Unique Spanish Festival Celebrates Near Death Experiences

Did you manage to survive a near death experience during the past year? Well then, congratulation, you’ve earned the privilege of being placed in a coffin and paraded through the streets of Las Nieves, as part of a festival called La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme.

The small town of Las Nieves is located in the isolated northwest part of Spain called Galicia, where pagan rites have been a part of local culture since anyone can remember. Although it has tried very hard over the centuries, the Catholic Church has never been able to fully integrate their teachings here, and witches or evil spirits still exist in people’s spiritual beliefs. La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme is one of the Church’s attempts to adapt its dogma to the region’s more primitive beliefs, a sort of “Catholicism meets Paganism” type of event which has often been labeled as one of the most outrageous religious pilgrimages in the world. The unique event that takes place every year on July 29 celebrates those who have managed to cheat death in the previous 12 months by placing them in coffins and parading them through the town, and honors Saint Marta de Ribarteme, the patron of resurrection.

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Russian Artist Creates Miniature Models from Pasta

Sergey Pakhomov, an artist from Russia’s Perm region has recently made headlines in his home country for using various types of pasta to make miniature models of cars, planes, boats and even a small pasta town.

If you’ve at least heard of Canada’s wacky Spaghetti Bridge Building Championship, then you already know pasta can also be used outside the kitchen. Take Sergey Pakhomov, an amateur artist who discovered Italian pasta is a great material for creating detailed miniature models. It all started six years ago, when Pakhomov was working for a PR company, and was asked to do a creative advertisement for a Russian macaroni company. He was brainstorming one night and came up with the idea of creating various thing out of macaroni. The advertisement campaign was eventually canceled, but the idea stuck with him, and after studying the works of other artists who had used stuff like vermicelli or rigatoni to make art, he decided to pursue a career in pasta models. After six years of experimenting with the strange medium, Sergey Pakhomov has an impressive collection of over 30 miniature pasta models, some of which are pretty complex.

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Anna Amemiya – A Half-Human, Half-Anime Japanese Model

Did you ever wish those cute anime girls were actually real? It turns out they actually can be. Well, sort of… Japanese model Ana Amemiya has become somewhat famous in her country for always wearing an anime mask on her head, whether she’s at photo shoots or on stage. We’re way beyond cosplay here, people.

According to RocketNews24, the 22-year-old half-human, half-anime model made her debut in 2010, as a gravure idol (Japanese glamour idol that is generally more provocative than regular models, though not to the point of posing nude). She was signed by Excel Human Agency, released her first DVD in December 2010, and even had her own daikmakura pillow cover. What sets Anna Amemiya apart from any other model in the world is her signature anime head. She basically has the head of a smiling anime girl and the body of a real woman, which apparently (for some strange reason) appeals to some Japanese men. It’s important to note that Anna never takes off her mask, so nobody knows what she really looks like.

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Artist Creates Pixelated Portraits Out of Computer Keys and Buttons

Australian artist Guy Withby, aka WorkbyKnight (WBK), creates portraits of musicians, political figures and other celebrities by assembling hundreds of buttons from computer keyboards, typewriters and phones.

“”The hand made days are gone. Our food, our clothes, our furniture, our homes, our lives are manufactured. Life is factory made.” WBK is factory made art for a manufactured world. With a quite reflection on an analogue past.” This is how Guy Withby describes his works on Deviant Art. You can clearly see that a large part of his art is indeed influenced by the transition from the analog days to the digital era, as he uses old type sets, type writer keys, analogue numbers, analogue timepieces to represent the by-gone analog times, and computer keys, calculator buttons phone buttons to represent the digital age. He manages to arrange all these tiny pieces into detailed portraits of artistic, historical or political personalities who played a role in this transition. Every art piece consists of hundreds of buttons that serve as pixels, and Withby makes sure he uses an assortment of both analog and digital-representing keys, instead of a single type, which would definitely make his job a lot easier. Although his art is time-consuming, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

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KABUTOM RX-03 – Japan’s Giant Rhinoceros Beetle Robot

Created by Japanese engineer Hitoshi Takahashi, the KABUTOM RX-03 is an 11-meter-long, 17-tonne-heavy robot shaped like a rhinoceros beetle. The impressive mecha can walk with its six legs, blows smoke from its nose and always gets Japanese crowds raddled when it makes an appearance.

The KABUTOM RX-03 is definitely one of the most impressive functional robots unveiled in recent years, especially since it was designed and built by one man, 60-year-old tech-wiz Hitoshi Takahashi. The Japanese engineer started working on his personal giant robot in 1997, as a hobby, and 11 years later, in 2008, he unveiled his creation to all of Japan, during a popular television show. The KABUTOM RX-03 was an instant hit and ever since then, Takahashi and his giant beetle mecha have been performing at events all over the country. We’ve seen big, cool-looking robots from Japan before, like the life-size RX87 Gundam or the Tetsujin 28-go aka Gigantor, but unlike them, this one actually works.

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Australian Artist Takes Camouflage to a Whole New Level

Adelaide-based artist Emma Hack, 39, creates incredible works of art where she paints male and female models and makes them blend into complex background images.

If you’re one of the 300 million people who watched Gotye’s video for the international hit “Somebody That I Used to Know“, then you’re probably already a fan of Emma Hack, and just didn’t know it yet. She’s the mastermind behind the unique music video where Gotye and Kimbra gradually transform into painted works of art that morph into the background until they become entirely camouflaged. Emma worked with the artists for 23 very long hours, but the public reactions to their work made the efforts worth it for all parties involved. Although she’s been a camouflage artist for 22 years, Emma says she feels her career has just now started taking off and she’s finally being taken seriously as an artist.

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85-Year-Old Vietnamese Man Hasn’t Cut His Hair in 70 Years

85-year-old Nguyen Van Chien, from Vietnam’s southern province of Tien Giang, hasn’t had a haircut since he was in the 12th grade, 70 years ago. As a result, his hair now 4-meters-long and weight 2 kilograms.

Even as a young boy, Nguyen Van Chien liked to let his hair grow long. He would braided it into a bun on top of his head to keep it from interfering with his daily activities, but one day, while he was in the 12th grade, his teachers advised him to cut his hair. He took their advice, but as soon as he got a haircut, he started experiencing a strange pain that not even painkillers could make go away. Before he cut his hair the man had had no health problems, not even a common flu, so he decided to let his hair grow, and never cut it again. It’s been 70 years since he made the decision, and now his “dragon tail”, as he calls his hair measured around 4 meters long and weighs over 2 kilograms.

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Illustrator Challenges Reality in Awesome Video Series

Renown illustrator and author Mark Crilley demonstrates his insane drawing talent in a series of videos in which he recreates everyday objects with pencils, ball-point pens and fine paintbrushes.

As you’e probably already noticed, we don’t just post oddities here on OC, we also feature lots of cool, amazing stuff, and Mark Crilley’s “Realism Challenge” video series is as amazing as hyperrealist art gets. Using his super skills and basic utensils he creates incredibly realistic drawn replicas of everyday stuff, like crumpled paper, a torn playing card or a mushroom. The Michigan-based artist makes great use of the trompe l’oeil technique to effectively trick your eyes into  thinking they’re looking at a real object instead of a masterful drawing. Apart from these realism challenges, Mark also posts how-to videos for aspiring illustrators on his YouTube channel.

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Artist Suffering from Severe Cerebral Palsy Creates Awe-Inspiring Typewriter Art

Paul Smith suffered from severe spastic cerebral palsy from a very young age. The loss of fine motor control of his hands made impossible for him to perform the most basics of tasks, like eating, bathing or clothing himself, but through sheer willpower he managed to become one of the most acclaimed typewriter artists in history.

Born in September1921, in Philadelphia, Paul Smith was diagnosed with severe spastic cerebral palsy as a child, but although this terrible condition made it impossible for him to express himself or attend school like any other child, it didn’t stop him from having a remarkable life. At age 15, Paul started working with the typewriter to create art, and slowly refined his technique until he was able to create real masterpieces. He would use his left hand to steady the right, so because he couldn’t type with both hands the artist would lock the “Shift” key and create most of his works with the characters “@ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _”. He spent 2-3 hours a day typing away on his typewriter while listening to Classical music, and each of his artworks would take him anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Over 70 years of artistic activity, Paul Lung created hundreds of beautiful typewriter art pieces, most of which he simply gave away.

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A Feast for Zombies: Gory Gourmet Food Truck Serves Fresh Brain Burgers

London Chef Mark Jankel shocked everyone when he launched the Gory Gourmet, a special food truck that serves very literal brain food, including calf brain burgers, brain salad wrap or crispy chunks of brain.

Animal brain is a pretty common ingredient in the cuisine of many Asian countries, but in the Western world it has become somewhat of an oddity, with many referring to it as zombie food. Mark Jankel of Street Kitchen decided to use this fact as an opportunity to shock Londoners and create a very original publicity stunt. On August 22nd he launched his Gory Gourmet food truck, which treats Londoners to dishes made from calf brain, pig feet or cow thyroid. Although created to celebrate the DVD and BluRay release of zombie thriller series The Walking Dead Season 2, the Gory Gourmet was actually a culinary success, with dozens of curious clients lining up to taste the bizarre treats. I think it’s fair to say this particular food truck caters to the the taste of customers both alive and undead.

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Spassky Cave Church – A Russian Wonder Carved in Stone

On the banks of the Don River, in the picturesque Voronezh region of Russia lies one of the most fascinating tourist attractions this country has to offer  – the Spassky Cave Church. For hundreds of years, this place has been at the mercy of the elements, then it had to face communist persecution, yet it still stands as a bastion of Russian Christianity.

It’s believed the first caves were dug into the cretaceous mounts of Kostomarovo before the adoption of Christianity in Russia. Hermit monks would use these austere cell-like spaces to hide  from persecution, and it wasn’t until the 12th century that the first rock monastery was carved in the region. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact date the Spassky Cave Church appeared near the small Russian village of Kostomarovo, due to the lack of clear historical evidence, but it is now considered one of the most incredible monuments of ancient architecture in Russia. Dug into the cretaceous rocks known as “diva” in the Voronezh region, this unique holy place has a rugged exterior that hints at Byzantine influences, but its interior is much more polished, featuring straight walls, rounded arches and Orthodox decorations. It can accommodate 2,000 people and welcomes thousands of pilgrims from all over Russia, every year.

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Real-Life Sleeping Beauties Are Contractually Bound to Marry Their Prince Charmings in Controversial Art Exhibit

Aptly named “Sleeping Beauty“, a controversial art exhibit at the National Art Museum of Ukraine has real-life sleeping beauties waiting to be “woken up” by true love’s kiss, just like in the famous fairytale by Charles Perrault. Only these fair maidens are bound by contact to marry their suitors if they open their eyes while being kissed.

Earlier this month, a group of young women were chosen to be part of an an unusual art installation designed by Canadian-Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko. Each one has agreed to lay down on a pedestal-style bed for three days waiting to be woken up by true love’s kiss. Unlike the sleeping beauty in Perrault’s story, these girls are not under any curse, nor have they been poisoned, they just volunteered to be part of a really unique art project and hopefully find the love of their lives. Because the contract they agreed to sign clearly states that if any of them open their eyes while being kissed by any of the male visitors, they are obliged to marry them. To make things interesting, each of the visitors is also required to sign a contract that obligates them to marry the sleeping beauty if she opens her eyes during the kiss. Pretty serious stuff…

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Vietnamese Dark Knight Builds His Own Scrap-Part Batpod

If you’ve seen any of the Batman movies from the latest trilogy, you know how cool his motorcycle looks, and probably understand why this Vietnamese bike enthusiast couldn’t resist the thought of owning his very own Batpod, even if that meant having to build it himself.

Dubbed the “Vietnamese Dark Knight”, the young man behind this impressive scrap-part motorcycle has been identified as Tùng Lâm, from Vietnam’s Lang Son province. About a month ago, the builder posted a YouTube video of himself riding a prototype of the home-made Batpod which went viral receiving about 370,000 views in just 10 days. Although it was obvious the replica was not yet finished, the video still managed to draw a lot of attention and left many viewers curious to know if he had built it himself, what parts he used or how long it took him. There were some trolls commentators who said it was a poor effort that looked almost nothing like the Batpod in the Dark Knight films, but overall the reaction to the video was positive. Yesterday, almost a month from the first video, another one was posted, this time of the completed bike.

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Welsh Man Has Lived as an Apache Indian for the Last 20 Years

60-year-old Mangas Colaradas, born and raised in Swansea, Wales, has lived as a Native American Indian for the last two decades, after divorcing his wife. He wears traditional Apache clothing and respects their beliefs, but lives in a three-bed suburban house.

Mangas, who was apparently once known as “Mr. Davies”, refuses to disclose his former name and only answers to his Indian one, adopted in honor of a great Apache tribe leader. Regardless of what others may think of him, the British Apache says he’s the real deal, and that he dresses and lives like an Indian all the time. “I dress like this all the time, I’m not just some weekend Indian. I don’t put it on to show off, I put it on because I want to wear it”, Mangas was quoted by This Is South Wales. The father of six divorced his wife during the 1990s and embraced the Apache Indian lifestyle. In 1997, he even traveled to the US and tried to live on a Red Indian reservation, but wasn’t allowed to by the American Government. He then moved to Spain where he live in a tepee, in the mountains and forests around Torremolinos. “I prefer being out in the wild, watching the wolves or bats or spiders going by”, Mangas says.

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Talented Lawyer Draws Stunning Photo-Like Ball-Point Pen Portraits

If these incredibly realistic ball-point pen drawings were created by an experienced full-time artist I would have been deeply impressed, but knowing these masterpieces were actually drawn by a self-taught lawyer, I’m desperately trying to keep my jaw from hitting the floor.

The realistic-looking ball-point pen drawings of Juan Francisco Casas are famous all around the world, and I never though I’d find another artist who could use a simple pen the way he does. And, technically I haven’t, because 29-year-old Samuel Silva is a lawyer who exercises his drawing skills as a hobby, yet manages to create stunning piece of art that belong in an art gallery. On his Deviant Art profile page, Silva, who graduated from law school and became a lawyer in 2007, describes himself as ” just a self taught patient hobbyist person”. He started drawing when he was only 2-years-old and developed his own style of ball-point pen drawing in school, by creating “simple classroom sketches in the back of exercise books”. For some reason, he didn’t go to art school, but that obviously hasn’t stopped him from taking his drawing skills to a level I can only describe as “awesome!”

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