#3. Bones on the Beach (Not the Good Kind)
Let's say you're enjoying a relaxing walk on the beach when you feel a hard surface under your naked feet: It's a human bone. Then you look a little farther and see another one. And another one. And another one. It's not just one person -- there's a whole skeleton orgy under your feet. That's a totally viable scenario at El Conchalito beach in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where lots of skeletons await just barely buried, wishing for an unsuspecting tourist to trip and give them a big kiss on the bone.
Alfonso Rosales-INAH, Inag.gob.mx
"Hey, come on, why'd you stop making out over me?"
Residents of the area first complained about boner-killing human remains on their beach back in 1981, and the authorities probably figured they were just cartel killings or something mundane like that. Archeologists, however, revealed that centuries ago the beach was used by ancient nomads who buried their deceased around the whole bay area -- and because that just wasn't crazy enough for a pre-colonial Mexican society, they later dug up the bodies so they could paint them red and buried them again, just for fun times.
And that, you see, is why some of the human remains found there are red. Nope, this is not a conspiracy to hide the existence of ancient inhuman beasts, no sir.
Alfonso Rosales-INAH, Inag.gob.mx
And certainly not ones with human heads and spiders legs.
So yeah, it's not uncommon for some beach walker to spot a Captain America enemy staring at them from the ground, especially at the end of the hurricane season. Over 50 ritual burial sites have been found on the beach, which somehow still attracts bathers.
This isn't the only beach littered with skeletons waiting to unearth themselves like in a Zelda game, though: There's also Namibia's Skeleton Coast in Africa. If you're wondering why a country would willingly give one of their tourist spots a name like that, consider the fact that it used to be known as "The Sands of Hell." Both names are apt, if you ask us.
What part of "sun-bleached skeletal middle finger" did you interpret as "Pick up my skull"?
This "beach" is more like a huge desert awkwardly placed next to the sea by a mad Sim City-playing deity. Once again, it's pretty easy to bump into a skull in the sand, most belonging to ancient sailors looking for diamonds who, after finding enough stones to return to lead rich lives, died of thirst upon getting lost in the vastness of the shores. But at least they remained cheerful: "I am proceeding to a river 60 miles north, and should anyone find this and follow me, God will help him," said one note found in the sand ... next to a corpse.
"Yep, gonna find that river any minute now."
#2. The Roopkund Skeleton Party Lake
The mountains aren't the only thing worth visiting in the Himalayas. Take Roopkund glacial lake, which during the winter looks like the perfect place to go skating hand in hand with your loved one:
Or your 50 loved ones.
When it thaws, however ... well, that's when things get interesting (in a horror movie sort of way). When the ice melts, the entire area surrounding the lake reveals itself to be absolutely filthy with discarded bones, like Colonel Sanders once chose this spot to throw himself the most kickass lakeside picnic in history. Also, the good colonel is a cannibal in this description, we guess, because these bones are of the human variety.
Skeleton Lake, as it's sometimes called, was first discovered in 1942 when a forest guard stumbled across hundreds and hundreds of skeletons floating in and surrounding this tiny tarn. Presumably that poor, unsuspecting forest guard was required to immediately radio in his discovery due to the fact that he had caused the lake to rise to flood levels with his pee.
So, so much pee.
Initial speculation was that the remains belonged to Japanese soldiers who, during World War II, wandered into the area and found out that the Allies weren't the only things that could be inhospitable. Later investigations concluded that the bodies were instead those of "General Zorawar Singh of Kashmir and his men, who are said to have lost their way and perished in the high Himalayas on their return journey after the Battle of Tibet in 1841." But that was also wrong -- because the bodies were much older than that.
We're talking way back when humans still had detachable heads.
You see, local folklore told of King Jasdhawal of Kanauj, who, back in the medieval days, threw an epic celebration in these mountains. The local deity, Latu, wasn't about to put up with that bullshit, so it thoroughly pooped on this party by raining death down on the king and his entourage from the heavens.
But that can't be true, right? Well, in 2004, scientists from National Geographic decided to get to the bottom of this lake, so to speak, and what they discovered was that there was more truth to the folklore than previously believed. The bones did in fact date all the way back to the year 850, and forensic studies of some of the more than 600 skulls located in the area revealed that they had all died from sharp blows from above -- a sudden storm of freakishly large hail.
The moral of the story? Don't party within earshot of Himalayan deities -- they're big fans of their beauty sleep, apparently.
#1. The Frozen Corpses of Everest
Every year, hundreds of people pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of getting to climb Mount Everest -- but what the Nepalese tourism board doesn't exactly like to advertise is that around 240 climbers have died trying to make the summit, and most of them are still up there. In fact, there is a section of the mountain called Rainbow Valley where dozens of bodies are visible due to their brightly colored climbing jackets.
You see, the climbing part isn't really that hard (it's like being on a Stairmaster for a really long time), but it's the altitude that usually gets you. Once you get past the 26,000-foot mark, you enter the death zone (starring Christopher Walken) -- there's so little oxygen at that altitude that the human body can't survive. So, basically, if you stay there for too long, you start slowly turning into Jack Nicholson at the end of The Shining. Some people just tip over from exhaustion and stay in that position forever.
And yes, many of these bodies are on the route that climbers usually take. One such body is that of British climber David Sharp, who didn't bring enough oxygen, got tired, and sat down to rest in a small cave near the peak that was already inhabited by another dead climber known as Green Boots.
For unknown reasons; those things are clearly yellow.
Later, a group of other climbers passed by and saw Sharp sitting there with half of his body frozen ... and that's when he mumbled his name and they realized he was still alive. He was even filmed when a documentary crew walked past, but there was nothing they could do for him -- in the death zone, people can barely walk, let alone carry a body. And that's why Nepal doesn't just go up there and remove the bodies: Many who tried have ended up joining them.
But hey, at least those people end up serving as reference markers for other climbers, like poor Francys Arsentiev here:
"Yes, turn left at the frozen lady, then go straight on the snow bank that looks like a dong. Can't miss it."
Yosomono writes about the dark side of Tokyo at Gaijinass.com. If you like places teeming with death, wait till you get a load of Jason's Facebook page. Menezes was declared dead in his hometown, but his Twitter page lives on.
And make sure you film your friends' dead bodies for our pocket film contest. Check out the contest details and submit here.
Related Reading: Dead bodies are surprisingly capable. One even won an Olympic event. And guess what! You can have your own corpse turned into bullets. Hey, it beats being crucified for science. Or does it?