Farwell to Doggerland
Happy HumpDay! Another week and another HumpDay Newsletter. Perk up your week with some fun facts and interesting stories! As always, check out the HumpDay website at HumpDayNewsletter.com and follow the official HumpDay Instagram!
Being a running back in football is one of the most demanding and physically taxing positions in all of sports. The running back has to be fast, strong, nimble, and a glutton for punishment when running full speed into a crowd of players looking to tackle them. One characteristic of a good running back that we often hear on TV and radio broadcasts is that a player is a “North-South Runner” meaning that they run fast and hard straight ahead instead of trying to run away or around other players. It sounds like a nice euphemism to show that a player runs straight ahead but the truth behind the phrase is much more literal.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Designers of football stadiums are conscious of where the sun will be during football games. To prevent the glare from the sun being a factor that affects the vision of the players on the field, stadium designers have built football stadiums with one end zone in the north and one end zone in the south. That way, the sun cuts across the stadium from sideline to sideline and instead of endzone to endzone. Players literally advance the ball north and south throughout the game which is where the term “North-South Runner” originated.
Although the sun still affects some plays, imagine if the field ran east to west. One end zone would a blazing sun coming through the uprights while the other was totally normal. One team would be completely blind and the other would be fine. Maybe players and coaches would have to wear sunglasses. That could be pretty cool.
The lost city of Atlantis is a mystery that has confounded historians and conspiracy theorists alike for Millenia. First discussed by the Greek philosopher Plato, the lost city of Atlantis is said to be an ancient city that suddenly sunk into the sea after some natural, or supernatural, event. Problem is, Atlantis is not real despite what people on the History channels Ancient Aliens show may say. The interesting thing is, there is a very cool ancient civilization that has a similar story to Atlantis but doesn’t get the publicity. Welcome to the story of the lost continent of Doggerland.
Doggerland is not a colony of self sufficient and overly intelligent dogs (although that would be cool) but rather a prehistoric landmass that suddenly sunk to the bottom of the sea about 8,000 years ago. The area known as Doggerland was a landmass that connected east coast of England to the peninsula of Denmark (what is today known as the North Sea). The area was marked with sloping hill, marshlands, heavily wooded areas and contained various prehistoric human tribes.
Sometime around 6,000 B.C.E, the last ice age ended, and the earth’s climate began to warm up. The warming climate caused a fracture in a glacier that displaces and incredible amount of water. The glacial fracture caused a sudden megatsunami and sent a sea of arctic water rushing toward northern Europe. The massive rush of water completely submerged the lowland area of Doggerland and wiped out the continent and all of its civilizations. Areas with higher elevation like modern day England, France, and Denmark were spared from the sudden rush of water but the shape of Europe was never the same.
Archeologists that have excavated area of Doggerland submerged under the North Sea have found primitive tools of the people that once lived there as well as pottery and weaponry. Today, fishermen in the North Sea still report finding ancient bones in their fishing nets from the ancient civilizations of Doggerland.
The lost, highly advanced colony of Atlantis may make for interesting stories but can you imagine being a hunter-gatherer looking for food when a giant wave comes and wipes out your whole continent? That is the Hollywood movie that we all want to see.
The film The Wizard of Oz is one of the most successful and influential movies in history. With it’s fantastic setting and revolutionary use of Technicolor, The Wizard of Oz changed the art of cinema forever. What most people don’t know is that the 1939 film is based on a novel by L. Frank Baum titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Like the movie, the book follows a girl named Dorothy and her friends, the scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, as they make there way across the majestic world of Oz. Unlike the movie, L. Frank Baum’s book is much darker and much less kid friendly especially with the story of the Tin Man.
In the 1939 movie, the Tin Man was a walking, talking, and singing metal man that was built by a master craftsman. The only part of the Tin Man that the craftsman didn’t make was a heart, so the Tin Man spent his life feeling hollow inside. One day while chopping trees in the woods, a sudden storm came through and the rain caused the Tin Man’s joints to rust, leaving him frozen in place until Dorothy came by to help him move again.
The Tin Man from the book was known as the Tin Woodman and has a similar, albeit darker origin story. The Tin Woodman was originally just a regular old woodsman named Nick Chopper, who made an honest living chopping trees in the forest. One day, the Tin Woodman came across a munchkin woman and the two immediately fell in love. Unfortunately for him, the munchkin woman was a servant of the Wicked Witch of the West and the wicked witch did not want to lose one of her servants to some man.
In order to keep the couple from marrying, the wicked witch cursed the Tin Woodman’s axe. Every time he would swing his axe to chop a tree, the axe would veer off course and lop one of the his limbs. First his arms, then his legs, and eventually his torso and head. Each time the cursed axe would chop of a part of the mans body, the man would visit a local tin smith and have the smith build him a prosthetic made out of Tin. Over time, the Tin Woodman’s entire body was chopped off by the cursed axe and replaced with Tin. The only body part that the tin smith couldn’t replace was the mans heart. Without a heart the Tin Woodman couldn’t marry the munchkin woman that he loved so just like his movie counterpart, the Tin Woodman set off to meet the wizard to get a new a heart.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz goes on to have much darker and stranger events than what was featured in the movie, including the slaughter of multiple animals, but what is universally terrifying across the book and film is those damn flying monkeys.
This Week in History
On this week in 1954, the famous immigration center at Ellis Island shut its doors after more than 60 years of welcoming immigrants into America. Ellis Island had processed more than 12 million immigrants since it opened in 1892 and was the end of a long journey to America. Immigrants’ experience at Ellis Island was not a pleasant one as they were subject to intense screening and long wait times but for most it was the gateway to America.
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