Chinese Contestants Stand on One Leg for Hours on End to Win Brand New BMW

Wu Deqi is the proud owner of a brand new swanky BMW. Nothing special so far, I know, but that’s because you don’t yet know how he got it. Instead of money, he had to pay for it with a lot of pain. In a promotional contest held last Sunday in the Shapingba District of Southwest China, Wu stood on one leg with one hand touching the coveted car alongside 20 other participants. After a grueling 7 hours and 26 minutes, Wu was the last man standing – automatically winning possession of the 300,000 yuan BMW X1.

Of course, Wu’s feat is nowhere near the Guinness World Record for standing on one leg. That distinction belongs to Suresh Joachim, who balanced himself on one foot for a whopping 76 hours and 40 minutes. But you have to hand it to Wu for his extraordinary effort. I mean, I couldn’t do it for over 5 minutes even if they offered me two BMWs.

The actual event began on 1 March and attracted hundreds of participants. About 140 people entered into three elimination rounds, and 20 shortlisted candidates made it to the final competition on Sunday. This last round was the toughest; some of the contestants actually dropped to the ground in agony. The competition began at 9:30 am and by 1:30 pm, the going got really tough. That’s when the organizers asked participants to stand on tip of their support foot. Flour was spread under each person’s foot to make sure they didn’t cheat and rest their heels.

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Young Ukrainian Builds Awe-Inspiring Miniature Frigate with 17,000 Coins

This is what I call expensive art! While most artists spend money on art supplies, this Ukrainian man actually used money itself. 29-year-old chef Sergei Nikolayev Knurov fashioned a detailed miniature ship out of a variety of Ukrainian coins. The final piece contains a whopping 17,000 coins, with bank notes for sails.

Sergei, a resident of Mykolaiv city in southern Ukraine, first started the project with coins from his piggy bank. But he soon ran out of material – his personal stash only covered the keel. So he began to exchange paper money for coins whenever possible at drug stores and markets, and sometimes with friends. When people found out what the coins were meant for, they were glad to part with their loose change. The coins Sergei used are mainly 2 and 10 kopecks, and the sails are made of 25 five-hryvnia notes.

At first, it wasn’t easy for Sergei to actually create the 3 dimensional model of the ship using just his sketches and notes. But lucky for him, his wife Alena is an amateur numismatist (a person who studies and collects currency). She helped him fuse the coins together using silicate glue, which worked pretty well. Sergei said that using regular super glue could have resulted in oxidization, but this way the metal structure will last longer.

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Thrill-Seeker Travels All Around the World to Perform Death-Defying Hand-Stands

Scott Young is a thrill seeker unlike any other. Most adventurers are content with just traveling the world, but this young daredevil takes the phrase ‘living on the edge’ to a whole new level. He actually performs handstands on top of skyscrapers and other tall buildings in every city that he visits. Scott climbs to the very edge of buildings up to 40 storeys high (that’s nearly 500 foot) and hangs up-side-down. And get this – he doesn’t use any safety ropes or nets. He only carries a small camera strapped to his foot, to record the vertigo-inducing view below.

25-year-old Scott is a native of Basingstoke, a large town in northeast Hampshire in England. He has been a professional freerunner since the age of 15, which means that he performs stunts like climbing tall urban buildings and jumping between rooftops. Scott has starred in films like The Amazing Spiderman and is now a part of the 3RUN team of acrobats. But he’s currently working on his pet project called ‘Handstands in High Places’. So far, he has filmed himself performing handstands in three countries – England, China and India. His latest pictures are from the edge of an old, derelict 20-storey building in New Delhi. This was by far the most dangerous stunt he’s performed – purely because of the bad condition of the building. But Scott was pretty nonchalant about the whole affair.

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Believe It or Not the Scariest Mouth in the World Belongs to a Species of Turtle

Here’s one species of turtle you don’t want to kiss. Believe me, the Leatherback Sea Turtle might look adorable and harmless, but lurking behind its cute face is a set of killer teeth, making its mouth one of the scariest in the world.. Hundreds of these jagged stalactite-like teeth called ‘papillae’ line the turtle’s mouth and esophagus, all the way down to the gut. You just have to see it to believe it.

The Leatherback is the third largest living reptile in the world, and also the largest turtle. It’s actually a pretty docile creature, with a diet mainly consisting of jellyfish. In fact, the only reason it gets so huge is because it eats an astonishingly large number of the slow-moving jellies. Sometimes, the leatherback can consume about 73 percent of its own body weight in a single day, which is about 16,000 calories and three to seven times more than it needs to survive. Talk about binge eating!

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Takeda Castle Ruins – Japan’s Breathtaking Castle in the Sky

If you’ve read the Harry Potter series, then you’re probably familiar with Durmstrang Institute – a perfectly hidden school in the mountains for dark witches and wizards. If this school were to exist in real life, I think I’ve found the perfect place for it – Japan’s Takeda Castle. This spectacular castle is located in Hyogo Prefecture in the Wadayamacho district of Asago. It was constructed centuries ago on the summit of a 1000 foot high mountain. Today, the ruins of the castle run a quarter of a mile long and over 300 foot wide.

Takeda Castle is special because of the breathtaking view it presents on autumn mornings (between sunrise and 8 am). That’s when a thick mist hangs over the sky because of a sharp drop in overnight temperatures. The effect created by the mist is truly breathtaking – like a castle in the sky, floating on clouds. The entire site is often referred to as Japan’s Machu Picchu, after the majestic mountain ruins of Peru. The castle, in all its beauty and ancient glory, attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. The number of visitors began to grow after the site was featured in a 2012 Japanese film called ‘Anata e’.

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Color Blind Artist Implants Antenna in His Skull to HEAR Colors

Did you know that colors can be seen as well as heard? Well, now you do, thanks to 31-year-old Neil Harbisson, a color blind artist who spent years looking for a way of experiencing the colors of the world around him. For the past 10 years, Neil has been wearing an external electronic eye that picks up the frequencies of the colors before him and converts them into sound vibrations that he can hear. Initially he wore the device outside his head. But later, the London-based artist convinced surgeons to implant the chip int his skull to be able to perceive more intricate colors.

The idea for the device came about when Neil heard a cybernetics talk by computer scientist Adam Montandon at Dartington College of Arts in 2003. The pair then collaborated to create the device and Neil ended up memorizing various frequencies so he could recognize colors. So he still couldn’t see the colors, he could now hear and identify them. Neil, who was born with achromatopsia (a rare condition that allows him to see only black or white), said during a talk in 2012: “For me the sky is always grey, flowers are always grey and television is black and white.”

“But since the age of 21 instead of seeing color I can hear color. So I’ve been hearing color all the time for eight years so I find it completely normal to hear it all the time. At the start I had to memorize the names you have for each color and the notes but after some time all this information became a perception and I didn’t have to think about the notes and after some time this became a feeling. I started to have favorite colors and I started to dream in color.”

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Believe It or Not This Beautiful Parrot Is Actually a Painted Woman – The Amazing Body Art of Johannes Stoetter

You’ll have to look really close at this picture of a beautiful parrot to realize that it’s not a parrot at all. The rich red-and-gold plumes are, in fact, a woman’s limbs painted to perfection. The incredibly clever photograph is the work of 35-year-old body painter Johannes Stoetter. The artist, who lives in Italy, spent four long weeks planning the transformation of a female model into a hauntingly realistic parrot. The actual painting work took him about four hours to complete and he spent another hour positioning the model on a tree stump before clicking a series of photographs.

Stoetter’s photographs form the perfect illusion. But if you observe carefully, the head of the parrot is actually the woman’s left arm wrapped around her head. The wings are formed by her right leg and arm, while her outstretched left leg is made to resemble the tail. Stoetter said that he chose to have the model sit on a tree stump to enhance the life-like appearance. As you can imagine, the entire process was quite complicated and painstaking.

“It was quite hard to take the photo, to tell the model how to pose to make the parrot seem as real as possible and also to find the right point of view for me to take the photo,” said Stoetter. “It was not easy for the model to hold the position either. The whole process took about four weeks from start to finish.” Although it was tiresome, the artist said that it is immensely satisfying, especially when people compliment him for a nice picture of a parrot.

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North Dakota Pharmacist Prescribes Monster Spray to Children Afraid to Sleep Alone

If sprays can get rid of household pests, then why not resident monsters? A North Dakota father-and-daughter pharmacist duo have hit upon an ingenious idea that could potentially banish the night-time woes of parents all over the world. Jeff Dodds and his daughter Josslyn Dodds are both employees at Barrett Pharmacy in Watford City. They worked together to create the potion – a bit of colored water in a medicine spray bottle with some very creative labelling. The small bottle contains 120 sprays and allows for one refill; it’s called Monster Spray and, as the name suggests, it’s meant to get rid of monsters under children’s beds. Surprisingly, the concept is a success!

So how does the Monster Spray work exactly? According to the label on the bottle, you need to ‘spray around the room at night before bed, repeat if necessary’. It seems that this simple routine has been satisfying kids for the past five years or so – Barrett has used it to cure a handful of children with monster-fears. “It’s 100 percent safe and it works amazingly,” said Josslyn. “It really seems to get rid of the monsters.” According to the parents who have used it, it’s the realistic prescription bottle that convinces their children.

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New Zealand Campaign Offers Students Free Beer for Dead Rats

Gareth Morgan, a philanthropist from Wellington, New Zealand, has come up with a unique initiative to get rid of the city’s rats. He’s offering university students a free beer for every rat they manage to catch and kill. He’s even giving away rap traps. According to Morgan, rats are a common urban pest that are ruining the native ecology of the country. In fact, he’s so passionate about preserving New Zealand’s wildlife that he’s willing to personally sponsor all the free beers. “We’re trying to make an offer that students just can’t refuse, and we’re trying to get them to be our army,” he said.

Morgan is currently running the campaign in association with Victoria University’s Science Society. According to the Science Society president Jonathan Musther, “There are obviously people who get behind it for the drinks, but then there are a lot of ecology students who are very passionate about trapping and very passionate about New Zealand native flora and fauna.”

“The lure of freebies usually gets people along,” said one student. “But when they find out what they have to do they might be a bit deterred.”

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The Cinema at the End of the World

The world’s eeriest cinema hall is located in the Sinai Peninsula, in the Egyptian desert. Well, it isn’t exactly a hall. It’s more like an arrangement of wooden seats out in the open. It has been dubbed the ‘End of the World’ Cinema, and I think it couldn’t have had a better name. The neat arrangement of wooden seats in the middle of nowhere looks as apocalyptic as you can imagine – like a cinema used by a mysterious ancient civilization. The 150 seats are completely worn out, the screen’s foundations are broken and the building that once housed the generator and projector is in ruins. Surprisingly, the cinema is only a decade old.

I’m really not sure who would want to watch a movie sitting out in the open in the middle of a desert, but apparently a crazy Frenchman thought it was a brilliant idea. The project was his brainchild – he bought everything he needed for the cinema from an old theater in Cairo. According to Kaupo Kikkas, an Estonian photographer who recently took pictures of the site, the cinema was doomed ever since its conception.

“On a sunny day at the very beginning of this millennium, a crazy Frenchman found himself in the desert of Sinai,” he wrote. “After some puffs of a magic smoke he wondered – how come there are no cinemas in the middle of the desert? He flew back to Paris and arranged some money. After that he went to Cairo to buy original seats and projection equipment from an old cinema theater. Then came back to Sinai, arranged a generator for electricity, and a monstrous tractor to pull up the screen that was like a gigantic sail. And now more or less everything was ready for the premier.”

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This Why You Should Never, Ever Try to Kiss a Snapping Turtle

Here’s a way to save thousands on Botox treatments and still achieve a perfectly natural swollen pout – just kiss a snapping turtle! A man from China’s Fujian Province tried it recently; I don’t know what he was thinking kissing a turtle that is known to have a vicious bite that can actually break a human finger. This guy locked lips with his pet and what happened next was pretty much expected – it latched on and refused to let go.

Pictures of the not-so-sweet kiss were doing the rounds of China’s social networking website, Weibo. Apparently, the man’s friends clicked pictures and found them too hilarious not to share with the world. They even updated ‘after’ shots of the injuries – the man is seen nursing a huge lip that can put the most bizarre plastic surgeries to shame. Ouch, that must have hurt real bad!

According to news reports, the ‘Alligator snapping turtle’ was a pet about to be released. It was not native to China, hence damaging to its ecosystem. These exotic pets require expert handling, which is obviously not this man’s forte. Just before letting the turtle go, he decided on the impromptu peck. As you can see, it wasn’t the brightest idea. I just think he’s incredibly lucky that the amphibian did not decide to keep a piece of his lip as a parting souvenir!

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Fibonacci-Shaped Romanesco Broccoli Is the World’s Most Visually Stunning Vegetable

Put mathematics and broccoli together and you have the two most hated things of my childhood. And that’s exactly what the Romanesco Broccoli is all about. But now that I’m an adult, I find that I’m actually able to appreciate the intricacy of this rare vegetable. The broccoli takes the form of a fractal – a complex geometrical shape that looks almost the same at every scale factor. So each broccoli is made up of smaller florets that mimic the fractal shape to perfection, which in turn are made of even smaller florets of similar shape… and this goes on and on to the tiniest florets.

If you break off a floret from the main head, it looks like a mini-version of the broccoli with its own mini florets. No matter which part of the fractal you zoom into, it will look like an identical version of the bigger picture. It’s fascinating to think that something like this naturally occurs in nature, let alone on a vegetable. A detailed pattern that goes on repeating itself is rare and certainly a thing of beauty.

The Romanesco Broccoli is nothing short of a mathematical marvel, reminiscent of the Fibonacci series – a sequence of consecutive numbers that add up to the next number. Like: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on. So how can a broccoli imitate a series of numbers? Simple. On closer inspection, the Romanesco is revealed to have a spiral starting from the center point. All the smaller florets are arranged around this spiral. In essence, this is the Fibonacci spiral – a series of arcs with radii that follow the Fibonacci sequence. If you count the number of spirals in each direction, they will always be consecutive Fibonacci numbers. A math lesson on a vegetable – isn’t that amazing?

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Siberia’s Real-Life Swan Lake Teeming with Life in the Dead of Winter

Svetloe Lake, located near Urozhainoe village in Siberia, is better known to locals as the Swan Lake. Come February, the lake is usually teeming with activity – beautiful swans arrive in hundreds and make this place their winter home, which is surprising because swans generally prefer to fly further south where the climate isn’t so harsh.

What makes Svetloe Lake so special that swans willingly flock at it in the dead of winter? Well, for starters, it is fed by many warm springs so the temperature of the water is always above zero – even when the surrounding air drops to minus 40C. The lake’s waters are warm in comparison, at 5C to 6C, making it the perfect hang-out place for the beautiful birds. The swans began to appear at the lake way back in 1967. Only about 15 birds would make an appearance then, but the numbers have steadily increased to over 350 today and still continue to rise.

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Head-Strong Pakistani Sets New World Record for Smashing Walnuts with His Head

The Punjab Youth Festival that took place last month in Lahore, Pakistan, featured a lot of bizarre events, including one that had human nut cracker Mohammad Rashid break a whopping 155 walnuts in just one minute. He didn’t even use any special tools, only his forehead.

The walnuts were placed on a long table in two neat rows. At the word ‘go’, Rashid went off like a raging bull, banging his head repeatedly against the table and breaking as many nuts as he could. Bits of shattered walnut were flying everywhere, but the young man didn’t lose focus until he was asked to stop. He emerged from the table with a small cut on his forehead and a victorious smile – he broke the previous record of 44 walnuts in a minute.

According to festival organizers, over 100 world records were challenged by Pakistani youth this year. They did manage to break one other record – a group of 30,000 attendees made the world’s largest human national flag at the National Hockey Stadium. Guinness World Record officials are currently collecting and analyzing the evidence before they declare that both records have indeed been broken.

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Brazilian Popeye Pumps His Biceps Full of Oil and Alcohol

I always thought Popeye was adorable, but I find this Brazilian real-life version to be kind of grotesque. Arlindo de Souza, a.k.a. Arlindo Anomalia, has bulked up his arms by following a dangerous trend among body builders in Brazil – injecting themselves with a potentially lethal combination of oil and alcohol. He has 29-inch biceps, which are currently the biggest in the country. The most odd thing about his muscles is that they are bulged even when he isn’t flexing them, like great, big lumps of flesh hanging off his arms and shoulders.

Arlindo says that he’s stopped using the injections, now that a friend’s death made him realize how dangerous they are. “My friend Paulinho, he passed away from doing these things,” he said. “I felt his death a lot. He took it, I took it, but he went beyond the limit. I advise no-one to take this oil. I’ve stopped taking it, and other things as well, but there is always that will to start again. But I’m managing to control myself, to this day.”

Older pictures reveal that 43-year-old Arlindo was once a handsome man with his ‘natural’ muscles. But the Arnold Schwarzenegger fan became so obsessed with body building that he took steroids, hormones and horse vitamins to bulk up. And then, two years ago, a gym buddy offered him a ‘site enhancement oil’ to help things along. “The guy gave it to me,” said Arlindo. “He said, ‘Take this, it will make you grow in days.’ I loaded the syringe, put it in my arm, injected it and it swelled me up right there and then.”

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