Welcome to the World’s Most Controversial Pet Shop

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NOAH: The Inner City Zoo is a Japanese pet shop condemned by animal activists for caging and selling penguins, meerkats, alligators, monkeys and other exotic animals.

Located in a cramped room, on the second floor of an office building in Yokohama, NOAH: The Inner City Zoo is hardly the kind of place you’d think of keeping exotic animals. But ever since 1999, NOAH (Nature Orientated Animal House) has been the go-to source for all kinds of unusual pets, from alligators to otters and cranes. Many of them are endangered in their natural habitats, but that doesn’t seem to raise any red flags with Japanese animal protection authorities, and neither does the fact they are all being kept in tiny cages, with barely enough space to move around. The controversial pet shop’s clientele also seems to ignore the improper conditions, and spends thousands of dollars on unique pets.

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The Fragile Porcelain House of Tianjin

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Zhang Lianzhi, a 50-year-old porcelain collector from Tianjin, China, has spent four years decorating an old house with hundreds of millions of ancient porcelain fragments and tons of natural crystals. It’s now known as the Porcelain House or Yuebao House.

The Porcelain House of Tianjin opened its gates to the public on September 2nd, 2007, onChifeng Street in Heping District. The old French-style building has a history of over 100 years. It was originally the home of a central finance minister in the late Qing dynasty, and was later converted into a bank, after the founding of New China, in 1949. But after the bank changed its location, the beautiful building was left deserted for several years, until porcelain collector Zhang Lianzhi bought it for 1 million yuan ($160,000). He then spent the following four years turning it into a unique edifice, decorated with porcelain dating from the Tang (AD 618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Now the Porcelain House is the most eye-catching building in Tianjin, and one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

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High-School Teacher Creates Whiteboard Masterpieces During His Lunch Breaks

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Minnesota-based artist Gregory Euclide creates amazing impermanent artworks in just 25 minutes, during the lunch breaks at the high-school where he teaches.

As unbelievable as this might sound, Gregory Euclide actually washes away the whiteboard masterpieces he draws every day, to make room for new ones. In an interview with Minnesota Original, the art instructor says his unusual habit of drawing on whiteboards started as a way to release stress after teaching 38 students an hour, five hours a day, for 8 months. He was beginning to feel a little restless so he decided to give himself 25 minutes every day to finish sketches he enjoyed drawing. He would use sumi ink, brushes, spray bottles, erasers, paper towels and pretty much anything else he could get his hands on around his desk.

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Optical Illusions at South Korea’s Awesome Trick Eye Museums

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Planting a kiss on Mona Lisa’s cheek, riding the legendary Pegasus and even getting peed on by a baby, it’s all possible at one of South Korea’s Trick Eye Museums.

I’ve never been to Korea, but apparently people there, like the Japanese, love to take photos of themselves with cool stuff, so it’s no wonder they’ve created a bunch of tourist attractions where people can immortalize themselves doing the craziest things. They’re called “trick eye museums” and feature various well-executed trompe l’oeil (French for “deceive the eye) artworks that either look like they’re coming out of the frame, or that you’re stepping in. If you manage to get a shot from the right angle, you can get some really cool photos of yourself interacting with the paintings. Judging by the photos I’ve found, these places are lots of fun.

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Digital Artist Creates Realistic Version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

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Ever wondered what the sky must have looked like when Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night? Well, Alex Cruz has and he even created his own realistic-looking version of the post-impressionist’s masterpiece, using Photoshop.

“I’ve often wondered about how the night ski looked to Van Gogh when he painted Starry Night,” Ruiz said. “I wanted this piece to be somewhat magical and fantastic, not just a normal night painting. Hence the large moon, large stars, transparent clouds, etc., yet keeping a mostly realistic feel to it.” I don’t know how long it took the Dutch artist to finish his famous artwork, but Ruiz did his in just 7 hours, using matte painting techniques in Photoshop. Art sure has come a long way since the 1800s.

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Belgian Artist Creates Elaborate Dresses Out of Simple Sheets of Paper

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Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave can use sheets of paper to create incredible garments many designers can’t really make out of fabric.

At first glance, Isabelle de Borchgrave’s creations seems made of expensive materials like silk, pleated cotton and damask, but in reality, her 18th century-inspired garments are made exclusively from paper. The Brussels-based artist painstakingly glues every “seam”, crumples, irons and fluffs paper to make it look like real lace and created buttons out of tiny rolls of paper, ultimately creating designer masterpieces you simply must see to believe they’re real. In her able hands, flimsy pieces of paper can become anything from ribbons to jewelry and feathers, a talent that makes de Borchgrave “unique”, according to French designer Hubert de Givenchy.

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Bovine Boarding at Pakistan’s Traditional Bull Races

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If you think surfing and snowboarding are extreme sports, then you’ve probably never seen what happens in Pakistan, during traditional bovine races. It involves bulls, a board and dirt.

Tens of thousands of people gather whenever there is a bull race held in Pakistan. They are usually the highlight of festivals organized in rural areas of the Asian country, and attract lots of spectators due to their thrilling nature. Watching a bunch of oxen running alongside each other might not be your idea of a fun time, but add a man on riding a board on a dirty track trying to guide the animals, and things become pretty exciting. The traditional competition  attracts landlords and farmers from all around the province where the race is held, and they all bring their fastest and strongest bulls in hopes of gaining a reputation.

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A “Bald” Art Movement – Artist Uses His Head in the Name of Art

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A few years ago, when he started to go bald, English artist Philip Levine decided he didn’t want to shave his head like everyone else. Instead he opted to turn it into a canvas for his art. That’s how the “headism” art movement was born.

While other complain about losing their hair, young Philip Levine looks at the full half of the glass: being bald gives him full freedom in a very specific and original way. Ever since he started shaving his head, in 2006, he began using it as a canvas for his various design ideas, and soon trend websites started posting photos of his bald artworks. In 2009 he realized his head was becoming and inspiration in the art world and decided to put on a show. Ever since then, his name and the headism art he pioneered have become iconic withing London’s art and fashion scenes.

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Artist Turns Dirty Bed Sheets into Inspiring Portraits

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Only a week ago we featured the stunning portraits Kumi Yamashita creates with a single sewing thread wrapped around nails. That’s when we discovered some of her other impressive masterpieces. Today we present her dirty bed linen artworks  made with dirty army boot prints.

Most of us would like to have clean bed sheets all the time, but even the most obsessed cleanliness freak would let Kumi Yamashita trample all over his bed. The talented Japanese artist turns the cotton bedroom accessory and turns into a canvas for her footprint portraits. I’m not sure if she actually puts the shoes on her feet and creates the artworks with her feet, or just handles them with her hands, but regardless of her technique, the “Someone Else’s Mess” series is one of the most original I’ve ever seen.

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Japanese Girl Takes Body Art to Photoshop Levels

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Look at the photo below. I know what you’re thinking, photoshopped, right? Not exactly, although this person doesn’t really need a change of batteries, the photo hasn’t been digitally altered. It’s just the creepy/cool body art of Chooo-San.

Chooo-San discovered her talent for body art during a gap year studying for university admission exams. While taking breaks from her studies, she would often draw eyes on her hands. Soon, her doodles started getting better and better, so she moved on to create even more bizarre body modifications. Using only acrylic paint, the young Japanese girl can turn herself into a creepy mutant with several pairs of eyes covering her face, or a robot with integrated batteries and LCD display.

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The Photo-Like Charcoal and Graphite Drawings of Robert Longo

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New York-based artist Robert Longo creates detailed charcoal drawings that look amazingly photo-like. If you thought your sketches were pretty good, wait till you see what this guy can do.

You know when you look at a photo and you say to yourself “this looks too good to be true”? Most of the time Photoshop is to blame, but Robert Longo decided to create his own black and white photographs, the hard way. Instead of a few mouse clicks, he uses charcoal, graphite and paper, spending hours-on-end to create incredibly realistic works of art. You don’t need to be an expert to figure out Longo is an exceptional artist, but he has captured the attention of the art world, and his works have been exhibited in galleries around the world.

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Welcome to the World’s Craziest, Most Controversial Zoo

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At the Lujan Zoo, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, visitors can do much more than admire wild animals from a distance. They can ride on the backs of wild lions, feed tigers or hand-feed cheetahs.

You couldn’t pay me enough to get up close and personal with a full-grown lion, but apparently there are people out there who can’t wait to get into a cage with it, and at the Lujan Zoo they get to do just that. Daredevils can feed grapes to the grizzly bears or even allow them to use their tongues to pick up the fruits from between their lips, pet elephants, ride on the back of tigers and whatever else you can think of that involves interacting with wild animals. I know what you’re thinking, all this is an accident waiting to happen, but you’ll be surprised to learn that ever since the zoo opened in 1994, there hasn’t been a single accident. In fact, zoo keepers are so confident nothing is going to go wrong that they don’t require visitors to sign any waivers before entering the animals’ cages, and they even allow small children.

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Jason de Graaf’s Works Look Like High-Resolution Photographs, But They’re Not

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Canadian artist Jason de Graaf creates hyperrealistic paintings that look more like carefully composed still-life photographs. We’ve featured many artist who can easily fool you into thinking their paintings are photos, but Jason de Graaf really is in a class of his own.

Just so you can understand how incredibly real de Graaf’s paintings look, you should know they’ve inspired the term “Magic Realism” as a description. The talented artist born in Montreal says: “My paintings are about staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs.”

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The Delicate Paper-Cutting Art of Hina Aoyama

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You’ve probably seen intricate paper-cut art before, but Hina Aoyama takes it to a whole new level by achieving an incredible level of detailed using only scissors.

Unlike other artists who use fine tools like an X-acto knife to create elaborate pieces of paper-cut art, Japanese-born Hina Aoyama only uses a pair of scissors and lots of patience. The Paris-based artist takes anywhere from a few hours to several months to complete her lace-like fragile masterpieces, as she needs to keep a steady hand and arm herself with patience throughout the whole creative process. Looking at her works, I can’t help but wonder if Hina has some kind of magical powers that help her cut out such delicate marvels, but the videos she made of her carving tiny paper details prove she’s just a very talented artist.

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Creepy Fan Shows-Off His 15 Tattoos of Miley Cyrus

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Ok, so you’ve bought all of Miley’s albums, you know all her songs by heart, and your room is practically covered with poster of her. You still have nothing on this guy, because let’s face it, nothing says “I Love Miley Cyrus” than 15 tattoos related to her.

Showing off your obsession through tattoos is really nothing new. Remember the lady who got a fullback Twilight tat, or the dude covered in tattoos of Neytiri from Avatar? Well, they’re nowhere as strange as this particular Miley Cyrus fan. The guy took some photos of himself wearing a Miley hat and showing off all of his 15 creepy tattoos and posted them on Twitter. And I’m not talking about some pimple-face teen who got drunk one night and made the mistake of a lifetime. This is a full-grown man with a passion for the 19-year-old pop star.

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