And when I say “leaning,” I mean “woah holy crap somebody prop that thing up or get out of the waaaay”: The 12-Century Wonder and Mystery of Afghanistan

Built back in 1190s by the once great Ghorid empire, this enigmatic and intricately-ornamented ancient “skyscraper” stands like a missile pointing at the stars – a 65-meter high minaret, the second biggest religious monument of its kind in the world.

Originally it was topped by the lantern – making it a sort of the dry land lighthouse (!), surrounded by the 2400m high mountains.

Amazingly, this imposing structure was standing forgotten for centuries… until rediscovered in 1886 by Sir Thomas Holdich; then forgotten again and rediscovered in 1957. Then the Soviet invasion in 1979 again prohibited access to the area, and since then only a handful of people from outside of Afghanistan have seen the minaret, because of its middle-of-nowhere location (check its coordinates on Google Maps)

Click through for pictures. It’s quite lovely. And I’m sure now that anyone’s heard about it the Taliban will blow it up.