08 December 2010

Strange sights from around the world... erm...neighborhood

A few days ago I came across a pair of excellently bizarre sight-seeing websites that I thought I'd pass along-- the Atlas Obscura, which modestly claims to be "a compendium of this age's wonders, curiosities, and esoterica; and Roadside America, "Your online guide to offbeat tourist attractions."

A few local tidbits:

The Summum Pyramid, SLC, UT 
"Pyramid home to obscure religious group which practices modern mummification"


From the Atlas Obscura:  "In 1975, Claude Corky Nowell said he had an encounter with highly intelligent beings he called "Summa individuals" who revealed to him the true nature of the universe. Corky promptly changed his name to Summum Bonum Amon Ra -- though he goes by the more casual Corky Ra -- and founded the "Summum" religion.

Based out of Salt Lake City, the Summum (Summus is Latin "highest," and Summum is a play on that) religion has its own principles of creation and laws of learning. To an outside observer, Summum resembles a blend of science fiction (encounters with aliens and cloning), new age mysticism and a blend of ancient religions.

A particular peculiarity of the church is that it practices modern mummification. They hold that mummification allows for a soul to smoothly depart from our world to the next. Additionally, they claim the modern mummification process they use preserves the cells and enables them to be cloned in the future."

Metaphor, the Tree of Utah, Wendover, UT 

From Roadside America: "Metaphor is an 87-foot tall sculpture poking up out of the white plains of the Bonneville Salt Flats. The Tree was created in the early 1980s by European artist Karl Momen. It is also known as "Metaphor: The Tree of Life." It was dedicated in 1986 as 'A hymn to our universe whose glory and dimension is beyond all myth and imagination.' Artist Momen doesn't have to look at it; he bought patch of land, built the thing, and went back to Sweden."

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