Crazy Halloween Traditions: Underwater Pumpkin Carving

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As Halloween draws ever closer, pumpkin-carving enthusiasts take their pumpkins and carving tools for a session of underwater pumpkin carving.

It might sound like a weird event, but underwater pumpkin carving is pretty common in the US, with several competitions being organized in Florida, South Carolina, Lake Tahoe or Pennsylvania. Contestants put on their diving gear and drop down to a depth of less than 30 feet, where they try to carve the most intricate jack-o’lanters, and claim the top spots. All the gear is supplied by the organizers, so contestants need only bring their talent and inspiration.

While it may sound like a fun thing to do, carving a pumpkin underwater is a pretty difficult task, considering the buoyancy of the pumpkin (at least until you cut the lid off) and Newton’s third law of motion (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction).

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Austrian Lake Is Also a Popular Hiking Spot

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A rare natural phenomenon turns one of Austria’s most beautiful hiking trails into a 10 meter-deep lake, for half the year.

Located at the foot of the Hochschwab Mountains, in Tragoess, Styria, Green Lake is one of the most bizarre natural phenomena in the world. During the cold winter months, this place is almost completely dry, and used as a country park where hikers love to come and spend some time away from urban chaos. But as soon as temperatures rise, the snow and ice covering the mountaintops begin to melt, and the water pours down, filling the basin below with crystal-clear water.

Water levels go from one-two meters at most, to over 10 meters, in the early summer. The waters of Green Lake are highest in June, when this extraordinary place is invaded by divers, curious to see what a mountain park looks like underwater. Fish swimming over wooden benches, a grass-covered bottom, trees, roads, roads and even bridges create a surreal setting that feels like it belongs on dry ground. That’s because for half of the year, that’s exactly where it’s at.

Take a look at the amazing images of the Green Lake, shot during the summer season:

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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

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Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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Inventionland – Coolest Workplace in the Whole Wide World

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I remember seeing a set of photos from Google’s offices in Zurich, and thought that was pretty cool, but Google has nothing on Inventionland’s fairytale workplace.

Inventionland, like the name suggests, is a company that invents stuff, over 2,000 new inventions every year. To come with that many inventions, the Inventionland team must really be inspired by something, but what could it be? Believe it or not, it’s actually everything that surrounds them in their Pittsburgh headquarters.

The 70,000 square feet facility looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, featuring 15 different fantasy sets, from pirate ships to tree houses and even a house shaped like a giant shoe. And it’s not only the world’s most creative workplace, it’s also equipped with the latest in sound, video and animation technology to help creationeers come up with the best ideas. Oh, that’s right, Inventionland employees are called “creationeers”, they get to wear lab coats and they brainstorm for ideas in a room called “Inventalot”. Now, how cool is that!

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Guitar Tornado Is Played by Robotic Fingers

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Named “IF VI was IX: Roots and branches”, the guitar tornado is an impressive artistic and musical installation, created by German artist Trimpin.

While different types of guitars placed together in what looks like a still tornado is something worth checking out, there’s more to this musical tribute than meets the eye.  Yes, while it might seem impossible looking at it, the guitar tornado actually plays music. Among all the common guitars, there are some robotic ones that actually pluck the guitar strings, thus playing the tune visitors choose via a remote touchscreen.

The only downside of the guitar tornado’s robotic arms  is that they can only play one string at a time. So how does it replicate a whole song? By plucking a single string of multiple guitars in the installation. The amazing guitar tornado is an interactive tribute to the history of American music, and features various genres, from early acoustic folk music, to rock and punk.

Music lovers can check out the guitar tornado at the “Experience Music Project” , in Seattle.

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Star Wars Fan Builds Duct Tape AT-AT

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Built out of wood and cardboard and wrapped in layers of gray duct tape, the duct tape AT-AT is a small scale replica of the legendary Star Wars behemoth featured in The Empire Strikes Back.

The 4 feet tall, 5 feet long AT-AT replica was made by Star Wars fan komanac, for a Star Wars themed art show, back in July. It took several rolls of duct tape and around 30-40 hous of intense work to complete, and its creator would love to hang on to it, but for lack of space, he decided to auction it off on eBay.

The lines of the duct tape AT-AT were drawn using a permanent felt marker, and the entire model is made up of five pieces, the body and four legs. They are well attached and stable, but it’s important you know this is not a toy and will likely break if seriously abused.

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Artists Create World’s Largest Sand Sculpture

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Measuring a total of 22.43 meters in height, this detailed sand sculpture, created at the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival, in China, has been acknowledged as the world’s tallest sand sculpture.

Officials from the Guinness Book of Records arrived in Zhoushan, on Wednesday, September 29, and after careful measurement, confirmed the sand masterpiece will be going into the record books. Depicting a Nigerian story of how a hummingbird managed to become the king of all animals, the 22.43 meter-tall sand sculpture was created by over 30 artists, during 75 days.

This year, the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival gave sand artists the opportunity to express themselves on the theme of a trip to Africa.

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Epic Kevin Bacon Made of Bacon

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I’ve always wondered what actor Kevin Bacon would look like if made of actual bacon, and apparently I’m not the only one. The guys at J&D Foods have teamed up with Bacon-crafting website What Do Bacon Do to create a life-size bust of bacon Kevin Bacon.

The tasty-looking bacon bust of Kevin Bacon was created to be auctioned on eBay, with all proceedings going to non-profit organization Ashley’s Team, who seeks to bring joy and happiness to cancer suffering children and their families. But, by buying this unique piece of bacon art, you will not only be helping sick children, “you will become the coolest person you will ever know, a champion of the underground meat sculpture movement.” At least, that’s what Justin Esch, of J&D Foods, says.

The eBay auction for bacon Kevin Bacon began today and fans of the actor (or bacon) will have the chance to buy it in the next ten days. But before you start fantasizing about literally eating Kevin Bacon’s head, you should know it’s covered in layers of lacquer, so it’s not edible. But think of it this way, at least you’ll be the owner of a one-of-a-kind of bacon art, for the rest of your life.

Mike Lahue, the artist who created the bacon Kevin Bacon bust out of small bacon bits, says the toughest thing about working with bacon all day long was satisfying his own craving for the crispy stuff. He managed to refrain himself from eating Kevin Bacon, by eating an entire bottle of bacon bits. Lahue also admits that after months of working on the bacon statue, he’ll never be able to look at the real Kevin Bacon the way he used to.

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Amazing LEGO Replica of the USS Intrepid

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Remember the awesome LEGO Warship Yamato we featured a while back? Well, its supremacy as the world’s biggest LEGO ship on Oddity Central has come to an end. It’s now time for Lego Monster’s USS Intrepid to take its place.

Just like warship Yamato, the real USS Intrepid played a crucial role in several battles of the Pacific campaign of World War 2, and now acts as a war museum. That’s probably one of the reasons why Ed “Lego Monster” Diment chose to dedicate a large part of his free time to recreating it out of LEGO bricks. The LEGO USS Intrepid is bult at a scale of 1:40 and has 23 feet in length.

While it might look like the world’s biggest LEGO ship, that title actually belongs to a 7.66-meter-long container ship built by a group of German school children, this August.

If you want to see this epic masterpiece in real life, you can go to the Great Western Lego Show, in Swindon, UK.

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Awesome DIY Halloween Meat Head

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Halloween is closing fast, and if you’re looking to impress your party guests on the big night, you can’t go wrong with a delicious meat head.

If you think it’s a good idea, but have no idea how to make your own, Make user Andy Oakland has posted a great tutorial that will have you spook your guests with almost no effort. All you need is a plastic skull, some jello and a lot of cold cuts. The ham cover gives the meat head a Freddie Kruger-like texture,and the red-jello surprise underneath makes for a delicious surprise. You can find the full tutorial on the Make website, but if you don’t think a meat skull is creepy enough, you may want to go with the Halloween meat hand, instead.

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World’s First Smart ForTwo Wrapped in Cardboard

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In an attempt to prove their products are by no means disposable, German car maker Smart has teamed up with a cardboard manufacturer and designer Sarah Illenberger to created the world’s first cardboard-wrapped Smart.

It might sound and look stupid, but this cardboard Smart aims to somehow disprove the rumors that Smart cars are disposable. They want to show the world that even covered by heaps of  high-quality reusable cardboard blocks, their Smart ForTwo model makes a lasting impression. I don’t know about the “lasting” part, but it’s definitely caught my attention.

Renowned designer Sarah Illenberger applied all the cardboard blocks by hand, in a pixel-like fashion that she feels emphasizes the sustainability of both the car and material.

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Castellers – The Human Towers of La Merce

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Every year, towards the end of September, the Spanish town of Barcelona hosts its largest street party – the “La Merce” Festival. One of the highlights of the event is the building of impressive human towers, by acrobats known as “castellers”.

Translated as “castle builders”, castellers are the people that take part in the building of the human towers, in the middle of Placa de Jaume. Surrounded by thousands of people who come to see them at work, the teams of castellers create impressive tower formations, several meters high. As you might imagine, this kind of exercise requires quite a deal of practice and planning, but if successful, their human structure is truly a sight to behold.

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Belgian Pavilion Built Out of 33,000 Beer Crates

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If the world needed any more proof Belgians love beer, this temporary pavilion, built out of 33,000 plastic beer crates should clear all doubts.

Set right in front of the iconic Atomium building, the beer crate pavilion of Brussels was designed and built in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1958 Universal World Exhibition. Beer crates were chosen for the project, because the architects decided their work should evoke the concepts of universality and reusability, and nothing did that better than an ordinary item from the daily life of an ordinary consumer.

An exercise in how a normal item can transcend its normal purpose and become architecture, the beer crate pavilion is made up of approximately 33,000 beer crates. It may seem like a tough structure to build, but designers actually said the chosen material made assembly easier and allowed them to explore architectural features like columns, arches and domes.

As soon as the temporary pavilion is taken down, the beer crates will go right back to transporting bottles of delicious Belgian lager. I wonder if the designers had the “terrible” task of emptying all the 33,000 crates of beer, before using them…

 

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Food Artist Creates Life-Size Suckling Pig Cake

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I’ve posted my share of awesome-looking cakes on Oddity Central, but Michelle’s Wibowo’s suckling pig cake looks incredibly realistic.

Created for the Experimental Food Society Spectacular, an event that took place during the past weekend, Michelle’s suckling pig cake was a big hit, and has made the headlines of various online publications. The Experimental Food Society is made up of a group of “ground-breaking gourmet artists that demonstrate there is more to life than just swallowing.”

Michelle Wibowo has a degree in Architecture, but decided to pursue her passion in cake decorating and sugarcraft, and is now one of the most talented cake decorator in the world. She developed her skills by decorating thousands of cakes in cake shops around London, and now works from her own studio, in West Sussex.

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The Bike Chain Chandeliers of Carolina Fontoura Alzaga

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Artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga uses old bike parts, like metal chains, to create one-of-a-kind steampunk chandeliers.

Inspired by Victorian chandeliers, DIY culture and bikes, the bike chain chandeliers start out as unartistic, due to the nature of the materials used, but end up as genuine works of steampunk art, fit as decorations for the equally awesome steampunk house.

Combining the elegance of the classic Victorian candelabrum with the elegance of discarded mechanical bike parts, Carolina Fontoura Alzaga’s bike chandeliers are both an example of original art, as well as upcycling done right.

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