The latter half of the 19th century saw an arms race between New York City legislators and the builders of slum-like tenements. The battleground: windows and fresh air.
The 40,000km-long Incan road system connected 12 million people, but it also supplied the Incan army with food from thousands of storage depots spread across the whole network.
Wall Street in New York City is named after one of two things: the Walloons, early Dutch settlers… or a literal wall to defend against the Algonquian peoples angry over the slaughter of 120 local Weckquaesgeek.
In Singapore there is a cantilevered platform resting on top of three skyscrapers. And on top of that platform is an infinity pool.
There is a courtyard gallery in the Palazzo Spada in Rome that is designed to fool the eye. It looks like it should be 37 metres long, but in fact it’s only 8 metres in total.
The Centro Financiero Confinanzas skyscraper was unfinished at the time of the 1994 Venezuelan banking crisis. In 2007, squatters moved in.
How many ways can you move a bridge to let boat traffic through? Well, you can lift it, fold it, curl it, retract it, tilt it, swing it, or submerge it.
In the United States, prisoners used to be chained to trees. In Australia, prisoners used to be put inside trees.
Many of the world’s opals come from a town where the houses are underground and the umbrellas are upside down.
How do you build a highway flyover without closing the road directly below it? In Indonesia, you build the pylons sideways and then rotate them into position.
The Haskell Free Library and Opera House was built across the border between the United States and Canada. Yes, there is a thick black line on the floor between the two countries.
Certain holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem cannot be changed without agreement from the many local denominations. As a result, a ladder has been propped against a window ledge on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre since 1728.
Early modern England had some creative property taxes: window, chimney, brick, and wallpaper tax. Early modern England also had some creative methods of tax avoidance: sealed windows, stolen chimneys, larger bricks, and plainer wallpaper.
The Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia is the site of the oldest shoe, and also the oldest winery, in the world.
Jagannath, the deity from whom we get the word juggernaut, receives offerings of food from the world’s largest kitchen.
If you wanted to build a castle in medieval England, you needed permission from the king. They’re supposed to be for the defence of the realm, but sometimes you just want to fake out the neighbours.