The Incredible Taung Kalat Monastery

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Built atop an extinct volcano plug, the Buddhist monastery of Taung Kalat is one of the most breathtaking sites in Burma and the world.

Many people call the hill on which the monastery was built, Mount Popa, but they’re mistaking it with the much higher volcano, close by. The hill is called Taung Kalat and though it looks like a mere bump when compared to Mount Popa, climbing it is quite a task. There are seven hundred seventy seven steps to from the bottom, all the way to the Buddhist monastery.

The locals believe Nats (37 demigod-like beings) live inside Taung Kalat hill and judging by the heavenly views from up there, they just might be right.

Climbing up Taung Kalat, you’re bound to run into some adorable Macaques, but be careful, they’re wild creatures and are likely to snatch anything you lay on the ground, before you even have the chance to blink.

Taung Kalat Monastery and its surroundings are truly unique, but unless the Burmese government intervenes soon, they will degrade beyond recovery.

Taung-Kalang

..

The Amazing Seashell Temple in Taiwan

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

In the hills near San Chih, northern Taiwan, lies the Seashell Temple, one of the most amazing architectural works in the world.

I’m sure many of you have seen photos of it before, it’s almost on every spam photo site on the internet, sometimes listed as being in Bagkok or Taiwan, but I thought it deserved a spot among the oddities on Oddity Central.Almost completely covered with seashells and pieces of coral, Pei Khe Miao (as its known by the Chinese) takes your breath away the minute you lay eyes on it.

Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of genuine information concerning the Seashell Temple and I don’t want to make stuff up, so for now you’ll just have to settle for some photos and a video.

Photos via Awesome Asia

seashell-temple-Taiwan

..

The Buffalo Fighting Festival of Do Son

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Buffalo Fighting Festival is held annually, on the northern coast of Vietnam and draws huge crowds, eager to see a display of violence.

Buffalo owners train the peaceful creatures and even pray on the night before the festival, to ensure their beast is victorious. To the crowd’s disappointment the animals often do nothing more than look at each other and go about their business. On rare  occasions they cros their scythe like horns and push each other like sumo wrestlers.

The victorious buffalo is cheered by thousands of people, while its owner displays it for all to see and collects a prize of 40 million dong. But the winner has little time to enjoy his success, as both buffalos are sacrificed and their meat offered to the spectators. The owners are allowed to take a keepsake, like the animal’s head.

Photos by AFP/GETTY IMAGES

via Telegraph.co.uk

buffalo-festival

..

Molossia – World’s Smallest Sovereign Republic

7 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

If you thought nations like Luxembourg, Monaco or Lichtenstein were small, wait until you learn about the microscopic republic of Molossia.

It may have a surface of just half a hectare and look like any normal house hold in the American desert, but Molossia is a real country, with a leader and everything. The smallest country in the world is located near Dayton, Nevada and has been ruled for over 30 years, by President Kevin Baugh. But his great nation ( 2 sons and 3 dogs) has yet to file a complaint.

Molossia is the world’s smallest republic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have laws. If you set foot on Molossian soil, you have to have your passport approved and stamped. The microscopic nation even has its own postal service, currency (made from poker chips), bottled water and the national dish is raw cookie dough.

Unlike other countries, Molossia has a simple, but well developed health-care system: every citizen can just go to the first-aid box and get whatever they need, for free.

Kevin Baugh, together with a friend came up with the idea of establishing their own micronation when they were teenagers, after watching The Mouse that Roared. Throughout the years Baugh even took his country to a “tongue-in-cheek” war with the neighboring microstate Mustachian, ruled by Sultan Ali-Ali Achsenfree, and won.

Molossia doesn’t pay American taxes and even wants to develop its own electric system to be even more independent.

Photos by CHRIS LOBINA/ REX FEATURES

via Telegraph.co.uk

Molossia

..

Berkeley Pit – A Toxic Tourist Attraction

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

That’s right, Berkeley Pit is one of the few places in the world where you have to pay to look at a giant pool of toxic waste.

Located in Butte, Montana, Berkeley Pit is a former open-pit copper mind turned weird tourist attraction. It’s one mile long over half a mile wide and 1780 feet deep, 900 of which are full of extremely toxic water. On the surface, the poison looks a lot like blood and is so saturated with copper, miners were able to harvest the metal directly from the water. From 13 million gallons of water, 400,000 pounds of copper were produced.

The acidic water includes chemicals like arsenic, cadmium, zinc or sulfuric acid and, if you were to drink some, it would corrode through your digestive system before getting a chance to poison you. In 1995 a flock of migrating geese landed on Berkeley Pit and never took flight again. A total of 342 carcasses were recovered. Since the incident a bird watch program was implemented.

But, interestingly enough, good things can come out of toxic waste. Scientists have discovered new types of bacteria that have adapted to the harsh conditions of Berkeley Pit, by producing highly toxic compounds that improve survivability. These chemicals have proven very resilient to cancer and further research is currently ongoing.

Berkeley-Pit

..

The Ideal Palace

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Le Palais Ideal is one of the most popular examples of naive art architecture, built by Ferdinand Cheval, a French Postman, over a period of 33 years.

Cheval began building his Ideal Palace in April 1879. While he was on the job, the postman tripped over a stone and was impressed by its unusual shape. Inspired by the stone, he returned the following day and started gathering more rocks and putting them in his pockets. Over time he began carrying them in baskets and then, in a wheelbarrow.

With no architectural skills whatsoever, Ferdinand Cheval managed to build his Ideal Palace, combining several styles and using the Bible and Hingu mythology as inspiration. He spent 20 years on the outer walls alone, binding the stones together with lime, mortar and cement and decorating them with all sorts of chapel and temple models.

Cheval wanted to be buried in his Palais Ideal, but French law didn’t allow it. So he spent the last years of his life building himself an intricate mausoleum, in the cemetery of Hauterives. His palace was recognized as a masterpiece and is now a cultural landmark and one of France’s popular tourist attractions.

palais-ideal

..

The Marble Caves of Rio Tranquilo

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Located in the Coyhaique province, Chile, the Marble Caves are some of the most impressive attractions of Patagonia.

Las Cavernas de Marmol, as the Spanish call them were created by the clear waters of Rio Tranquilo that dug into a giant limestone peninsula, creating an impressive labyrinth of caves. The peninsula is known as the Marble Cathedral and can be reached by boat, during a guided tour.

Marble-Caves

..

Masatrigo Hill – Nature’s Perfect Cone

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Ok, so maybe it’s not exactly perfect, but Masatrigo Hill, or Cerro Masatrigo is as close as you can get to finding a natural cone-shaped landmark.

Located in Badajoz province, Spain, Masatrigo Hill has always been considered an extinct volcano, by the locals, because of its cone-like shape. Scientists haven’t yet been able to determine how Cerro Masatrigo was formed, and the mystery behind it allowed people to come up with all sorts of legends and stories, and earned it the nickname “magic mountain”.

The name “Masatrigo” means “wheat dough”. It reminds me of the Chocolate Hills of the Philippines

via WOW!Travel

Cerro-Masatrigo

..

KidZania – Career-Building Theme Park for Kids

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

KidZania is a chain of theme-parks where children can decide what they want to be when they grow up, by actually doing the job.

Do you remember, as a kid, when someone asked you “what do you want to be when you grow up”? And you would say things like astronaut, fireman, doctor without actually knowing what those jobs actually implied. Well, at KidZania, children have the opportunity to experience all kinds of jobs and decide if they really like them.

Luis Javier Laresgoiti, a true theme-park innovator, was the one who came up with the concept of Kidzania and was further developed by Xavier López Ancona, a Mexican entrepreneur. The first career-building theme park was opened in 1999, in Mexico City and there are now 6 Kidzania parks around the world (Tokyo, Monterrey, Jakarta, Koshien and Lisbon).

At Kidzania, children can try popular jobs like firefighting, driving planes, being a doctor, as well as well as being a mechanic or flipping burgers at a diner. The point is for kids to have fun and learn the value of money and work, at a young age. Parents are allowed to watch the kids as they perform the jobs, but they are not allowed to help them.

At the end of the day, the young workers are paid in KidZos (official currency of KidZania).

Photos by GETTY IMAGES via Telegraph.co.uk

KidZania

..

Lena’s Stone Forest

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

One of the most beautiful natural wonders of Russia, Lena’s Stone Forest is also one of the most difficult to reach, by tourists.

Known also as Lena’s Stone Pillars, this incredible rock formation is not only beautiful to look at, it’s also holds important information on the formation of the organic world. Fossils from various organisms dating back to the Cambrian era could supply invaluable insight on life evolved on planet Earth.

Lena’s Stone Forest offers tourists a unique sight. Colossal stone statues rise up from the earth and pierce the sky, like giants frozen in time. The pillars are grouped together and stretch for tens of kilometers, along the river banks.

Unfortunately reaching this wondrous place is no easy feat. It lies in a part of Siberia not yet touched by civilization and it will take you roughly four days to reach it, from Moscow. After a long flight, you’ll encounter armed locals more than glad to take you to Lena’s Stone Pillars, in their boats, for a “small” $500 fee. The boat ride lasts about 3 days, but once/if you reach your destination, it will all have been worth it.

via English Russia

Lena-stone-forest

..

Modern-Day Flinstones House in Portugal

11 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Located in Fafe, Portugal, this unusual stone house bears a remarkable resemblance to The Flintstones House. Man, I loved that show!

I know what you’re thinking and you’re not the only one, but as fake as these photos may look, the stone house of Fafe is very real. I mean it’s even been featured in the Daily Mail. Ok, you’re right, that’s not a valid argument, but this house does exist.

The photos taken by Jsome1 have been causing quite stir on the internet, partly because he decided to improve the photos a little and make them look fake-ish. But other curious web-surfers have been digging around and found the stone house exists and it’s actually a local landmark of the Fafe region.

The last two photos were used to promote the Fafe biking marathon and feature the Flintstones-like house as background. That’s the best proof I could find, hope it’s enough.

Fafe-stone-house

..

The Grape Fight of Binissalem

Comments OffStumble it Icon digg it Icon

One of the most fun events of September took place in the village of Benissalem, on the island of Majorca, during Fiesta of La Vermada.

Over one thousand people, both locals and tourists, gathered in Binissalem, a village known for the quality of its wines, for what may have been the biggest grape fight in the world. Every year, at the end of September, the people of Binissalem organize a fiesta, to  celebrate a successful grape harvest. The highlight of Fiesta of La Vermada is the  grape fight that attracts people from all over the world, just like La Tomatina festival, held in Bunol, Spain.

The grape fighters gather in Plaza de l’Esglesia, in the center of the village and wait for a rocket to be fired. Once that happens everyone stampedes into a field outside Binissalem and a human circle is formed around a huge pile of grapes. When the whistle blows, the madness begins and grapes start flying.

Photos by Reuters, via Chinadaily

fruit-fight2

..

Hotel Made Out of 200,000 Plastic Key Cards

2 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Holiday Inn Key Card Hotel was built by card-stacking master Bryan Berg, from 200,000 discarded hotel key cards.

To mark the relaunch of their hotel chain, numbering 1,200 establishments, Holiday Inn inaugurated the world’s first key card hotel, in Manhattan, New York. It’s made up of a guestroom, bathroom and lobby, featuring life size furniture made-out of key cards.

Bryan Berg, who built his first record-breaking house of cards when he was only 17, back in 1992, said this was his toughest challenge yet, because he has never created human scale structures before. The Key Card Hotel was opened on September 17 and will be in business until September 21. During the five day event, Bryan Berg will build a replica of the Empire State Building, inside the lobby of the strange hotel.

via Daily Mail and Xinhua

keycard-hotel

..

The House of Plastic Bottles

3 CommentsStumble it Icon digg it Icon

Apart from the breathtaking Iguazu Falls, one of the most important tourist attractions in the Iguazu area is the House of Plastic Bottles, built out of plastic bottles and other recyclable materials.

Alfredo Alberto Santa Cruz got the idea of building a house from plastic bottles while he was creating a playhouse for his little daughter. After he finished it, he noticed the plastic the structure was pretty sturdy and realized he was on to something. That’s when he decided to build a one-bedroom cottage out of plastic bottles, for him and his family.

Mr. Santa Cruz’s bottle house features a bed, chairs, shelves and even a fake hanging plant, all made out of PET bottles. Practically everything inside the house is recyclable, apart from the wood framing and a few metal bolts. The walls are made from 2-liter plastic bottles, while the roof consists of hundreds of tetrapak cartons (the boxes you drink juice from). Alfredo has flattened them into shingles and turn them aluminum side up, to reflect the sun and keep the place cool. They would only last for 4-5 years, due to rains, but he covered them up with a layer of plastic, cut from bottles and says this combo could last even 20 years.

I’ve seen glass bottle houses before, even a temple built out of glass bottles, but this is my first plastic bottle house.

plastic-bottle-house

..

A Preview of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park

1 CommentStumble it Icon digg it Icon

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a theme park based on JK Rowling’s best selling series, Harry Potter, due to open in the spring of 2010, at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure resort, in Orlando.

Artists have drawn artworks to show the world a small preview of the magical theme park. Let’s have a look at what we’ll be able to experience in the world of Harry Potter:

Harry-Potter-theme-park

..

Page 30 of 41« First...1020...2829303132...40...Last »