World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree Is Worth $11 Million

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An $11 million Christmas tree may seem incredible, but the simple fact  that it was put up in the lobby of a 7 star hotel  in United Arab Emirates makes it a little more believable. According to Hans Olbertz, general manager of the Emirates Palace Hotel, this is the world’s most expensive Christmas tree.

But what makes a Christmas tree worth $11 million. Well, it appears its immense value is given by the fact that instead of traditional ornaments, the tree is decorated with very expensive jewelry draping around it’s branches, along with a few gold and silver bows and some lights.

The artificial Christmas tree standing at over 13ft tall had an initial value of only $10,000, but the sum kept rising as gold, pearls, diamonds, sapphires and other precious stones provided by Style Gallery, were being added. There are now 181 jewels decorating the world’s most expensive Christmas tree.

Maybe the idea of an $ 11million Christmas tree wouldn’t seam that out of the ordinary if you knew that the Emirates Palace Hotel is offering a seven days package at the price of “just” $ 1million, which includes a luxurious car and a private plane at the disposal of the guest.

The owners of the luxurious Abu Dhabi hotel are planning to contact the Guinness Book of Records about their creation.

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Cyber Granny – World’s Oldest Facebooker

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She’s two months away from her 104th birthday but age isn’t an impediment for Lillian Lowe, the world’s oldest Facebook user.

Lillian Lowe, from Tenby, Pembrokeshire, south Wales, may be a grandmother and great-grandmother at 103, but she is still young-at-heart and her online adventure on Facebook is proof of that. After 104-year-old Ivy Bean died in June, Lillian has become the oldest of over 500 million users of the popular social network.

Her grandson Steve is the one responsible with wetting her up with a Facebook account and he’s also the one who lent her his iPad, but she is planning to replace it with a newer version, seeing that she’s also up to date in terms of  gadgets, as she admits herself “At the moment I use my grandson’s iPad but I am very hopeful to get one of my own, there are some great new models out at the moment.”

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Sol Cinema – The World’s Smallest Solar Powered Theater

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Nowadays eco-friendly is definitely the way to go, and green is a hip color, so the Sol Cinema follows the latest trends.

It was created by artist Peter O’Connor with the help of some of his colleagues from the British art collective Undercurrents, in a travel trailer from the 1960’s. The Sol Cinema is fully powered by the sun, using 120W solar panels that are connected to four large lithium-ion batteries, providing sufficient energy for the LED projector and all the other electronics inside .

But being powered by solar energy alone isn’t the only unique characteristic of the Sol Cinema, as being set up inside a trailer also makes it the world’s smallest solar theater. Believe it or not, it’s able to accommodate up to eight visitors.

The cinema focuses it’s screenings on eco-themed movies or documentaries. If you’re interested, more info on the theater’s tour dates and locations can be found on the official website. Apparently, following its local success, the Sol Cinema is preparing for a tour around Europe.

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The World’s Most Elaborate Temporary Carpets

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No matter how elaborate and expensive, carpets have never really fascinated me, but the ones created by the guys at “We Create Carpets” are simply awe-inspiring. Using common materials, like pasta, toy soldiers or plastic forks, these guys create the most intricate temporary carpets. Each design is more impressive than the previous one, but what’s most impressive is these guys’ patience in setting every piece in just the right place, to ensure a perfect final result.

Check out the temporary carpets below, and prepare to have your mind blown:

Pasta Carpet

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Chinese Gamer Plays MMO on World’s Largest LED Screen

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Jealous on a fellow guild master who got to play his favorite video game on an IMAX screen, a Chinese gamer spent a ridiculous amount of money to play on the world’s largest LED screen.

MMOs (Massive Multiplayer Online games) are very popular in China, and the people who play them are very competitive. The problem is some of them are also filthy rich and spare no efforts when it comes to showing the competition how cool they are. Take this young gamer who spent 100,000 RMB ($15,000) for just 10 minutes of playing Magic World Online 2, on the world’s biggest LED display, and all just to beat the record of a fellow gamer who played the same game in an IMAX cinema.

Set up in “The Place”, one of Beijing’s most popular shopping malls, the 250-meter-long, 30-meter-wide display is appropriately named “All Beijing, look up!”. I know you have to be out of your mind to throw away that much money on a short gaming session, but this hardcore MMO fan can take comfort in the fact that no one will be able to break his record…at least not until Dubai finishes its giant LED display, set to be the largest yet.

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Oman Builds World’s Largest Marble Mosaic

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s accession to the throne of Oman, his subjects commissioned the world’s largest marble mosaic.

The people of Oman consider Sultan Qaboos bin Said is considered responsible for the kingdom’s prosperity, so they decided to honor the anniversary of his rule by making a unique mosaic portrait. Measuring a staggering 8.30 meters in length and 5.30 meters in width, the spectacular masterpiece depicts the sultan in a position that best captures His Majesty’s humbleness. As the sultan rarely makes public appearances, the 15 artists who worked on the project had only a photograph, taken by his private photographer, to work with.

Apart from its size, the world’s largest marble mosaic impresses through the fact that it’s made up of 128,274 individual marble pieces, using 90 natural shades of marble mined from the mountains and sea beds of Oman. Blocks of marble were meticulously chosen and mined exclusively for the project.

The team of 15 artists from the UK and Bahrain spent around 120 days carefully placing each tile in the intricate mosaic, working an exhausting 12 hours a day. The face of the sultan is incredibly detailed, and his mustache and beard are made from the sultan’s favorite stone, brought all the way from Italy. The face alone took the artists 40 days to complete.

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Hotter than Hot – World’s Hottest Chili Pepper

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Despite what you might think, the world’s hottest chili pepper was created not by a Mexican or Indian farmer, but by a “hot”  British farmer.

Gerald Fowler grew the Naga Viper on his farm in  Cumbria, northern England, and got to a record level of spiciness by crossing three of the hottest varieties of chili, including  Bhut – Jolokia, the previous record holder.

There is a special way to measure their hotness. It’s not like someone tastes this babies. The heat of a chili pepper is measured using the Scoville Scale – the number of Scoville unites indicates the amount of capsaicin found in the chili, this being  what gives it’s spiciness. Bhuta – Jolokia reached a maximum of 1.001.304 units whereas the Naga Viper has 1.359.000.

In an interview for The Daily Mail, Mrs.Fowler confirmed : ‘It’s painful to eat. It numbs your tongue, then burns all the way down. It can last an hour, and you just don’t want to talk to anyone or do anything. But it’s a marvellous endorphin rush. It makes you feel great.’

What I find interesting is that he makes people vouch in writing for their sanity, before letting them taste his chili.

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French Artist Sails Around the World in a Sinking Boat

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Designer Julien Berthier has been sailing around the globe in Love Love, a weird ship that looks like it’s about to sink.

Created back in 2007, Love Love is one of Berthier’s weirdest artworks. He actually cut a sailboat in half, sealed it with fiberglass and fitted it with two motors, which make it fully functional, despite its capsizing look. The 35-year-old designer says his ever-sinking sailing craft is perfectly safe and easy to maneuver, especially in calm waters.

As you can imagine, passers-by and fellow sailors don’t even know what to think when they first lay eyes on Love Love, especially when they see its captain so relaxed, while his boat appears to be heading to a watery grave. Berthier himself admits he has put the coast guard and harbor masters on full alert a few times, after people alerted them about a sinking ship.

Julien Berthier, who says he “wanted to freeze the moment just a few seconds before the boat disappears, creating an endless vision of the dramatic moment”, has sailed his sinking boat on many trips through famous harbors like London’s Canary Wharf, and France’s Normandy.

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Janet Esteves – The World’s Biggest Mickey Mouse Fan

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Janet Esteves has proved to the whole world that she is the biggest Mickey Mouse fan, by putting together the world’s largest collection of Mickey Mouse memorabilia.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Janet has turned her home into a virtual museum dedicated to Disney’s adorable character, featuring well over 2,500 items. She has everything from Mickey Mouse plush toys, snow globes, keychains and , all carefully organized and put on display around the house.

Janet Esteves first started collecting Mickey Mouse stuff in the early ’70s, when she and her husband visited Disneyland, on their honeymoon. She bought her first Mickey Mouse toys that time, but the collection really blossomed when her daughter was born, in 1978. She kept buying new Mickey stuff for her, until she realized she had made a goal of collecting memorabilia. Now, Janet has grandchildren, and they love Mickey Mouse too, so the collection keeps growing with each passing day.

As of December 2008, Janet Esteves’ impressive collection featured 2,760 different Mickey Mouse items, and it’s just going to get bigger.

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Saimir Strati Creates the World’s Largest Industrial Screw Mosaic

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Saimir Strati, the well-known Albanian master of mosaics has created yet another masterpiece, a giant mosaic made of 300,000 industrial screws.

Strati, who already holds four Guinness records for various mosaics, has just applied for a fifth one, the world’s largest mosaic made with industrial screws. His latest artwork measures 490 cm by 240 cm and features a portrait of Greek poet Homer in the middle of a giant banknote, entitled “currency of the soul”. The Albanian artist who has previously created impressive mosaics out of nails, bottle corks and paintbrushes, has dedicated his latest masterpiece to his fellow art creators from Tirana, Albania.

Saimir Strati has spent two weeks creating his unusual banknote mosaic, using 300,000 industrial screws.

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China Showcases the World’s Largest Luminous Pearl

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A mystery to the western world, luminous pearls are legendary in China, and people go to great lengths for a chance to even touch one of them. The largest luminous pearl has just been placed on display, in China’s Hainan province.

Very little is known about the giant green pearls of China. The few who actually have heard of these remarkable jewels refer to them as “Yemengzhu” and praise them to be rarities that bring good luck. They have been a part of Chinese legends for centuries, and people there believe that just touching them can bring great fortune and prosperity. But this kind of myths are all to common in a traditional country like China, and what makes Yemengzhu special has little to do with local lore.

Luminous pearls are wonders of the mineral world that shine in the dark without the help of ultraviolet light. This kind of Fluorite is so rare that western geology don’t even recognize its existence, and the Chinese only discovered the first one in 1982, at a Tungsten mine, in Guangdong. Since then, bigger and bigger deposits were discovered, and the largest one yet weighs 6 tons and is 1.6 meters in diameter. When it was discovered, it had an irregular shape, but was ground in the form of a sphere. The process took three years to complete, because of its tough nature, comparable to the finest grade of diamonds.

The largest luminous pearl is currently exhibited in Wenchang, China’s Hainan province, and has been appraised at 2.2 billion yuan ($331 million).

 

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Just What the World Needed – Hello Kitty Theme park Opens in Tokyo

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As if the world didn’t have enough of their annoying icon, Hello Kitty, the Japanese thought they’d open a new theme park as well.

If you’re a regular visitor of Oddity Central, you probably already know I’m not the world’s biggest Hello Kitty fan. I’ve featured quite a few strange Hello Kitty stuff, from a pink assault rifle to a Hello Kitty-themed Ferrari. Now, it brings me great…honor to present to you Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise, a Hello Kitty theme park that just opened in Tokyo.

I guess the Japanese didn’t want to look bad, after their Chinese neighbors built a Hello Kitty castle, and a nice new pink theme park was just the thing. Located on Odaiba Island, Hello Kitty Kawaii Paradise opened on October 22nd, and hopes to attract as many as 700,000 Hello Kitty fans in its first year. While the despicable icon has tons of fans in Japan’s capital, not many of them bothered to check out the theme park, probably because Odaiba is quite a long way from central Tokyo, and many of them don’t care to make the long trip. Let’s just hope the place stays empty and they’ll be forced to close it down soon, because unless you’re the Pink Lady, human eyesight just can’t handle all that pink.

In case you’re interested, the 10,000 square-foot park features a big Hello Kitty shop, where you can find all kinds of accessories, toys and other pink junk, a Hello Kitty pancake restaurant, a small theater, a big statue of Hello Kitty and a whole bunch of other pink, girly stuff fans go crazy about.

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Prince Saint Vladimir – The World’s First and Only Chapel Boat

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The Prince Saint Vladimir is basically an old boat converted into a floating church that could make the sacred relics on board accessible to people in remote areas along the Volga River.

This isn’t the world’s first floating church, communities living on water have built plenty of them all around the world, but the Prince Saint Vladimir (named after the saint who baptized Russia) is the world’s first self-propelled chapel boat. Built back in 2004, the unique church was designed to reach even the shallowest waters, so that all the people of the Volvograd region could have access to a church and priest. There were two other similar churches built before, but because they were practically converted barges, they could only be moved by tugboats. The Prince Saint Vladimir is, however, a self-propelled craft.

On September 13, 2010, the great river voyage of the Prince Saint Vladimir began. The floating church will travel around 3,000 kilometers along the shores of the Volga, from the river mouth, all the way to Moscow. It will make stops in both cities and small communities along the shores, allowing people access to relics of eight great saints from the era of the Undivided Church. Its voyage will take the sacred ship to areas that have suffered from drought and terrible wildfires, and the Russian Church hopes it will bring comfort to locals.

Along with the captain and ship crew, a priest will be on board the Prince Saint Vladimir at all times, and he will celebrate the Sacred Liturgy at every stop.

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T’Spookhuys – Probably the World’s Spookiest Restaurant

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Known also as the “House of 1,000 Ghosts”, the T’Spookhuys Restaurant was designed to scare the hell out of its customers, with a truly creepy interior design and bizarre menu.

Located in the city of Turnhout, Belgium, T’Spookhuys was founded by Karl Hendrix and Bjorn Leys, as a place where people could experience the horrors of a haunted mansion. When it opened its gates to the public, on October 1st 1997, it shocked pretty much everyone with its creepy interior decorations, squeaky doors, smoke coming down from the ceiling, moving paintings, and other special effects. Soon everyone wanted to “dine in hell” and witness the weird spectacles and cameos that took part at the T’Spookhuys Restaurant.

Some of the foods on the menu included mud pie and spicy worms served in skull-shaped bowls, by waiters dressed as vampires and devil worshipers, but instead of driving people away, this incredibly spooky atmosphere brought in more curious clients. Not even the rumors about satanic rituals being performed on the restaurant’s upper floor didn’t scare anyone.

In 2008, eleven years after they opened this crazy establishment, the owners of T’Spookhuys decided to close down the place and open a whole new club, in the city of Zandhoven. To the joy of urban explorers, T’Spookhuys was left intact, allowing them to explore and take photos of what used to be probably the spookiest restaurant in the world. As you’d expect, there are dozens of stories of ghost and tormented spirits living in the abandoned restaurant, saying that they are the real reason the owners decided to close shop and move away, but no ghost sightings have been reported yet.

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

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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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