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Largest cigarette butt in the world

No one actually smoked this cigarette, it was created as a statement.

A 9-meter cigarette butt was dropped in the middle of Trafalgar Square, London, at the beginning of this month as a protest against the city’s burning littering problem. Ever since smoking in indoor public places was banned, Londoners have been smoking outdoors and throwing the stubs on the streets, with no concern for the environment. The Keep Britain Tidy campaign installed the giant structure to remind people that cigarette butts litter 78% of streets in all of Great Britain.

Maybe somebody should start advertising the e-cigarette more, it would solve the littering problem and keep smokers happy.

World’s biggest tree

It may not be the tallest tree in the world, but it’s is definitely the largest by volume.

General Sherman is a 2300-2700 year old sequoia tree located in the Giant Forest of the Sequoia National Park, near Visalia, California. In 2002 the volume of its trunk measured about 1487 cubic meters and it was identified as the largest in the world after a close fight with the nearby General Grant tree, after which wood volume was accepted as the determining factor. It’s not short either, it reaches 275 feet in height.

It was named after general William Tecumesh Sherman, the American Civil War leader, by naturalist James Wolverton in 1879.

Another interesting thing about the Sherman tree is that because of it’s extremely large volume it is also the largest known single organism by volume.

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Wacky World’s biggest things

What people wouldn’t do accomplish something remotely extraordinary…

I mean who would go out of their way to build the world’s largest teapot or the world’s biggest boot? Probably someone who wants to get noticed and acknowledged as a person who made something remarkable, and because they can’t be the person who comes up with the cure for cancer, they build something extremely large and funny, it’s as simple as that.

But I’m sure that they’re also very fun to make, just like everything that’s done passionately.

Swallow’s Nest Castle

A great architectural wonder built on the edge of a cliff.

Swallow’s Nest is an ornamental castle built in Yalta, Crimea peninsula, Ukraine, built between 1911-1912 by Russian architect Leonid Sherwood. It lies on the 130foot-high Aurora Cliff, overlooking the Black Sea. Over time it has been a restaurant, a reading club headquarters and, lately, a very popular tourist attraction. In 1927 it survived a strong earthquake (between 6 and 7 on the Richter scale) with only a few decorative elements falling in the sea, but the cliff itself developed a huge crack, so access to the Swallow’s Nest was restricted for almost 40 years. In 1968 the castle was renovated and a monolithic concrete plate console was used to strengthen the cliff.

I love the way it looks, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable visiting a place that looks like it could fall into the see any second.

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Shilin-The Stone Forest

Shilin is a wonderful place that you must visit if you ever have the chance…

Because as an old Chinese saying goes ” If you have visited Kunming without seeing the Stone Forest, you have wasted your time” and I couldn’t agree more. Shilin is an intricate krafts formation in the south-west of China, one of Yunnan province’s most popular tourist attraction. The tall rocks, that seem to be bursting out of the ground, reach heights of 30 meters and their numbers really create the illusion that you’re looking at a petrified forest.

There are many local legends inspired by this incredible place, but the most famous one says the gods created this huge stone labyrinth for lovers to get lost in and be together. Scientists say this 2,670 square kilometers area used to be a sea and when the waters pulled back some 270 million years ago, these formation emerged and the surrounding elements eroded.

Who knew huge limestone rocks could be so beautiful…

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Color-painted human skulls

That’s right, in this Austrian town, when you can’t bury bones, you paint them.

Hallstatt is a very small town in Austria with a very interesting ossuary, definitely the town’s biggest tourist attraction. The story behind it goes like this: Back in the 16th century, Hallstatt’s small cemetery had reached its limit and the people there had to come up with a solution. So people who died were only buried in the cemetery for 10-12 years, after which their bones were dugg up, bleached in the sunlight for a few months, then painted with the person’s name, dates of birth and death and some decorations and, finally placed in the ossuary.

The city is much smaller now and most of the people are cremated anyway, but this practice still take place on request, the latest of the 1200 skulls dates back to 1997. In the old days all the bones were placed in the ossuary, but these days its getting pretty crowded in there so only the skulls are allowed.

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The Tiger Temple

A place where tourists can pet tigers just like they do their cats, here’s something you don’t see every day.

The Tiger Temple, or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua is Theravada Buddhist forest temple, in Thailand. It has been a sanctuary for many endangered animals for quite some time now, including several tigers. It was founded in 1994 as a forest monastery, where animals could find sanctuary and in 1999 they received their first tiger cub, which died soon after. But they kept receiving tiger cubs from the villagers who probably encountered them wondering through the forest after their mothers were killed by poachers.

The Tiger Temple has raised money over the years and can now accommodate 12 mature tigers and 4 cubs. they live in cages and once a day they are taken to a nearby quarry, where they can roam freely. Tourists may watch from 10 meters distance and sometimes they are allowed to pet these magnificent creatures. Only one serious attack took place in the history of the temple.

The priests at the Tiger Temple are now gathering funds to build a larger facility and create an almost natural environment for the animals, so they can one day be let out into the wild where they belong.

In case you’re wondering, yes this is the place featured on Animal Planet.

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Bottle-wall houses

If you’re a big beer fan, don’t throw away the bottles, build yourself a house instead.

Yet another example that with a god imagination you can build anything out of anything. The first bottle house was built in 1902 by William F. Peck, in Tonopah, Nevada, using approximately 10,000 beer bottles; the house was later demolished in 1980. Tom Kelly built himself a bottle house in 1905, in Rhyolite, Nevada, using 51,000 bottles masoned with adobe. He reportedly used bottles because other materials were hard to come by in that area.

There are quite a few bottle houses in the world today, but most of them have been built specifically as tourist attractions or simply as artworks.

Oasis of the Americas

Yet another place I’d like to visit at least once in my lifetime.

Sadly I might not get the opportunity, and not because I may not be able to reach it, but just because it may not be there for long. This extraordinary place is in danger, the underground river that supplies the water for Huacachina Oasis is now being plundered by the people of the neighboring city of Ika. It’s not specifically their fault, global warming is affecting water supplies everywhere, so it’s humanity’s fault, shame on us!

It’s a shame that a place that over the centuries has sheltered countless travelers, preventing them from finding their end in the sun-scorched desert dunes that surrounds it. Quite an unfitting end for such a unique location, that is just beginning to attract tourists from all over the world.

So if you have the chance, go to Peru and visit Huacachina Oasis, who knows if you’ll ever get the chance again…

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Real upside-down house

With an upside-down interior and everything!

If you’re ever in Poland, you might want to go see one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, in the village of Szymbark. Designedby Polish businessman and philanthropist Daniel Czapiewski, the house manages to draw in huge crowds every day. This project was meant to be a statement about the Comunist era and also about the current stet of the world. everything is upside-down and it’s up to mankind to fix it.

What’s even more unusual is that all of the interior is also upside-down and it took the workers 114 days to complete it, instead of the normal three weeks, because they needed frequent breaks to recover from getting disoriented by the weird angles of the house. Visitors also often complain about mild sickness and dizziness after just a few minutes spent in the house.

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Wacky Austrian museum

Ever been afraid that a house might fall on you and squash you?

I know what it looks like, but no, that house did not just fall out of the sky. It’s an artistic project of sculptor Erwin Wurm and it was set up especially to look like a house just fell out of the sky and landed on the Viennese Museum of Modern Art. Actually it took two large cranes to get that house in its place and secure it properly.

Wurm says his work of art is a statement against over-development, here are his thoughts on the matter: “There are hundreds of thousands of houses and they are spreading like a plague, like a cancer across our land.”

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Cement tube houses

I could think of a number of uses for these cement tubes, but housing is still not one of them.

But as you can see it’s very possible, and the people living in them seem very content. Sure you only have enough space to fit a small bed but at least you have a roof over your head…well it’s not exactly a roof but you know what I mean. I guess this one of those places where rich people come to experience what the hard-knock life feels like, before heading back to their luxurious mansions.

Would be nice if they had a toilet or something, though…

Cappadocia Cave Hotel

Yes, I know, another place I’d like to visit in my lifetime.

Cappadocia Hotel literally carved into the Yunak Evleri mountain cliff. It includes 6 cave houses, a 19th century Greek mansion and 30 rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th century. Another reason to visit the luxurious Cappadocia Hotel is the opportunity to explore its elaborate underground cities, cavernous churches and incredible rock terrain.

So if you’re ever in Turkey and can afford to spend some serious bucks on a memorable vacation, keep Cappadocia Hotel in mind.

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Mountains in the Philippines

Who says agriculture doesn’t belong in mountain regions!

I have to hand it to these workers, they’ve certainly made lemonade with the lemons nature gave them. It’s definitely not easy to practice agriculture in this kind of environment, but they pulled it off in the Philippines and they did it by using their hands and tools, no kind of fancy machinery.

And I have to say that besides the purpose they serve, these mountains really look amazing!

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A case of excessive privacy

This is a perfect place for everyone who loves privacy.

This beautiful house is completely cut off from the mainland. Nothing unusual so far, it’s not like there haven’t been any houses built on islands before, but this house practically spreads across the whole island, you go out the door and you find yourself swimming. I wonder how this house close to Oslofjord Islands was built.

It’s nice if you can’t stand neighbors though!

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