China Introduces Live Crab Vending Machines

What’s the last thing you’d expect to find in a vending machine? Ok, so it may not be hairy crabs, but you have to admit this is pretty weird.

I’ve posted some weird vending machines here on Oddity Central, like the gold dispenser in the UAE, or the contaminated water vending machine, but this latest find really takes the cake. Located in the Xinjiekou subway station, in Nanjing, China, this particular vending machine is full of live hairy crabs and crab vinegar, making it available to enjoy seafood on the go.

The quirky food dispenser was installed on the 1st of October, and at first, it surprised even the Chinese. People would stop and stare at the crustaceans inside, and others would even take out their cameras and take photos of them. Business was out to a slow start, with only one hairy crab sold per day, but as people got used to the thought of buying live crabs from a vending machine, the figures jumped to an impressive 200 crabs a day. People noticed they were cheaper than the crabs found at the local food markets, and buying them on their daily commute they also saved precious time.

Depending on size, crabs can be bought for 10 RMB, 12 RMB, 25 RMB and 50 RMB. They all seem dead, but their actually just hibernating due to the low temperature in the vending machine.

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Finnish Bear Won’t Hibernate Unless He Is Tucked-In

Juuso, a large brown bear from the Predator Animal Center, in Finland, only agreed to crawl into his shelter and hibernate, after his best friend tucked him in.

With winter drawing ever nearer, Juuso, a young brown bear from Finland’s Predator Center, seemed tired. All the other bears had already began their winter hibernation, and Juuso’s eyes were closing all the time, but refused to go into his man-made lair. You’d think he was suffering from insomnia, but in fact, all he really needed was to be tucked-in by his best friend, caretaker Sulo Karjalainen.

Sulo has been making sure the animals of the Predator Center have everything they need, and in turn, this ferocious creatures accepted him as a friend. To make sure Juuso gets some shut-eye during the winter months, Sulo went into the bear’s lair first, and his furry friend followed shortly. Happy and relaxed in the company of his friend, Juuso soon laid his head on his bed of straw, sighed and finally went to sleep. All I can say is: Sleep tight Juuso!

Watch a video of Juuso and Sulo, at the bottom.

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Father of 88 Plans to Reach 100 Children by 2015

Daad Murad Abdul Rahman, a 64-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates, is the proud father of 88 children, but doesn’t plan on stopping until he reaches his 100th offspring.

One thing is for sure, if good parenting was judged by the number of children, Daad Murad Abdul Rahman would definitely qualify for the title of world’s greatest dad. He is the father of 50 boys and 38 girls. His eldest son, Tariq, is 39 years old, while his youngest child was born just a few months ago. Over the years Daad has been married 15 times, and has had children with every one of his wives. Twelve of them have divorced him (probably tired of giving birth), but three still remain faithful.

To reach his goal of becoming the father of 100 children, this Arab superdad is planning on marrying once again, to an 18-year-old Indian girl. The Meher (money the groom pays the bride’s father) has already been paid, and the wedding is scheduled to take place in Jaipur. Naturally, the 64-year-old is thrilled about the marriage, and says he’s already applied for an Indian visa.

Believe it or not, Daad Murad Abdul Rahman is seen as a national hero in the UAE, and enjoys many benefits offered by the state. His 127 family members were offered seven free houses to live in, and Rahman himself receives pension from the military, as well as substantial financial aid.

Daad and his family first attracted the attention of international media in 2007, when he had “just” 78 mouths to feed. He’s been really busy, and managed to make 10 more babies in just three years time, so his goal doesn’t seem hard to reach at all.

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Formula One Fan Spends Three Years Building His Own Race Course

James Michael Harlan, an American designer and car enthusiast has spent three years building the White Lake Formula One Ring, a 1/32 scale Scalextric Formula One race course.

Complete with miniature race cars, pit crews, a podium, all set in a beautiful handcrafted landscape, the White Lake Formula One Ring is definitely this year’s ultimate boy’s toy. The four lane wide, 145-foot-long racetrack looks absolutely stunning, but what’s most astonishing is the fact that 39-year-old James Michael Harlan used common materials like copper tape, MDF, electrical wire and some paint to complete his masterpiece.

And it would be a shame to build such an amazing Formula 1 circuit and not use it for racing, right? As a true car racing fan, James Michael Harlan organizes race nights with around 30 people, with qualifying rounds, pit stops and everything else you can expect in a real Formula One race. He’s even been known to run 24-hour races, when the track is lit by sunlight during the day, and by track-level lighting, at night.

While he realizes this is not the kind of thing an exhibition designer usually builds, he admits he sometimes looks at it and realizes he’s created something truly amazing. So far he spent around $6,000 and 7,000 hours on his White Lake Formula One Ring, but he says he’s just getting started, as there are so many other things he want to add.

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The Scrap Metal Sculptures of Edouard Martinet

French artist Edouard Martinet transforms metal pieces found at flea markets and car-boot sales into beautiful works of art.

Using a series of common metallic objects, from rusted kitchen pans, to old typewriter keys and car lights, Martinet manages to create intricate sculptures of fish, reptiles and insects. Without any soldering or welding whatsoever, the artist first draws up a few detailed sketches of what he wants to create, then begins a painstaking process of piecing the metal parts together, like a puzzle. As you can imagine, his scrap metal masterpieces take quite a long time to complete, but they are definitely worth the effort.

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Designer Turns Old Refrigerators into Beautiful Couches

The Fridgecouch is the original concept of Canadian artist Adrian Johnson, who came up with the idea of combining used leather car seats with old refrigerators.

Adrian Johnson came up with the idea for his Fridgecouches in 2006, while searching for some stylish outdoor seating, for a wedding. It had to be relatively cheap and encourage people to relax and, as the artist puts it: “break free from the typical cliquey wedding scene.” A car enthusiast who’s always been trying to keep old cars running, Adrian went on one of his frequent trips to the junkyard, looking for spare parts. He stumbled upon a two-door BMW coupe, and noticed the cherry-red leather back seat was practically brand new. That’s when he knew back seats were exactly what he was looking for.

With part of his problem solved, Adrian spent that night thinking of something to put the car seat in that would have the same aesthetic look and could be found at a dump. His mind stopped at a refrigerator, and the next morning he rushed to the local dump, with a tape measure in hand. As he kept looking through the junk, his eyes got stuck on an old, almost perfectly preserved green olive refrigerator. The Fridgecouch was already born in his mind.

Fast forward to 2010, Adrian Johnson has only built three of his impressive-looking Fridgecouches, but hopes they will soon turn into a profitable business that will also teach people the value of reusing, instead of contributing to our world’s waste problem, by constantly buying brand new furniture from the store. Fridges and car seats are large scale wastes that are practically un-reusable and take a great deal of energy to crush and recycle. Through his concept, Adrian turns them both into a whole new product without wasting any energy at all.

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Chinese Students Create Amazing Paper Bridge

A team of students from the Harbin Engineering University have created a small paper bridge able to sustain more than 25 times its own weight.

The young undergraduates spent an entire month designing and building the bridge, and finally presented it to the world,on November 7. Now, building a paper bridge model doesn’t sound that remarkable, especially when the builders are attending an engineering institute, but their creation is much more than a simple paper model. The 3.8-meter-long, 1.2 meter-tall bridge weighs just 58 kilograms, but it is able to sustain up to 1,500 kilograms, and the group of 11 students proved it by standing on the bridge at the same time.

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The Cats’ House – A Real Feline Paradise

An American couple decided to drastically modify their home to fit the needs of their pet cats, transforming it into a modern-day feline temple known as The Cats’ House.

Bob Walker and Frances Mooney are both mad about cats. They proved it on their wedding day, when they adopted their first cat, who ended up sharing a bed with them that night. But that was only the beginning of their obsession with purring balls of fur. Knowing that cats love to climb to high spots, Bob first built a giant scratching column, using 395 feet of rope. The cats would just run up it at full speed and stop at ceiling. That’s when he realized that to keep his beloved pets happy, he and his wife needed to expand their installation throughout the whole house.

Bob and Frances ended up creating multi-level staircases, a 140-feet-long cat highway and a colorful catwalk, all connected by cat-shaped holes in the walls.They even fitted them with neon lights, so the cats could see where they were going, at night. I thought cats could see purfectly in the dark…but I guess some help couldn’t hurt, right? The Cats’ House also features scratching poles of various sizes, cat shaped statues, portraits and paintings of cats, and even carpets printed with leopard and tiger models.

The Cats’ House started out as the wish of two people to enrich the lives of their pet cats, but it became something much bigger than that. Cat lovers from all around the world started following Bob and Frances’ example and transformed their house into a feline paradise, and The Cats’ House soon became one of San Diego’s minor tourist attractions. The last time the couple opened up their house for visitors, they received 900 guests in four hours.

Since the unusual home became famous, Bob Walker has become an author and photographer, and has written successful books on his amazing cat abode. He admits it’s amazing how trying to change their cats’ lives for the better, ended up changing their lives completely, as well.

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The Fat Monkey of Sao Paolo

A giant sculpture looking like a fat, colorful monkey lying on its back, has become one of the most popular attractions of Brazilian city Sao Paolo.

The curious landmark has been featured on many spammy photo blogs around the Internet, in the last few days, but hardly any of them provided any real information about it. Luckily, I was able to find a link to the site of Fat Monkey’s creator, designer Florentijn Hofman.

Fat Monkey is a very interesting art installation simply because it’s made out of 10,000 colorful flip-flops, a true symbol of Brazilian beaches. It was created during the 2010 Pixelshow Design Congress, with the help of local art students. A part of the Obestias art series, Fat Monkey can now be admired on a lawn, close to the Pixelshow venue.

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Roadkill Toys Are Absolutely Adorable Yet Seriously Creepy

You might think a nice plush teddy bear is the ultimate Christmas gift, but for the savvy sociopath, there’s no better alternative than the ever so adorable roadkill toys.

Roadkill Toys are the brainchild of designer Adam Arber, who made sure they look like the kind of thing you’d normally find squashed on the highway, only slightly more adorable. His collection of roadkill plush creatures currently numbers three characters, Twitch the Raccoon, Grind the Rabbit and Splodge the Hedgehog, each with its very own body bag and name tags.

Complete with tire tracks across their backs, tongues rolled out, goggling eyes and guts coming out of their stomach,  roadkill toys are the perfect traumatizing gift for your child. Another cool thing about them is you can simply tuck in their innards and keep them there by pulling a zipper, so your kid doesn’t freak out the first time he sees them.

Adam Arber came up with the idea for his “Squash-plush” toys while looking at his mother-in-law’s ugly dog. One of his friend’s had taken some photos of roadkill, so he had all the inspiration he needed. He believes roadkill toys will appeal to anyone with a healthy sense of humor, and I tend to agree.

If you think this sort of toys are cute, you’ll love Martin Kittsteiner’s mentally ill toys.

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Spice Skulls by Helen Altman

Using common spices most of us put in our food, American artist Helen Altman creates all kinds of “spicy” lifesize skulls. She glues the various seeds together and molds them into human skulls that can be hanged as ornaments. I don’t now who would want to have this sort of thing around the house, but I’m sure they’d come in handy if you need to add some flavor to your food.

According to Designboom, her series of spice skulls explores “notions of reality versus artificiality in everyday life and the boundary between authenticity and absurdity”.

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5Pointz Aerosol Art Center – The World’s Premiere Graffiti Mecca

5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is an outdoor art exhibit space where graffiti artists can exercise their artistic talent, legally. Dubbed a “an institution of higher burnin’ “, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is viewed as the Mecca of the graffiti art world.

If you’re interested in discovering one of New York’s off-the-beaten-track attractions, 5Pointz should definitely be at the top of your priorities. An old factory converted into an outdoor graffiti museum, the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center features 200,000 square-feet of art covered space that will probably blow your mind. Practically every square inch of this once bustling industrial complex has been covered with colorful layers of graffiti paint, depicting everything from peace messages written in WildStyle to portraits of The Notorious B.I.G.

Provided they receive the approval of Jonathan Cohen, the curator of 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, any artist from around the world can leave their mark on the largest graffiti art exhibit in the world. Artists from Japan, Brazil and the Netherlands have contributed to the space, and if you visit here on weekends, between noon and 7 pm, you’re likely to catch graffiti artists at work.

So if you happen to be in New York, head to Long Island City and visit 5Pointz. It’s always free, it’s always open, and it’s always has some new art exhibits for you to discover.

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A Trip to the Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships has to be one of the most bizarre tourist attractions in the world. Here, visitors can admire all kinds of memorabilia donated by people with broken hearts, from all over the world.

Olinka Vistina and Drazen Grubisic, two Croatian artists who broke up in 2006, decided to open the Museum of Broken Relationships when they realized how hard it was to give up items symbolizing lost love. This way, they could keep the items together, and before they knew it, the two artists started receiving all kinds of items from other broken-up couples.

Before settling permanently in Zagreb, and becoming the first private museum in Croatia, The Museum of Broken Relationships toured the world over, from Istanbul to New York, showcasing its collection of hundreds of bizarre items. Teddy bears, fluffy handcuffs, photographs, watches are among the most common items in found in the museum, but you can also see bizarre things like an axe, a pair of edible underwear and even an artificial lower leg, donated by a man who broke up with a nurse.

Olinka Vistina says the majority of donated items come from Great Britain, which means there must be many broken hearts there. The recently opened Museum of Broken Relationships is apparently a great success, welcoming up to 1,000 visitors every week.

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Rev Angel – A Camaro with the Face of a Lamborghini

Let’s face it, we’d all love to drive a Lamborghini, but few of us can actually afford to buy one. The 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper and looks almost the same as a Lamborghini Gallardo. Well, at least this one does.

Looking at the Rev Angel for the first time, you could probably swear it’s the beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo you’ve always dreamed of. It certainly looks the part, but under that gorgeous exterior, you’ll discover the framework of a humble old 1994 Chevrolet Camaro. Aww, come on, no need to be disappointed now, it’s a perfectly good Lambo replica, and the owner just changed the original engine with a 300 HP LT1 engine that he guarantees will help you beat any tuner cars, old Corvettes and muscle cars.

And you know the best thing about Rev Angel? It cost only $3,000. That’s a worthy price to pay for such a nice looking replica of the Lamborghini Gallardo.

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Sofa Made of Coins by Designer Johnny Swing

Johnny Swing is a very original furniture designer who decided to give literal meaning to the phrase “sitting on cash” by building a series of sofas and chairs out of thousands of coins.

His latest creation, entitled “All the King’s Men” was made out of thousands of 50-cent coins, which makes it not only ridiculously uncomfortable, but also insanely expensive. Each coin was welded to a steel frame, which obviously takes a lot of patience, but considering Johnny has done it a few times before, it probably wasn’t that much of a problem.

While it’s not the kind of comfortable furniture you’d want to slouch on when you get home from work, Johnny Swing’s coin sofa is definitely something to look at, especially knowing that owning it is actually illegal in many countries.

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