Photo of the day (9.23.10)

Some photos beg more questions than they answer. Flickr user Marisoleta snapped this statue in Nagasaki, Japan, and the caption notes that the figure is Kannon atop a turtle-shaped temple, surrounded by little children. Kannon is the Japanese Buddhist goddess of compassion, which may account for the children, but what about the turtle? She is also known as a protector of seamen, which could also extend to sea turtles. Fun fact: camera company Canon is named for the goddess as well. The temple also includes a Foucault’s pendulum, one of the largest in the world, to demonstate the rotation of the earth and a bell that chimes daily to commemorate the atomic bomb explosion.

Capture an interesting shrine on your travels, or any giant turtles? Submit to the Gadling Flickr Pool and it could be our next Photo of the Day.

Las Vegas Atomic Testing Museum

The next time your luck turns bad in Las Vegas, consider a healthy cathartic field trip to the Atomic Testing Museum.

Located just a few miles from the strip, this oddball museum celebrates the nuclear bomb testing that used to be held in the desert just 64 miles northwest of the casinos–close enough that gamblers could occasionally witness mushroom clouds rising in the distance. Yikes!

Today, visitors can pay homage to the area’s nuclear past with a visit to the museum for just $12. According to the website, the museum features “first-person narratives, large iconic artifacts, environmental re-creations, theatrical devices, and interactive elements for personal exploration.”

Not planning to be in Vegas any time soon? You can take the virtual tour here. For something really scary, roll your mouse across the Geiger counter collection. Personally, there is no scarier sound than this!

(via National Geographic Traveler)