Curious Eats – Tokyo’s Legendary Black Hot Dog

Japan is known for its selection of weird foods, and today we can add one more item to the ever-growing list. The Black Terra Hot-Dog is one of the most popular fast-food delicacies sold in the Akihabara district of Tokyo. It’s over 30 centimeters long and looks like it’s been cooked a few hours longer than necessary.

Black hamburgers have been around for about a year now, ever since Burger King launched its Premium Kuro Burger in Japan. It has black buns and dark ketchup, but the meat patty and vegetables retain their natural colors. But the people over at Vegas Premium Hot-Dogs, in Akihabara, Tokyo decided to one-up the giant fast-food chain by creating a food item that is entirely black as charcoal. Vegas was already famous for the size of its delicious hot-dogs, which span over 30 cm in length, but ever since they introduced the Black Terra Hot-Dog, in March, their popularity has grown even more. You would expect clients to be turned off by the rubber-like sausage, but apparently people who see this delicacy advertised on the billboards in front of the fast-food joint just can’t resist the urge to try it.

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French Artist Creates Amazing Portraits from Liquid, Solid and Powdered Foods

World, meet Vivi Mac, an amazing artist from France who can use virtually any kind of food to create detailed celebrity portraits. Although she has yet to display her ephemeral masterpieces in an proper art gallery, Vivi Mac has already made a name for herself online.

We’ve featured some amazing food artists on Oddity Central in the past, but none quite like this one. Karen Eland is a master coffee painter, Elisabetta Rogai uses wine as her medium, Kelly McCollam uses spices and food coloring to recreate classic paintings, but the self-taught Vivi Mac can take anything from chewing gum, to milk or crème brûlée and turn it  into an awe-inspiring portrait.  When working with liquids, Mac uses a simple plastic straw and her hands to guide the unusual mediums around a plastic tray which acts as a canvas. Just how she manages to capture the finest facial features is still a mystery to me, and I’ve seen videos of her doing it dozens of times.

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Singapore Nightclub Uses Revolutionary Pee Analyzer to Thwart Drunk Driving

Accidents caused by drunk driving are a major problem  all around the world, and the city-state of Singapore is no exception. With over 2140 reported cases of drunk driving in the last 12 months, authorities are having problems dealing with the issue efficiently. Luckily, Zouk, one of the hottest nightclubs in South-East Asia seems to have come up with an ingenious way to thwart the dangerous practice.

Statistics show almost every drunk driver thinks he is sober enough to drive, but what if you could show them they are wrong and convince them to take a taxi home instead? That’s the idea behind Zouk’s pee analyzing urinals. The nightclub partnered with marketing agency DDB Group to create a unique system of identifying and testing drunk drivers that would discourage patrons from driving home intoxicated. They started by replacing the usual parking coupons with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) cards which were exchanged with car keys by the club’s valets. Then they fitted every urinal with pee-analyzing gadgets that could detect alcohol in the urine and reset for every new user. The gadgets were connected to an RFID reader which identified drivers through their parking cards. If their alcohol level was above the legal limit, the card was tagged and a message was displayed above the urinal, telling them they’ve had too much to drink and advising them to call a cab or use Zouk’s drive home system.

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Slimy Facials – Japanese Salon Uses Live Snails as Beauty Treatment

Snail slime is believed to have an anti-ageing effect on human skin and beauty product companies have been using as an ingredient for around two decades. Now, a Japanese beauty salon is taking things to a whole new level by offering a treatment where live snails are put directly on clients’ faces to cover them in slime.

For a lot of women, having snails crawling on their faces is the stuff of nightmares, but the owners of Tokyo-based beauty salon Ci:z Labo are hoping some will actually be willing to pay for it. According to Ci:z Labo spokeswoman Manami Takamura, snail slime removes old cells from a person’s skin, moisturizes it and treats sun burn effects. The treatment, called the Celebrity Escargot Course, costs Y24,150 ($241) and involves four snails bought from an organic snail breeder in Japan and kept in sterile conditions. An assistant gently places the snails on the patient’s previously washed face and let’s them crawl freely. If they get too close to the person’s mouth, eyes or nostrils, she picks them up and places them back on an area where they feel less uncomfortable. The slimy facial is a central part of this 60-minute treatment and is followed by a series of massages, masks and electrical pulse machines using creams infused with snail mucus which ensure the secretions penetrate the skin properly.

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Life-Size Fiat Abarth Model Made Exclusively from Body-Painted Contortionists

Italian car-maker Fiat has partnered with renowned body painter Craig Tracy to advertise their sporty Fiat 500 Abarth in a truly unique fashion.

Craig Tracy is a master of body-painted optical illusions. From realistic animals to breathtaking sceneries, he is able to create just about anything from a a few expertly-painted flexible bodies, but he has really outdone himself for this new Fiat advert. The talented artist spent five days working with a team of female circus performers and contortionists, mapping out each one’s position in this human vehicle model and painting all the tiny details on their bodies. Although it would have been much easier, photographer RJ Mura says the team never even considered doing it in Photoshop, and that everyone strived to get the human Abarth looking just right without relying on post-production editing. All things considered, the end result is mind-blowing.

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Dog Lover Will Live in Animal Shelter for 35 Days to Highlight the Plight of Abandoned Pets

Sean Le Vegan, a dog lover from Manchester, England, will spend over a month in an animal shelter enclosure  to raise awareness about the plight of stray dogs and encourage people to adopt rather than buy canine pets.

Sean, a 35-year-old web-designer and volunteer at the Manchester and Cheshire Dogs’ Home, believes spending 35 days and nights in a cage is a good way to attract attention to the hideous plight of homeless dogs. It’s also a great way to raise some much-needed funds for the dog shelter, as he plans to broadcast his challenge on the internet with webcams and charge £5 ($7.50) per subscription. People will be able to watch a human living a dog’s life and Le Vagan plans to offer them a realistic experience. 35 days is the average stay for a dog at the Manchester-based animal shelter. Just like the canines brought here, Sean won’t eat anything for the first four days and will have to make do with just water and a blanket. After that he will be feasting on vegetarian dog food throughout the whole event. He will only be allowed one hour of freedom per day, to use the toilet and freshen up. To make his experience even more authentic, he even had a chip implanted in his shoulder which  is hooked up to the dog-care database.

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Real-Life Superhuman Blows Up Hot Water Bottles with His Nose

Here is a guy who can literally blow you away. Jemal Tkeshelashvili, from Georgia, is a superhuman with a very unique ability. He can blow up hot water bottles to the point where they explode, with his nose. Jemal currently holds the Guinness World Record for most hot water bottles burst with the nose in one minute.

What Jemal does might seem silly, but it’s actually quite extraordinary considering most people can barely blow up a latex balloon, let alone a thick rubber hot water bottle, with their nose. One might think it’s his lungs that do all the work, but tests have shown that his lungs are not much different than those of an average healthy person. He has good pulmonary volume, but it’s the force with which he’s capable of pushing out the air that makes him special. That means his strong intercostal and abdominal muscles push out all the air in his lungs really fast, creating enormous pressure. In 2009, the 23-year-old judo practitioner set a new record for most hot water bottles burst with the nose in one minute, managing to explode three of them, but th’s capable of much more impressive feats.

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The Stunningly-Beautiful Finger Paintings of Paolo Troilo

Italian artist Paolo Troilo doesn’t use paint brushes to create these incredibly beautiful works of art. Instead he dips his fingertips in black and white paint and guides them across the canvas, rendering the most detailed finger paintings I have ever seen.

Paolo Trolio is a self-taught artist who started drawing when he was only 4-years old. One day his mother put an 8×8-foot paper canvas in front of him along with a small-scale reproduction of a painting by Giotto da Bondone. “Try to copy the painting and enlarge it,” she told him, and from that moment on,  at least one time a day, every day he would draw something, gradually improving his skills. “It’s easy to become a good drawer,” the artist says. “To be able to communicate is a gift”. In September of 2003, Paolo decided to give painting a try, as well. He moved into a small apartment and went out to buy everything necessary for painting, but when he came back he realized the brushes were missing. So he started painting with his fingers, and he’s been doing it ever since. “Painting with my fingers was a revelation and a liberation,” he says about the experience.

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Pyura chilensis – Nature’s Bizarre Living Rocks

Pyura chilensis doesn’t look like much from the outside. You could pass right by a colony without realizing they’re more than just simple beach rocks, but cut them open and you’ll think you’ve discovered a real bizarre-looking alien specimen.

Popularly known as the living rock, Pyura chilensis is actually a weird sea organism that lives on the rocky coast of Chile and Peru. It feeds by inhaling the sea water and filtering out edible microalgae through a pair of siphons. It has clear blood and can accumulate high quantities of a mysterious and rare element called vanadium. It’s been discovered that the blood of the Pyura chilensis contains 10 million times more vanadium than the surrounding sea water, although it’s role in the creature’s development is yet unknown. The alien-like organism is born a male but also grows female organs over time, and breeds by releasing both eggs and sperm that meet in a fertile cloud and form tiny tadpole-like offsprings that eventually settle on nearby rocks and grow into adult form. This is all very unique and fascinating, but there’s really nothing quite like seeing one of these bizarre creatures sliced in half. The Pyura chilensis is covered in a thick layer of tunicin that helps it blend in its surroundings, but underneath lies a bright red tissue-like mass that leaves first-time viewers flabbergasted.

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A Cruise on Dry Land – Korea’s Unique Cruise Ship Hotel

Ever wished you could experience a luxury cruise without the motion sickness? Step aboard the Sun Cruise Hotel, A Korean tourist attraction designed and built to emulate cruising  for the sea sick.Seen from afar, the Sun Cruise Hotel looks like a ship washed up on top of a cliff by a giant wave, but the colossal structure was actually built there in 2002 for tourists who didn’t have the funds or time to go on a real cruise. But its bizarre location is pretty much the only thing that sets it apart from other cruise ships. The 65-metre-long, 45-meter-high and 30,000-ton-heavy land vessel features 211 rooms, both condominium and hotel style, a Western and a Korean restaurant, revolving sky lounge, a night club, a karaoke, a sea water pool, volleyball court, fitness club and even a netted golf range. To make its visitors really feel like they’re on a cruise, bird calls and the sound of waves crashing against the deck are played over loudspeakers strategically installed around the ship. Believe it or not, the Sun Cruise Hotel is one of the most popular tourist attractions in South Korea.

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Scottish Chef Takes Celebrity Pizza Art to Another Level

Domenico Crolla, pizza master extraordinaire and owner of award-winning restaurant Bella Napoli, specializes in amazingly detailed celebrity portraits made exclusively with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce on a pizza dough canvas.

Domenico’s career as a pizza artist began with the face of legendary action film star Bruce Lee. After receiving a “thank you” message from the late actor’s daughter, the pizzaiolo felt inspired to pursue his new hobby and create other edible celebrity portraits. Today his extensive collection numbers portraits of classic icons like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra as well as delicious depictions of contemporary pop stars like Rihanna, Beyoncé or Robbie Williams. And he still receives thanks from them quite often. ”The pizza for me is like high-fashion: a custom-made suit made by experienced and capable tailors, using fine fabrics and attention to detail,” Crolla says. And he definitely puts a lot of time and effort into each of his pizza artworks. He doesn’t use any kind of computer-generated images for his designs, preferring to place every ingredient on the pizza dough by hand until he gets it right. The most amazing thing about Domenico Crolla’s portraits is they look better when cooked.

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Larry Da Leopard Has His Entire Body Covered with Leopard Spots

For the past 20 years Houston-based Larry Da Leopard has covered his entire body with over 1,000 leopard spots to achieve his goal of becoming a “manimal”, part man, part animal. He refers to himself as The Leopard Man.

Larry says he started getting tattoos with his friends in a time when skin inking was considered taboo, as a way of acting rebellious, but he never stopped. Even after covering his entire body, including the years and private parts, with tattoos, he considers himself a work in progress. He constantly adds new leopard spots wherever they still fit, and retouches his older ones if they fade after prolonged sun exposure. Although he says his parents cried the first time they saw his face full of permanent leopard spots and admits they make him look like a cartoon character, Larry is proud of the way he looks and likes showing off his skin art in public. He often goes out wearing only a Tarzan-inspired loin cloth and an animal-print coat, and hands out fliers for his tattoo parlor to passers-by.

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46-Year-Old Korean Mom Proves Weight Loss and Fitness Really Do Turn Back the Clock

It’s hard to believe the woman in the photo below is actually 46-year-old and a mother of two. Jung Da Yeon is known as momjjang ajumma in her native land of South Korea which means “mom with a striking figure”, and it’s easy to see why.

But Jung Da Yeon didn’t always look like this. In 2003, after going through two pregnancies, she weighed 70 kilograms and looked like a normal housewife. According to most media reports, she just woke up one day and decided to do something about her dissatisfaction with her figure and weight, and I don’t mean not looking in the mirror for a very long time but strict dieting and physical exercise. However, Jung told the Wall Street Journal she was actually motivated to lose weight to relieve back pain, and that the perfect figure was only a side-effect.  She managed to lose 20 kilograms in just three months, and after posting some photos of her new self, the ambitious mother triggered what came to be known as South Korea’s “momjjang syndrome”. Housewives all around the country followed her example and started working out in an attempt to achieve the same toned physique. Before she knew it, Jung Da Yeon was making appearances on television, launching weight-loss books and videos, and building her very own fitness empire. The 46-year-old’s fame spread beyond Korea’s borders to Japan, where she launched an exercise-themed video game for the Nintendo Wii and opened an education center to train Figure-robics specialists.

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Artist’s Amazing Anamorphic Drawings Seem Ready to Leap Off the Page

It’s amazing how some people can use rudimentary tools like pencils and paper to trick the brain and make their artworks look like they’re coming to life. Alessandro Diddi is one of these rare talented artists who creates anamorphic drawings that seem ready to jump off the page.

“When people see my drawings they are often pleasantly surprised, they fail to understand exactly how I’ve managed to achieve the 3D look,” Alessandro Diddi told the Daily Mail. Such reactions are perfectly understandable, considering his pencil-drawn designs seem perfectly life-like. But that’s only because a lot of people don’t understand the art of anamorphic design. “When you understand the mechanism of the anamorphic design, you realize that putting together drawing like this is really not so difficult,” he says. It’s hard to demonstrate without giving viewers a 2D views of his creations, but the talented Mr. Diddi uses angles and shading to trick your eyes and brain into seeing something magical. This technique has been used by artist’s all around the world for some time now, but his drawings are definitely something special. Using simple props like pencils, a wedding ring or his hands, Alessandro Diddi really breathes life into every one of his amazing sketches.

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Meet Dennis Rogers, the Pound for Pound World’s Strongest Man

You would expect a modern-day Hercules who can rip phone books in half and bend steel wrenches and hammers with his hands to be a mountain of a man, but standing at 5 foot 6 inches and weighing 168 pounds, Dennis Rogers looks like an average 55-year-old. Still, he is considered to be the pound for pound world’s strongest man.

Dennis Rogers weighed less than 80 pounds when he entered high-school. He looked so frail that he was put in Special Education gym, and he believed he would never be big enough to do anything sports-related in his life. But during the early 70′s something changed in Dennis’ perception of who he was and what he was capable of. The strongman remembers he and his brothers once saw a television program about a man who could rip a deck of cards in half, and drove to the nearest store to buy one and try the trick themselves. He was in the driver’s seat when his brother handed him the deck, and he just tore it apart on his first attempt. That was one of the first times he realized what he was capable of. Since then, Dennis Rogers has become a World Arm-Wrestling Champion and Grandmaster Strongman capable of bending steel hammers and wrenches and even stopping aircrafts from taking off with his bare hands.

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