Yohio, the Japanese Doll-Like Rock Star Who Is Actually a Swedish Boy

Ok, so we’ve had plenty of doll-like Internet celebrities featured on Oddity Central, but Yohio, a Japanese visual kei singer is pushing the envelope even further, as he’s actually a 16-year-old Swedish bot who looks like an anime girl.

The androgynous look isn’t exactly something new in music. Singers like David Bowie, Boy George and even Marylin Manson have used their feminine features to their advantage for years, but they never took it as far as Yohio, a Swedish teen who has taken Japan by storm with his anime girl looks, guitar skills and knowledge of the Japanese language. The 16-year-old became an online sensation outside the Land of the Rising Sun when a video of a a pale blonde-hair girl with big black eyes and pigtails singing in Japanese made the rounds of popular Internet media outlets. People were left stunned when they realized the beautiful performer was actually a 16-year-old dude, from Sweden.

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The Beautiful Cut Canvas Portraits of Kuin Heuff

At first glance, Dutch artist Kuin Heuff‘s portraits seem to be made up of a dizzying number of converging lines, but in reality, the creative process couldn’t be more different.

The Rotterdam-based artist, whose work focuses on the intricacies of the human face, starts off by creating acrylic paintings of the faces she wants to render. But while other artists would leave it at that, she takes her art to a whole new level by taking a sharp knife and cutting away maze-like patterns to create negative space. The process becomes even more impressive when you realize how important deciding when and where to cut, considering every stroke of the knife is irreversible. Yet Kuin Heuff pulls it off with relative ease, showing incredible skill and an eye for what’s important in her art.

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German Couple Build Fairy Tale Castle in Their Backyard

Heinz and Hildegard Schönewolf, from Dudweiler, Germany, have spent the last 37 years building a 350 square-foot fairy tale castle, right in their own backyard.

It’s amazing the kind of things people create in their backyards. Just a few days ago we posted about the stunning Four Seasons Garden, and the impressive replica of the Golden Gate Bridge built by Larry Richardson, and let’s not forget the backyard Titanic we featured a while back. Today, I found some photos of a colorful castle like the one you usually see in children’s fairy tale books, and learned it was actually built by a retired bricklayer, right in his own backyard, in the German town of Dudweiler. The 76-year-old castle enthusiast spent 37 years building his masterpiece out of stones, bricks and thousands of bags of cement.

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Stunning Portraits Made with a Single Sewing Thread Wrapped through Nails

Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita creates mind-boggling portraits by wrapping a single UNBROKEN black thread around galvanized nails, on a clear white board.

In the four years since I started Oddity Central, I’ve had the opportunity of discovering many great artists. Most of their works are nothing short of impressive, but there are a few whose artistic genius is simply breathtaking. Kumi Yamashita is definitely one of those few. The Japanese artist living in New York City uses all kinds of common objects to create arresting images, in her quest of exploring art beyond the confines of traditional media. Perhaps her most impressive technique is creating portraits by using a single thread weaved around a series of nails, on a white background. We’ve seen portraits created with thread and nails before, but nothing quite like what Yamashita can do.

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It’s About Time! New York Hosts First World Burping Championship

Most civilized countries have long considered burping one of the most embarrassing things a person can do in public. Now, the World Burping Federation, in Geneva, is trying to change people’s opinion, and their first attempt was the first edition of the Burping Championship.

Held in New York City, this first annual World Burping Championship had competitors guzzling down gallons of soda in order to produce the longest burp possible. The five contestants chosen to take part in this unusual event weren’t just regular beer-guzzlers who like to let loose a few burps every once in a while. They were all competitive eaters with Major League Eating which meant the whole contest a lot more interesting. Unlike regular burpers, these guys could fill their bellies with gallons of carbonated drinks, making them more qualified to produce a burp worthy of the record books.

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Experience Life as an Illegal Alien at Mexico’s Border-Crossing Theme Park

Ever wondered what Mexican emigrants go through trying to illegally cross the border into the United States? Well, now you have the opportunity to experience it for yourself at Eco Alberto, an Illegal Border Crossing Theme Park.

Located 100 kilometers from the US border, and about two hours away from Mexico City, the small town of El Alberto has become one of Mexico’s most popular tourist attractions. Seven years ago, 90% of the local population had crossed over into the US in search of the American Dream, and the small settlement had become a modern ghost town. Life was simply too hard in El Alberto and almost everyone decided to try their luck across the border. But that all changed when the Eco Alberto Park was inaugurated in the vicinity of the small Mexican town. Now, El Alberto has a population of around 3,000 and draws in thousands of tourists every year, all eager to experience the unique activity that put this place on the map.

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Dresses Made from Red Wine Probably Look Better with Time

A team from the University of Western Australia have added a bacteria to red wine and managed to create a cotton-like fabric that can be used to make anything from dresses to t-shirts and swimwear.

Although still in the early stages of development, this technique of making clothes from wine could one day become mainstream, at least according to the people who came up with the idea. ‘This project redefines the production of woven materials. ‘By combining art and science knowledge and with a little inventiveness, the ultimate goal will be to produce a bacterial fermented seamless garment that forms without a single stitch,’ lead researcher Gary Cass said. Still, the technology is far from perfect, and there will probably be a long time before people will be wearing casual clothes made from Pinot Noir or Merlot.

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Airline Offers Wealthy Passengers Luxury Suites Complete with Double Beds and Armchairs

Even when you’re in business class, long flights can get pretty uncomfortable. For some it’s the leg space, others are annoyed by noisy passengers, but now Singapore Airways offers a very simple-yet-expensive solution to any problem – luxury private suites.

That’s right, from now on, wealthy passengers flying on the company’s A380 jets will be able to relax in their very own cabins in the sky, complete with double beds and comfy Italian-stitched armchairs. No more having your legs squashed in that tiny space between chairs, or having to endure a total stranger’s snoring or loud obnoxious voice. Instead of trying to watch the in-flight movie on a tiny screen, with a headset in your ears, you can sit back and enjoy whatever film you like on your private 23-inch TV. From now on, rich business types will have their own little oasis of privacy and luxury even when they’re flying.

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Australian City to Host Real-Life Zombie First Person Shooter Game

If you’ve ever dreamed of starring in your own zombie shooting video game, like Left4Dead or Resident Evil, your wish is about to come true as “Patient 0“, the world’s first “fully immersive live action real life, multiplayer, first person shooter, role-playing game” is about to take place in Melbourne, Australia.

It’s no secret that we’re living in a golden age of zombies. From movies to video games and even real life events, the undead are everywhere these days, so it came as no surprise when entrepreneurs started creating all kinds of events centered around the walking corpses. So far we’ve had a zombie training camp, zombie obstacle race and even a zombie-infested mall challenge, so it’s pretty clear this kind of event is becoming very popular. A group of enterprising young Australians has now decided to take things to a whole new level and announced they are working on a real-life first person shooter game for people who wish they could just get off the couch and play their favorite zombie shooter in real life.

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Reporters Travel To China to Test Fabled Melt-Proof Ice Cream

Legend has it that in China there is an ice-cream that simply doesn’t melt even when left at room temperature for hours. So the guys at RocketNews24 sent a report to investigate on this myth.

Now, we’ve posted about some pretty special ice-cream treats, like the sinful Vice Lolly and the ice cream made from breast milk, but an ice-cream that doesn’t melt? That was unheard of, so a reporter from the Japanese wacky news site journeyed to China to uncover the truth about this legendary frozen dessert. He picked up one of these special lollies generically called “Banana” from a 7-11 but learned that the popsicle made by Nestle China can be found in pretty much any shop around the country. While you might expect a treat called Banana to actually taste like the world’s most popular fruit, this particular lolly has a plain vanilla ice-cream core encased in a sort of yellow gelatin, which the consumer can peel in order to reveal the vanilla center.

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Stunning Photos from the World’s Most Amazing Suburban Family Garden

Located in the small backyard of a family-owned property in Wallsall, England, is one of the most incredible-looking gardens in the world. The Four Seasons Garden may not be as large as other famous English gardens you may have visited, but it certainly makes up in beauty and charm.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of breathtaking gardens all over Europe, but most of them were designed and looked-after by teams of professional gardeners, at a considerable cost. The Four Seasons Garden, created by self-taught gardeners Tony and Marie Newton, started out as a hobby, but slowly grew into one of the most popular suburban  gardens in Britain. 20 years ago, the couple from West Midlands decided to transform their traditional garden into a stunning display of creative gardening. Tony hated weeding, but loved building things, while his wife Marie just loved plants, so together they set out to create Four Seasons, their version of the ideal backyard garden.

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Cooolest Finds of the Week #42

97-Year-Old Gets High-School Diploma (Yahoo)

The Oldest Tree in the World (Environmental Graffiti)

Spiders Invade Remote Indian Village (Russia Today)

Giant Robot Fish Is a Hit with Living Tank Mates (Geekologie)

World’s Oldest Backpacker Is 95-Years-Old (AOL)

Vampire Skeletons Unearthed in Bulgaria (Fox News)

Fat Woman’s Body Sets Crematorium on Fire (Digital Journal)

Brazilian Boy Wakes Up at Own Funeral, Then Dies Again (Gawker)

The Rocky Wonders of Bryce Canyon National Park (Environmental Graffiti)

Thousands of Indians Swallow Raw Fish to Cure Asthma (NY Daily News)

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Bullfrog Served ALIVE at Japanese Restaurant

A video shot in Japan recently went viral after it showed a bullfrog served in a Japanese restaurant still blinking and twitching on the plate, after being skinned alive and cut into pieces.

This is definitely one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen. Singaporean website STOMP recently released a series of photos and a video shot in a Japanese restaurant where apparently people like to eat bullfrogs while they’re still alive. The video shows a customer going into the restaurant and how the cook there simply picks up a big frog, sticks a knife in it, removes all its inedible innards and skins it alive. Then the focus moves on the smiling customers who enjoys a healthy serving of bullfrog sashimi while the animal is looking at her from her plate, blinking and twitching… That doesn’t seem to bother the young woman much, as she even gives the thumb-up sign for the quality of the dish.

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Hundreds of Paintings Come Together to Form Stunning Mural Mosaics

Invented by Lewis Lavoie, Mural Mosaic is an artistic concept which brings together hundreds of artworks painted by various artists into one exceptional image.

Lewis Lavoie created his first mural mosaic in 1997, for a retaining wall next to an art gallery in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. For this, the artist painted hundreds of individual paintings that were ultimately assembled to make up the face of Michelangelo’s David. It was a monumental achievement that helped Lavoie gain international attention for his unique style. But that was only the beginning of the mural mosaic movement, as seven years later Lewis takes his ingenious concept to the next level, by inviting 70 different artists to create the first community mural mosaic. During a live 24-hour painting marathon, each artist makes his contribution to the “Heritage Fiddler” mosaic.

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Man Wins BMW after Keeping His Hand “Glued” to It for 87 Hours

Song Changjiang, a lucky 27-year-old from Chengdu, China, has won the right to drive in a BMW 1 Series after keeping his hand glued to it for 4 days and three nights, in a bizarre contest.

What some people wouldn’t do for the chance to win a brand new BMW. Take the participants in the  ‘Who Can Keep Their Hand on the BMW‘ contest held in China’s Chengdu City. 120 contestants, aged between 18 and 40, signed up for the chance to win a BMW 1 Series. Organizers brought out a few vehicles, placed palm-shaped stickers on them, and all the participants had to do is keep their hands on them for as long as they could. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I thought so too, but judging by the photos taken during the competition, it was a real physical and mental test.

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