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From the Author

Let us pause for a while and take a peek at the fascinating wonders of nature, the majesty and the glory of God's creation and the spectacle of human engineering. Unfortunately, I cannot go to these places in as much as I want to so, I’m just taking this virtual expedition. I hope you can join me in this online adventure.

-Arnel S. Oroceo, the Author

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Derweze: The Door to Hell?

Derweze: The Door to Hell (view at night)

I have encountered a very peculiar place in Central Asia. I don’t know if it's possible to visit the place or if they welcome tourists in that area. It's what they call “The Door to hell”. It seems hair-raising to hear but that’s how they call it.

It's in Derweze, a village in Turkmenistan which is located at the middle of Karakum Desert where we can see the Balkan Mountain Range where archaeologists have dug human remains that date back to the Stone Age.

Anyways, it seems that Derweze village and the Karakum Desert is rich with natural gas deposits. In 1971, geologists have drilled a cave in the area to mine natural gas deposits but in the process, the land beneath the spot have collapsed causing a huge hole that measures to about 230 feet in diameter. Geologists have feared that poisonous gas might escape from the hole so they have decided to burn the fuel thinking that the fire would use up all the gas deposit from the hole in a matter of days. Unfortunately, 40 years have gone and still the fire has not stopped from burning. Thus, people have called it "The Door to Hell".

It's like a fiery furnace that never stops. I’m not sure how the people from the locality have been affected by the seeming eternal fire from the ground. It must be very scary to be in that place and perhaps burning gas emits toxic substances that are detrimental to people’s health.

However, it is an interesting place to see. It could be an amazing experience.

Image Above Courtesy of:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Christ the Redeemer Statue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Today is Ash Wednesday, a religious event Roman Catholics celebrate. It is the first day of the 40 day season of lent, which celebrates the life and passion of Christ.

One of the biggest icons of Catholicism in our generation perhaps is the “Christ the Redeemer” statue, which has been built on the peak of the Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest national park in Brazil. It is considered as the second largest Art Deco structure in the world. In 2007, it has been named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

A Brazilian Catholic priest, Pedro Maria Boss introduced the concept of building a statue on top of the Corcovado Mountain to Brazil’s Imperial Princess Isabel in the 1850’s but she did not give much attention to it until the imperial monarchy lost its governmental authority when Brazil became a Republic in 1889. Then in 1921, the Catholic Circle of Rio proposed again the construction of a structure on top of Corcovado Mountain and they initiated a fund-raising activity for the construction. In 1922, the construction of the statue began until 1931. The cost was estimated at US$250,000 at that time.

The statue stands at 130 feet tall, 98 feet wide, with a 31 feet pedestal. From there, you can have a picturesque view of the city of Rio de Janeiro below the mountain. They say that the statue of Christ with outstretched hands symbolize Christianity and peace.

 It is a perfect place for Catholics who want to visit places where they can have both an ambiance of spirituality and majestic scenery. 

Image Above Courtesy Of:
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