Now, we are a good way to conduct the entire “human” experiment, and the first phase-the age of the explorer-is ending. We have mapped every piece of land to a certain level of detail, and we are digging into the secrets of ancient civilizations. The untapped wilderness is being moved by more and more people, turning the wilderness into a landmark.
Every year, as more and more people flock to these landmarks, the difference between settlement and tame becomes more and more obvious. Sometimes the land fought back and people died. Sometimes people just fight each other and die. Either way, after 300,000 years of settlement, there are many dead people in many truly cool places. These are ten of the landmarks. Whether it is a natural wonder or a man-made wonder, in either case, there are a large number of dead bodies.
What do you do when you run one of the world’s biggest metropolises, and you realize that you’ve accrued 2,000 years worth of bodies within your borders with nowhere to put them? We’ve all been there. And so has the French government.
By the 1700s, Paris was two millennia old, and some 6,000,000 people had lived and died within its borders. Its cemeteries were overflowing and to make more room, skeletons were being exhumed and stacked in cemetery walls. The (literal) tipping point came when sections of wall around Paris’s biggest cemetery Les Innocents collapsed, sending bones and bodies spilling into Paris streets.
The solution: empty tunnels and quarries beneath the city. Six million bodies were placed in these tunnels, and now their bones line the walls in neat stacks or in some places, ornate sculptures. It is a magnificent and ghastly display of death, and about one mile of it is open for public exploration. The rest has been ruled unsafe and is off-limits, but a quick YouTube search will show how many cavers and ghost-hunters ignore that restriction.