‘Hotel of Doom’ Has Never Had a Single Guest

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In the heart of Pyongyang, North Korea stands a towering structure that’s captured the curiosity of the world for decades. The Ryugyong Hotel, often dubbed the “Hotel of Doom,” has been around since the 1980s, but has never had a single guest.

The Ryugyong Hotel

Construction on the Ryugyong Hotel began in 1987, with a goal to create the world’s tallest hotel. Designed in a pyramid shape, the hotel was intended to be a symbol of North Korea’s prowess and modernity, boasting over 100 floors and thousands of rooms. The initial plans were to complete construction in time for the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students. However, as the years passed, the progress of the hotel faltered. Economic crises and inner turmoil within North Korea led to significant delays, halting construction just as the hotel reached its planned height in 1992.

The Hotel of Doom

In a bid to salvage the project, efforts were made in the early 2000s to re-do the exterior in metal and glass, at a cost of millions of dollars. Yet, despite these changes, the hotel remained empty. In a fleeting moment of hope, German hotel group Kempinski announced plans to manage the Ryugyong Hotel in 2012, signaling a potential opening on the horizon. However, these aspirations were short-lived, as the company withdrew from the project mere months later, leaving the hotel’s fate once again uncertain. In recent years, sporadic attempts have been made to revitalize the Ryugyong Hotel, including the installation of LED lights and a sign bearing its name. Yet, nothing seems to work.

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As of now, the Ryugyong Hotel stands empty, leaving many to wonder if its doors will ever open to the world.

Population of Lions in India Grows in Gujarat & Leads to Demand of New Sanctuary

The Lion Population Has Grown!

The wildlife community has recently delivered some amazing news! Word has spread that the population of Asiatic lions in India has gone up over the years. Living currently at the Gir National Park, Gujarat, the lion population of India has increased from 359 in 2005 to 523 in 2015. Internationally, there are currently only two places where you can find lions in their natural habitat: India and Africa.

Feline Hotspots

The northern lion subspecies, including the Caspian, Barbary, and Asiatic lions, once populated the Earth everywhere, from India to West Africa. Over the years, the more regionally specific groups evolved to have distinct genetic markers. While Asiatic Cheetahs can only be seen in Iran presently, India is the only host to the Asiatic lion. When the news broke that the population might need a place to expand, the neighboring states of India showed interest. However, for now, Gujarat will remain the sole state having any lion population. The Barda Wildlife Sanctuary has been named to become the second protected region on Earth to have lions for people to see.

Efforts for Protection

Efforts for Protection

Due to the rapid decline in their numbers, efforts have been made to conserve and, if possible, increase the feline population in the country. Specifically the tigers, lions, and cheetahs. There was a ruling by the Indian Supreme Court in 2013 where it ordered the shift of a portion of the lions to another location. The reason behind this is the danger of the spread of diseases along with the other overall security risks for the whole lion population. Through the years, governments have also used schools to raise awareness about these issues. Additionally, for a long time, in the state of Gujarat, India, there have been conservation plans in place to protect these lions. Over time, this has resulted in such a population growth of lions that they now need additional sanctuaries to live and prosper further.