French newspaper Le Figaro has unearthed an incredible development from the first world war, revealing that French authorities built a life-size replica of Paris to the north of the city to trick German bombers.
According to Le Figaro, this pretend Paris featured streets with electric lighting and dummy buildings, a recreation of the famous Gare du Nord railway station and several landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe area and even approximations of outer industrial areas to complete the illusion of urban sprawl.
Paris II contained colored lighting to give the impression of factories in operation, fake trains and tracks, and was placed 15 miles from the centre of the city, on a stretch of the river Seine of roughly the same line as the city itself.
But this dummy city was never attacked. The war was coming to an end when the idea was dreamed up in 1918, the German bombing stopped, and this alternate city was disassembled. [Telegraph via Gizmodo UK]