As much fun as it is to wait in line for hours just to get a new Facebook profile picture, at some point you start wondering if visiting famous tourist attractions is even worth it. After all, these are the most photographed places in the planet. Even if you've never been there before, you already know them better than your grandma's living room (you're a terrible grandkid, by the way).
Or you think you know them, anyway. It turns out that many of these iconic locations have fascinating secrets hiding in plain sight, like real-life versions of video game Easter eggs (or, you know, actual Easter eggs). So the next time you're stuck in a line with 200 other tourists, look around and you may spot ...
The Empty Building In The Middle Of Times Square
About 37 million people visit New York City's Times Square every year, making it the world's second-most-visited tourist attraction (the first is presumably the nearest public bathroom). Hiding a whole building in such a heavily-transited area sounds like some David Copperfield bullshit -- and yet hardly anyone pays attention to the empty 25-story skyscraper at the center here:
We always figured those billboards were suspended in the air with dark magic.
One Times Square was originally constructed in 1904 to serve as the headquarters of The New York Times (hence the name). Despite making a big deal out of their giant concrete dick, they ended up moving out only eight years later. That's right, even the people who named Times Square couldn't stand to stay there for too long. Here's what the building looked like back then:
Was there ever not traffic in New York?
After its most recent owners went bankrupt in 1992, the building was sold to Lehman Brothers. Rather than house new tenants in the tower, they had more lucrative residents in mind: ads. Shitloads and shitloads of ads. The firm had large screens crudely attached to the facade of the building, and now One Times Square rakes in $23 million a year, despite having zero tenants.
Unless the graffiti-scrawling ghosts count as tenants.