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Serene Seascape Mural Made of 500,000 Fishhooks

Cuban artist Yoan Capote uses all kinds of unusual materials to create beautiful art installations. For one of his latest project, Isla, he used around 500,000 fishhooks to build a photo-like seascape mural.

Throughout the years we’ve featured a lot of talented artists with the power of turning everyday objects into stunning masterpieces, and today we’re proud to add Yoan Capote to our ever-growing list. The Cuban artist is famous for the way he manages to take common household objects and create beautiful artworks, but I think his latest creation is also his most impressive one. Named Isla, the 26-foot-wide mural was assembled out of half a million intertwined fishhooks, nails and oil. Looking at it from a distance, you’d think it’s just a photo of the calm open sea, but as you draw near, the secret behind the realistic seascape is revealed. Even with the help of 30 assistants, Yoan Capote took since months to complete his fascinating fishhook mural.

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5 Talented Artists Who Paint with Wine

If there’s one thing I’ve learned writing for OC, it’s that the truly talented are able to create breathtaking art out of literally anything, even ordinary stuff like packing tape or sprinkles. So when I read about wine art, I decided to look up the artists who work with the drinkable medium. After doing a little snooping around, we discovered these five amazing artists, who create the most beautiful wine paintings.

Christina LoCascio

What would a person with a Fine Arts degree and a career in the wine industry do? Why, paint with wine, of course! And that’s exactly what Christina LoCascio has been doing since 2002. She is credited with the development of a new technique using wine as her palette, making use of different grape varieties. Several paintings in Christina’s portfolio reflect a wine narrative – there are vineyards, grapes and wine bottle portraits. She also uses subjects to portray the emotional experience of enjoying a glass of wine. Her art has a very classy, elegant feel to it.

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Beautiful Leila Khaled Portrait Made of 3,500 Lipsticks

Last year, Palestinian artist Amer Shomali paid homage to Leila Khaled, a woman revolutionary who became famous as “the poster girl of Palestinian militancy” after hijacking a plane, in 1969. He created a unique portrait made of 3,500 lipsticks for an art exhibition at Birzeit University.

We’ve featured many awesome pixelated portraits on Oddity Central, like the one made of plastic bottle caps, by Marry Ellen Croteau, or that of Shannon Larratt, made of 10,000 metal nails, but this is the first one we’ve senn made of thousands of lipsticks. Using the famous photo of Leila Khaled holding an AK-47 and wearing a kaffiyeh, taken by Eddie Addams as reference, Amer Shomali created a sort of canvas out of lipstick holders and then arranged 3,500 lipsticks of 14 different colors to best recreate the Palestinian icon’s visage. Called “Icon”, Shomali’s artwork was featured in a an art exhibition organized at Birzeit  University.

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The Hikikomori – Japan’s Social Outcasts

Hikikomori (Japanese for “pull in”) is a term that refers to reclusive adolescents and young adults who choose to isolate themselves from social life. With about a million people in Japan suffering from Hikikomori, I suppose you could call it an epidemic of sorts. Except, the condition is not spread through physical means, it’s purely psychological. It is a phenomenon of social withdrawal that’s pretty much swept the nation in the past few years. About 80% of hikikomori are male, in their teens or twenties, and do not leave the confines of their rooms. They don’t go to school or to work, spending their days in the homes of their parents, reading, watching TV or surfing the internet, consuming meals left for them at the door.

A good example of a typical hikikomori is this boy I’ve been reading about. His mother supposedly refused to reveal his name, fearing social retribution for the boy. The 17-year-old was a normal child, but began to hate school about three years ago. This was after he became a victim to bullying and anonymous hate letters. One day, he suddenly returned home and locked himself in the kitchen. He’s been in there ever since, refusing to come out or let anyone in. The family’s response to this most unusual condition is even more strange. They have simply ‘moved on’, accepting the boy’s behavior as something he will eventually grow out of. They’ve built a new kitchen in the house, and his mother takes meals to his door three times a day. In fact, this is the manner in which most Japanese respond to hikikomori – with utmost tolerance.

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Urine Iron Man Wins Art Competition

The title is a little misleading, so to make things clear, we’re talking about the face of Iron Man made of real urine, in a toilet bowl. This unusual artwork was actually considered better than 600 other entries in a popular art competition.

You don’t often get the chance to associate Iron Man with urine, but this is one of those rare occasions, and we only have a geeky Taiwanese guy to thank for it. But how does one get the crazy idea to paint a portrait of one of Marvel’s most popular superheroes with urine. Well, this particular art school graduate was taking care of business one day, in the bathroom, when he noticed blood in his urine. Now, most everyone else would have panicked and ran straight to the doctor, but not this fellow. Looking at the colors in his pee, he immediately thought of the colors of Iron Man’s suit, and felt inspired to create a portrait of the popular crime-fighter using his very own urine. Read More »

Strange Addictions: Woman Addicted to Drinking Her Own Urine

It’s disgusting, funny and sad all at once, what 53-year-old Carrie from Colorado Springs goes through. She has been addicted to drinking her own urine for over four years now. Her urine intake amounts to about 80 ounces a day, and since she began she has consumed over 900 gallons. “I drink almost all the urine that comes out of my body. It tastes like water for me,” she says.

What makes Carrie’s condition all the more weird is that she doesn’t just drink urine from a glass. I watched this video of a program about her on the TLC channel, where she gathers up the courage to confess her habit to her friend Denise. During the confession, she describes in detail exactly what  she does with the urine. Some of it goes in the regular way, through a glass. But then she puts some of it in a Neti pot and drinks it nasally. And some, she actually drinks through her eyes using an eye cup. She even brushes her teeth with it, and saves some so that she can rub aged urine all over her skin. Carrie says that it’s the nasal drinking that hurts the most. “The pain is different than any pain you’ve experienced.” Read More »

Weird Chinese Massage Therapy Involves Meat Cleavers

If a man came at you with a meat cleaver, your first instinct would obviously be to run for your life. But  not for the people of Hsinchu, in northern Taiwan. Because for them, being tapped with the sharp end of a cleaver is actually a form of therapy that is known to cure many ailments. They line up in large numbers to meet the therapist, who prepares by sharpening the instrument on a wet stone and rubbing iodine all over the blade.

The Chinese knife massage is probably a treatment you’d only expect in hell, but in reality it’s said to increase blood flow, release the body’s stored energy and wash away harmful toxins. The treatment itself is pretty simple: all the therapist does is hold a couple of cleavers and strike the patient repeatedly with the sharp edge. No, don’t be horrified, there’s no blood involved. The trick is to bring down the cleaver with just the right amount of force, and then to not push or pull it once it touches skin. The up-and-down movement of the cleaver is said to release static energy, which leads to self- cure. “Chop, chop, chop, and the pain will go away,” is the motto that the knife therapists use to convince clients. Read More »

Artist Uses Lovers as Living Paintbrushes

Alexander Esguerra,  a New York-based artist, has invented the perfect recipe for love and art to go hand in hand. The couples who participate in his sessions not only get to make love, they also get to take a great souvenir home – a piece of art born from their sensual ‘act’.

Esguerra invites couples to cover themselves in non-toxic, water based paint and then ‘do as they please’ on a canvas on the floor. At the end of the love-making session, what results is a wonderful painting for the world to admire. It’s just like making babies I guess, equally messy, but without any diapers to be changed later. The concept has caught on pretty well, and is turning out to be quite popular. So much, that he’s actually converted it to a business called ‘Love and Paint’. The art packages are provided at luxury hotels, starting at $2,500. There have been fifty couple participants so far.

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Chinese Family Turn Abandoned Toilet into Cozy Home

“There’s no place like home!”, I believe the saying goes, and this modest migrant family from China proves it applies even when home is an abandoned public toilet in the city of Shenyang.

Zeng Lingjun was born in a small village, in the Jilin Province of Northeastern China. As a boy, he dreamed of one day attending college, but because his family was too poor he had to abandon his dream and settle for becoming a cobbler and repair shoes for a living. But just because he couldn’t afford to go to college, didn’t mean he was willing to spend the rest of his life in his village. He had bigger plans for himself, so one day, with just 50 yuan ($8) in his pocket, he left for Shenyang, the biggest city in northeast China. Being a hard worker and a skilled cobbler helped Zeng make a living in the big city, and he was soon earning around 2,000 yuan (315) per month. But this wasn’t enough for him to get his own place.

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The Real Ghostwriter? Mysterious Emails from Beyond the Grave

Looks like the dead have left behind Ouija boards and upgraded to e-mail communication. That is, if the story of Jack Froese is to be believed. The 32-year-old from Dunmore, PA, died last June from a heart arrhythmia. But last November, a couple of people received e-mail messages from him containing personal information that only he could know.

For instance, Tim Hart, his childhood buddy got this message: “Did you hear me? I’m at your house. Clean your f-cking attic!!!” The subject line read, “I’m watching.” Now, according to Tim, only Jack could have sent a message like this, because they had had a conversation about what to do with the attic space shortly before Jack’s death. Jack’s cousin, Jimmy McGraw, also received a similar e-mail, warning him about an ankle injury that he’d suffered after Jack’s death. “I knew you were going to break your ankle, tried to warn you, gotta be careful.” Mc Graw believes the message to be a sign that Jack is trying to connect with him, telling him to move along and feel better.

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Dutch Man Can’t Stop Laughing After Hip Surgery He Had 2 Years Ago

The path to gaining eternal happiness has long since eluded man, but apparently it can be achieved through something as simple as a hip surgery. Meet Huug Bosse, a Dutch man who had hip surgery a couple of years ago, and hasn’t stopped laughing since. His wife finds it annoying, his brother and daughter have become exasperated, but all Mr. Bosse can do in response is slap his knee and laugh uncontrollably.

His laughter is infectious, I myself started to giggle aloud after watching the video about him. But it does get a little silly after a while. And imagine having to live with a person laughing in the house all the time. It must be impossible to hold serious conversations with the man, and that must be quite taxing for his family. The cause for his condition isn’t exactly clear, but it’s probably due to the anesthesia he was placed under, during the operation. In spite of all the mirth, there still is one thing that can move Mr. Bosse to tears. He calls it the most beautiful song – the Dutch national anthem. Perhaps they should have it playing in the background whenever they want to get a serious word out of the man.

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Glow in the Dark Sushi – America’s Latest Food Craze

According to the law of cartoons, eating a Glow Worm would instantly cause your tummy to start glowing too. Now you can go test this theory in real life with glow in the dark sushi, although, the only thing that’s likely to glow are the bits of food stuck between your teeth.

It’s the latest food craze all over the US, but in case you haven’t heard of it already, Glofish is a brand of genetically modified fish designed to glow in the dark. These fluorescent fish are available for purchase in pet shops. But I suppose people weren’t content with just watching the glofish swim about, so they decided to try them out in recipes. And that’s how glow in the dark sushi was invented. Videos demonstrating the recipe have become a huge hit on the internet.

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Plot – A Stunning Cityscape Made of Carved Potatoes

Artist Peter Root spent three weeks carving 80 kilograms of potatoes into office buildings, homes and various other structures, using only a knife and a bicycle repair kit. His unique potato city model is called Plot.

Although Plot was created in Istanbul, 33-year-old Peter Root says his creation wasn’t modeled on the Turkish city, but rather influenced my various aspects of the historical city. The artist, who eats potatoes at least once a week, says he chose the popular vegetables because they are available in abundance and are “amazing to work with”. They can be carved, sliced, chopped, drawn into, balanced and dried, Root said. Lucky for him, the artist didn’t have to peel all 80 kg of potatoes, as he decided to leave some of the skin intact, to encourage the growing of shoots.

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Coolest Finds of the Week #32

The Near Annihilation of the American Buffalo (Environmental Graffiti)

Chefs Create Menu for Space Tourists (Techeye)

Sheep-Shearing Course Helps Businessmen Relieve Stress (Youtube)

Homeless Man Poses as Woman for 13 Years for Free Medical Care (Fox News)

GPS System Leads Japanese Students into Oyster Point Bay (Bayside Bulletin)

Awesome Photos from Inside Musical Instruments (Behance)

12 Amazing Recycled Dragons (Environmental Graffiti)

Camping Tents That Look Like Real Food (Laughing Squid)

The Man-Made Clouds of Berndnaut Smilds (Designboom)

20 Amazing Look-Alikes (Oddee)

4 Places Where Dying Is Not Allowed

When something as natural and inevitable as death is banned, it does seem a tad illogical. You would be surprised to know that there actually are quite a few places on Earth where death has been forbidden, and deemed illegal. In fact, it seems that this is actually an age-old practice; the earliest known instance of the prohibition of death was in the 5th century BC,  when dying wasn’t allowed on religious grounds at the Greek island of Delos. Each place has a reason of its own, varying from religious beliefs to environmental factors.

We’ll take a look at four places where death is forbidden in today’s world:

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