In many cultures, white is considered the color of death and evil. After visiting the far north, it’s easy to see why. The polar night steals the sun. The icy desert stretches in all directions in the false light of the moon and the aurora. The frost burns, the blizzard howls like a horde of ghosts. And there are no flowers other than white on the frozen ground covered with snow. Snow and white in the dark.
Demons of the Siberian taiga
The North stuns not with its beauty or splendor, but with its grandeur. Taiga and tundra are like the ocean. Tibet and the Norwegian fjords can be hidden here and no one will find it. But even in populous England, where in the Middle Ages there were twenty inhabitants per square kilometer, there was still room for the people of the hills and bizarre forest creatures. What then can be said about Yakutia, where the population density is even today a hundred times less?
People have never really owned this land. Handfuls of hunters and pastoralists fought for existence in a vast world owned by ghosts. In a country where snow lies seven months a year, and the temperature in winter drops below minus 60 degrees, the invisible rulers of the taiga did not forgive insults and could dictate conditions.
The bulk of the ghostly population of Yakutia are ichchi, the spirits of nature. Like Japanese kami, they can be both personifications of mountains, trees and lakes, and patrons of the area, the embodiment of ideas and phenomena. But if in Japan the old pine becomes the embodied idea of a tree, then in Yakutia spirits are not identified with objects. Ichchi just lives in a tree and, if his house is cut down, he will not die. But he will be very angry.
Fortunately for the lumberjacks, only some of the trunks are “occupied” with spirits. But the taiga, meadows, swamps, mountains, river floods and lake expanses are so tightly controlled by Ichchi, as if Yakutia is one big sacred grove for them. Until now, trees decorated with ribbons can be seen along the roads of the republic. Spirits collect a small tribute from people – it can be a souvenir, a coin or a sip of kumis. Tribute is not taken for the use of land, but simply for entering the territory.
The disembodied, invisible and unseen ichchi managed to survive even the Christianization of Yakutia without loss. Traditional means of exorcists do not work on them – the spirits of the taiga have developed full immunity to holy water, the cross and prayers. But luckily, the icchi are not evil. The most powerful of them, the ruler of the forests and prankster Baai Bayanai, even patronizes hunters. Even if not for everyone, but only for those who are worthy, who have passed the necessary tests and who observe customs. True, this god has a specific sense of humor, and even the worthy are not always protected from his jokes.
The real evil spirits of the Yakut expanses are ghosts-abases. They are also incorporeal, but unlike icchi, they can be shown to people in a varied, invariably frightening guise. Classic Abases prefer the appearance of the Irish Fomorians – one-legged, one-armed and one-eyed giants. In the last couple of centuries, they say, the shape of a three-meter, impenetrable dark, often headless silhouette has come into vogue. If the abases appear during the day (and they are not afraid of the light), then you can see huge black eyes on a deathly white face. Abasa, as a rule, do not have legs – ghosts simply glide over the ground or gallop along the roads on monstrous horses. And in any form, the Abases emit an intolerable smell of decomposition.
One can escape from the abas. His main weapon is fear, and if the ghost fails to frighten the victim and put him to flight, then he himself becomes confused.
Abases in the illustrations by Elleya Sivtseva
Ghosts of this type know how to manipulate gravity – make a weapon or a load incredibly heavy, or even press a person to the ground. The most dangerous thing is that the Abases are capable of drinking the soul. People who encounter evil spirits in a forest or in an abandoned house die without receiving any external damage. But the consequences for the victim can be even worse than death. Sometimes an evil spirit enters a devastated body, and a thief – a zombie appears.
The Siberian dead are so harsh that African zombies are no match for them. The scoundrel is not only bloodthirsty and incredibly strong – he is also fast as lightning. It is very difficult to stop him: the fighter has never heard of silver, garlic and holy water, and, as befits a zombie, he is philosophical about bullets and ax blows. To incapacitate a fighter, he must at least be beheaded. And so that the dead man does not become a fighter, he must be beheaded and buried with his stomach down, holding the severed head between his legs. Fortunately, the fighter is short-lived. The presence of the abasa accelerates the decay of the corpse so much that the zombie is literally rotting before our eyes.
Even more dangerous are the Yakut ghouls – yuyors. Buried without the necessary rituals, suicides and criminals return as a bizarre cross between a vampire and a werewolf. During the day, the yuyor lives under water, where he cannot be reached (Dracula would never have thought of that!). Going out on a night hunt, the ghoul takes on a human form and without much difficulty persuades the victims to let him spend the night. Well, at the moment of the attack, the yuyor turns into a monster covered with wool, which is almost impossible to kill. The wounds only force the yuyor to retreat.
Not all Siberian scum is indifferent to Christian relics. The Syulyukyuns, an analogue of Lovecraft’s Deep Ones, who live in the cold lakes of Yakutia, converted to Orthodoxy. And now on Christmastide, when all the water becomes holy, they have to evacuate to dry land. And since, together with religion, the syulukyuns borrowed water vices and a way of life from the Russians, fishmen spend their time on the shore playing cards. In the underwater mansions, they leave sacks of gold, which a clever diver can try to snatch away.
This pandemonium is ruled by Ulu Toyon, the god of death and evil, who lives high in the icy mountains. In the guise of impenetrable fog, he sometimes descends into the valleys to destroy forests in fierce storms and send pestilence to herds. Ulu Toyon devours the hearts of the captives and turns the souls of people into his tools, instilling them into the bodies of predators. This is how possessed bears appear, ready to attack a person. Or Bigfoot.
Legends about the “Bigfoot” usually describe two types of this creature: Bigfoot and Yeti. But in the mountains of Yakutia and further south to Sikhote-Alin, there are legends about the third, unique species – chuchunu. Chuchunu is distinguished from other “relict hominids” by its long, flowing hair. Slender, of average height and athletic build, among other “snowmen” he stands out for his civilization. Chuchuna is covered with wool and is afraid of fire, but wears coarse clothes made of skins and hunts using weapons – stones, bone knives, and sometimes bows. And if Bigfoots and Yeti are always silent loners, then chuchuns usually appear together or three, talking with the help of a piercing whistle.
The horrors of Chukotka
The Norwegian sagas mention the Utburds – the undead, which are transformed into babies abandoned in the forest during the years of famine. In Chukotka, such demons are called angyaks. But compared to the Arctic, Norway can be considered a resort. Even an adult exile cannot survive in the icy desert. Therefore, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, there are also wreckens that have no analogues in warm Scandinavia.
Rakkens are people expelled from the camps for greed, anger or cowardice. Upon death, the perpetrator transforms into a gnome with an extra mouth on his stomach. The details of the description depend on the area: black-headed dwarfs hide under the hills, gray-headed dwarfs in the rocks, blue-headed dwarfs in the sea. Sometimes crab pincers are mentioned among the signs of rakken.
Of course, wreckens hate people. And they invent much more sophisticated forms of revenge than those of the Angyaks and Utburds. On tiny sledges pulled by invisible dogs the size of an ermine, they carry diseases and other misfortunes to camps. And there is nothing worse than a disease for the warlike Chukchi. After all, only the one who died in battle can get into the Arctic Valhalla – “Cloud Country”. Men who die in bed go to the frozen Netherworld.
Bestiary of Canadian Eskimos
The Inuit Eskimos, whose settlements are scattered from the Chukchi Peninsula to Greenland, are the most numerous people in the Arctic. They came closest to the Pole, surviving in conditions that the Nenets, Evenks and Chukchi would find too harsh. But the Tuniites were even braver. This legendary tribe, according to the legend of the Eskimos, in ancient times lived on the shores of the Arctic Ocean, and with the advent of “real people” (Inuit) retreated into completely lifeless icy deserts. It was two thousand years ago. Nevertheless, it happens that even today northern hunters meet tall, incredibly muscular aliens, using rough tools of the Paleolithic era and dressed in unstitched skins. The primitive language of the Tunisians is like baby talk. Tunisians fall into rage easily, but are generally peaceful.
Much more dangerous is the meeting with the giantess inupasukugyuk. They are so powerful that they kill a bear with a throw of a stone, and at the same time are so simple-minded that they take people for living talking dolls and try to play with them. The giantesses value their toys, so the hapless hunter cannot escape from captivity for many days. It is difficult to say how dangerous a meeting with a male inupasukugyuk is, because until now no one survived after it and talked about their adventures.
But there are also benefits from giants. Great luck if you can tame their dog – then you won’t need a kayak. A huge dog can swim in the sea with a hunter on the back of his neck and carry killed narwhals ashore, like a spaniel dragging ducks from a lake. True, the happy owner of the mighty beast will have to lead a secluded life, the giant dog will certainly eat its neighbors.
In contrast to the giants, there are tiny ishigak – gnomes that do not reach a person’s knee. But they are difficult to find because dwarfs leave no footprints in the snow. Despite their small stature, ishigak are great bear hunters. They defeat the beast by cunning: first they turn the clubfoot into a lemming, then they kill, and only after that they turn it back.
The Eskimo monsters have one thing in common: they are all dangerous, but not evil. The monsters of the ice world do not wage war against people – they leave this concern to the harsh nature. They only pursue their own goals, not always clear. So, kvallupilluk (or aglulyk) – skinny, scaly aquatic, living in polynyas – often steal children who play by the cold sea. But they do not eat them, as one might think, but, on the contrary, they use witchcraft to protect them from the cold and feed them. Therefore, in times of famine, the Eskimos voluntarily give their babies to the inhabitants of the waters, and then occasionally see their children when they go ashore to play. Kvallupilluk are not indifferent to young animals, they fiercely protect young animals from hunters. But to people who hunt for an animal in the proper season, aquatic are inclined to help.
The Takrikasiuts are not evil – people-shadows living in a parallel world, similar to the wonderful country of the British fairies. But hearing their voices, let alone seeing a takrikasiut, is not good. This means that the border between the worlds has become thinner. One more step – and you can leave the familiar reality forever, there will be no turning back.
The werewolves of the Iyrat, who know how to take on the guise of a raven, polar fox, bear, caribou deer, or man, are not evil, but they always give themselves away with the glow of blood-red eyes. They often harm people, but not of their own free will: the iyrat fulfill the will of the spirits of the Inuit ancestors. The source – a gigantic, all-seeing flying eye – circles over the tundra, looking out for taboo violators. The ancestors send iyrat to those whom he complains about. First with a warning. Then with evidence that the warning was worth heeding.
Even the mad demon mahaha is angry in a special way, atypical. White-haired, blue-skinned, wiry and practically naked, armed with impressive claws, he pursues victims among the ice with laughter. And when he catches up, he tickles them with cold fingers until the unfortunate ones die with a smile on their face.
Only the Amarok, a giant wolf that devours hunters foolish enough to go hunting alone, seems to be your typical monster. But the descriptions of this beast are so detailed that many consider the amarok not a mythical creature, but a cryptid – unknown to science, but a real or recently extinct beast. It could be canis dirus – “dire wolf” – or an even more ancient predator, the common ancestor of canids and bears.
The Demon Bear in Terror is a Dan Simmons invention, but based on real Inuit folklore. The name of the monster, Tuunbak, means “evil spirit”, and its prototypes can be considered mythical giant bears – nanurluk and ten-legged kukueak. And an ordinary polar bear makes an impression on the Inuit – his name is nothing but “Nanuk”, which means “respected.”
The mythology of the tribes, whose camps are separated by hundreds of kilometers of tundra, are related only by the most common motives. Shamans too rarely meet each other to work out a uniform version of the adventures of their ancestors. As a rule, the legends of different tribes are united by cosmogony – fundamental ideas about the structure of the world, as well as the key characters of the legends – heroes and deities. They remain recognizable, despite the inconsistency in the descriptions of appearance, details of the biography and assessment of actions.
The cosmogony of the most ancient peoples usually states that souls complete a cycle of rebirth without leaving the material world. Later concepts were supplemented by parallel dimensions: the “upper world”, inhabited by the spirits of ancestors, and the “lower” – a dark abyss that gives rise to monsters. The views of the peoples of the Arctic belong to the second category and stand out in only one. Here in the underworld there is no change of seasons.
It is always summer in the upper world, horses and deer are always galloping through the flowering meadows. Only the astral counterparts of shamans have a way to a happy country. On the sacred sharp mountain in the Lena delta, where the waters of the great river flow into the icy ocean, there are the guards of the upper world – giants with bear heads, birds with human faces and brass people. They meet those who are worthy to enter the first of the nine layers of the heavenly kingdom, located beyond the ordinary visible sky. The Chukchi describe the afterlife in a similar way, placing the worthy dead in the “Cloud Country”.
The Yakut underworld is located underground and, because of the pitch darkness reigning there, has been extremely poorly studied. Much more interesting is the underworld of the Inuit – Adlivun. Winter reigns here, but the darkness of the polar night is softened by the radiance of the stars and the undying northern aurora. Not fiery furnaces, not sulfur smoke, but eternal cold and blizzard fill the hell of the northern tribes. The frozen desert is the purgatory through which the tupilac – the souls of the dead – must pass before they find peace in the silvery light of the moon.
The upper, middle and lower worlds of the Yakuts. Illustrations by Elya Sivtsev for the epic “Olonkho”
The nether world is ruled by Sedna, the “Lower Woman,” who is served by werewolf-adlets with a human face and body, but wolf legs and ears. From Adlivun she sends demons to the land – tuurnaite. Those called pumpkin are the personification of frost. Others, like the Chukchi rekken, bring disease and failure on the hunt until shamans drive them out.
In the view of the peoples of the Arctic, every living creature and every object is endowed with its own soul, which the Eskimos call anirniit. At the highest level, the ideas of creatures, objects and phenomena are combined into Silla – the world soul, which gives form and meaning to matter.
The Kola Peninsula is not only a deposit of apatites, but also Pohjola from Finnish mythology, a country ruled by powerful shamans, from where cold and disease come to the world. At the same time, however, Pohjola and the “thirtieth kingdom” – a world where magic is as common as the polar lights. Somewhere out there, in the midnight mountains, the World Tree connecting the upper and lower dimensions pierces the Earth. Climbing the branches of the tree, you can get to Saivo, the abundant “land of the eternal hunt”, inhabited by the spirits of virtuous ancestors. She can sometimes be seen reflected in the crystal surface of sacred lakes. From below, stunted wizards and blacksmiths, like the Nenets sikhirta, make their way into the world of the living. There are other guests, much more unpleasant: rabbis, Sami ghouls, spirits of evil shamans. As befits undead, the ravk is incredibly strong afraid of the light and always tormented by hunger. Unlike European vampires, the ravk is not limited to blood and devours his victim with bones.
Even the vicious tuurnaite is part of Sillu. The world is one, which means that it does not require management. The concepts of justice and goodness do not apply to him. Sedna, the strongest of evil spirits, the mistress of sea animals, and Tekkeitsertok, the patron saint of caribou deer, are hostile to people, since deer and walruses have no reason to love hunters. But at the same time they are revered as gods – givers of food. Life and death are parts of cosmic harmony. And so it was intended.
In the preparation of the article, information and wonderful illustrations from the site inuitmyths.com were used
The origin of gold turned out to be a cosmic mystery
Astronomers calculated the origin of all chemical elements and wondered: where is there so much gold in the universe? The fact is that there are not enough known processes to explain the observed abundance of this precious metal.
Details are set out in a scientific article published in the Astrophysical Journal.
Astronomers believe that the earliest atomic nuclei appeared in the era of primordial nucleosynthesis, which began in the first seconds after the Big Bang and lasted several tens of minutes. At the same time, almost all the hydrogen available in the Universe was formed, a significant part of helium, a certain amount of lithium and an insignificant amount of beryllium and boron. All these chemical elements are light and are located at the very beginning of the periodic table.
The appearance of all the other atomic nuclei is somehow connected with the stars. New nuclei are formed in the bowels of all the stars without exception, as well as in the atmospheres of red giants, during supernova explosions and collisions of neutron stars.
What contribution does each of these processes make to the formation of certain chemical elements? This remains a matter of controversy.
The authors of the new study were the first to calculate the process of formation of all stable nuclei from carbon to uranium from first principles. This means that they solved the equations of nuclear physics in all their complexity, without resorting to simplifying assumptions.
These calculations made it possible to find out how much of this or that element is formed in a typical small star, in one supernova explosion, and so on. Based on this, scientists calculated the role of various celestial bodies and the events occurring with them in the huge chemical complex of the Universe.
It turned out, for example, that small stars that do not explode like supernovae produce half of all carbon in the universe. The second half falls on massive luminaries that end their lives in a supernova explosion.
It is supernovae, according to the authors, that supply the universe with iron. Moreover, half of it falls on explosions of massive stars, and another half – on type Ia supernovae, that is thermonuclear explosions of white dwarfs .
However, the most unusual result concerns gold. In previous studies, the origin of the noble metal was attributed to collisions of neutron stars. Now scientists have questioned this.
“Even the most optimistic estimates of the neutron-star collision rate simply cannot explain the apparent abundance of this element in the universe,” says co-author Amanda Karakas of Monash University in Australia. “It came as a surprise.”
However, astronomers already have their own version of the origin of gold. They speculate that the problem is in supernovae of an unusual type. Explosions of very massive stars with strong magnetic fields could provide space with the observed amount of gold, experts say.
At the same time, the authors do not deny the contribution of collisions of neutron stars to the synthesis of other chemical elements .
Mysterious signs in the middle of the Gobi desert
Is this part of China’s classified space program or another Chinese surprise?
For the first time, mysterious signs in the middle of the Gobi Desert, which is located in China, near the border with Mongolia, were seen in 2011. Seen, as is often the case in this century, using Google Earth. The program does not comment on the signs in any way, and no official reports from the Chinese government about exercises or tests in the Gobi Desert have followed.
There are several mysterious patterns, and each next one is even more mysterious than the previous one. Judge for yourself.
These two patterns resemble streets, only without houses, cars and shawarma stalls – in general, without everything that we are used to on the streets. Perhaps these street models were made in order to test weapons “in the city”. Then why not build houses? Or have the weapons already been tested, and this is all that remains of the “cities”?
Destroyed car park?
In this picture, those with an inquisitive mind and keen eyesight will make out destroyed cars. But why are they here? Perhaps they participated in weapons tests. Or is it just a warehouse of disused vehicles? But then why do we need large squares in the picture?
Of course, this is the first thing that comes to mind. And the most logical thing, even if there is no hint of airplanes in this picture. Okay, let’s say these are really runways. But why then is the right stripe so defiantly glowing?
The most mysterious pattern of all. A circular one, consisting of stones or small structures, in the center of the pattern at the time of shooting there are three planes. Anyone who has flown an airplane at least once cannot help but wonder: where is the runway? Indeed, if this is a kind of air base, then where is the runway?
After the images were released, The Telegraph spoke with defense expert Tim Ripley. He authoritatively stated that the circular pattern resembles a test site for jet weapons, something similar he saw at Area 51 in Nevada.
Since the images with the mysterious signs were published, the Chinese government has not bothered to reveal the purpose of these objects. (It did work to block Google Earth in China, but it did not work.) Moreover, in 2018, another mysterious pattern was discovered not far from the patterns listed above.
The new pattern was studied in detail in a video with the explanatory title “No one can still explain what was found in the Gobi Desert.” This time we are talking about cross “runways” surrounded by incomprehensible glowing circles, vaguely resembling an infinity sign.
According to the author of the video, if these are runways, then they have never been used. In addition, there are several dozen structures next to the runway that look abandoned. And here is the video itself:
What secrets are kept by the stones of pharaohs and kings
One of the most beloved topics of the yellow press of the last century was the scary tale of precious stones, a typical example of which is the story of the “curse of the Hope diamond.”
It was a beautiful blue diamond with a purple tint and looked something like this: The modern history of the stone began in the 17th century in India, where it was somehow obtained by the jeweler Jean Baptiste Tavernier. He brought the stone to France, where he sold it to King Louis XIV, after which Louis fell from the slope, injured his leg, got sepsis and died, and Jean Bastist himself had been eaten by dogs before that.
The next owner of the stone was Louis XV, who presented it to Madame de Montespan. After a couple of months, the king lost interest in Madame and she moved to a monastery, where she died. The king returned the gift and passed it on to Marie Antoinette, who was soon executed by fiery French revolutionaries. With this pebble in the pendant, she ascended the scaffold.
What happened to the revolutionary Jacques who stole the stone is unknown, most likely he died or was eaten alive by lice, but in 1813 the stone appeared in a jewelry store in London, where the Englishman Henry Francis Hope bought it – he began to show everyone the diamond, so he entered into history as the “Hope Diamond”.
But, as you might expect, Hope glued the flippers together and gave the diamond to his heir, Lord Francis Hope, who presented it to his bride. After that, the lord went bankrupt and was forced to descend to the plebeian hotel business, but his very first hotel burned down with his wife.
Then the stone was sawed and sold to new owners. One of them was American Evelyn Wolls McClynn. After that, her son died in a car accident, her husband ended up in an insane asylum, and Evelyn herself also went a little crazy and died. The second owners made it to America unsuccessfully, because they chose the Titanic as a means of travel.
Approximately the same fairy tale surrounds many famous stones. The balance with the bulldo in these fairy tales does not always converge, since the tales are invented by journalists for the money of jewelers: when the public learns that someone died from the stone, this leads to incredible enthusiasm and everyone rushes to look at the miracle, allowing the jeweler to make money out of thin air. However, these tales are based on the truth.
In particular, Hope’s diamond was stolen from the temple of the Indian goddess Sita, where it somehow decorated a statue. The energy of the stone was monstrous – sensitive people who took it in their hands sometimes fainted and then they were tormented by nightmarish visions for months.
But Sita was definitely out of business there. The topic was Indian priests who used temples and statues to collect energy from the flock: pilgrimage went to the temple for decades, prayed to one or another deity, and as a receiving matrix, the deity had a stone in its forehead or two stones in its eyes.
Then, when the stone was pumped up, it was replaced with a new one, and the old one began to be used in rituals. In particular, it could be presented to your own or a neighboring king in order to vacate the throne as soon as possible – the ruler who accepted such a gift would immediately die under certain circumstances.
In general, the magic of stones is a complex and poorly studied topic. Some people seem to be doing it, blowing some “secret knowledge” into the ears of adepts. Nevertheless, there seem to be some very interesting developments in the topic.
We will not compose an introduction to modern and, most likely, not very correct views of quantum mechanics, but in general terms we will recall and clarify. An electron in an atom rotates in two directions, as it were: on the one hand, it rotates around the nucleus (orbital angular momentum), on the other, around its axis (spin).
Therefore, if, in theory, you learn to change either the spin of an electron of a single atom, or the angular momentum, then the atom can be used as a cell for storing a unit of information.
The idea, of course, is quite crazy, but, as scitechdaily writes with reference to the just published scientific work, researchers from the Delft University of Technology managed, using a scanning tunneling microscope, to first capture an individual iron atom, then plant it astride a nitrogen atom, after what the orbital angular momentum of some of the electrons of the outer cloud has changed for the iron atom. Thus, an eternal unit cell of information was created:
Of course, experimenters are still quite a long way from creating a full-fledged storage ring – nevertheless, the direction of work is interesting. Most likely, they will not be able to write data to the atoms of crystals soon, but the technology for reading them already exists. And this opens up interesting perspectives.
If the guys from the Delft University of Technology came up with the idea of writing data into the atoms of the crystal, then the guys who lived long before them probably came to the same idea, and given the antediluvian technologies of the builders of magalitic structures, the idea was most likely implemented in practice. Therefore, many stones may turn out to be something like ancient flash drives that contain a lot of information about the ancient world. Perhaps that is why all the rulers collect stones with terrible power.
In addition, pebbles around which jewelers have created aura of horror stories, pebbles from places of worship of various kinds, and so on are also of interest. All these objects carry some kind of information that is inaccessible to analog devices. But now, when the technology appears that allows us to consider various rubies and diamonds as a digital massif, pebbles can tell a lot about the real story, and about the role of people in this story, and about the outside world in general.
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