TIRADENTES, Brazil — A foreigner arriving here — a pristine baroque town in Minas Gerais, the site of Portugal’s colonial-era gold mines — may not know that it’s a place where cultural and social tensions are at a boiling point. Tiradentes is a major tourist destination, but much more importantly, it’s also where, for 21 years, Brazil’s pioneering indie film festival, Mostra de Cinema de Tiradentes, has brazenly set the course for the country’s cinema. Now the festival increasingly channels anger about the status quo.
Across northern South America, there are hundreds of colossal tunnels large enough for humans to walk through, but they weren’t dug by men. Nor they were formed by any known geological process. But their creators have left evidence all around the walls and ceilings—giant claw marks.
Geologists call these tunnels “paleoburrow,” and they are believed to have been dug by an extinct species of giant ground sloth.
A large paleoburrow in Brazil. Photo credit: Heinrich Frank
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