Cliff Temples of India - Ellora Caves

Located in the Indian state of Maharashtra, the magnificent Ellora Caves are 34 structures excavated out of the vertical face of the Charanandri hills. An official UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ellora Caves consists of 12 Buddhist, 17 Hindu and 5 Jain temples and monasteries built between the 6th and 10th century.

They stand as a testament to the religious harmony prevalent during this period of Indian history. The Ellora Caves are the most visited ancient monument in the state and are a must-see for any tourists in the area. Enjoy the incredible photographs below with information on these historical monuments sprinkled throughout.







- The Buddhist caves (also called Vishvakarma caves) are the earliest of the Ellora Caves, dating from 500 to 750 AD. All except one are viharas (monasteries), which were used for study, meditation, communal rituals, eating and sleeping
- The caves become steadily larger and more elaborately decorated as they progress to the north, which scholars have explained by the growing need to compete with Hinduism for patronage
- The earliest Hindu caves at Ellora date from 600 AD, right in the middle of the Buddhist period






- Created during a time of prosperity and revival of Hindusim, the Hindu caves represent an entirely different style of creative vision and skill than the Buddhist caves
- The Hindu temples were carved from top to bottom and required several generations of planning and coordination to take shape. There are 17 Hindu caves in all, which were carved between 600 and 870 AD. They occupy the center of the cave complex, grouped around either side of the famous Kailasa Temple
- In contrast to the serene and solemn Buddhas of the earlier caves, the walls of the Hindu caves are covered in lively bas-reliefs depicting events from the Hindu scriptures. All of the caves are dedicated to the god Shiva, but there are also some images of Vishnu and his various incarnations






- The Jain caves, dating from the late 800s and 900s, are 2 km north down an asphalt road (rickshaws are available). They reflect the distinctiveness of Jain philosophy and tradition, including a strict sense of asceticism combined with elaborate decoration
- They are not large compared to others, but contain exceptionally detailed artworks. Many of the Jain caves had rich paintings in the ceilings, fragments of which are still visible











Desert Oasis in China - Crescent Lake

Located approximately 6 km (3.73 miles) from the outskirts of the city of Dunhuang in Western China, lies Crescent Lake, an incredible oasis in the Gobi desert. Known as Yueyaquan in Chinese, the crescent-shaped lake is a major tourist attraction where one of the world’s great shrines to Buddhism resides.

Designated a World Heritage Site, the lake has been shrinking since the 1970s and is now about a third of its original size. In the last three decades alone, the lake has dropped more than 25 feet. However, it has been reported that the government has recently taken steps to preserve the site and restore the depth of the lake to previous levels (unsure how well that initiative is going though).

An ancient city that once served as China’s gateway to the West, Dunhuang is now threatened by very modern demands. A dam built three decades ago to help local farming, combined with a doubling of the population, have overstressed a fragile desert hydrology that had been stable for thousands of years. As more people arrived, the underground water table that is the city’s main source of drinking water started dropping. [Source: New York Times, Wikipedia]

In the photographs below you will see both aerials and closeups of this incredible desert jewel. Let’s hope the lake doesn’t dry up and can be enjoyed by many future generations to come.














10 Photographs 0f Vicious Animal Fights

Mother Nature isn’t the kind-hearted, elderly matron that the hippies make her out to be. She’s, in fact, a remorseless, half-insane danger junkie with a taste for blood and death that would make an Ancient Roman wince. Don’t believe me? Then check out these ten scenes of animals pitted against each other in brutal combat, with Mother Nature watching from the sides and cheering wildly the entire time.

10. Bear vs. Tigers

It was just another, typical day for Maggie the bear (name changed to protect her identity), and she was just chilling out near the local watering hole in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India, when the unthinkable happened: a tiger appeared! Needless to say, Maggie was very surprised by this turn of events but didn’t let it show as she immediately charged the approaching feline and utterly kicked its fuzzy little behind. She then did it again, when a second tiger appeared to save his pal. Man, two tigers in one day? What is this, some kind of Tiger Reserve?

The whole situation was captured on film by Aditya Singh, but what you can’t see in the pictures is that Maggie attacked the ferocious tigers first to protect her two young cubs. Sometimes… a mother’s love can be a powerful thing. Also: “full of teeth and sharp claws.”

9. Lionesses vs. Lionesses

I know what you’re thinking. “Why is TopTenz showing me a screencap of a deleted scene from ‘Gladiator’? Also, should I get this growth on my neck checked out?” The answer to both of your questions is “no” (OK, so the first one wasn’t really a “yes or no” question but shut up, I’m trying to make a point). What you are seeing up there is actually a bunch of lionesses from the Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya having the most epic cat fight in the history of cat fights.

The picture was taken by wildlife photographer Steve Bloom who unfortunately could not confirm what the lionesses were fighting about. But I bet it started with a passive aggressive comment about how one of them has started to go a little grey-furred before the whole thing escalated into “The Real Housewives of the Serengeti.”

8. Eagle vs. Fox

Quick question: you are a majestic, deadly Golden Eagle enjoying a plateful of mouth-watering half-frozen-animal-carcass-on-the-ground, when a scrawny fox comes over and tries to join in on the feast. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?!

The answer: you grab that sucker by its hind legs and attempt to give it a quick first lesson in flying (warning: there is no lesson #2). And that’s exactly what is happening in this 2006 picture taken by Finish photographer Pekka Komi.

Please pay close attention to the fox’s expression here. If there ever was a more perfect example of an “Oh crap, maybe I shouldn’t have done this” face, I’ve yet to see it.

7. Zebra vs. Zebra

Zebras—generally recognized as the effeminate, gay cousin of the horse—are second only to panda bears on the list of animals you’re least likely to have nightmares about. Or at least they were before photographer Winfried Wisniewski came and ruined everything with this picture.

Just look at those two magnificent zebra bastards. There’s nothing cute or adorable about them. That’s pure, unrefined hatred and bloodlust in their eyes, and actual blood in their teeth. The scene was captured on film in Tanzania when the two males were fighting for supremacy in their herd, with their battle allegedly lasting for HOURS. It’s unclear whether the winner then ripped out the loser’s heart and ate it but I will go ahead and assume that, yes, that’s exactly what happened.

6. Zebra vs. Lion

Huh…you know what? Considering the previous picture, this one doesn’t even faze me that much. More so, considering that both of them were taken at the exact same place – the Ngorongoro Conservation area in Tanzania. I wouldn’t even be surprised if that zebra up there was the winner of the duel from the previous entry.

Immortalized by wildlife fanatic Thomas Whetten, the scene in the picture seems pretty self-explanatory. The lion was obviously all “Hey, zebra, Im’a eat u, K?” but then the Zebra was all like “ZEBRA KARATE” and wham, off goes the lion’s jaw. Like I said, pretty self-explanatory.

5. Wolf vs. Bear

Here’s a fun exercise. Take a look at this picture, quickly realize that it’s timed so perfectly it could easily have come from a Disney movie, and try to come up with a caption for it in the comments. The winner wins a year-long trip around the Sun. This one’s from me: “I LOVED HER, YOU BASTARD!”

A little background for the picture to get you in the creative mood: the photo was taken by Flickr user Anne-Marie Kalus in 2011, and shows a wolf challenging a bear to a fight over Bambi’s mother’s corpse. For the purposes of this contest, we will assume that the bear’s name is Trevor.

4. Crocodile vs. Hippos

The hippo is probably the greatest secretly badass animal in history. Yes it’s pudgy and goofy-looking, but it’s also one of the fiercest and deadliest predators on the African continent. So, you’d assume that other residents of Africa, like the crocodile, would have heard enough about hippos to not go out of their way to piss them off. Apparently this croc did not get the memo.

The scene captured in the image above by Vaclav Silha shows a crocodile that ventured too close to a herd of hippopotami, was quickly surrounded by them and then proceeded to lose his freaking mind. Seeing no other alternative, the outnumbered reptile actually tried to escape with his life by climbing over the attacking hippos’ backs.

You know what? I take back what I said about #8. This is the perfect example of an “Oh crap, maybe I shouldn’t have done this” face.

3. Hippo vs. Lionesses

“Open the door, hippo! It’s the Karma Police!” Here we see another work by Steve Bloom, this time showing a hippo who ventured a little too far away from the water and was suddenly surrounded by a pride of lionesses, all while being presumably taunted with “You’ve come to the wrong neighborhood, buddy.”

The gals then proceeded to maul the hippo to death and, by the looks of it, the hippo just sat there and took it like a chump. It’s probably worth mentioning that the lionesses did not attack him for food or anything like that; during that time there were loads of zebras or wildebeests around. No…they apparently tortured the hippo to death just for the fun of it. B***hes be crazy, yo.

2. Elephant vs. Crocodile

One time in Zambia, Martin Nyfeler decided to photograph a mother elephant with her child, when he captured something far more powerful: a selfless act of motherly love…as a killer crocodile jumped out of the water and tried to eat the baby elephant.

His mom, luckily, was having none of that nonsense. With the powerful jaws of the crocodile locked tightly around her nose, the mother elephant began to pull the croc away as far away from her child and the water as possible. For a long time, the reptile wouldn’t let go of her, probably constantly pleading with the mom with lines like “Come on, I’ll only eat him a LITTLE.” Still refusing to let the mama go, the crocodile was finally pulled out of water and the elephants made their escape. Since that day, the baby elephant has never refused to eat all of his vegetables or brush his teeth.

1. Buffalo vs. Lions vs. Crocodiles

And to cap off this tour de fear, we have a video! This particular animal fight came to be known as “The Battle at Kruger” but that’s only because the people who filmed it apparently have no imagination. This thing should clearly have been called “Battle Royale: Africa.”

The fight was filmed in 2004 at the Transport Dam watering hole in Kruger National Park, South Africa, by David Budzinski and Jason Schlosberg and, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that the whole thing was staged because it is just so perfect. The video kicks off with a couple of lions approaching a herd of Cape Buffalo and ganging up on a young calf because, as we’ve clearly established, lions are dicks. Then, when they accidentally knock the buffalo into the water, two crocodiles try to muscle in on their kill, and a regular tug of war between the lions and the crocs begins.

As the young buffalo was undoubtedly pondering just how many toddlers he must have murdered in its previous life to deserve this faith, the lions won the contest and were ready to eat the hell out of their prey. That’s when the buffalo herd returned and the whole scene went from Saw to Braveheart.

The charging buffalo attacked the lions like an angry hammer of the gods, even sending one of them FLYING into the air. And here’s the bizarrely happy ending: the young buffalo lived and even got to witness his herd chasing away the lingering lion, probably hurling insults at them the entire way.


Top 10 People Who Claimed Time Travel is Possible

For something that only exists as a theory so complex that no two people can actually agree on how it would work, time travel is immensely popular. So much so, in fact, that whenever some yahoo comes along claiming to be FROM THE FUTURE…OR THE PAST, WHICHEVERRRRR, people just wet themselves with excitement. And it doesn’t really matter how many times we’ve been burnt by fakes and hoaxes, we’re always ready to wet ourselves over the next big time lord. Observe:

10. Father Pellegrino Ernetti

In 1992, Father Ernetti claimed that he, a French Theologian named Francois Brune, and twelve famous scientists had, during the 1950s, invented a machine called the “Chronovisor,” which would revolutionize the study of history forever.

Of course, the Chronovisor isn’t an actual time machine, because that would be silly; it was more like a time window. The device allowed anyone using it to look anywhere into the past, and watch whatever events they desired.

Ernetti described speeches by Napoleon, scenes from ancient Rome, and a performance of “Thyestes,” a supposed lost play by Quintus Ennius. Also: the Crucifixion of Jesus.

Seems to be taking it rather well, actually.

It’s about this time you’ll notice that we have no images of the Chronovisor (also it’s sixty years later and you’re pretty sure that you would have heard of this by now). That’s because Ernetti never actually let anyone see his device. Also, those scientists? All but two were anonymous, and those two were dead at the time it was announced. Oh, and there’s also the little fact that Ernetti admitted on his death bed that he had written the play and faked the image of Christ…while still insisting that the Chronovisor worked. But you’re not allowed to see it.

So of course, this example is a hoax, unlike…

9. Billy Meier

Billy Meier’s interaction with aliens began in 1942 when he was only five years old. A Pleiadian by the name of Sfath came to him as a father figure, guiding him through life for eleven years before he died and was replaced by a woman named Asket. She too stayed with him for eleven years, before finally departing and giving Meier an eleven-year break from this kind of nonsense.

Then, on January 28th 1975, Meier met Semjase, the granddaughter of Sfath, and — wait, do you want us to back up?

Meier’s friends come from both far away (the Plejares star system) and the future — one fraction of a second in the future, from an alternate timeline in a parallel dimension. He also has only one arm, because of a bus crash. Yeah, that one came out of nowhere, didn’t it?

Meier has warned of an impending World War III several times — it was supposed to start in November of 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2011, and now just two years after four world leaders die within seven days of each other. Of course, this won’t happen if we “finally gain mastery over (our) reason and change (our) behavior.” In other words, it won’t happen if it doesn’t happen, but if it does it totally will, so watch out.

Anyway, after hanging out with Asket for a while, she decided it was time to take Meier back to meet Jmmanuel — who is, in fact, Jesus. They hung out for four days and talked about how much people have evolved in the past 2,000 years.

Okay so fine, that one’s a hoax too. Unlike…

8. Jacques Vallee

Dr. Vallee is a french scientist and advocate of the Interdimensional Hypothesis, which states that UFOs are actually visitors from other realities, or times, other than our own. He claims that what we now call UFOs are simply the contemporary manifestation of something that has occurred throughout human history — what we once would have called a sign from God, we now call a UFO.

Unlike other people on this list, Jacques does not claim to have traveled through time, but he has been witness to UFOs and therefore believes to have interacted with travelers from another dimension or time.

In 1979, he was brought on as a consultant for the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and even encouraged Steven Spielberg to make the film about interdimensional beings instead of aliens, but Spielberg thought that wouldn’t be as interesting to audiences.

7. Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain

Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain were two women who experienced what would come to be call the Ghosts of Petit Trianon. In August of 1901, while visiting the palace of Versailles, both women claim to have slipped over two hundred years into the past to 1792. They crossed a bridge and wandered through the Palace, and even saw Marie Antoinette and the Comte de Vaudreuil, before retiring to Jourdain’s apartment.

When they returned the next day, the bridge they thought they had crossed was gone. They first assumed they had stumbled into a private party or some other event they weren’t supposed to be attending, but their research uncovered nothing of the sort. Finally, they realized what they had done, and published their story, creatively titled An Adventure.

6. John Titor

John Titor was an anonymous forum goer, posting on several bulletin boards in 2000 and 2001, who claimed to be from the year 2036. He said he had traveled back to 1975 to get an IBM computer needed to debug a computer in 2036 (for some reason), but was making a personal stop in 2000 to visit his families and take pictures.

He offered no explanation as to why he had stopped at 2000, but did offer several predictions about the future. For example, a second American Civil War started in 2005, and 2015 saw the US getting the Hell nuked out of it by Russia.

So you know, watch out for that…and if you’re reading this after 2015, I’m sorry for being so flippant about the fact that we got nuked by Russia.

5. Bob White/Tim Jones

Back in 2003, hundreds of people around the internet started getting e-mails from someone who claimed to need an “AMD Dimensional Warp Generator module containing the GRC79 Induction Motor,” as well as some other…stuff. He had some links that went to websites, and was offering $5,000.

He was friendly, engaged in conversation, and even offered to explain some of the mechanics of his time travel and teleportation devices.

Eventually, someone offered him the warp generator, and was even given a time and place to meet them with the goods (the corner of Cummings Ave. and Village Street in Woburn, Massachusetts at 3:00 PM on July 28th, 2003). A few people went and waited, but there’s no record of anything out of the ordinary happening.

Hopefully, Bob/Tim got home. Or, failing that, is resting comfortably in a mental hospital.

4. Air Marshall Sir Victor Goddard

Though best known as the guy who managed to avoid death due to a crazy dream his friend had, Air Marshall Sir Victor Goddard had at least one other crazy adventure during his time in the Royal Air Force.

In 1935, Goddard was flying over an abandoned airfield in Drem near Edinburgh, when he encountered a weird storm. The turbulence almost caused him to crash, but he regained control of his plane and quickly flew out of the storm. At this point he discovered that, beneath him, Drem looked completely different: its hangers were new and refurbished, there were strange looking planes, and the uniforms of the mechanics were blue instead of brown. Goddard told some of his fellow officers about his experience, but when they didn’t believe it he decided to keep quiet.

Four years later, the RAF started using the planes Goddard thought he had seen, and switched their uniform color to blue. It wasn’t until the 60′s that Goddard decided to write his whole experience down.

There’s no tell if Goddard made the story up, suffered a coincidental hallucination or really traveled through time, but his experience is eerily similar to…

3. J. Bernard Hutton and Joachim Brandt

In 1932, two German newspaper reporters named J. Bernard Hutton and Joachim Brandt were hired to do a story on the Hamburg-Altona Shipyards. During their tour of the site, they, like Moberly, Bourdain and Goddard, suddenly had shared hallucinations of bombs exploding all around them, and anti-aircraft gunfire. They drove away in a panic.

Eleven years later, the exact same thing happened — only for real.

But here’s where it gets real freaky…

2. Doctor Ronald Mallett

Yes, that’s an actual PhD this guy has. Ronald Mallett is a professor of Physics at Connecticut University, and one of the few scientists who admits to believing time travel is possible. His passion for this study comes from two men: his father, who inspired him to pursue science, and Einstein — both of whom died the same year.

Using equations based on Einstein’s relativity theories, Mallett has come up with several experiments involving neutrons and circulating light beams and, possibly, time travel. He says that, if he got his experiments funded, he could have answers within a decade.

For just $250,000 (which is… surprisingly cheap, all things considered), Dr. Mallett says that he could get results. And this isn’t just crackpot nonsense; his ideas are published in peer reviewed journals.

Still, this all pales in comparison to…

1. Dr. Stephen Frickin’ Hawking

Yes, that Stephen Hawking. Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Lifetime member of the pontifical Academy of Science, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Simpsons guest star, and guy who says time travel is totally possible.

The idea is that nothing is perfect: no matter how smooth or flat something is, if you look close enough at it you will find “crevices, wrinkles and voids”. This is true for things in the first three dimensions, and could be true for time as well.

Non-hypothetical evidence is observed every day with our GPS satellites. Hardwired into each one is an intensely precise clock, but every single one of those clocks gains exactly a third of a billionth of a second every day — but only once the satellites are launched. This is because “time travels faster in space than it does down below.” Which means, that if we went to a black hole in the center of our solar system, we could slow the travel into the future aboard that ship by half. Adding to the possibilities, if we found a way to travel at 99 percent the speed of light, a single day could be a whole year of time on Earth.

That’s time travel. And according to really really smart people, it’s possible.