You Won't Believe Aren't Photoshopped". Cracked, 2013-04-27. Accessed on 2013-04-27.
  2. tech
  3. Eric Yosomono. "5 Simple Things You Won't Believe Are Recent Inventions". Cracked, 2010-10-06. Accessed 2012-10-21.
  4. AuntieMeme. "26 Comparisons That Will Destroy How You See History" #11. Cracked, 2014-10-04. Accessed 2014-10-04.
  5. Jesse Clark, R. Jason Benson. "The 12 Most Ridiculous Old-Timey Transportation Innovations". Cracked, 2012-10-14. Accessed 2012-10-21.
  6. J. Wisniewski, Kevin Nakamura. "5 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About the Wild West". Cracked, 2013-04-24. Accessed 2013-04-24.
  7. Aatif Zubair. "5 Awesome Technologies Created by Ancient Civilizations". Cracked, 2014-09-19. Accessed 2014-09-19.
  8. Kenny Thompson. "The 6 Weirdest Cities People Actually Live In". Cracked, 2011-12-29. Accessed 2012-12-30.
  9. A.C. Grimes. "6 Badass Teachers Who Should Get Paid More Than Any CEO". Cracked, 2015-08-24. Accessed 2015-08-24.
  10. John Cheese. "The 5 Stupidest Habits You Develop Growing Up Poor (Part 2)". Cracked, 2014-07-03. Accessed 2014-07-03.
  11. Robert Evans, Andy, Sarah Steele. "5 Horrifying Things Only Garbagemen Know About You". Cracked, 2014-07-08. Accessed 2014-07-08.
  12. Catherine Toast. "6 Hilarious Cases of Online Voting Contests Gone Awry". Cracked, 2013-03-06. Accessed 2013-03-06.
  13. Anonymous, Ryan Menezes. "The Terrifyingly Beautiful World Of Abandoned Buildings". Cracked, 2016-10-30. Accessed 2016-11-01.

External links