When future archaeologists look back at our era thousands of years from now, they'll reach two major conclusions: 1) our subway system was very inefficient and bizarrely sandwich-centric, and 2) we were morons. Why? Because if it wasn't for some of our contemporaries (mostly tourists, to no one's surprise), those future people could have enjoyed recently ruined historical locales like ...
6 Thieves Try To Steal 5,000-Year-Old Cave Painting, Destroy It Instead
If Indiana Jones has taught us anything, it's that it's easy to steal a historic artifact as long as you don't do anything stupid, like drink from it, look at it, or deliberately shatter it into a million pieces with a chisel. Oh, right: That last one wasn't fictional. Last year, visitors at Los Escolares Cave in Santa Elena, Spain, noticed some slight changes in a rock painting of a man-sparrow hybrid (our ancestors were freaks) that had remained undisturbed for five millennia:
Cave paintings such as this are not usually regarded as the easiest targets for thievery, what with the whole "being attached to several million tons of rock" thing. You can't just slip the whole mountain into a bag and quietly walk away. However, the perpetrators had a plan with equals parts finesse and cunning: chiseling it off the wall. In a turn of events that anyone without forethought would call "surprising," this didn't work out, and the lower part of the painting self-destructed into dust, taking with it several millennia's worth of historic significance, the thieves' ability to deny being literally rock-fuck stupid, and civilization's earliest known furry art.
Let's be fair to the numbnuts who did this: Everyone's sort of assuming they planned to sell the painting somewhere, but maybe they didn't. Maybe they were just enraptured by its beauty and didn't have a camera.
"Honey, clear some space on the mantelpiece."
Of course, having a camera doesn't guarantee you won't cause destruction ...
5 Tourists Carve Their Initials On The Colosseum For A Selfie
The Colosseum might be one of the world's most iconic buildings, but do you know what it's missing? If you said "the initials of random attention-starved Instagrammers etched into its walls," then congratulations! You're either terrible and/or one of the people who actually did this. Like the Russian guy (see, not all dumb tourists are Americans) who was recently fined $25,000 for carving a 10-inch initial on a wall:
Evidently, no, he wasn't entertained.
In yet another example of classic Russian not-give-a-fuckery, the 42-year-old man did this while being watched by a security guard, an act which elevates this from mere "light vandalism" to "balls-out lunacy." That was in 2014, so hopefully the hefty fine will dissuade any more tourists from doing the same thing this ye- wait, no, it already happened again. In March, two masterminds from California (dammit) left their tour group to carve a "J" and an "N" on a wall and then took a selfie with their act of cultural destruction. Hopefully they got enough "likes" to offset the unspecified but probably large fine.
We were charged $500 just for adding that circle on MS Paint.
We think it's pretty clear by now that the fines simply aren't enough. Considering how pissed officials are getting about tourists doing this, we wouldn't be surprised to hear if the next case ends up with the Colosseum being used as it was in old-timey days, lions and all.