The Agate Cup of the Ptolemies

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The Cup of the Ptolemies (Coupe des Ptolémées) is an onyx or chalcedony cameo two-handled cup (kantharos).

The two-handled cup, one of the acknowledged masterpieces among hardstone carvings or engraved gems of Antiquity, was carved with Dionysiac vignettes and emblems, probably in Alexandria during the 1st century BC or the first century after.

It gained its reputed connection with the Ptolemies in the description by Jean Tristan de Saint-Amant (1644),[4] who believed that this vase was made to the command of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (died 246 BC).

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The Coupe des Ptolémées figured in the coronation of the French monarch, at which, according to S.G. Millet, the queens “take ablution from this chalice, after holy communion”.

It was stolen in 1804, and recovered without its Carolingian gem-studded gold mountings [these were not part of the original piece, but added in the Early Middle Ages.

As well, H.P. Lovecraft mentioned it in the treatise Supernatural Horror in Literature.

Via Wikipedia.

The 200kg Noruma’s Jellyfish

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Growing up to 2 m (6.6 ft) in diameter and weighing up to 200 kg (440 lb), Nomura’s Jellyfish reside primarily in the waters between China and Japan, primarily centralized in the Yellow Sea and East China Sea.

Like other species of jellyfish, population blooms appear to be increasing. Possible reasons for the population increase in Nomura’s Jellyfish include climate change, overfishing, and coastal modification adding substrate for asexually producing polyps.

In 2009, a 10-tonne fishing trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba on Tokyo Bay as its three-man crew tried to haul in a net containing dozens of Nomura’s Jellyfish; the three were rescued by another trawler.

Yes, you read that correctly. A trawler was actually capsized trying to drag a net with these in it. Jellyfish 1. Humans 0.

Photo via The Earth Story on Facebook.

Quoted text via Wikipedia.

Hand Written Wills of Fallen Soldiers from the First World War

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The wills, which laid out how soldiers’ estates should be administered if they were killed in battle, were kept in a pocket service book tucked into their uniform.

More than half the soldiers sent to the frontline were wounded and a quarter never returned home.

The WW1 wills form part of an archive of 41 million wills preserved by data storage company Iron Mountain on behalf of HMCTS. As part of a 25-year contract, Iron Mountain stores all English and Welsh wills dating to 1858.

Available digitally (for a price, and you have to know the exact name) from Gov.uk via History Extra.

The Seagaia Ocean Dome Indoor Beach of Japan

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The Seagaia Ocean Dome (シーガイアオーシャンドーム Shīgaia Ōshan Dōmu?), was one of the world’s largest Polynesia-themed indoor waterpark, located in Miyazaki, Miyazaki, Japan.

The Ocean Dome was officially closed on October 1, 2007 as part of a renovation and partial re-branding of the resort.

The Ocean Dome sported a fake flame-spitting volcano, artificial sand and the world’s largest retractable roof, which provided a permanently blue sky even on a rainy day.

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Top photo via Some Amazing Facts on Facebook. Other photos from the Wikipedia article below.

Via Wikipedia.