Banana Tattooist Turns Fruits into Awesome Artworks

Multimedia artist Phil Hansen uses a technique similar to pointillism to turn ripe bananas into organic canvases, recreating some of history’s most famous artworks.

If this offbeat art doesn’t make you go bananas, I don’t know what will. Hansen’s works are just so detailed it’s hard to believe all he uses to create them is a common pushpin and the banana’s natural oxidation process. The talented artist just punctures the peel repeatedly with the pushpin and the banana, and as the the banana browns, his intricate designs are revealed. Phil Hansen is currently promoting his book, Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art, due next month. In it, he explains how to create art from anything at hand – – like a piece of toast, your own fingerprints, or a stack of marshmallows – using offbeat techniques.

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Elves, Trolls and Hidden Beings – Iceland’s Love of the Supernatural

You probably think anyone who takes elves and other fantasy beings seriously is either childish or just plain mad. According to polls, most Icelanders believe in, or at least refuse to deny the existence of elves, and most of them seem pretty sane to me.  Welcome to Iceland, the small island country where technological advancement goes hand in hand with a belief in the supernatural.

Located just below the Arctic Circle, Europe’s most remote nation is also probably one of the world’s most bizarre. Civilized, and certainly no strangers to technology, the majority of 320,000 Icelanders also firmly believe in the existence of spirit beings like elves, gnomes or fairies. Of course, there are fantasy-enthusiasts who believe in these creatures all over the world, only in Iceland this matter really is taken very seriously. Annoying the mystical creatures living all over the island is thought to carry a heavy price, so human inhabitants will do almost anything to avoid getting on their bad side.

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Coolest Finds of the Week #39

London Gallery Hosts Invisible Art Exhibition (NEWS)

The Man Who Ate His Own Brain (Yahoo)

Weird Concepts: Camel-Powered Desert Ambulance (Environmental Graffiti)

Off the Grid – Americans Living Outside Mainstream Society (Laughing Squid)

73-Year-Old Woman Climbs Mount Everest (HuffPost)

Man Runs Half-Marathon Inside Hot Air Balloon (Digital Journal)

Concept Artist’s Photos Spark Interpol Murder Hunt (Orange)

Star Trek Fan to Build Real-Life Version of the Enterprise (MNN)

The Giant Salt City 1200ft Beneath Detroit (Environmental Graffiti)

Guy Drinks 42 Cups of Coffee, Live to Tell the Story (Buzzfeed)

Guerrilla Gardener Turns Potholes into Miniature Works of Art

Steve Wheen realized nobody likes to hit potholes on their way to work, so if authorities weren’t going to fill them, he would. Steve became a guerrilla gardener, traveling around the world and turning ugly potholes into charming miniature gardens.

“Guerrilla Gardening has been around for a long time, in fact one of the earliest examples I know about is when wives of servicemen used to go out planting flowers along the train tracks during WW1 so their husbands would have a pretty journey home,” Steve Wheen says, but he’s taken it to a level where it’s perceived as an art form. The London-based artist started pothole gardening during his university years, partly to make art, partly as a hobby, and mostly to highlight how crappy East London’s streets were. Since then, he’s traveled to other big cities, like Milan, to turn potholes into tiny gardens featuring all kinds of small props.

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Professional ‘Rinsers’ Take to the Internet to Find Generous Wealthy Men

Gold-diggers have been around for centuries, but according to a TV documentary this breed of women has been constantly evolving, and is now taking advantage of technology to land their benefactors.

English Channel 4 has produced a documentary called “Sex, Lies and Rinsing Guys”, featuring three modern ‘rinsers’ who use their feminine charms to get wealthy followers on Facebook and Twitter to finance their glamorous lifestyles.  Jeanette Worthington, Danica Thrall and Hollie Capper merely offer their admirers a virtual friendship and hardly ever meet them in person, but they expect expensive gifts for their efforts. “I want to teach women how to do it. What’s the point in scrimping and saving for all of your life when a muppet down the road is going to pay you £1,000 a month to live like a princess,” says one of the three expert rinsers.

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Unofficial Animal Registrar Performs Expensive Pet Weddings

Ann Clark calls herself an “animal registrar“, which is just a fancy way of saying she performs weddings for pampered pets. You might think that’s a silly job, but she’s making up to £20,000 ($31,600) per event.

Why should pets miss out on the unforgettable moments of getting married? That’s probably what Ann told herself, when she decided to become a pet wedding registrar, four years ago. She had heard of a man performing animal weddings in Liverpool, and thought it was a great idea. Like most children, she used to pretend her pets were getting married, only unlike most, she never grew out of it. She started advertising her wedding services on a website, and suddenly people were contacting her about pet weddings. It was a dream come true for the 55-year-old from Desborough, England.

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The Ancient Sport of Camel Jumping in the Deserts of Yemen

The men of the Zaraniq tribe, on the west coast of Yemen, have a truly unique tradition – they jump over a row of camels just like modern daredevils jump over cars.

Famous throughout Yemen for their speed, strength and courage, the members of the Zaraniq tribe are the world’s only professional camel jumpers. Taking running starts, jumpers try to sail over as many camels as possible, before tumbling to the ground. During camel jumping events, the one who leaps over the highest number of camels is considered the winner. “This is what we do,” says Bhayder Mohammed Yusef Qubaisi, one of the champions of the the Tihama-al-Yemen, a desert plain, on the coast of the Red Sea.

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Ming Liang Lu – A Self-Described Master Paper Portrait Cutter

He’s not the best English speaker in New York, but his skills with the scissors makes Ming Liang Lu one of the most popular subway artists in the big city. The Chinese master claims the art he practices, cutting people’s portraits out of black paper, is unique in the world.

If you’ve ever used the metro, you’re probably familiar with subway performers like dancers or violin and guitar players, but Ming Liang Lu is a different kind of entertainer. Using a small piece of black paper and scissors, he’s able to create intricate, slightly caricatured portraits of subway riders and passers-by, even without looking at them for reference. That might not sound like a lot, but seeing him manipulate that small sheet of folded paper while holding the scissors almost completely still will blow your mind.

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Real-Life Mutant Girl Causes Things around Her to Catch on Fire

A yet unnamed 11-year-old girl from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City has been making headlines in Asia, for her alleged uncontrollable power to set things around her on fire.

According to Vietnamese website Ngoisao, on May 12, a young girl living in the Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Minh has burned down almost the entire third floor of her family’s home. Her father says the child did not have access to any fire-inducing objects, and that the fire was caused by the super-energy in her body. How many times have we heard that one before, right? But while that may sound like the exaggerations of a parent looking for media attention, this is apparently not the first time this Vietnamese girl has caused things to burst into fire just by going near them.

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Painter/Scientist Turns Neuroscience into Visual Art

Greg Dunn is on his way to earning a doctorate in neuroscience, from the University of Pennsylvania, but he’s also passionate about pan-Asian art, so he decided to combine his two main interests into one unique art form.

Dunn paints neurons, the tiny cells that comprise our brain, using the Asian sumi-e style, an ancient technique that aims not just to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. Sumi-e is regarded as the earliest expressionistic art form that captures the unseen. For example, East Asian Ink Brush Painting, as this style is commonly referred to, isn’t used to replicate a person’s appearance perfectly, but rather to express their temperament. In the same way, Greg Dunn doesn’t use photomicrographs as reference to paint a perfect picture of the neurons, but rather as a guide upon which he likes to add his own touch. Painting an exact replica of what he see would “rob the painting of sponteneity”, according to Dunn.

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Dream Job: University Will Pay You $3,500 to Eat Fast Food for Three Months

Let’s face it, many of us do it for free, but Washington University, in St. Louis, will gladly pay participants in its new study $3,500 to eat fast food for a period of three months.

I tell you, job offers don’t get much better than this. A top American university is conducting a study on obesity and asking participants to gain weight during a period of three months. In order to properly motivate them to fill their bellies with various types of fast food, researchers have decided to reward them with a check of $3,500 for the three months of heavy eating. The only real requirement is people who participate in the study must gain at least 5% their starting weight, before the three months are over. Considering they’re all allowed to eat whatever kinds of junk food they like multiple times a day, I don’t think that’s going to be  much of a problem.

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World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture Is a Tribute to the Mayan Civilization

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Qzina Specialty Foods has set a new Guinness Record for the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture, by creating a sweet replica of a Mayan temple weighing 18,239 pounds.

Qzina chose a Mayan theme for their impressive project, because the ancient civilization played a crucial role in the discovery of chocolate. They were among the first to cultivate Cacao trees and acknowledge the true potential of the cocoa bean. They practically worshiped cocoa and praised it as the food of the Gods. So, as a tribute to Mayan contribution in the evolution of chocolate, Qzina’s corporate pastry chef, Francois Mellet and pastry artist Stephane Treand decided to create a scale model of the Temple of Kukulkan, at Chichen Itza.

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Carlos Zuniga Creates Art on Phone Book Pages

Chilean artist Carlos Zuniga creates detailed portraits and images by simply striking out names from phone book pages, with black ink. Sounds simple enough, but the results are awe-inspiring.

Carlos Zuniga isn’t the first artist to use phone books as the main medium for his works. Alex Queral has also been using them to carve his amazing celebrity portraits, but Zuniga developed his own artistic technique, which allowed him to differentiate himself from everyone in the art world.

Asked how he came up with this unique way of creating detailed images, the South American artist says it all started with a project he did back in 2006, called The Origin of Species. Inspired by the Ludovico technique used in the 1971 film  the  A Clockwork Orange, he began striking out every line of text from Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. Throughout the whole process, he couldn’t stop thinking about how to depict his ideas in a figurative way. Figurative representation had always been a great interest to him, but his drawing skills were lousy, and after eight years of taking classes, he felt frustrated.

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Swiss Website Lets You Hike through the Alps without Breaking a Sweat

If you’re a couch potato who dreams of seeing the beautiful Alps without actually doing any hiking, you can thank technology for the unbelievable experience offered by WebWandern.ch.

Translated as Web Hike, this revolutionary website allows visitors to see the most beautiful sights the Alps have to offer, from the perspective of a hiker. To achieve the desired effect, the project initiators used real hikers to film HD footage of their  mountain treks and uploaded the material to their website. All in all there are 10 stages that cover 130 kilometers of hiking, from Thusis (Switzerland) to Tirano (Italy). It all unfolds at normal speed, so it would take you days to go through the whole thing, but the best part is anyone can just jump through the footage however they like and see the most popular sights of the mountain range in a matter of hours.

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Photo-Realistic Living Grass Images by Ackroyd and Harvey

Most artists prefer to paint or draw their artistic portraits, but Surrey-based English artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey grow theirs from living grass.

We’ve featured some pretty amazing art here, on Oddity Central, but this probably takes the cake. English duo Ackroyd & Harvey have managed to harness the power of photosynthesis to fix photographic images onto the blades of growing grass. They expose plots of seeding grass to a 400-W projector bulb passing through a negative for prolonged periods of time,  and the varying densities of the negative’s lighter and darker areas produce a full range of midtones by controlling the light levels in each area. The light produces green, or darker tones, while lack of light produces lighter (yellow) tones. Within only a couple of weeks, you can see the green portraits literally emerging from the ground, but wait too long and they will simply fade away, just like old photos.

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