The Impressive Wasp Nest Collection of ‘Hornet Boy’

Terry Prouty has been fascinated with wasps, ever since he was a little boy, growing up in Louisiana. Now he’s all grown up and is the owner of possibly the most impressive wasp nest collection in the world.

Mister Prouty now lives in Oklahoma, but his passion for wasps is just as strong as when he was just a boy. The self-entitled ‘Hornetboy’ is an advocate of wasps, and he says people are not as educated on wasps as they should be. Many of them just watch horror movies that give wasps a bad name, and they’re too scared to actually learn something about them.

The general opinion about wasps hasn’t stopped Terry Prouty from constantly studying these insects for the last 25 years, and putting together an impressive collection of nests from all around the world. He started his latest collection in 2000, and has since acquired impressive wasp nests which he proudly displays in his home. Most of them were bought online, for prices ranging from $10 to $200.

Check out Hornetboy’s entire collection on his Flickr stream.

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The Sculpture Park of Veijo Rönkkönen Is the Weirdest Place in Finland

Deep in the forest of Parikkala, in the easternmost part of Finland, lies one of the craziest tourist attractions on the face of the planet – the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen.

Regarded by most as the most important ensemble of contemporary folk art in Finland, the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is a lot to take in, the first time you visit. Finding yourself surrounded by hundreds of creepy statues, grinning at you with their real human teeth, is enough to spook you into turning back as soon as you set foot in the park.

Veijo Rönkkönen, a former paper mill worker, completed his first sculpture in 1961, and now his yard, and the path leading to it, are filled with over 450 statues, 200 of which are self portraits of the artist in Yoga positions he has mastered so far. The statues have loudspeakers hidden inside them, and the sound effects add to the eeriness of this place.

Although he has had the chance to exhibit and even sell his artworks, in auctions, Veijo Rönkkönen has never agreed to showcase his art. Every time he was asked to showcase his work, the near-hermit always replied he needed to discuss it with the statues first. Sadly, they never agreed to travel.

The sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is free to visit, if you dare, but the artist insists every visitor sign his logbook, before they leave.

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Garden Turned into Real Life Candyland Board Game

A fan of the Candyland board game, ever since she was 3 three years old, Facebook user Kan-Dee Corner worked meticulously to transform her garden into a real life version of the famous game board.

As a child, Kan-Dee Corner always dreamed about her very own magical Candyland, and now that she’s all grown up, she decided she can make her own magic, and began building a real life version of the board game, in her garden. She started in summer of last year, took a break for the winter, and resumed the building process this spring.

Using parts of three versions of the Candyland game boards, and adding her own themes, Kan-Dee Corner created 17 micro gardens, each with its own theme, color and smell. She did most of the work herself, but her neighbors were very supportive as wel, and one of them even created that nice little shed.

Check out photos of the building process below:

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Leaf Eaters Compete in Nettle Eating Championships

Around 1,500 people showed up at the Bottle Inn pub, in Marshwood, Dorset, to see 61 contestants compete in the 2010 edition of the annual Nettle Eating World Championships.

The history of this bizarre eating competition can be traced back to the mid 1980s, when local farmers started the ‘Longest Stinging Nettle’ competition, to see who could grow the longest stem of nettles. Things went along just fine, until 1989, when Alex Williams presented a 15ft 6inches-long nettle, and claimed that if anyone could find a stem longer than his, he would it, As luck would have it, an American actually found a 16ft-long nettle, and Mr. Williams kept his word. From there on in, the competition evolved into the competitive eating challenge we now know as the Nettle Eating World Championships.

On June 19th, competitors were each served two-feet-long stinging nettle stalks, from which they had to pluck and eat the leaves. After an hour of eating, the bare stalks were measured and contestants who ate the most nettles, named winners.

In the men’s competition, first time participant Sam Cunningham managed to eat a whopping 74ft of stinging nettles, and claimed the title of king of the 2010 Nettle Eating World Championships. In the women’s contest, Laura Revell managed to consume 40ft of nettle, and win the title of champion.

Photos by REUTERS/Chris Helgren via Daylife

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Man Transforms Old Car into a Transformer Statue

Using his old Lada Samara Diva as an art medium, artist Nikola Nikolov has built a 2 meter-tall statue, named The Transformer.

The Transformer was created to symbolize the relationship between man and machine. The artist cut up his old Lada Samara Diva into pieces, which he later sculpted and welded together in the shape of a robot. The sculpture’s unusual position denotes the robot is at the moment between knowing what he was and what he has become.

The Transformer sculpture is 2 meters high, 80 meters wide and weight 90 kg.

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Say Good-Bye to Austin’s Cathedral of Junk

The 60 tons of junk that made up the awesome Cathedral of Junk, in Austin, Texas, are probably on their way to the recycling plant right now, leaving us with just photos and memories of the famous roadside attraction.

Vince Hannemann began building the Cathedral of Junk in 1988, just because he thought it would be cool. There’s was no real purpose behind it, just a nice thing to build in an Austin backyard. He was in his mid twenties when he started, and he kept adding do it over the years, until it grew into a 60-ton pile of junk. But it wasn’t really junk, it was just made of it. In reality, the Cathedral of Junk had long become one of the cities most popular attractions. Tourists were coming over just to give Vince something new to add to his masterpiece, but, sadly, that won’t be happening anymore…

After a safety complaint, fro one of his neighbors, real estate inspectors showed up at Vince Hannemann’s door, saying he needed to get a permit, if he wanted to keep his 33-f00t-tall cathedral, made of everything from bicycle wheels to old urinals, computers and lawnmowers. he tried to comply, and together with a team of volunteers, began altering the cathedral to meet required standards. But looking at his beloved creation being reduced to something he didn’t recognize anymore, Vince decided to tear it down. “It already isn’t the Cathedral. It might best be described as Junkhenge,” he told the Wall Street Journal. “I’m not willing to get a permit for the little that is left.”

According to many, this was the work of real estate firms, who did everything they could to bring down the Cathedral of Junk. It’s a sad time for the Austin art world…

 

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Samantha Young – The World’s Youngest Alligator Wrestler

Growing up on a farm, with 350 alligators has made Samantha Young take up alligator wrestling at a very young age.

The 9-year-old was also inspired by her parents, both professional alligator wrestlers. Samantha began wrestling alligators when she was just 6 years old, but says her father beat her to it, starting the dangerous practice at age 5, after he was bit by one. She admits being scared, at first, but her dad was always there watching over her, ready to intervene if things got out of hand.

Now, this girly version of Crocodile Dundee teaches grown men how to tackle eight-foot alligators, at the Colorado Gators Reptile Park, and has even trained US marines, in this deadly art. She says all you have to do is position yourself on the alligator’s back, in such a way that you have its mouth and neck under your control, then pull its head back and voila, you have yourself a tamed alligator.

Erwin and Lynn Young started their alligator farm, in 1987, when they brought in 100 one-year-old reptiles. As the news spread, people began poking around the gators’ pools, and to avoid any accidents, the Young family began charging people to see the alligators. Nowadays, 25 of the original 100 are still around, and visitors pay $104 for the chance to see Samantha tackle them, and even try it themselves.

via Zimbio

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Best Made Axe Sling – A Zombie Hunter’s Accessory

This sounds like something you’d normally see in a movie like Zombieland, but the Best Made Co Axe Sling is a real-life fashion accessory.

So this company, Best Made, sells axes, and I’m not talking about the normal kind, you find at the local department store. These babies are stylish accessories better suited for an axe murderer or a zombie hunter, than for a lumberjack. They have a beautiful painted handle, a nice leather cap and come in a cool wooden crate.

And now they’ve even launched a new accessory for their axes, the Best Made Axe Sling makes it easy to carry your trusted axe around anywhere, just in case you run into a zombie, or if you just feel like splitting someone’s skull open. Come on, you know you’ve thought about it.

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Incredible Flower Carpets at the Genzano Flower Festival 2010

If you’re a flower enthusiast, and you happen to be in Rome, in the second week of June, you just have to visit the small town of Genzano, for its world famous Infiorata.

The Genzano Infiorata is a flower festival that can be traced back to 1778. Every year, local artists cover an entire street (Via Belardi) with intricate flower carpets, inspired by famous artworks, religious paintings or geometrical shapes. The flower carpets are made by talented local artists who have to stick to a previously agreed upon theme, like ‘The Colors of Michelangelo’ or ‘The Designs of Bernini’.

The Infiorata of Genzano begins with the harvesting of millions of flowers, 2-3 days before the event. They are stored fresh, in caves around Genzano, while the artists draw their masterpieces on the pavement of Via Belardi, for the Saturday parade.

Preceded by a ‘mini Infiorata’, where children from local schools create the flower carpets, the Infiorata ends on the Monday of the third week of June, when children are allowed to destroy the colorful artworks, by playing on them.

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The Phone-Book Carvings of Alex Queral

51-year-old Alex Queral carves phone-books to create amazing portraits of celebrities such as Clint Eastwood or Kirk Douglas.

‘In carving and painting a head from a phone-book directory, I’m celebrating the individual lost in the anonymous list of thousands of names that describe the size of the community.’ That’s how Alex Queral explains his art, adding that he also enjoys creating an ‘object of longevity’ out of something that otherwise gets discarded every year.

The Philadelphia based artist got the idea of using phone-books as an art medium, 14 years ago, while he was looking for some wood to carve. He spotted a pile of discarded phone-books on the pavement, and the idea just hit him. Since people mostly use the internet, to look for things these days, most phone books just get dumped somewhere, so he sees his art as a way of recycling them.

Alex Queral carves up to two phone-book sculptures a month, then paints them with transparent acrylic paint, to make them durable and give them a glossy finish. So far, Queral has immortalized iconic figures like the Dalai Lama, Barrack Obama, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and many others.

The artist admits it’s pretty difficult to deal with a careless cut that ruins everything, right when he’s about to finish a piece. But all he can do is start his carving all over again.

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Housing Estate N – An Eccentric World Built of Cardboard

Abandoned Housing Estate Number N” is a unique miniature city, made entirely from corrugated cardboard.

So far I’ve seen a city made of toothpicks, another one made of staples, but this is the first cardboard city, for me. Created by a Japanese artist whose name eludes me, Housing Estate Number N is an ever-growing project that started back in 2001. The paradox of this art installation is that although it’s mostly abandoned, it keeps growing and evolving, with each passing day.

Some of the rooms in the estate are lit and completely furnished, while others are dark and empty. There are even some eerie characters that look like haunting spirits. Though pretty bizarre, Housing Estate N is an inspiring project that will keep growing as long as its creator desires it.

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Father And Son Build Awesome Backyard Stargate

Back in 2005, when Stargate was the coolest sci-fi series around, sg1archive user ‘mango’ teamed up with his father to build a sweet replica of the stargate.

The project began in AUTOCAD, where the first blueprints were drawn. Since they didn’t have access to a plotter, plans had to be printed on A4 paper and stuck together, in a circle. The small details of the gate had to be drawn up from scratch, using photos and video footage. The skeleton of the gate is made up of 18 X-shaped pieces, and the spinning part is made from small planks.

The intricate stargate symbols had to be painstakingly carved, from wood, and chevrons first had to be carved from Styrofoam. The back of the stargate, though painted in gray, is totally fake, but the front looks realistic enough, with chevrons locking and everything. Thanks to an inner track, it even spins. Mango wasn’t too satisfied with the paint-job, but all in all this is a geeky masterpiece, just like the Stargate home-cinema.

Be sure to check the video Mango made, at the bottom of the post.

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Qeswachaka – A Handwoven Bridge Made of Grass

The Qeswachaka hanging bridge, of Cuzco, Peru, is handwoven every year, from a local grass called Qoya.

Located approximately 100 km from Cuzco, Qeswachaka bridge was once part of a network of bridges, built in the time of the Inca empire, but is now the only one of its kind, in the world. Spanning 120 feet over the Apurimac river, at around 13,000 feet above water, Qeswachaka (also spelled Q’eswachaka or Keswachaka) is built using the ancient Qhapaq nan technique, used by the Inca people.

Qhapaq nan bridges were built from grass, and were wide enough for only one person to pass, at a time. In ancient times these bridges were constantly under surveillance and everyone crossing them was monitored. When Pizzaro began his march for Cuzco, Qeswachaka was destroyed, to slow his advance, but was reconstructed, many years later.

Made from a local herb, known as Qoya, the fibers of Qeswachaka bridge deteriorate rapidly, and local communities have to reconstruct the bridge every year. Around 1,000 men and women, from various Andean communities gather at Qeswachaka bridge, every second week of June, for the rebuilding ceremony. Long blade of Qoya grass are woven into six long cables, which are bound and secured by eucalyptus trunks, buried at each end of the bridge.

It’s not that building a more modern bridge would be impossible, but this is a way for the Andean people to celebrate and honor their Inca ancestors, and keep their centuries old traditions alive.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

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The Matchstick Art of David Mach

Using tens of thousands of matchsticks, David Mach creates detailed models of animals, symbols or historical figures.

53-year-old David Mach, from Scotland, has a passion for art and matchsticks, so he decided to combine them and create unique masterpieces. Using a clay mold he creates a plastic or fiberglass model of whatever he wants to create, and then begins the process of sticking matchsticks on it, one at a time. Most of his creations are made with tens of thousands of colored-tip matchsticks, imported from Japan, and take months to complete.

Along with his wife, who helps him run his art studio, David March has so far created over 350 matchstick artworks. They sell for anywhere between $30,000 and $52,000, but they don’t always make it to the auction, as the duo sometimes set them aflame at art exhibitions. With that many matchsticks involved, you can imagine the effect is truly impressive, though short.

Photos via Denoirmont

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The Jizo Army of Chausudake Volcano

Located on the barren slopes of Chausudake Volcano, in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, hundreds of small Jizo statues make up the eeriest spirit army I’ve ever seen.

One of the most beloved divinities in Japan, Jizo is seen as a savior working to ease the suffering of those serving time in hell, and answers the prayers for health, and success of the living. He is a friend to all, and Jizo statues are usually placed at intersections of roads, to help travelers pick the right way to go. He is extremely important to pregnant women and children, and statues are often adorned with tiny children’s clothes or bibs. Parents whose children have died place toys and offerings beside the statues, asking for protection of their child’s soul.

The Jizo statues of Chausudake Volcano offer a sight unique in Japan, and all over the world. Jizo representations can be found in many places around the Land of the Rising Sun, but the dark volcanic rocks, from which the statues have been carved, and the barren surroundings create an eerie atmosphere that’s hard to forget.

 

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