Up the Mountain, Dead: Bodies on Everest

If you ever attempt to climb Mount Everest, you’re in for a treacherous trek: 29,029 feet of extreme temperatures, a lack of oxygen, and ascents that challenge the world’s greatest climbers.

Oh, and dead people. About 120 of them.

The problem with dying on Everest is that it’s too dangerous to recover the dead. Because of the mountain’s height, oxygen is scarce, and climbers are already exhausting their body’s energy reserves just to keep going. The injured have been left to die when rescue attempts fail; someone who’s already dead just isn’t worth the risk.

Instead, the bodies become a kind of landmark, macabre signposts for climbers making their way up the mountain. For example, this is “Green Boots”:


He was separated from his climbing group, and died under an overhang. He’s recognized by his distinctive boots, and climbers expect to find him lying there.

Unfortunately, another man, David Sharp, fell near where Green Boots still rests. Believing him to be the famous corpse, “Over 30 climbers passed by him as he sat freezing to death.” He, too, has joined the mountain dead.

At best, the bodies may be buried with nearby rocks. But if you die up there, you’ll be there forever.

Suddenly shoveling my driveway doesn’t seem so bad.

(Find more photos of Everest’s corpses at Altered Dimensions.)

Real Life Horror: Video of Simi Valley Sherri, Manson Family Member

“You do something, you do it, it’s done… Y’know, what can you do? [laughs] It’s done.
Y’know, sniffle about it another five years? What can you say? I’m sorry, [laughs] y’know, big deal.”

Real Life Horror: Eyeball Tattooing

You read that right. Not “eyeball tattoos”, as in tattoos of eyeballs.

Eyeball tattooing. As in tattooing your eyeballs.

With the red pictured above, it’s easy to believe that maybe I was misinformed. It looks like an injury. Or possibly a bad infection.

But what about now?

According to the The Eyeball Tattoo FAQ, the technique of injecting tattoo ink into the whites of the eye has been around, in its current incarnation, since 2007. The site estimates that “… there are several hundred people with tattooed eyes.” Several hundred people, including two convicts who tattooed each other’s eyes while in prison. Yum, sanitary.

You may have noticed by now that I have a thing about eyeballs. I wear contacts from time to time, but that’s about the most I can handle. Eyeball stuff freaks me out. And having sat for several large tattoos, I can’t imagine the sensation of a needle, even hand-held, repeatedly jabbing me in the eye.
It’s just…you only have one pair of eyes. I’m an incredibly visual person — reading, writing, knitting — everything I do relies on my vision.

Side effects of tattooing your eyeballs could include: blindness, years-long headaches, and permanent blurry vision or light sensitivity that cannot be treated. One guy ended up with a permanent black eye when his black ink leaked into the tissue under his eyeball.

It might look totally badass…

…and I will always support the right of people to modify their bodies as they wish, but I hope people think long and hard before trying this particular experiment, especially while it’s in its relative infancy.

(photos belong to Modblog/BME, where eyeball tattoos are far from the most extreme body modification. Some posts are extremely not safe for work or for minors; visit with caution.)

Cholera: Before and After

“1831 engraving of a young Venetian woman, aged 23, depicted before and after contracting cholera. Photograph: Wellcome Images”

This image was part of a collection called “Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life”, which sounds both revolting and fascinating. I’m sorry I missed it. Click here to read a detailed review of the collection by Laura Cumming, of the Observer.

Real Life Horror: Chilling Last Words

Everyone knows about the practice of allowing a death-row inmate their last statement before execution. But what I didn’t know, and you may not either, is that some of these are available for public viewing.

The speeches run the gamut from flat silence — having declined to say anything — to describing the feeling of the lethal injection taking hold immediately before death.

Some excerpts follow below; if you click the names you can find out about the crimes committed. I’ve bolded the bits that really chilled me:

Jerry Bird: “I don’t think so. That’s all. Go ahead. Start things rolling.” (Mouthed “Hi, Mom” to his mother.)

Jesus Romero, Jr.: When his attorney came into the witness room, he said, “Tell Mom I love her.” The attorney said back to him, “I love you, too.”

Jerry Lee Hogue: “Mindy, I’m with you, honey. I do not know why, Mindy, you are doing this, but I will still forgive you. You know he is a murderer. Why don’t you support me? He will do it again. Mindy, you are lucky you are still alive.
Give my love to my family. I love them. Mindy, you can stop this.
O.K., I’m ready.”

Michael McBride: [excerpt] “So, uh, I wanted you to hear me say that and I apologize and for any other grief I have caused you know, including the, ah, what you’re about to witness now. It won’t be very long. As soon as you realize that appear I am falling asleep. I would leave because I won’t be here after that point. I will be dead at that point. It’s irreversible. God bless all of you. Thank you.”

Clark, James: “Uh, I don’t know, Um, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know. (pauses) I didn’t know anybody was there. Howdy.”

Knight, Patrick: [excerpt] “I said I was going to tell a joke. Death has set me free. That’s the biggest joke, I deserve this. And the other joke is I am not Patrick Bryan Knight, and ya’ll can’t stop this execution now. Go ahead, I’m finished. Come on, tell me Lord. I love you Melyssa, take care of that little monster for me.”

John Alba: [excerpt] “Tell, everyone I love them. I’ll be OK. You will too. Remember what asked you. Give my love to the grandchildren. Tell Jake and Mia, Papa Alba loves them. Okay Warden, let’s do it, I love yall. I can taste it already. I am starting to go.”

Steven Woods: “You’re not about to witness an execution, you are about to witness a murder. I am strapped down for something Marcus Rhodes did. I never killed anybody, ever. I love you, Mom. I love you, Tali. This is wrong. This whole thing is wrong. I can’t believe you are going to let Marcus Rhodes walk around free. Justice has let me down. Somebody completely screwed this up. I love you too, Mom. Well Warden, if you are going to murder someone, go ahead and do it. Pull the trigger. It’s coming. I can feel it coming. Goodbye.”

Real Life Horror: Spider Babies

I’m not really an arachnophobe: spiders are generally fine as long as they’re not on me or above me. And I’m not a big fan of those little jumping bastards, because I’m afraid they’ll fly at my face.

But this. Oh God. Not only the multitudes of tiny spiders climbing all over the Mama spider, but the jagged little hairs on Mama’s legs. Blech. Why, Nature, why?

(gif from Regretful Morning; site has NSFW content)

Real Life Horror: The Moray Eel

Moray eels look like this:

“Creepy Moray Eel” by Michael Bentley

There’s something about them that makes me uneasy. They’re so…thick. Substantial. Meaty. Imagine scuba diving and looking down and seeing that big green monster right below you.

But that’s not the half of it.

From the front, they look like this:

both images from Gamestop.com

The “eyes” of the humanoid face you’re seeing are actually its nostrils, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy. Also? The green moray eel, pictured here, has two full sets of  jaws. Due to their bite mechanism,  “…the eel cannot release its grip even in death and must be manually pried off.”

See it in action below, and ask yourself why you ever thought it was a good idea to go into the ocean.