If Star Wars Planets Were States

It may have been a long time ago, but Star Wars wasn't necessarily in a galaxy far, far away. If you live in the US, then the events of that great story may have taken place right around the corner. Bryam Dayley of Geek Tyrant argues that the major worlds depicted in the series are analogous to US states. For example, Endor is basically Oregon:

Besides Oregon's geographical similarity to Endor, it also has a cultural similarity. Specifically Portland's culture. Its inhabitants are furry little people completely out of touch with the rest of the galaxy. Sound familiar? Ewoks are just hipsters. Bearded people who want to get in tune with retro styles and the old ways.  They believe in natural remedies, grow organic plants, and irritate the hell out of a lot of people.  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if I went to Portland and a group of hipsters tied me up and planned to sacrifice me to some girl they worship as a goddess. Friggin Ewoks, man. Love 'em to death, but if I had to sit through The Ewok Adventure again, I think I'd kill myself.


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Sunbathing on Top of a Wind Turbine

You think you’ve finally found the perfect place to get away from everyone for a little solitude, and what happens? A drone with a camera finds you!

(YouTube link)

Kevin Miller was flying his camera-rigged drone over Rhode Island near Portsmouth Abbey School and spotted this man laying in the sun on top of a wind turbine! Was he napping? Surely not. Rolling over in your sleep could mean death in that situation. A couple of commenters believe the man is a Bendictine monk who climbs the turbine often. -via Boing Boing


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What Big Bird Would Look Like without Feathers

You've always wondered and now you know: Big Bird would look like a freshly-plucked chicken. Dan Meth explained in a helpful interactive visual tool. Next up: a 3d model of what Big Bird looks like inside.


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Public Restrooms Around the World

Imagine being sent on a round-the-world trip to document public toilets. Cut Video sent Blaine on such a trip, although I have a feeling he had plenty of other assignments as well. That said, he indeed documented public toilets in major cities all over. They may not be representative of all the city’s, or country’s toilets, of course.

(YouTube link)

This video contains images that might be NSFW, because it’s about toilets, but no penises. -via Viral Viral Videos


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A Rare and Beautiful Litter of Israeli Sand Kittens



The Zoological Center of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan in Israel is home to the lovely and rare adult female sand cat shown above, named Rotem. After Rotem's partner Sela died approximately a year ago, a worldwide search was launched by zoo staff to find another mate for her. Rotem's match, three-year-old male Kalahari, was found in Sweden.

Despite the fact that, at first, male and female sand cats aren't typically left unsupervised in the same enclosure due to possible fighting, when a friendship looked likely between Kalahari and Rotem, the zoo staff decided to let them live together. It was a decision that proved fruitful for all. 




Three weeks ago,
 the zookeepers arrived at the Safari to find three tiny kittens in a burrow in the enclosure. Rotem had already bonded with and was actively caring for her babies. Ever since they were born, the kittens have remained close to their mother. Until recently, Rotem had hidden them under her body; they are just now getting a peek at their new world. 

Any sand cat births worldwide are cause for conservationists to celebrate, as the species is classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN Red List. Only 200 sand cats exist in European zoos, and constant attempts are made to increase their numbers.

Sand cats are native to the border between Israel and Jordan and the area further east. Additional subspecies can be found in North Africa and Saudi Arabia. 

See more gorgeous pictures of Rotem and Kalahari's new family at Zooborns.

Images: Tibor Jager

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Ten Instagram Accounts That Are Out To Change The World

Every social media outlet fills their own niche- Facebook was meant to bring friends and family together, Twitter was created so people can share their thoughts 140 words at a time, and Instagram lets folks tell their story through pictures.

(Image Link)

Most people use their Instagram accounts to show off vacation photos or give their followers a glimpse into their lives, but a select few are using their Instagram to affect change in the world.

(Image Link)

Accounts like @blklivesmatter, the obviously NSFW @freethenipple and @feministthoughtbubble are making a massive impact on the world of social media.

Surprisingly even Miley Cyrus has an Instagram account affecting change- @happyhippiefdn, which she founded with Joan Jett to “fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth, and other vulnerable populations.”

See The Instagram Accounts Changing The World here


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Fashion Trend: Wearing Sprouts in Your Hair

(Photo: Sina)

It's the latest fashion advance from China and is especially popular in Beijing, the capital city. People wear in their hair fake plants made of plastic. They're usually young plants, such as flower buds and bean sprouts. The origin and meaning are unclear, but the trend may originate with a character in a popular cartoon called Pleasant Goat and Big Bad Wolf. You can see more photos at Shanghaiist.

-via Kotaku


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Black Lab Makes the Discovery Necessary to Bust Jared Fogle

A two-year-old black Labrador retriever named Bear is the hero technically responsible for the arrest of Subway spokesman Jared Fogle for possession of illegal pornography, according to NBC News.

The first search of Fogle's house turned up nothing, though a number of evidence trails led authorities to believe that he possessed illegal materials. At that time, the police brought Bear into the search. The lab, one of only five in the U.S. trained to do so, is able to sniff out electronic data devices. Bear found Fogle's hidden flash drive, and Fogle was subsequently arrested.

Bear's trainer Todd Jordan said, 

"Much the way other dogs can pick up the scent of a fugitive or a cache of cocaine, Bear can smell the components of electronic media, even a micro-card as small as a fingernail that a suspect could easily hide. Labs are the best on this. They’ll do anything to please their owner.”

Read more on this story at NBC News


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The Unofficial State Cars Of America

We Americans definitely love our cars, and people are quick to tell you about which makes and models are their favs, with the exact reasons why, when the subject comes up.

Some states have even become synonymous with a specific make or model, like Texas and massive Cadillacs or Oregon and Subaru wagons, but do these automotive stereotypes ring true?

The car nuts at Popular Mechanics were curious about this question of state oriented car sales, so they turned to auto analyst Tom Libby from IHS Automotive for some real world facts and figures.

Here's how Tom determined which car suited each state the most:

Libby pulled data about the make and model of every car sold in the U.S., and calculated the popularity of each by percentage using registration data. Then, he did the same at the state level, and compared each state to the national average.

Tom's data showed the sterotypes rarely match up with the sales figures, but it proved that Texans still love their Cadillacs, only nowadays they prefer the massive Escalade EXT.

See The 50 Unofficial State Cars of America here


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Splat Girl - Ink Slinging Superstar


Splat Girl by MdM Shirts

People think girls don't like to get messy, but splatoon superstar Squid Girl loves inking up the world. She's not afraid to step into the fray when the ink starts flying, and as long as she's got her headphones on and music playing there's no way she can lose! Anyone who has an inkling of an idea that they might beat Inkopolis' splat diva had better think again, because she's locked, loaded and ready to splatoon her way to victory!

Clean up your geeky wardrobe with this Splat Girl t-shirt by MdM Shirts, it's the bold way to show your love of ink splattered shooters!

Visit MdM Shirts's Facebook fan page, official website and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Turtle Vs. T-Rex Twitch Chat Kills Brain Cells Odd Ball What Are You Buying?

View more designs by MdM Shirts | More Video Game T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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12 Back-to-School Facts About Welcome Back, Kotter

Back in 1975, ABC designed a sitcom around a standup comedian named Gabe Kaplan. He had no acting experience at all. He was to play an inner-city high school teacher to a gang of slackers. Where did that idea come from? From Kaplan’s own experience.

1. THE SERIES WAS INSPIRED BY GABE KAPLAN’S STAND-UP ROUTINE.

Kaplan was a star player on his high school baseball team and dreamed of someday playing in the major leagues. When he tanked at the San Francisco Giants’ spring training camp, he headed back east and took a job as a bellman at a resort hotel in Lakewood, New Jersey. After watching the touring comedians who performed there for a few months, he decided to take a stab at stand-up. He eventually developed a routine based on his experiences in a remedial class at Brooklyn’s New Utrecht High School and took his act on the road. Fellow Brooklynite Alan Sacks, who was working in Los Angeles as the producer of Chico and the Man, caught Kaplan’s performance at The Comedy Store at the urging of Freddie Prinze, and a TV sitcom pitch was born.

2. ANY RESEMBLANCE TO REAL PERSONS WAS STRICTLY INTENTIONAL.

Vinnie Barbarino (originally called “Eddie Barbarini” in the pilot script) was a combination of two real-life people: Kaplan’s fellow Sweathog Eddie Lecarri, and a tough kid named Joey Caluchi that Alan Sacks knew in junior high school. Freddie “Furdy” Peyton inspired Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington, and “Epstein the Animal” (as he was known at Kaplan’s alma mater) was transformed into the half Puerto Rican Juan Epstein at the suggestion of ABC’s then-head of programming, Michael Eisner. Only Arnold Horshack’s character retained his real-life counterpart’s name … although the original Arnold was so obnoxious that by the fourth grade, according to Kaplan, even the teachers began calling him “Arnold Horsesh**.”

So that was the genesis of Welcome Back, Kotter. You’ll find out much more, like casting decisions and the rise and fall of the series, in a trivia list at mental_floss.


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Magician Proposes to His Girlfriend with a Magic Trick


(Video Link)

Neil Henry, a magician in London, wants his seemingly magical relationship with his girlfriend to become permanent. So he performed a magic trick in which he ate a can of alphabet pasta, then pulled letters out of his mouth that spell words.

For this performance of that trick, he asked for a volunteer from the audience, then volunteered his girlfriend, Charlie Gardner. When it came time to pull the letters out of his mouth, they spelled "Marry me?"

Content warning: a bit of foul language from the future bride when she realizes what's happening.

-via Tastefully Offensive


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Fifteen Incredible Images of Insects Up Close

Bluebottle Maggot

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) allows for the photographing of objects the details of which can't be observed with the naked eye. The FEI corporation, among other things, manufactures electron microscopes and runs a competition each year to find the best SEM images.

This excellent grouping of 15 photos is a selection of SEM photographs of insects and arachnids. Visit the link to see more photos like the one above, which makes a maggot look like something out of a Tim Burton movie.

For more great SEM shots, the range of which extends far beyond the scope of insects, visit the FEI corporation's Flicker account. 


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Kid Trips At Museum, Breaks His Fall With A Painting Worth $1.5 Million

Kids can be troublemakers and mischievous little imps, but sometimes they're blamed for mishaps that aren't their fault.

A 12-year-old boy was visiting an art museum in Taiwan when he tripped, like clumsy kids are prone to do, and thankfully he wasn't seriously hurt because he broke his fall...with a painting by Paolo Porpora worth $1.5 million.

(YouTube Link)

Luckily, the kid isn't going to be charged for damaging the painting, as the CCTV clearly shows that it was an unfortunate accident, but the painting is permanently damaged so the museum will be paying the price for their foolish oversight.

-Via Gawker


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A Guide to Eating at Disney World

Across all the parks and hotels of Walt Disney World in Florida, there are 449 places to eat. How in the world will you find what you want and make the most of your time and money? You rely on the advice of people who’ve been there. Eater sent three bloggers to Disney World to investigate all those restaurants and report back.

Eating at the Harambe Market in the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom park, with its pastel walls, quirky hand-painted signs, and sluggish ceiling fans, is about as close to Kenya as many Disney visitors are going to get. Walking out of the blazing heat into the windowless, almost freezing Biergarten buffet in Epcot — complete with a fake evening sky, iron lampposts, and a four-piece polka band — is the Germanic oasis you didn't know you so very much needed. And Danny Meyer wishes he had staffers as committed and empathetic and well-meaning as the (often unionized) waiters, bartenders, ice cream scoopers, and maitre d's that staff Disney's 400-plus joints. By sheer force of will, they will make sure you have a good experience, regardless of whether or not the food's good.

Which is a good segue into the bad news. The food quality at Disney World can often be as mediocre as you might expect for a resort serving 50,000 people a day. Flavors tend toward sweet — in cocktails, in desserts, in allegedly savory items — and accessible. That's great at the ice cream parlor, not so much at the bar or the Chinese restaurant. With some exceptions, the children's menu options trend toward the fried and carb-heavy. Many of the international cuisines represented in the World Showcase are dumbed down, or executed poorly. Prices are often high. The restaurant in the America pavilion is an embarrassment to our nation.  

That’s from The State of Disney Dining, which is an introduction to a massive library of 24 articles in The Eater Guide to Surviving Disney World. They cover subjects like authenticity in international foods, the best cocktails, the best coffee, and several ways to plan your Disney World meals ahead of time. -via Digg  

(Image credit: Helen Rosner/Eater.com)


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Get Ready to Scream When You Watch Rats Crawling Through Toilets

(Video Link)

There are a lot of urban legends out there that aren't true -particularly when it comes to rats. Sometimes though, these stories are all too true. If you've ever heard rumors of rats crawling up through the sewers and into your toilet, you might have hoped they were some of those mythical tales like rats the size of poodles. Unfortunately, it's actual an all too common for rats to come into homes through the toilet.

Here's an all new reason to always leave your seat down and always look down before you sit down on the can.

Via Gothamist

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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High School Parking Spaces

At a high school in Robinson, Texas, students are assigned parking spaces, and seniors get the privilege of painting theirs. Redditor andrewalmond10 shows us a picture of his favorite space. What a great idea! My daughter has an assigned space, and would probably pay extra for the opportunity to personalize it.  

The discussion at reddit includes many city dwellers who marvel at high schools that have student parking lots, and non-Americans who marvel at students driving to school at all. Outside of big cities, the U.S. is quite spread out, and mass transit is dismal or nonexistent. That goes for school buses, too, as budgets can’t keep up with the number of students. And you don’t have to be rich to let your child drive a car -a vehicle that doesn’t have to last more than a year or two can be had cheaply, and can pay for itself in gas and time saved over ferrying kids to school and back. How did your high school handle student parking?   

Continue reading to see a few more painted spaces.

Continue reading

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What If Daniel Was Actually The Bully In The Karate Kid?

The Karate Kid seems like a straightforward feel good movie about an underdog overcoming obstacles, an uplifting story meant to inspire kids to never give up and, when in doubt, let loose with a crane kick.

But one fan theory shows that Daniel LaRusso may not have been the victim at all, and audiences may owe Johnny Lawrence a big apology.

(YouTube Link)

Director and film editor J. Matthew Turner analyzed The Karate Kid and found Danny's behavior less heroic and more like a kid doing the bidding of the demon sorcerer Miyagi.

-Via Laughing Squid


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“Pop Goes the Weasel”: What Does It Really Mean?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website.

Half a pound of tupenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

Up and down the city road,
In and out of the Eagle.
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

Every night when I get home
The monkey's on the table,
Take a stick and knock it off,
Pop! goes the weasel.

A penny for a ball of thread
Another for a needle
That's the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.

The above are the lyrics to the famous nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel.”

I’ve always liked the song, mainly because it is featured in the Three Stooges short Punch Drunks (1934). The basic plot revolves around Curly getting super-human strength every time he hears the tune "Pop Goes the Weasel.” Because of my great love for the Three Stooges, hearing "Pop Goes the Weasel" always evokes a happy feeling in my heart.

Continue reading

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Guy Loses Phone In River, Phone Starts Posting To Facebook Two Weeks Later

Losing your phone is a real drag, but there's always the off chance someone will find and return your phone so you hang on to a sliver of hope.

But when you drop your phone in a river you pretty much assume it's gone forever, or that when it is found it will be battered and useless.

That's what Nathan Buhler assumed when he dropped his phone in the Bow River, until his phone started posting pics to Nathan's Facebook account two weeks later.

Turns out Calgary's No. 1 Fire-station firefighters found Nathan's phone and decided to have some fun with it while they looked for its owner, staging a bunch of hilarious pics showing Nathan's phone having the time of its life.

And now that Nathan's phone has gone on a grand adventure it doesn't want to go back to its boring old life, which is understandable because how many smartphones can say they've driven a fire truck?

-Via Bored Panda


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A Lad Insane - Discography Of The Dastardly


A Lad Insane by Kgullholmen

They declared him a lad insane, called him crazy and said his mind was somewhere far above the moon, but he knew the pieces of his mental puzzle still fit together perfectly. He preferred to be called the Joker, but would have accepted Ziggy Jokerdust or the Blue Jean Joker when he was in a sort of denim mood. His sanity was only questioned by those who weren't familiar with his particular brand of genius, but ask Bruce Wayne if that lad in the clown white is insane and he'll tell you- don't let him fool you, for the Joker only laughs to throw heroes off his trail, and one day he hopes to be known as the man who sold the world...

Add a manic mashup to your geeky wardrobe with this A Lad Insane t-shirt by Kgullholmen, it'll usher in some good changes and will look great on you while you're dancing in the street!

Visit Kgullholmen's Facebook fan page, official website, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more comical designs:

Adventure Calling AstrophysiX-Men Saddle Up Equestronauts Tyler And Me

View more designs by Kgullholmen | More Comic T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Kids Try Dark Chocolate

Hey, sweetie, want some chocolate? These kids are expecting the sweet milk chocolate they’ve always had, but this is dark chocolate. The kind grownups eat, without so much milk and sugar. In slow motion, you can see the shock, disappointment, and near panic in their eyes.

(YouTube link)

Once they get a bite, we adults don’t have to hide our chocolate stash from the youngsters any more. This is an ad from Splendid Chocolates of Quebec. It’s hard to see how this will sell more chocolate, but it’s awfully cute. -via Buzzfeed

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Evolution of Magazine Covers

The covers of some magazines stay the same for a hundred years, while others change drastically, even when they seem the same from month-to-month. Vogue went from art to fashion models to celebrities. Cosmopolitan went from literature to sex. Karen X. Cheng and Jerry Gabra put together a gallery and analysis of the cover art of some familiar and long-lived magazines. Looking through them, you have to wonder why National Geographic only started using photos on the covers in the 1960s, and why GQ took until the ‘90s to figure out they should put a woman on their covers. Meanwhile, there’s one magazine using the same style covers now as it did 100 years ago. See them all at Medium.


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Princess Stuff

When a kid knows what she wants, she can get pretty stubborn. When a kid doesn’t know what she want, she’ll take forever to make up her mind. This kid, in the latest from Fowl Language Comics, knows exactly what she wants.

But this isn’t the end of the story. Check out the bonus panel for the real punch line. -via Geeks Are Sexy

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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Storytime Rocking Chair

When Hal Taylor's third child was born, he was left with a dilemma: he didn't have enough lap space to read books to all of his kids at once. Since he was a woodworker who made rocking chairs, he designed the StoryTime Rocking Chair as a solution. Now he sells them, too. He makes each one by hand. They're priced at $7,000-7,500.

-via reddit

View more fun pics over at our NeatoPicto Blog

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Quick, Mom’s Coming!

Facebook member Itsjudytime has twin girls. They like to talk and play with each other in their cribs, and Mom keeps an eye on them through a baby monitor. Babies don’t understand remote monitoring yet. Watch what happens when Mom talks to them through the monitor!

(Facebook link)

They already think they can fool Mom at this age. Mom has a few tricks up her sleeve, too, like a viral video she can show for years to come. -via Buzzfeed

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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The Swiss Army Machete: A Zombie Defense Multi-Tool

Over the years, Instructables member seamster has brought us many playful toys, such as a Where the Wild Things Are headpiece, a model duck made of duct tape, and a homemade pinball machine. But he's done playing around. He can't afford to. When the dead rise, he will be ready for them. No matter where he goes, he'll be prepared to fight the undead with this massive custom Swiss Army-type knife. It has a machete, an adjustable wrench, a pipe wrench, an auger, and a hatchet. 

Strangely missing: a toothpick. That's commonly available on Swiss Army knives and always helpful.


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Remember When You Loved Star Wars?

Target’s new Star Wars ad has no movie clips at all (okay, one tiny one), but will still get you excited about the December premiere of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. It relies on nostalgia, with clips of kids (and grownups) all joyously indulging in Star Wars glee.  

(YouTube link)

What’s this all about? Well, it doesn’t say in the ad at all, but the new toys and other merchandise accompanying The Force Awakens will arrive in Target stores September 4th. That gives us all plenty of time to clear the stores of Christmas gifts before the movie even opens. That way, it won’t matter a bit whether the film is any good or not. Still, no matter how you feel about merchandising, enjoy the video for what it is.  -via Time


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Photographer Visits China's Abandoned Amusement Parks

China's economic boom created an urban development boom, and all kinds of structures started popping up across the country as hope for the urbanized future loomed.

This development boom proved to be somewhat illusory, so many of these half-built structures have been left to rot by their owners, sad reminders of development dreams past.

One of the saddest kinds of scrapped project structures is the abandoned amusement park, where the promise of familial happiness has gone to die.

Photographer Stefano Cerio visited some of China's most famous abandoned amusement parks, including Wonderland Amusement Park, for his photographic series Chinese Fun.

Chinese Fun plays out like an eerie tour of the park, with Stefano playing tour guide and showing off all the wonderful buildings and attractions that are now nothing more than a collection of crusty curiosities.

See more photos of abandoned Chinese amusement parks at Juxtapoz


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10 Strange Secret Societies That You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Sure, you’ve heard of some “secret” societies, like the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Rosicrucians, and Freemasons. Those aren't really all that secret anymore. But there are plenty of others, some so esoteric that they are rarely mentioned outside their own circle. One only came to light in the past few years from a coded text that was finally translated when a linguist and a computer programmer joined forces.

What they found were the long-lost rituals of a group known as the Great Enlightened Society of Oculists. In the mid 18th century, the esoteric organisation appeared to be made up of ophthalmologists who were performing ground-breaking work in the field of eyesight. They were experimenting with the likes of eye surgeries and cataract removals. At least, that’s how they presented themselves to the public, or even to church and state.

The Great Enlightened Society of Oculists also used the eye as a symbol of knowledge; they seemed to be experts in the eye and gatekeepers to the knowledge that lay beyond it. And while much of the text, even when translated, is still full of code and double-speak, experts were able to make educated guesses as to what was going on behind closed doors.

Find out what that document was about, plus the stories of quite a few other secret societies, at Urban Ghosts.  


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