World’s Strangest

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The Late Movies: Soap Opera Product Placement

It ain’t easy being a soap opera in 2011. In April, ABC announced that two of its long-running soaps, All My Children and One Life to Live, were being canceled after more than 40 years on television. Some soaps are trying to increase their advertising dollars through product placement. Power to ‘em, we say—while giggling [...]

The Most Popular Stories of 2009: #20 to #14

This week, we’ll be counting down the year’s most-read mentalfloss.com stories. I know the suspense is killing you, but we’ll start with #20. 20. Strange Geographies: The Mojave Desert’s Airplane Graveyard by Ransom Riggs Out in the Mojave Desert, two hours from anywhere, you can see the silhouettes of a hundred parked jetliners. A mean-looking perimeter fence keeps [...]

Fictional Company Makes Access to Cool Stuff (and Parking) Easy!

So this is pretty genius. Back in the 80s, a gentleman from San Francisco discovered that by camouflaging his van as a work vehicle, he could park in loading zones, deter thieves, and gain access to all sorts of cool places to explore and photograph that he probably wouldn’t be allowed into otherwise. The “company” [...]

Strange Geographies: Village Life in Vanuatu

I’ve written a lot about strange places in the U.S. this year — an airplane graveyard in the desert; a mock Iraqi village in the suburbs of San Diego; a town killed by a modern-day dustbowl two hours north of Los Angeles. But the strangest place I’ve ever been — the strangest and most beautiful, [...]