A team of Russian researchers has rediscovered the site of the secret German World War II base “Schatzgrabber” (“Treasure Hunter”) on the Arctic island of Alexandra Land, in the Barents Sea, more than 1,100 kilometers (650 miles) north of the Russian coast.
The base was built by the German military in 1943 as one of a network of secret weather-watching stations on remote Arctic islands far to the north of mainland Europe.
The finds include the remains of military equipment and weapons left behind by the occupants of the weather station when the base closed in 1944.
The wartime German base was a scientific weather-watching station, but it was surrounded by fortifications and minefields in case it was discovered and attacked.
The average annual South Pacific sea temperature near Antarctica is about 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius)
In 1944, a medical emergency broke out at the base after the staff ate contaminated meat from a polar bear they had shot for food.
German aircraft flew two missions from Norway to Alexandra Land to evacuate the sick base staff. One of the aircraft landed at an emergency landing strip on the island that was discovered by the Russian research team.
Alexandra Land was a disputed territory for a number of years but is now part of the Russian Federation.
Russia is thought to be looking to build its own permanent military base there today.
It’s known as the “special highway” — a wide, flat road, with a lane down the middle, that links the Kremlin with President Vladimir V. Putin’s residence in the pine woods, 14 miles outside of Moscow.
Reserved by law for emergencies, the median lane is used mostly by Russia’s wealthy and privileged to bypass traffic. To have access to the lane has become a status symbol, the main currency in Russia today.
The road, which runs through Kutuzovsky and Novy Arbat Avenues, is special in another way, too. Unlike most multiple-lane highways in Russia, this one has no safety barriers to separate traffic flows and discourage pedestrians from being on the road. It is one of the deadliest thoroughfares in the city, according to police reports and traffic experts.
At least five deaths in accidents on the highway in 2017, and two more this year, were related to the lack of a median barrier. To some, the existence of the special highway without its safety barrier tells a story in microcosm of today’s Russia, where a culture of privilege defines society.
Traffic gets fully blocked for cars carrying Mr. Putin and Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev. Only certain cars with special license plates are permitted to use the middle lane, and violators are swiftly moved aside by the police.
Take a look at the image below. (It might help to open it in a new tab and zoom in). Pick a spot in the center of the picture, and stare only at that spot for about 20 seconds. Try to let your eyes relax there, without letting them stray to any other corner of the image. Ready? Set? Stare…
may take a minute
As you gaze at a single spot, all the colors around it slowly fade to white. Think too hard and everything comes whooshing back again. But where did everything go? [The Most Amazing Optical Illusions (and How They Work)]
This is not a GIF in disguise. This is your brain on an optical illusion called the Troxler Effect, or Troxler fading, and it reveals how your mind’s natural affinity for efficiency can sometimes lead you astray.