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The Levitating Stone of Shivapur, a Controversial “Miracle”

Every day, hundreds of tourists and devotees visit a shrine in Shivapur, a small village about 180 km east of Mumbai, in India, to witness a controversial “miracle” known as the Levitating Stone of Shivapur.

The Shrine of Qamar Ali Darvesh, a Muslim Sufi Saint who lived about 700 years ago, features an ancient stone that reportedly weighs 154lbs (90kg). Lifting this stone off the ground would normally require a lot of strength, but according to believers in the Levitating Stone miracle, it’s possible for a set number of men to lift it up over their heads with only their index fingers, but only after shouting Qamar Ali Darvesh’s name. This phenomenon has fascinated Indian Muslims for centuries, but many believe it’s nothing more than a gimmick.

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Popcorn Beach – A Unique Tourist Attraction That Looks Good Enough to Eat

Fuerteventura, the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands is mostly known for its white sandy beaches, but few people know that this island also hosts one of the world’s most stunning attractions, a beach that has popcorn for sand.

There are plenty of tourist spots named after things they resemble, even if just vaguely, but that’s not the case of Popcorn Beach. This amazing place genuinely looks like it’s covered with million of white, puffy popcorn, but don’t go putting them in your mouth, as they are actually stony pieces of coral shaped like popcorn by the elements.

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Please Don’t Step on the Fish! Vietnam’s Unique Flooded Cafe

Animal cafes where you can enjoy a hot cup of coffee and pet cute animals like cats, dogs or even sheep have been springing up all over the world, but Amix Coffee is the only cafe in the world where you can relax as dozens of decorative fish swim at your feet.

Located in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Amix Coffee features two flooded floors filled with hundreds of fish both small and large. They are both insulated with two layers of plastic tarp and furniture legs are wrapped in cotton to minimize friction and prevent damage to the tarp. Each floor covers an area of 20 square meters and the water level is up to 25 centimeters deep. In order to gain access to these man-made ponds full of colorful fish, visitors are required to take off their shoes and clean their feet. They can then enjoy a wide range of refreshments and snacks as Japanese carp and other small fish swim at their feet.

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South Korean Cafe Makes You Feel Like You’re in an A-Ha Music Video

Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is a uniquely-designed cafe in Seoul’s Yeonnam-dong district that makes visitors feel like they’ve miraculously steeped into a cartoon or a comic.

Remember the song “Take on Me” by Norwegian band A-ha? It’s one of the catchiest tunes of all time, but I remember being fascinated with its music video, as a child. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, a person stepping into the pages of a comic book that comes to life. I still consider it one of the coolest music videos ever made, but you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning in an article about a cafe in South Korea. Well, it was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw photos of the incredible Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20.

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This Chilean Community Requires Residents to Have Their Appendix Removed

Can you imagine needing to have your appendix removed just to be able to live in your city? That’s exactly what the residents of Villa Las Estrellas, a small Chilean settlement in Antarctica, are required to do in order to live there long-term.

To be able to comprehend such a bizarre requirement, you first need to know a few things about Villa Las Estrellas. In short, this place is probably the closest you can get to experiencing life on another planet. It’s located so far away from human civilization and weather conditions are so extreme that would-be residents must pass a very thorough psychological exam in order to prove that they can live here for a long period of time. In winter time, the whole place is buried under several meters of snow and the hours of daylight are replaced with a few minutes of twilight. The average temperature is -2.3 degrees Celsius, but they can drop to -47 in winter months, making it nearly impossible to even set foot outside the container-like houses.

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India’s Great Banyan Tree Is Its Own Forest

If you were to see the Great Banyan Tree in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden from a distance, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a forest. Spanning more than 14,493 square meters, the tree is the widest in the world—so large that it covers more ground than the average Wal-Mart.

No one is quite sure exactly how old the Great Banyan Tree is due to a lack of official records, but experts estimate that the tree is at least 250 years old; the earliest references to the tree have been found in travel writing dating all the way back to the 19th century. Over the years, the tree has been through a lot. Not only has it survived 2 major cyclones in 1864 and 1867, but its main trunk was also infected with a deadly fungus. This infection meant that the main trunk of the tree needed to be removed in 1925.

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The Oakland Buddha – How One Buddha Statue Brought Neighbourhood Crime Down by 82%

A non-religious man in Oakland managed to virtually eliminate neighborhood crime with nothing more than a statue of Buddha bought from a local hardware store.

The neighborhood of 11th Avenue and East 19th Street was formerly a rough part of Oakland, riddled with a variety of illegal activities ranging from littering and vandalization to drug dealing, robberies, prostitution, and assaults. That is until one local, Dan Stevenson, purchased a 60-cm-tall stone statue of Buddha and placed it on the street corner opposite his home. People were constantly dumping mattresses, couches and other junk there, and all kind of shady characters would hang around, so he figured the statue would be an improvement. But, in this case, calling the effect of the statue an improvement would be a gross understatement.

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The Swiss Man Who Built a UFO Landing Port in Argentina Because Aliens Told Him to

This is the story of Werner Jaisli, a Swiss man who in 2008 started building a giant, star-shaped ‘ovniport’ – a UFO landing spot – in an Argentinian desert, because aliens telepathically ordered him to.

It’s not clear exactly when Werner Jaisli arrived in Cachi, a small town in the Argentinian province of Salta, but it’s not hard to figure out what drew him to this place. The deserts of Salta have become famous among UFO enthusiasts around the globe, after several sightings of unidentified flying objects and other unexplained phenomena were reported in the area over the last few decades. On the night of November 24, 2008, Jaisli himself was allegedly contacted by aliens who gave him specific instructions on how to build a UFO landing port, aka ‘ovniport’.

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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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