Austrian Lake Is Also a Popular Hiking Spot

A rare natural phenomenon turns one of Austria’s most beautiful hiking trails into a 10 meter-deep lake, for half the year.

Located at the foot of the Hochschwab Mountains, in Tragoess, Styria, Green Lake is one of the most bizarre natural phenomena in the world. During the cold winter months, this place is almost completely dry, and used as a country park where hikers love to come and spend some time away from urban chaos. But as soon as temperatures rise, the snow and ice covering the mountaintops begin to melt, and the water pours down, filling the basin below with crystal-clear water.

Water levels go from one-two meters at most, to over 10 meters, in the early summer. The waters of Green Lake are highest in June, when this extraordinary place is invaded by divers, curious to see what a mountain park looks like underwater. Fish swimming over wooden benches, a grass-covered bottom, trees, roads, roads and even bridges create a surreal setting that feels like it belongs on dry ground. That’s because for half of the year, that’s exactly where it’s at.

Take a look at the amazing images of the Green Lake, shot during the summer season:

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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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Inventionland – Coolest Workplace in the Whole Wide World

I remember seeing a set of photos from Google’s offices in Zurich, and thought that was pretty cool, but Google has nothing on Inventionland’s fairytale workplace.

Inventionland, like the name suggests, is a company that invents stuff, over 2,000 new inventions every year. To come with that many inventions, the Inventionland team must really be inspired by something, but what could it be? Believe it or not, it’s actually everything that surrounds them in their Pittsburgh headquarters.

The 70,000 square feet facility looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before, featuring 15 different fantasy sets, from pirate ships to tree houses and even a house shaped like a giant shoe. And it’s not only the world’s most creative workplace, it’s also equipped with the latest in sound, video and animation technology to help creationeers come up with the best ideas. Oh, that’s right, Inventionland employees are called “creationeers”, they get to wear lab coats and they brainstorm for ideas in a room called “Inventalot”. Now, how cool is that!

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Orlando Creates World’s Biggest Human Smiley Face

Five hundred people wearing yellow and black ponchos gathered in Orlando to create the world’s largest human smiley face. At fifty feet in diameter, the human smiley face was about the size of a basketball court.

On October 1st, in celebration of the World Smile Day, a giant smiley face was spotted on the top parking deck of the new Amway Center arena. It was made up of hundreds of smiling people dressed in black and yellow, who stood shoulder to shoulder for a good ten minutes. The human smiley face was a result of Orlando’s World Smile Search Campaign, which looked for people who had smile stories to share with the world. In half a year, over 20,000 stories were received, and some of the people who shared their stories were invited to be apart of the smiley face.

The human smiley face of Orlando was acknowledged as the largest smiley face in the world, but I seem to recall a very similar event took place in 2008, in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, and it looks like there were a lot more than 500 participants there. Maybe they just didn’t invite a Guinness official?

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Guitar Tornado Is Played by Robotic Fingers

Named “IF VI was IX: Roots and branches”, the guitar tornado is an impressive artistic and musical installation, created by German artist Trimpin.

While different types of guitars placed together in what looks like a still tornado is something worth checking out, there’s more to this musical tribute than meets the eye.  Yes, while it might seem impossible looking at it, the guitar tornado actually plays music. Among all the common guitars, there are some robotic ones that actually pluck the guitar strings, thus playing the tune visitors choose via a remote touchscreen.

The only downside of the guitar tornado’s robotic arms  is that they can only play one string at a time. So how does it replicate a whole song? By plucking a single string of multiple guitars in the installation. The amazing guitar tornado is an interactive tribute to the history of American music, and features various genres, from early acoustic folk music, to rock and punk.

Music lovers can check out the guitar tornado at the “Experience Music Project” , in Seattle.

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Star Wars Fan Builds Duct Tape AT-AT

Built out of wood and cardboard and wrapped in layers of gray duct tape, the duct tape AT-AT is a small scale replica of the legendary Star Wars behemoth featured in The Empire Strikes Back.

The 4 feet tall, 5 feet long AT-AT replica was made by Star Wars fan komanac, for a Star Wars themed art show, back in July. It took several rolls of duct tape and around 30-40 hous of intense work to complete, and its creator would love to hang on to it, but for lack of space, he decided to auction it off on eBay.

The lines of the duct tape AT-AT were drawn using a permanent felt marker, and the entire model is made up of five pieces, the body and four legs. They are well attached and stable, but it’s important you know this is not a toy and will likely break if seriously abused.

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French Chocolatier Creates Floating Chocolate Boat

George Larnicol, a 55-year-old French chocolatier, managed to create and sail a 3.5-meter-long boat made of chocolate.

On Saturday, September 25, the walled city of Concarneau, in north-western France, hosted an event unique in the world – the launch of a full size chocolate boat. George Larnicol, the mastermind behind this crazy creation, first attempted to sail a chocolate boat on August 15, but the boat crumbled to pieces when turned over from where it was mounted. But one small failure wasn’t enough to make Larnicol quit, and on Saturday, he returned to Concarneau port, with a new chocolate boat named “Bateau Chocolat II” (French for Chocolate Boat II)

The 1.2-ton-heavy boat had a sugar framework, while the rest of it was made entirely of pure chocolate. It took Larnicol and his team one and a half months to complete, working eight hours a day, which adds up to a total of about 400 hours.

George Larnicol and a friend got in the chocolate boat and sailed in it for a bout an hour, waving proudly to the audience, and smiling the whole time. The attached electrical motor allowed the Bateau Chocolat II to reach a top speed of 15km/h.

Chocolatier George Larnicol, who owns a chain  of chocolate shops in western France, promised to build a giant 12 meter-long yacht, with two masts, made of 6 to 8 tons of chocolate, sometime in 2012. That’s going to be a sight to be hold, and you can bet you’ll read about it on Oddity Central.

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Two-Legged Pig Becomes Tourist Attraction

Zhu Jianqiang, which translates as “strong willed pig”, was born without her hind legs, but managed to survive, and is now a local celebrity.

As a piglet, Zhu Jianqiang had nine strong siblings, and neighbors told her owner it would be best to just throw her away or put her out of her misery. But farmer Wang Xihai would hear none of it, and he even refused his wife when she told him to throw the piglet away. He believes all life should be given the chance to survive, and Zhu Jianqiang managed to beat all odds.

After seeing the little piglet fight for her life, Wang Xihai decided to get more involved, and began training her to walk on her front legs, just a few days after she was born. After only 30 days, she began walking on her own, and now, even though she weighs a good 50 kg, Zhu Jianqing walks upside down quite effortlessly.

Word about the amazing two-legged pig spread rapidly, and Wang Xihai says his home is overrun by tourists, every day. “I won’t sell her no matter what the offer is”, he added.

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Ice Boats Are Good Just in Theory

BBC science show Bang Goes The Theory set out to test inventor Geoffrey Pyke’s claim that ice boats could be used during World War 2, in case steel supplies ran out.

Geoffrey Pyke suggested suggested it was possible to build unsinkable boats using a special material called Pykrete – a mixture of ice and wood pulp. In theory, the icy material could be moulded into any shape and because of its slow melting rate, could carry troops and vehicles for long distances. The idea was first mentioned during the early 1940s, but it sounds like a good idea for modern times, as well, so the guys at Bang Goes The Theory decided to test it out.

The team mixed 5,000 liters of water with the hemp-like wood pulp, moulded the mixture into the shape of a boat and froze it in one of England’s largest ice warehouses, in Tilbury, Essex. It took three weeks to freeze the boat, before it was transported to Portsmouth Harbor. The crew prepared for a trip to Cowes, on the Island of Wight, but son after the boat was launched on the water, it began taking water. Before they even got comfortable in their icy boat, the crew had to abandon ship and swim to the rescue craft.

But this test wasn’t enough to disprove Pyke’s theory. According to experts there are several explanation for the recent Pykrete failure, and they include water temperature and size. Geoffrey envisioned his revolutionary material used to create 1,000-ton carriers, not half-a-ton boats, because a large ice surface requires a lot more energy to start melting. Also the waters of Solent Bay are far warmer than the Atlantic, where the carriers were meant to be used.

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Artists Create World’s Largest Sand Sculpture

Measuring a total of 22.43 meters in height, this detailed sand sculpture, created at the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival, in China, has been acknowledged as the world’s tallest sand sculpture.

Officials from the Guinness Book of Records arrived in Zhoushan, on Wednesday, September 29, and after careful measurement, confirmed the sand masterpiece will be going into the record books. Depicting a Nigerian story of how a hummingbird managed to become the king of all animals, the 22.43 meter-tall sand sculpture was created by over 30 artists, during 75 days.

This year, the Zhoushan Sand Sculpture Festival gave sand artists the opportunity to express themselves on the theme of a trip to Africa.

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Epic Kevin Bacon Made of Bacon

I’ve always wondered what actor Kevin Bacon would look like if made of actual bacon, and apparently I’m not the only one. The guys at J&D Foods have teamed up with Bacon-crafting website What Do Bacon Do to create a life-size bust of bacon Kevin Bacon.

The tasty-looking bacon bust of Kevin Bacon was created to be auctioned on eBay, with all proceedings going to non-profit organization Ashley’s Team, who seeks to bring joy and happiness to cancer suffering children and their families. But, by buying this unique piece of bacon art, you will not only be helping sick children, “you will become the coolest person you will ever know, a champion of the underground meat sculpture movement.” At least, that’s what Justin Esch, of J&D Foods, says.

The eBay auction for bacon Kevin Bacon began today and fans of the actor (or bacon) will have the chance to buy it in the next ten days. But before you start fantasizing about literally eating Kevin Bacon’s head, you should know it’s covered in layers of lacquer, so it’s not edible. But think of it this way, at least you’ll be the owner of a one-of-a-kind of bacon art, for the rest of your life.

Mike Lahue, the artist who created the bacon Kevin Bacon bust out of small bacon bits, says the toughest thing about working with bacon all day long was satisfying his own craving for the crispy stuff. He managed to refrain himself from eating Kevin Bacon, by eating an entire bottle of bacon bits. Lahue also admits that after months of working on the bacon statue, he’ll never be able to look at the real Kevin Bacon the way he used to.

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Amazing LEGO Replica of the USS Intrepid

Remember the awesome LEGO Warship Yamato we featured a while back? Well, its supremacy as the world’s biggest LEGO ship on Oddity Central has come to an end. It’s now time for Lego Monster’s USS Intrepid to take its place.

Just like warship Yamato, the real USS Intrepid played a crucial role in several battles of the Pacific campaign of World War 2, and now acts as a war museum. That’s probably one of the reasons why Ed “Lego Monster” Diment chose to dedicate a large part of his free time to recreating it out of LEGO bricks. The LEGO USS Intrepid is bult at a scale of 1:40 and has 23 feet in length.

While it might look like the world’s biggest LEGO ship, that title actually belongs to a 7.66-meter-long container ship built by a group of German school children, this August.

If you want to see this epic masterpiece in real life, you can go to the Great Western Lego Show, in Swindon, UK.

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Russian WW2 Enthusiast Builds His Very Own Armored Division

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin, a village craftsman from Russia’s Novosibirsk area, has become famous for building exact replicas of various World War 2 armored vehicles, in his own garage.

Vyacheslav Veryovochkin began constructing WW2 vehicles a few years ago, when he got his hands on the plans of a Lend-Lease Studebaker truck. With only some basic tools he had in his garage, he managed to create a perfect replica, and continued to build other models, as a pastime. Because he is trying to recreate historical pieces, the passionate craftsman only works according to the original plans of the vehicles, which he now looks for on the internet and in magazines.

Right now there are just six vehicles in front of Vyacheslav Veryovochkin’s home, but he says he has so far created around 30 different WW2 tanks and armored trucks. He is the only man in Russia to create such exact replicas, so some of his works have been acquired by museums, while others rented by Mosfilm, the main film studio in Moscow, to be used in an upcoming movie inspired by the events of Stalingrad.

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The Bikini Track Sprint – A Horse Race for Women

An Australian horse race arena has caused great controversy when it announced it will be hosting an annual horse  race for women dressed only in bikinis.

When they came up with the idea of a women’s horse race, the guys at The Gold Coast Turf Club in Queensland, Australia probably thought something like “if guys come to the race track to see horses run, just imagine how many of them will come to see beautiful women dressed in skimpy bikinis  do the exact same thing.” The Bikini Track Sprint is scheduled to take place on December 4, with over 150 girls racing for the prize of 5,000 Australian dollars.

Believe it or not, in a poll conducted by a local tourism website, just 27% percent of voter said they find his kind of event degrading for women, while the other 73% were perfectly alright with it. Even the members of Women in Racing, a Gold-Coast group that promotes racing, said they can think of better ways of marketing races, but they’ll back anything that has something to do with racing.

The chairman of The Gold Coast Turf Club agrees there will be a few raised eyebrows at the event, but that the club will do everything in its power to attract really competitive girls and give the audience a real race.

The Bikini Track Sprint isn’t really an original idea. The American horse track Hollywood Park, in California has been organizing similar events for quite some time, and their success probably inspired the Australian race track to come up with their very own horse race for beautiful women in bikinis.

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Awesome DIY Halloween Meat Head

Halloween is closing fast, and if you’re looking to impress your party guests on the big night, you can’t go wrong with a delicious meat head.

If you think it’s a good idea, but have no idea how to make your own, Make user Andy Oakland has posted a great tutorial that will have you spook your guests with almost no effort. All you need is a plastic skull, some jello and a lot of cold cuts. The ham cover gives the meat head a Freddie Kruger-like texture,and the red-jello surprise underneath makes for a delicious surprise. You can find the full tutorial on the Make website, but if you don’t think a meat skull is creepy enough, you may want to go with the Halloween meat hand, instead.

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