This Tiny Region In Spain Keeps Getting Hit By Falling Space Junk

One tiny region of Spain has had some unexpected — and slightly concerning — guests over the past several months: falling space junk.

Space Trash Tedax Ball

Members of the Explosives Deactivation Team transport space debris believed to be a spare fuel tank to a safe location. Image Source: Spanish Civil Police.

The rural region of Murcia, Spain, just can’t seem to catch a break lately: It has the country’s highest poverty rate, had to ask for a bailout, and now it seems to have become a target for falling space junk.

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In Spain, A Criminal Ring Of Nuns And Doctors Stole Hundreds Of Thousands Of Babies

Throughout much of 20th century Spain, a criminal network of doctors and nuns stole anywhere from 40,000 to 300,000 babies from their mothers at birth, constituting one of the most horrific yet least known events of the Franco dictatorship.

Franco

Picture taken during the Spanish Civil War in the late ’30s of General Franco (C) with Chief of Staff Barroso (L) and Commander Carmenlo Medrano looking at a map. Image Source: STF/AFP/Getty Images

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“The Bitch of Buchenwald”: The Story Of One Of The Holocaust’s Biggest Monsters

Ilse Koch may not be as famous as the Holocaust’s ringleaders, but she was every bit as evil. This is the life story of the woman who made lampshades from the skin of her prisoners.

Ilse Koch

Ilse Koch. Image Source: Google Cultural Institute

We’ve written twice before about women who not only survived the Holocaust, but saved the lives of fellow prisoners with their superhuman courage and will to survive. The stories of Gisella Perl and Stanislawa Leszczyńska highlight one vital aspect of human nature: Our ability to persevere and care for others in even the most harrowing and cruel of circumstances.

But the Holocaust also presented many opportunities for humanity’s terrible dark side to run wild, as well. While Adolf Hitler, Josef Menegle, and Heinrich Himmler are rightly remembered as its figureheads, there were others just as villainous, but their names didn’t quite make the history books.

One of these individuals was Ilse Koch, whose sadism and barbarism would lead to her to receive the nickname The Bitch of Buchenwald.

Inside Semana Santa, One Of The World’s Strangest Easter Celebrations

On the Sunday before Easter, many Catholic countries begin celebrating Semana Santa, or Holy Week, an elaborate religious observance that will last until the day before Easter. Among the festival’s many rituals, the solemn street processions held in the main participating cities arrest the eye with their intimidating aesthetics and aura of mystery:

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Procession Salamanca

Wikimedia CommonsIn the Roman Catholic world, Semana Santa marks the commemoration of the Passion of Christ. The week-long holiday is dedicated to the remembrance of Biblical events, from Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem to his burial following the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

Marbella Spain Cross

FlickrThe festival takes place on the last week of Lent, just before Easter. It includes Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

Pprocession Salamanca

Wikimedia CommonsDuring Holy Week, religious brotherhoods and fraternities perform penance processions in the streets of observing cities as a spectacular expression of popular piety.

Procession Malaga

FlickrMost of the Semana Santa traditions and brotherhoods have their origins in medieval times, although a number of them were created during the Baroque period and recent centuries.

Brotherhood Procession

FlickrAny Catholic person can become a member or “hermano,” but family tradition has a significant influence on the choice of, and acceptance into, one of the brotherhood circles.

Closeup Clothes

FlickrMost participants in the parades wear the traditional penitential robe, or nazareno.

Capirotes Valladolid

Wikimedia CommonsThe shapes and colors of the garments vary according to the fraternity and procession, although purple is favored in a number of locations.

Capirote Salamanca

FlickrThe nazareno outfits involve a tunic and a long, conical hood with a pointy tip, called capirote or capuchon.

Capirote Closeup

FlickrIn the Middle Ages, the dissimulating robes and masks allowed participants to show penance while concealing their identity.

Capirote Daimiel Spain

FlickrThe hermanos often hold large crosses to recreate Christ’s ordeal.

Semana Santa Penitents

FlickrPenitents may also occasionally walk barefoot and wear chains or shackles around their ankles.

Procession Women Guatemala City

FlickrThey are normally followed by women dressed in black who carry processional candles.

Procession Roman Soldiers

Wikimedia CommonsOther members of the processions dress up as soldiers of the Roman Legion.

Astorga

FlickrThe fraternities carry giant floats with Biblical sculptures representing scenes of the Passion, called pasos, on their shoulders.

Float Salamanca Spain

FlickrSome of the pasos have belonged to the brotherhoods for centuries, and many are artworks created by renowned Spanish artists.

Procession Malaga Spain

FlickrIn Spain, the largest and most famous Semana Santa processions are found in the cities of Cartagena, Málaga, Seville, Valladolid, Zamora, and Léon.

Capuchones

Wikimedia CommonsThe celebrations in 23 cities around Spain have been declared of international tourism interest, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

Procession Bilbao

FlickrThe region of Andalusia is known to host more “glamorous” processions, while those of Castile and Léon generally have a more somber atmosphere.

Procession Quito Ecuador

Wikimedia CommonsOutside Spain, Semana Santa is actively celebrated in Catholic European countries such as Italy, Portugal and Malta, and in Hispanic countries around the world, including those of South and Central America (pictured above: Quito, Ecuador) and the Philippines.

Guatemala City, Semana Santa Procession

FlickrMen carrying a heavy paso float in Guatemala City.

Philippines

Boston.comIn the Philippines, the proceedings take on an altogether more extreme and sinister turn: some participants engage in deep self-flagellation and actual cross nailings, despite those practices being condemned and banned by the church.

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