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Inside The Lowline Lab, The Prototype For The World’s First Underground Park

Lowline Pink Flower

A flower growing underground at the Lowline Lab in Manhattan. Image Source: Nickolaus Hines

James Ramsey and Dan Barasch were sharing drinks in 2009 when they decided to seriously consider an idea that sounded straight out of a 1950s science fiction movie.

Ramsey, owner of the Raad Studio design firm in Manhattan, had recently been exposed to what lay under the Lower East Side’s bustling Delancey Street: an abandoned trolley terminal. The seed of an idea to grow plants inside the empty terminal using solar technology was already growing. Barasch, vice president of the social innovation network PopTech, was looking into installing underground art in the New York City subway system. Two years later, they released an outline of an underground green space concept to the public in the form of a New York Magazine feature.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXLIII

Grand Canyon Skywalk

The Grand Canyon Skywalk, the first of its kind, looks out over the Colorado River and the canyon floor, 720 feet below. Image Source: Smithsonian

The World’s Most Majestically Terrifying Skywalks

Chamonix Skywalk Mountain Snow

The Chamonix Skywalk in Aiguille du Midi, France sits 3,396 feet above the valley floor. Image Source: Smithsonian

In 2007, a 70-foot-long pedestrian bridge was built out over the edge of the Grand Canyon. The glass beneath tourists’ feet was all that separated them from the Colorado river and the canyon floor, 720 feet below. This would, naturally, scare some, and, just as naturally, attract perhaps even more. The Grand Canyon skywalk was a hit and, since then, similar structures have been built all over the world. The most recent high-profile project–the 984-foot-long Haohan Qiao glass bridge in China’s Hunan Province–is perhaps the most audacious yet. See more of the world’s thrilling skywalks at Smithsonian.

China Glass Bridge

Thr recently opened Haohan Qiao glass bridge in China’s Hunan Province reaches 984 feet in length. Image Source: Smithsonian

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5 Survival Guides We Hope You’ll Never Need

Sinking Car

We hope this never happens with you in it. But if it does, we want you to know how to get out. Image Source: www.rescue3nz.org

Whether you’re a closet doomsday planner or a disaster film addict, knowing what to do in the worst-case scenario should be at the top of your reading list. Why? Well, you never know when you might find yourself in a serious pickle, and sometimes the only thing between you and death is what you know — only the savvy survive!

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The Danakil Depression Is The Closest Thing To Hell On Earth

For those who think hell is “real,” congratulations: Beelzebub’s lair does exist and can be found in Ethiopia — at least according to National Geographic.

Dubbed the “cruelest place on Earth” by the publication, the Danakil Depression sits deep below sea level (more than 100 meters below at some of its lowest points) in northern Ethiopia’s Afar region. Not only is the depression one of the hottest places on the planet, it’s also one of the most geologically active: the depression is essentially a molten, acidic, and bubbling expanse of land unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.

Danakil Depression Cruel

Source: Rough Guides

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