5 Facts That Will Change How You Picture Famous Places

#2. Dubai Doesn't Have a Universal Sewage System

Karim Sahib / Getty

Imagine an adult version of Disneyland designed by a drunken billionaire with some serious penile insecurities, and chances are you will end up with something closely resembling the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. In the span of just a few decades, Dubai has gone from a depressing scrap of desert into a burgeoning super economy, today home to the tallest structure in the world and freaking man-made custom islands.

Enjoy looking at 'em, folks. Your gas money provided the funding.

Also, they've got poop roads. Roads full of poop. Because there's no centralized sewer system in the city of the future that can handle their shit.

Now, don't get us wrong: There are municipal services in Dubai. It's just a matter of not everyone being hooked up to them. And loads of places -- like, say, Southeast Asia -- suffer from a similar problem with limited waste-chute infrastructure. Then again, none of those other places are building sci-fi luxury underwater hotels.

Plumbing is so last century -- just poop right out the window!

Burj Khalifa, the aforementioned tallest structure in the world, is still not connected to Dubai's central sewage system, relying instead on tankers to transport its guests' waste to one of the city's treatment facilities. Let us repeat: The steel-and-glass techno-behemoth that Tom Cruise scaled in the fourth Mission: Impossible film has a giant poop room that slowly fills up with all the building's crap until a crap truck comes by and drives it all away.

Admittedly, it's not exactly a "problem" nowadays, because even though Dubai still relies heavily on a convoy of portable cisterns to transport its waste, it has enough sewage treatment facilities to handle even a citywide Fourth Meal. But as recently as 2009, their Poop Truck lines stretched for miles every day, where drivers could expect to wait up to 24 hours in line. Yes, 24 hours! That's roughly 24 more hours than anybody wants to be stuck in a line of idling Poop Trucks.

Karim Sahib / Getty
You'd pretty much have to fill the whole passenger seat with air fresheners to make this tolerable.

Speaking of 2009, that's also when the problem of impatient drivers dumping their waste into swimming areas around the Persian Gulf supposedly stopped, which is definitely a good thing -- but can also be phrased as "The problem of people throwing shit into Dubai waters only stopped in 2009."

Karim Sahib / Getty
There's a leak in that pipe, and it's some poor bastard's job to clean up after it.

#1. Mecca Is Turning into Las Vegas

AFP / Getty

Mecca is the holy site in Saudi Arabia where the prophet Muhammad was born, and where every follower of Islam must make a pilgrimage to at least once in their lives. With a place so holy and so important to an entire culture, we're sure it is carefully preserved and kept an austere and solemn center of prayer that in no way resembles a giant rave in Las Vegas ...

And once again, we are incredibly, incredibly wrong. Man, we should really start looking one paragraph down before making these assumptions.



So basically, Vegas with non-alcoholic beverages and less scantily clad strippers.

Much like Vegas, in recent years Mecca has become a densely populated desert town filled with luxury accommodations like the Mecca Clock Royal Tower Hotel, high-end brand shops, and super-malls that display all the tactful, understated grace of a dubstep orgy. Which is all fine and dandy if the entire point of your existence is satisfying a dark rainbow of human vices like Las Vegas does, but less so if you're supposedly a sacred site for one of the biggest religions on the planet.

Mustafa Ozer / Getty

The Star

There's nothing wrong with selling coffee near a holy site, but it could at least be coffee that doesn't smell like burnt cat piss.

This isn't even about the general gaudification of Mecca, or the fact that roughly 90 percent of its pilgrims could never afford to visit any of the high-end shops and hotels surrounding the city's Great Mosque. The problem is that these new luxury add-ons to Mecca often come at the cost of important historical sites.

The Islamic Heritage Foundation claims that as many as 500 historical sites might have already been dynamited due to Mecca's continuous development, and many more are under threat, including the mountain where Mohammed received his Quran revelations and the house he was born in. That's like discovering the actual manger where Jesus was born and then tearing it down to put up a kiosk that sells "Jesus Is My Bro" T-shirts and giant foam "First Commandment Is No. 1" fingers.

For more you're just plain wrong about, check out The 5 Most Statistically Full of Shit National Stereotypes and 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly.

If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 3 Computer Programs With Hidden (Obnoxious) Personalities.

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