Beautiful “Paintings” Hide a Mind-Blowing Secret

You’ve probably seen hundreds of nature-inspired paintings like the ones created by Russian artist Alexander Yurkov. But, although you can’t tell at first glance, his works are truly unique. In fact, they’re not even real paintings…

It’s a real shame awe-inspiring artworks like the ones created by Alexander Yurkov remain unknown to most of the western world, while other less impressive works get loads of attention on art and design sites and in famous galleries. This Russian master spent decades perfecting a technique he developed himself that involves creating painting-like mosaics exclusively out of dried leaves, grass and flowers. That’s right, there isn’t a single stroke of paint or pencil in the masterpieces below, only cleverly selected and positioned tree leaves, pieces of dried grass and withered flowers. How he manages to get the color tones and shades so perfect that it makes people stick their nose to the artworks trying to spot the actual leaves and making sure there’s no oil paint involved, is beyond me, but it’s this mystery that makes Yurkov’s art so intriguing.

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El Bosc de les Fades – Barcelona’s Fairy Tale Cafe

If you’re looking for an other-worldly experience in the Catalonian city of Barcelona, look no further than El Bosc de les Fades (The Fairies’ Forest), a unique cafe decorated as an esoteric land of fairies.

Tucked away off Las Ramblas, on Pasatje Banca next to the Wax Museum, El Bosc de les Fades is one of the most unusual attractions of Barcelona. As the name suggests, this offbeat venue was inspired by a fairy forest, complete with an artificial woodland of snaking branches, trickling waterfalls, will-o-the-wisp lights, weird demons lurking in mirrors, various optical illusions  and, of course, fairies. It’s kitschy, yet original, and most people enjoy the novelty of it. The main room of the cafe offers plenty of seats under the lush artificial vegetation, or at the bar that’s also been decorated to fit the fairy tale theme, but for visitors who want the full-immersion effect of this place, there’s the private grotto where they can get lost in the very depths of the mysterious forest. And if you’re looking for a creepier fantasy setting, El Bosc de les Fades also features a “haunted house” room complete with eerie mannequins and a magic mirror in which apparitions suddenly appear and then vanish again.

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Human Motorcycles Made from Body-Painted Yoga Gurus

To promote the upcoming Progressive International Motorcycle Show, advertising and branding studio i.d.e.a. created a series of human motorcycles from the contorted bodies of yoga experts and circus performers.

We’ve seen impressive body-painting and displays of yoga skills before, but these human motorcycles are in a category of their own. “We sought to combine the art of the motorcycle with true art, thereby elevating the ads to something people would want to look at, enjoy, and share,” i.d.e.a. said about their unique project, and they’ve certainly achieved their goal. Photos and posters of their creations have gone viral on the Internet, and for good reason – they are simply spectacular. They employed the talents of professional body painted Trina Mery to turn a team of yoga experts, circus performers and flexible dancers into a speed bike, cruiser, and dirt bike to be ridden by the Progressive International Motorcycle Show’s host, Erin Bates. They did such a good job that in some photos you can’t even tell she’s just riding a bunch of people, not a real motorcycle.

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Awesome Starry Night Mural Made from over 1,000 Doorknobs

David Goldberg, the owner of a hardware store in Bethesda, Maryland, decided to repurpose his extensive collection of doorknobs and other door accessories by using them to recreate Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night.

It’s crazy how many people choose this specific artwork to unleash their artistic talents. So far, we’ve featured all kinds of Starry Night recreations, from a quilled version, to one made with spices and food colorings, and even an edible replica made from delicious bacon. This time we have another original version created from over 1,250 collected doorknobs. As a hardware store owner, David Goldberg put together an impressive collection of American and imported doorknobs and other door accessories, and instead of throwing them away, selling them for scrap or melting them he, decided to recycle them in a very artistic fashion and create a unique advertisement for his business at the same time. It took him four months, but he managed to build an amazing large-scale mural depicting Van Gogh’ famous Starry Night. Now people passing by his store in Bethesda, stop and stare at the glistening work of art, in awe of his original repurposing idea.

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Woman with Toilet Phobia Is Terrified She Will Be Swallowed Up When She Flushes

Can you imagine having to ask someone else to flush the toilet for you because you’re too terrified it will swallow you up? That’s exactly what 20-year-old Ney Decino, from Church Village, Wales, has to go through every day.

“The sound of the water sends shivers down my spine. It’s awful. I swear it will swallow me up. Once I’ve flushed, the sound of it and the look of the water going down, it freaks me out,” Ney says. She has had an irrational fear of toilets ever since watching a scene in the 1990 film Look Who’s Talking Too, starring John Travolta and Kirsty Alley. It showed an imaginary big-eyed, sharp-toothed character called Mr. Toilet Man, who screams it wants the child’s pee. I actually remember that scene, it freaked me out a bit as well, but I got over it pretty quickly. Ney, on the other hand, hasn’t, and she has had to deal with her phobia for most of her life. The young mother says she only goes to the toilet in public if it’s an absolute emergency, and always tries to find work close to home, so she can use the only toilet she feels safe on. And even there, she has problems flushing if she’s by herself. She will use a friend’s toilet if she has to, but only if they or a family member flush for her. Now, she’s trying to face her fear by setting up a Facebook group and getting in touch with other phobia-sufferers.

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Illustrator Creates Incredibly Detailed Drawings Inside Matchbooks

Jason D’Aquino is an expert miniaturist who unleashes his talent on all kinds of recycled objects, from ledgers, leaflets, vintage calendars to small pieces of paper and even tiny matchbooks. And to make sure everyone understands just how skilled he is, the man doesn’t do some simple doodles, he recreates the Mona Lisa, vintage movie portraits and even portraits of icons like Marilyn Monroe.

Drawing the kind of stuff Jason D’Aquino does is hard enough on a large canvas, but he manages to do it on the inside of matchbooks. Using high-magnification goggles, like those used by jewelers, the artist sketches incredible artworks only a few inches in size, sometimes even under an inch. The self-declared miniaturist seems to love small surfaces and has always enjoyed the challenge of seeing how small he can draw. As a child, he was always fascinated with his mother’s artworks, and says he had a pencil in his hand since before he could walk. Although he remained faithful to the graphite pencil, his art got smaller and smaller as he grew older. At first it was just a matter of convenience, but soon shrinking his art became a challenge. At the rate he’s going, he probably going to need a microscope pretty soon.

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Guy Can Put Out Candles Three Meters Away with Energy Generated by His Punches

Zhang Feng, a 23-year-old man from Zhengzhou, China, has apparently mastered a unique kung-fu technique he calls “Shaolin Sunshine Hand”, which allows him to generate enough energy with his fists to put out candles up to three meters away. This you gotta see!

Remember those cheesy Chinese kung-fu films we all used to watch during the 80s and 90s? I used to love seeing kung-fu masters blowing stuff and enemies away with their punches, but I kind of always knew it was just theatrics. After looking at this video that recently went viral in China, showing a nerdy dude throwing punches at a row of 15 candles and extinguishing them with air or energy generated by his flying fists, I’m not so sure anymore. I know, you’re convinced it’s a fake, and you’re not the only one, but the guy actually invited a couple of reporters from the Zhengzhou Evening News newspaper into his home to try the feat themselves and then film him doing it. The two journalists gave it their best shot, but were only able to put out one of the 15 candles set 10 cm apart, and even blowing air didn’t kill all the flames. Zhang Feng, on the other hand, put them all out just by throwing punches. Needless to say the reporters were in awe and couldn’t explain how he did it. If they were in on the trick, shame on them, but maybe there is something to this uncanny Shaolin master.

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Button Crazy – London’s Pearly Kings and Queens

The Pearly Kings and Queens of London, commonly referred to as “pearlies”, are an organised charitable tradition of working class culture in London, England. They raise funds to provide a better way of living for those less fortunate, but they’re best known for their flashy outfits decorated with thousands of pearl buttons.

Pearlies can be traced back to the year 1875, when the organisation was founded by Henry Croft, a 13-year-old street sweeper and rat catcher who dedicated his life to raising money to help children raised in orphanages. Henry himself was an orphan, and after he left the orphanage, at age 13 he became fascinated by London’s costermongers, a guild of colorful street traders who always helped one of their own when he was in trouble. They would organize a “whip round”, collecting money to help fellow costermongers get back on their feet. Traditionally, costers elected Kings’ to lead them against bullies seeking to drive them from their’place of business. They all wore clothes decorated with pearl buttons so they could easily be identified. The buttons were sewn down the outside leg seam of their pants, from the knee down to the ankle, on the pockets of their waistcoats and the front of their caps. Henry was fascinated both by their lifestyle and their dress code and decided to take their fashion style to a new level by decorating a whole suit with pearly buttons, while at the same time raising money for various causes. He became an attraction wherever he went, and one point he was so popular that Hospitals and other charities started asking him to collect money for their causes. But he needed help in his quest to help the sick and poor, and it help from his costermonger friends, who later became known as the Pearly Kings and Queens of London.

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Hananuma Masakichi – The Artist Who Recreated Himself from Wood

Hananuma Masakichi is one of those extraordinary artist who never really got the recognition they deserved. This Japanese sculptor created a life size statue of himself that is almost 100% identical in appearance to its maker. Although created over a century ago, the Masakichi sculpture still baffles artists and scientists alike.

Masakichi started working on his greatest masterpiece after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He believed he was going to dies soon, and decided to create a life-size statue of himself as a gift for the woman he loved. In 1885, when his artwork was finally completed, it was so life-like and realistic-looking that people couldn’t tell which was the fake even when the real Masakichi stood next to it. Working with adjustable mirrors, the Japanese artist made each of his body-parts separately, using strips of dark wood. The number of strips he used differs between 2,000 and 5,000, depending on which source you believe. No nails were used during the building process, the wooden strips were all assembled using dovetail joints, glue and wooden pegs. They are joined so perfectly that no seams can be seen on the wooden statue, even with a magnifying glass. The level of detail achieved by Masakichi is so mind-blowing that it reflects every tendon, muscle, vein, bone, wrinkle, down to the pores on his body. The anatomically-correct eyeballs he created for his statue still have opticians wondering how he made them.

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Artist Traps Bolts of Electricity Inside Clear Acrylic Blocks to Create “Captured Lightnings”

Want to give someone a unique present? How about a bolt of lightning? Bert Hickman’s work of art are literally stunning. He creates “Captured Lightnings” by blasting clear blocks of acrylic with millions of volts of electrical charge, using a high-energy particle accelerator, creating permanent “fossilized” tree-like patterns that reflect light like microscopic mirrors.

Bert Hickman’s works are scientifically known as Lichtenberg figures, only the artist and his physicist friend Todd Johnson have managed to turn them into artworks by creatng lightning bolts in the shape of butterflies, stars, trees and even the Yin Yang symbol. 65-year-old Hickman breaks down the process of making his Captured Lightnings: “To create our sculptures, we rent “beam time” on a 5 million volt particle accelerator. As the accelerator injects huge numbers of electrons inside a clear acrylic plastic specimen, a huge electrical charge (typically 1 – 2.5 million volts) builds inside.” He also manually creates an escape path for the electrical charge, a weakened path through the acrylic, to achieve the desired shapes. While the electricity escapes in a short lightning-like discharge, the intense heat from this miniature lightning leaves branching patterns that are permanently captured within the acrylic. These patterns are a ‘fossilized’ chain of microscopic fractures and tubes that reflect light like microscopic mirrors.

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Russian Teacher Creates Mind-Blowing Modular Origami Models of Famous Cathedrals

42-year-old Sergei Tarasov, a school teacher from the Russian village of Tigritskoe, has recently completed an incredibly detailed modular origami model of Moscow’s St. Basil cathedral, from over 10,000 A4 sheets of paper.

Origami is as hard as it is impressive, and it just amazes me how some people can just take some common pieces of paper and turn them into something wonderful. Take Sergei Tarasov, an Arts teacher from a rural area 502 miles south of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, who creates modular origami masterpieces from thousands of pieces of paper. His latest creation is a mind-blowing 1.5-meter-tall model of the iconic St. Basil cathedral, in Moscow, which took around a year to complete. Without even using a sketch for his projects, the teacher created 60,000 modular pieces and assembled them into this fragile wonder. The artwork was presented during the “Rus Masterovaya” festival dedicated to showcasing arts and crafts talent of Russian teachers.

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Fame Daddy – The World’s First Celebrity Fathering Service

UPDATE: Apparently this WAS in fact an elaborate hoax that managed to convince various media outlets, including English ITV, which also did an interview with the company’s CEO. Following an investigation by the TV channel, it turned out everything the guy said was a lie. Pretty good story, though.

Always dreamed of having a celebrity’s baby? Well, now’s your chance, as Fame Daddy, the world’s first celebrity sperm donor service claims to have 40 A-listers on books, including am Oscar-winning actor, a rock star, a Formula 1 driver, a former football player and even a genius. For “just” £15,000 ($24,000), you can give your baby that X factor everyone seems to be looking for these days.

I know, it sounds like a PR scam, but apparently this is a real service. London-based Fame Daddy is a unique service advertised as the ideal way for girls to discover what it would be like to have a child with their favorite celebrity. There’s a catch, though, the identity of the donor is never revealed. Instead, clients are asked to complete a 12-question quiz about child’s ideal height and complexion, whether they’d like the father to be a popular actor, talented musician or an accomplished athlete, as well as other questions to help them determine which donor best fits their personality, character and lifestyle choices. Later, a team of experts from Fame Daddy will help women choose the right father “that will compliment their biology and heritage. Donor fathers have apparently signed exclusive ‘donor’ deals on the basis of guaranteed anonymity and a legal waiver of their rights to access to the child.

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World’s Unluckiest Bachelor Has Been on 250 Blind Dates, Is Still Single

He’s rich, single and most importantly, he’s not cheap, but despite all these qualities, 47-year-old Larry Greenfield can’t seem to find a suitable life partner. In the last 12 years he has spent around $65,000 on matchmaking services, has been on 250 blind dates, but he has yet to find a wife.

Larry sounds like a really unlucky guy, but according to the New York Post and Yahoo Shine, he’s apparently just really picky. “His problem is he’s a six and he wanted tens,” Maureen Tara Nelson, one of his former matchmakers told Shine. He would pick out his dates according to their photos and profiles, but at the end he’d always say there was no chemistry. The Post also paints out the retired Wall Street trader as very detail-oriented: he wants a woman who is slim, Jewish, funny, and a non-alpha (isn’t interested in a career). That’s apparently a very rare breed in New York. “He thinks because he’s wealthy he could get a beautiful women, but what he doesn’t realize is that beautiful women in New York are also already successful,” Nelson said.

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Woman Spends a Year Living According to the Bible

31-year-old Rachel Held Evans has spent an entire year trying to follow of the Bible’s instructions for menstruating women, from “submitting” to their husbands to removing themselves from the community. Now she’s launching a book on her religious experiment, called “A Year of Biblical Womanhood”.

The Tennessee-based evangelical blogger set out to obey the Bible’s strict rules for women on their period, from Leviticus Chapters 15 to 18. In case you didn’t know, the Holy Book sets a strict set of rules for women, some explicit, others implied, and Evans tried to obey most of them as precisely as possible. During the 12-month-long experience, she stayed home from church, made her own clothes, abstained from sex and even touching her husband, let her hair grow, slept in a tent once a month, and even carried a  seat cushion with her wherever she went to avoid sitting on chairs outside her home. It might sound funny, even kooky, but  through her experiment Rachel tries to make a serious point: all Christians choose to respect those parts of the Bible that suit them.

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Broken-Hearted Dog Stands Guard over Dead Mate’s Body for over a Week

Even in the animal kingdom, the loss of a loved-one isn’t easy, and this grieving dog, on the outskirts of Filippovka, a village in Russia’s Perm region, is proof of that.

His mate had been by a car while trying to cross the road, over seven days ago, but he’s still standing guard over her body, hoping she will wake up. Eye-witnesses say the dog dragged his mate from the road right after she was hit and hasn’t left her side since. He kept trying to move her with his paws and keep her warm with his own body, and the story of his loyalty spread among the locals in just a few days. Children and even adults who passed by and heard his heartbreaking whines and howls, and saw him standing guard over her body often broke into tears. “It’s very sad. He won’t let anyone near her and he keeps trying to warm her up with his own body”, a local said.

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