Here’s a game I play on the web.

There are metric tonnes of sights that gather curious / interesting / weird stories be it mentalfloss, neatorama, Random Good Stuff, Holy Kaw

It must be a business, track eyeballs for advertisers, make stuff spreadable, hoping it hits the viral google juiced jackpot. Pretty much they sift it from elsewhere, but at least for the most part they are good about putting at the bottom a link to the source.

The game I like playing (because of my low level of amusement or lack of literacy pursuits) is to walk back and see how many sites I can click through until it hits a source of someone who actually posted it themselves.

Maybe I need a hobby.

I had an example saved in a folder that I accidentally tracked, and have been hoping another chain would reveal itself today.

It’s funny how the tracks go. First, Alec Couros tweeted out a link to a blog post from one of the #tiegrad students who was present for a web storytelling session I did for them last week.

Heidi’s Story Time post had some reflections I appreciate, and as well a shared creative activity she has done in teaching her students spelling. It’s really a super idea.

But the image she included as a link for that activity was worth following, and sent me on a journey down the web hole, a link for abandoned cars in Belgium, leading to a post on Boredpanda (one I had not heard of, it is a big internet)

bored panda

The story has 95,000 facebook likes.

These spooky apocalyptic images are not a scene from “Walking Dead”, they were actually taken at one of the biggest car cemeteries in the world – the Chatillion Car Graveyard, Belgium.

According to an urban legend these cars were left behind by US soldiers from World War II, who could not ship them back to the US so they decided to hide them in a forest until they could come back and retrieve them. The locals disagree and say that it’s simply an old car dump of vehicles made after the WWII.

At one point there were four car graveyards in Chatillon with as many as 500 retro vehicles. Unfortunately, most of the cars were stolen or removed by the locals and due to environmental issues the whole graveyards was cleared in 2010.

The photos are stunning, and while Bored, that Panda does provide clear attribution for the photos (although I did not seem to find the photo below in the site it was attributed to and they also seem to have cropped out her watermark, compare)

old cara

But the Bored Panda post does give a “h/t amusing planet” (a site with a tag line “Amazing Places. Wonderful People. Weird Stuff”) for this post on Chatillon Car Graveyard in Belgium (December 19, 2012)

amusing planet

This post asserts the story that the cars were abandoned by US soldiers in World War II. The layout is different different photo selection. it was shared 91 times on flickr, 126 +1s on Google Plus, and 2500 shares in facebook.

Because data matters.

Again photo credit is provided by link. All of the photos I saw from flickr were marked “All Rights Reserved” so I must guess / hope that Amusing Planet and Bored Panda and 9whatever site comes next) either got permission for use of the photo or paid for use??

The Amusing Planet site gives credit to a Behance gallery The Car Graveyard by Stefan Beernaert, who I might gather took the photos (and added the “bonus” feature of bikini topped models).

it has 1871 views and 21 appreciations.

This site links to some other photographer’s site called foantje, an exhibit there (with ominous background music( called “Vroem Vroem”.

The photos are all ©2015 and visitors to the site are welcomed:

This site is not responsible for any accidents or problems caused by the information and pictures on this site.

Exploring is dangerous and I would never advise anyone to do this hobby.

And here I am out of trail. I am not even sure this was a trail. It’s not at all like the sites are the same, some are collections of photos of these cars by multiple persons, some just one photographer’s collection. Each has slightly different (or none) background story, none again exactly a like.

I do find it interesting to trace sources back from the link honey pot sites. Often you find interesting sidelights. I try to avoid giving reference to the kinds of sites at the top of the chain (and if they have any tracking cruft in their URLs I remove them).

This is what I do.

I walk the web.

top / featured image credit cc licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by James C. O’Sullivan:

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

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