The 9 Weirdest, Most Disturbing, or Just Plain Confusing Virtual Tours
Oh, I can tour THAT? Wait, why?
We’ve been going on virtual tours of museums for months now. We’ve walked around gorgeous Parisian gardens, watched animals in their little habitats, and even stared at aquariums full of kelp. It was fun for a while, but perhaps at this time, we need a change. Enter these virtual tours, all of which will make you go, “Do I want to go there?” Which will probably be followed by an unimaginably long sigh and saying to yourself, “Fine. Yeah, show it to me. Show me literally just grass growing in a yard.” Here are nine of the weirdest virtual tours you can take right now from your home–and when you learn of their existence, it will certainly leave you asking, “Wait, there’s a virtual tour of that? Really? Why?”
Los Angeles [CC BY-SA 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons
The Paris Catacombs
WHERE: Paris, France
Want to get out of your house and into an underground grave of skulls? Well, the Paris Catacombs virtual tour is here for you during this time of need. Originally built as mining tunnels, the catacombs transitioned into a burial site when the Parisian cemeteries became overcrowded in 1786. Around six million bodies were exhumed and relocated her. Would you like to go on a virtual tour through that? Is that something you would like to do?
Abandoned Chernobyl City
WHERE: Pripyat, Ukraine
Is this really what you want to do right now? Is it? The world isn’t hard enough for your right now? Well, if you didn’t get your fix from HBO’s miniseries, then take a virtual stroll via the magic of Google Street View. Your virtual tour will take you through the desolate streets of Pripyat, the city ravaged by radiation and horror and then emptied completely of people post-Chernobyl disaster. You can go right on into the Exclusion Zone to witness how the city has been devoured by radiation.
WHERE: Pennsylvania, United States
Oh, you want to go to the street where the Silent Hill video game (and film) were set, do you? You feel like putting yourself into that world, hm? Well, all right. Although, I suppose this one is…kind of neat looking, isn’t it? This town in Pennsylvania is nearly abandoned–fires began burning here after a controlled garbage fire accidentally ignited a seam of coal in 1962. Residents didn’t immediately move out, but in 1984, when a child fell into a sinkhole and died, people realized how dangerous the place actually was and began to leave town. Only a few residents remain there today. Anyways, you can take a tour of this place via Google Street View.
Japan’s Cat Island
WHERE: Aoshima, Japan
OK, this one I get. Fully on board with this one. In fact, I’m making an executive decision here, everyone reading this is required to take this Google tour –trust me, this is for your mental health. Aoshima, also known as Cat Island, is a small island in Japan where there are more cats than people. Originally introduced to the island in 1945, these cats were sent to aid in the mouse problem that fishermen were experiencing. They stuck around, though, and now there are about 120 cats on the island (and fewer than 20 people). Let’s look at some cats.
WHERE: Friedrichshafen, Germany
OK, you lost me again. Sure, it’s super interesting, I get it, but isn’t there something with a happier history you want to look at right now? There’s not? Well, OK, then, let’s look at the Hindenburg, the airship that disastrously exploded in 1937. This Hindenburg is, obviously, not that version, but what it looked like before that happened. The Zeppelin Museum is the place to see this, and here you can walk through the museum and experience the ship in all its pre-“Oh, the humanity!” glory.
Black Dahlia Murder House
WHERE: California, United States
Seriously? All right, well, this Los Angeles house, known as the Sowden House, has been around since 1926 and is very famous–it’s featured in movies (including L.A. Confidential and The Aviator ) and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright. It’s also the home where suspected killer Dr. George Hodel lived in 1947 when he possibly murdered Elizabeth Short–the whole thing is dissected and depicted in the book by his son, who fully incriminates him with this investigation. Go ahead. Take a tour of the murder house.
Los Angeles [CC BY-SA 3.0]/Wikimedia Commons
A Huge Computer
WHERE: Tennessee, United States
This is a very specific tour meant for someone with a very specific set of interests. Summit is the world’s second most powerful, publicly ranked supercomputer, and now offers a virtual tour. Not only can you walk around the supercomputer itself, but you can walk through (get ready for this exciting news) the regular looking office building that serves as its facility! Welcome, all, to Building 5600, located inside of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Fascinating stuff. It’s like being back at the office, without being back at the office.
OLCF at ORNL [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr
Look at Some Bubbles in a Backyard
WHERE: Florida, United States
This is the Garden Bubble Cam, which is simply the backyard of a couple living in Florida where there are sometimes bubbles blowing around. They set up a camera for people to view the back patio of their home, where apparently there are supposed to be…bubbles? There is a disclaimer above the video saying that if there is “nothing going on” you can press the “Bubbles” button to make their “bubble machine” do a “short blast” of bubbles.
Watch Grass Grow
WHERE: Colorado, United States
OK, well…this is it. This is the ultimate cam. You literally just watch grass grow. A Colorado resident initially set this up so that he could monitor his own grass, but then turned it into a live feed. It’s pretty self-aware, though–at the time of my watching, there was a viewer count, where the screen read, “26 people are watching–YIKES!” Yikes, indeed. There are 26 of us just sitting here watching another man’s grass grow, in his yard, right now. This isn’t good. I need to get out of here, I need to stop watching this grass grow.
Courtesy of Mr. Grass at www.watching-grass-grow.com