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Japan’s Unusual Obsession with Moss

As a very insular society, Japan has developed a culture that can be very interesting and sometimes bizarre to the outside observer. For example, in recent years, many Japanese have become infatuated with moss. Nature excursions centered around observing the thousands of species of Japanese moss have exploded in popularity to the point that the demand for a place on these trips far exceeds availability.

Selling moss-related products like moss-containing jewelry has also become a lucrative market. You can buy rings that have tiny containers holding moss instead of stones. For many young women in Japan, love of these plants has become a part of their identity. These young enthusiasts call themselves “moss girls” and organize moss-themed events such as viewing parties, where they make drinks inspired from the plants.

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The Country Where Burying Someone Can Take Months Or Even Years

In most countries, people are buried within a few days of their death, but in the African country of Ghana, burials are complicated affairs that can take months or even years to prepare. In some communities, speedy burials are considered downright sacrilegious, so despite the wishes of the deceased and their immediate family, bodies spend months frozen at the morgue before finally being laid to rest.

Ghana’s lengthy funerals are closely related to the notion of family in the African country. During one’s life, their children, spouse and parents are considered immediate family, but once they are dead, their body belongs to the extended family in which they were born. In many cases this includes distant relatives that the deceased hand’t even spoken to in decades, but that makes no difference. They get a say in how, where and when the deceased is buried, and whatever instructions they left regarding this aspect, or whatever they asked their close family to do, is meaningless unless the extended family agrees to the terms.

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Eibenthal – A Picturesque Village Where Theft Doesn’t Exist

Eibenthal is an idyllic village nestled in the Banatului Mountains of Western Romania. It’s a charming place inhabited mainly by ethnic Czechs, but what really makes it stand out from other villages in the area, or pretty much anywhere else in the world, for that matter, is its reputation as a theft-free community.

There is no police station in Eibenthal, and frankly, there’s no need for one either. People in this area of Mehedinti county are famously peaceful and respectful of each other, and the crime rate is considerably lower than the national average. Theft, for example is virtually non existent, and people are perfectly comfortable leaving money in bags on the streets for the bread delivery man. He drives by, takes the money and leaves the requested number of bread loaves and the change in the bags hanging on lamp posts or people’s fences. In over 20 years, no one has ever reported any money of bread missing.

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Thai Restaurant Finds Success with Screaming Hot Waiters

If you’re looking for a way to get your restaurant business off the ground, this unique eatery in Bangkok, Thailand is proof that having a team of hot male waiters dress in skimpy female garb and scream like damsels in distress as they serve patrons is a sure way to success.

Staneemeehoi (Shell Station) is one of many seafood restaurants in Bangkok. As the name suggests, it specializes in shellfish, and judging by the hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook, the dishes and dips served here are above average, but that’s not really what has people coming back. Staneemeehoi is famous for its unique service. It employs a team of muscular young men who wear skimpy female clothing and try their best to act girly as they serve and entertain customers. That includes imitating a girly scream, dancing provocatively and puckering their lips as they pose for pictures.

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The Mysterious Bent Trees of North America

To the casual observer, the thousands of bent trees scattered throughout the North American continent look like mere freaks of nature, deformed by the elements of disease, but a more careful analysis reveals that these trees bend sharply into right angles, parallel the earth, which suggests that they were intentionally shaped long ago, for an unknown purpose.

Bent, splintered or otherwise deformed trees are not exactly uncommon, but the so called “trail trees” still growing in many US states have a very specific shape. At about four or five feet above the ground, their trunks bend sharply forming right angles, parallel the earth, and then sharply bend upwards once again. Various accidents can cause this shape to occur naturally, but another distinctive trait of these mysterious trees is that they feature no scars in their bent areas. While scientists have yet to agree that this is proof that the trees were purposely bent by humans centuries ago, there are many who believe that the bent trees were once used as markers by hunters and gatherers to help them find their way around the vast wilderness.

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The Creeping Devil – A Unique Cactus That Kills Parts of Itself to Move Across the Desert

The Creeping Devil is a rare and fascinating species of cactus that is not only capable of cloning itself to survive, but also of detaching from its major shoot to move through the desert over time.

Also known by its scientific name, Stenocereus eruca, this unusual species of cactus is endemic to the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California Sur, and is the only known moving cactus in the world. Unlike most other species of cactus, which typically grow vertically, toward the sky, the creeping devil is different – it lies flat on the ground with only its tip slightly raised. This plays a major role in the plant’s survival in isolation, but also in its unique capacity to migrate along the desert over long periods of time.

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This Tiny Island Has the World’s Largest and Heaviest Currency

No one knows exactly when the people of Yap, a tiny Micronesian island, started using giant limestone disks as money, but their unique stone money have definitely been around for centuries and are still in circulation today.

Micronesian islands use the US dollar as their official currency, but on the island of Yap people also use a very unusual form of money – giant limestone discs, some of which weigh more than a car. There are hundreds of these discs scattered all over the island, some located outside of hotels, others stored deep in the forest, but most of them are kept in stone money banks located in virtually every village. There are an estimated 13,000 stone discs in circulation on Yap, ranging from 30 centimetres to 3.50 meters in diameter, with the largest ones being considered the most valuable.

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Nameless Beach in Japan is Made of Recycled Colored Glass

There are only a handful of glass beaches in the whole world, and it’s their rarity that makes them so popular. However, Japan is home to a beautiful glass beach that is so obscure it doesn’t even have a name.

Unlike California’s famous glass beach, or the one in Ussuri Bay, on Russia’s Pacific shoreline, where nature had to work hard to erode truckloads of sharp glass and porcelain shards dumped as trash into rounded pebbles that you can safely walk on, the colored glass grains of this nameless Japanese beach, in Omura City, were actually recycled beforehand. I guess the Japanese thought they’d give Mother Nature a break for a change and did the work for her.

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China’s Smallest Mountain Is Less Than 1 Meter High, Looks More Like a Big Rock

If you’re looking for the world’s easiest mountain to climb, head to Shouguang, in China’s Shandong Province, where you’ll find ‘Jingshan’, the smallest mountain in the country, and probably the world. It measures only 0.6 meters from ground level to its highest point, and can be conquered with a single step.

Jingshan may not be the most impressive mountain in the world, but as the only mountain in Shouguang district, it is a symbol of the region and one of its most popular tourist attractions. Mentions of the mountain in the district’s official records can be traced back over 100 years, including its precise location, dimensions and the fact that despite its laughable size above ground, it seems to be the tip of a much larger underground mountain.

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Thai Death-Themed Cafe Wants Visitors to Appreciate Life More

From cat cafes to toilet cafes and even cafes dedicated to female thighs, themed cafes are all the rage these days. Usually, entrepreneurs go for funny or exciting themes to attract as many people as possible, but one cafe in Thailand is based on the most morbid theme of all – death.

The Kid-Mai Death Cafe looks more like the scene of a funeral than a place you’d want to hang out with your friends. Black is the dominant color, but that’s probably the least morbid thing about this establishment. Funeral wreaths are used as floral decorations, items on the menu have names like “ageing”, “painful”, “illness”, and “death” and are displayed as funeral photos at the bar, and there’s even a coffin that visitors can lie down in to get a small discount.

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Someone Dropped a Life-Size Jason Vorhees Statue to the Bottom of a Lake to Freak Out Scuba Divers

Imagine scuba-diving in the peaceful waters of a picturesque lake and coming face to face with Friday the 13th killer Jason Vorhees. It’s not the plot of a horror flick, but an actual possibility, thanks to the clever prank thought up by a Minnesota diver.

Inspired by the ending of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, where Megan and Tommy manage to defeat the infamous Jason Vorhees by trapping him in the bottom of Crystal Lake, diver Curtis Lahr came up with one of the scariest pranks ever. In 2013, he created a life-size statue of Jason, complete with his iconic hockey mask and machete, and dumped it to the bottom of Crystal Lake, not the one in New Jersey, but Crosby, Minnesota. It’s been sitting there ever since, waiting to give unsuspecting divers a heart-attack.

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This Tree in Germany Has Been Helping People Find Love for Over a Century

The Bridegroom’s Oak, a 500-year-old tree just outside of Eutin, in Germany, has its own postal address and actually receives around 40 letters every day. They are sent by love seekers from all around the world, in the hope that someone will read them and write back.

With so many dating apps and services available nowadays, sending letters to a tree in Germany hardly sounds like the most effective way to find love, but for true romantics, there’s really no comparison. There’s just something undeniably charming about sending a letter and allowing fate to work its magic, so the Bridegroom’s Oak remains very popular even in this digital age.

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The Loneliest Tree on Earth – A Fascinating Tale of Survival

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a Sitka Spruce growing on New Zealand’s southernmost subarctic island, is the loneliest and most remote tree on Earth. Not only is it the only tree on Campbell Island, but the nearest other tree can be found over 200 kilometers away, on the Auckland Islands.

Located about 700 km south of Bluff, Campbell Island is one of the harshest places in the world. With strong winds blowing almost all year round, less than 600 hours of sunshine and only 40 days per year without rain, it’s not exactly an ideal place to live, which is probably why, except for occasional visits by research scientists, it has remained deserted for over half a century. Trees aren’t supposed to be growing here either, a fact made evident by the wind-tolerant shrubs and grasses covering the island, which only makes the thriving “loneliest tree on Earth” so much more impressive.

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Gas Station Toilet Makes You Feel Like a King While You’re Using It

Let’s be honest, finding clean and decent-smelling gas station toilets is hard enough, but one that makes you feel like royalty? Normally, I would say such a place doesn’t exist, but I recently saw these photos of a unique toilet in Quezon, the Philippines.

To be honest, I kind of already knew that gas station toilets in the Philippines can be quite different than what most of us are used, after writing about this Shell Gas Station toilet in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, which featured wood furniture, a bookshelf and even a phone next to the toilet bowl. But I didn’t know the island nation actually had a public toilet fit for a king until seeing some photos of a Petron gas station toilet in Quezon.

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No Men Allowed on ‘SuperShe Island’, a Women-Only Resort Off the Coast of Finland

Hardcore feminists searching for a vacationing spot where they don’t have to interact with men at all need look no further than SuperShe Island, a women-only island resort off the coast of Finland.

SuperShe Island is the brainchild of American entrepreneur Kristina Roth, who decided to invest in a women-only resort after realizing that being around men was distracting to other women. While vacationing at the Ashram in Calabasas, Calif., and the nearby Ranch Malibu, Roth noticed that women would focus more on the men than themselves, so she started contemplating the idea of a women-only resort where visitors could relax without any male distractions.

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