#3. Yellow Fleet: Like That Movie 'The Terminal,' If Tom Hanks Was a City Made of Ships
During the Six Day War, a group of 15 ships hailing from eight different nations were abandoned in the Suez Canal.
Due to military and diplomatic maneuvering, it took an inexplicable eight years to get the ships out of the canal, so the odds of all the old crew members returning to reclaim their boats were pretty low. Luckily, this didn't turn out to be a problem, as the sailors never left. Though some of the crew were permitted to rotate out on a three-month basis, many opted instead to build up an ethnically and politically diverse society located entirely on an armada of marooned trading vessels.
This is only a small part. Consider it the Queens of the Yellow Fleet.
The Yellow Fleet had a regular church service every Sunday, a postal system that delivered mail between vessels and even a sort of economy based on ship-to-ship trading. But as you can imagine, spending most of a decade on a moored ship gets pretty boring, so they also organized entertainment. They had movie theaters and football fields, went water skiing, formed a yachting club, organized dances and even held their own rival Olympics in 1967.
"Setting up the 100-meter dash was a bitch."
Eventually, when the canal did clear, only the West German boats were still seaworthy. And they dutifully went on to deliver what remained of their precious cargo, which cost them eight years of their life to protect.
Yes, they delivered the hell out of those T-shirts.
"Heroes" seems like kind of an understatement.
#2. Dwarf City: If Disney World Characters Really Looked Like That, Actually Lived There
Via NY Times
China hasn't figured out a way to pirate political correctness yet, so being a minority there isn't exactly all break-dance competitions and inspirational after-school specials. It's mostly just good ol' cruelty and discrimination. Well, one man decided to give little people a place where they could join together to escape the bullying they experienced in normal society. By living their entire lives on display in the world's first live-in theme park:
It's the only city where stepladders outnumber people 4-to-1.
The founder of China's very own Dwarf City is a 44 year-old entrepreneur named Chen Mingjing. He claims that he created the park to help the little people of China, and the park has created hundreds of jobs for dwarfs that didn't exist before. That fact that the job involves dressing up in pink tutus and performing a slapstick version of Swan Lake doesn't seem to bother him.
Roughly 120 little people live in the city sized park in the mountains of Kunming, China. The one requirement for citizenship: You can't be taller than 4'3".
The citizens of Dwarf City live in houses shaped like mushrooms, dress up in fairy tale outfits and make their living off of souvenirs and tourism. While you might find this offensive, Dwarf City citizens find it slightly more offensive to starve to death. Minjing might be exploiting them, but the employees the New York Times spoke with seemed to be happy to finally be the ones reaping the benefits of the exploitation.
Via NY Times
Hey, baby, if you got it, flaunt it.
Whether you agree with human rights groups that call it a callous gimmick, or the fun-sized employees who make it run, it does at least appear to have all of the trappings of a city, complete with a miniature police force, fire brigade and political system.
As much as we know we're going to hell for even thinking it, it's hard to get too mad about something that's just so damn adorable.
Well, just look at it.
#1. Kowloon Walled City: The Wild West Meets Post-Apocalyptic Video Game Level
Located just outside of Hong Kong, Kowloon Walled City is where Chinese laws went to die. It all started toward the tail end of WWII, when China retook Kowloon from the Japanese. Thousands of squatters took advantage of the newfound Chinese protectorate and moved in with complete governmental protection.
Then, in 1948, the British went to clear the area, but failed so spectacularly that everybody, both English and Chinese alike, issued an official decree of "Screw that place." They agreed to let Kowloon be, but cut it off from all government services, which in communist China was pretty much everything: police, water, electricity, road maintenance, postal services and so on.
Basically, all the dead weight that holds truly great parties back.
They basically Thunderdomed a whole city, and then just walked away.
And to everybody's mutual surprise, Kowloon absolutely thrived on the anarchy.
For 30 years, the city experienced explosive growth in terms of population and square footage: The city was only .01 square miles, yet housed roughly 33,000 people, making it the most densely populated area in world history. Unlicensed 12-story buildings shot up with no planning, untaxed businesses cropped up everywhere and a private legion of often unaccredited doctors tended to the populace. Kowloon citizens even jury-rigged up their own water and electric grids, and though it looked like Tim Burton was their city planner ...
"What's this? What's this? There's color everywherrrre ..."
... it mostly worked. Since there was no law to speak of in Kowloon Walled City, opium bars could be found everywhere, prostitution rings operated openly, gambling dens were commonplace and anybody wanting to avoid the cops had a landlocked Tortuga to retreat to whenever they felt like it.
In Kowloon Walled City, everything was handled by the individual, not the government, and astoundingly, the whole thing didn't implode on itself. But after 30 years, the Chinese finally got it in their heads that Crime Fortress might not be a good thing to have right next to Hong Kong, so they tore it down and built a park.
And rumor has it that on some dark and lonely nights, you can still hear the howling of the libertarians.
For more bizarre places to live in, check out The 6 Best Towns To Live in (If You Have a Death Wish) and The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth.
And stop by LinkSTORM to see whose cardboard house is creepier: John Cheese's or Gladstone's.
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