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“China’s Hottest Grandpa” Is Not Your Average 81-Year-Old

Retirement usually involves slowing down, taking it easy for a change, but not for 81-year-old Wang Deshun. For him, it’s all about commercial photo shoots, parading bare-chested on fashion runways and brushing shoulders with Chinese superstars. He is “China’s hottest grandpa” and the man praised for changing the country’s traditional view of old age.

Wang Deshun’s life changed one march evening, two years ago, when he got the chance to walk on the runway at the China Fashion Week in Beijing. With his chiseled physique, hipster beard, long silver hair and youthful attitude, the 79-year-old made quite an impression, and things just kept getting better for him after that. But how he ended up on the stage of an international fashion festival is quite a story in itself.

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Brazilian Man Spends 40 Years Bringing a Forest Back to Life

83-year-old Antonio Vicente has spent the last four decades of his life fighting against the current. As Brazilian landowners cut down rainforests to make room for profitable plantations and cattle grazing grounds, he struggled to bring the lush jungles of his childhood back to life. Today, his efforts are being rewarded, as the completely stripped land he once began planting trees on 40 years ago, has become a beautiful jungle teeming with tropical wildlife once again.

It was 1973 when Antonio took up the challenge of restoring the forest on a 31-hectare piece of land that had been razed for cattle grazing. Ironically enough, he bought the land on the outskirts of Sao Pablo, in Brazil’s Sao Paulo region, using credits that the military government was giving out to promote deforestation and investing in advanced agricultural technology. But Antonio had no intention of using the money to boost the national agriculture. He just wanted to revive the forest.

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Deer Hunter Who Adopted Abandoned Fawn, Hasn’t Shot an Animal in Ten Years

Growing up in the mountainous Sierra de Peñamayor, in Asturias, northern Spain, Aladino Montes had been shooting deer ever since he was a child, but his life as a hunter came to an abrupt end 10 years ago, when he met Bambi, an adorable fawn that has remained by his side ever since. Aladino has never shot an animal since, and says that he would rather die than take another life.

53-year-old Aladino recalls driving through the mountains in his little jeep, ten years ago, when he spotted a couple of grazing cows being followed by a skinny little fawn. Deer don’t usually hang out with cows, so he approached the animals for a closer look. That’s when he noticed that the fawn had several wounds and would have probably died without proper medical care. He put the injured animal in his car and drove back to his house where he nursed it back to health. But instead of running back towards the forests from which it came, the fawn stayed by Aladino’s side, and he didn’t have the heart to drive it away. They’ve been best friends ever since.

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Indonesian Man Is Best Friends with a 400-Pound Bengal Tiger

What started out as a simple job turned into an amazing friendship between a man and one of the most efficient predators on Earth. 10 years ago, Abdullah Sholeh became a “nanny” for a 3-month-old tiger cub, but they eventually became so close that even after the tiger matured, they spend almost every minute of the day together, and sometimes even sleep in the same enclosure.

Mulan Jamillah, a beautiful Bengal tigress, was donated to the Islamic school in Malang, Indonesia, when she was just 3-months-old, and then 25-year-old Abdullah Sholeh became her full-time caretaker. Her previous owner was unable to take care of her, but the young student was more than happy to dedicate most of his time to the adorable cub. The only problem is that what started out as a temporary job eventually turned into a full-time friendship, with Abdullah having to spend almost 24-hours with the tiger, which earned him the nickname “The Nanny”.

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Couple Spend 25 Years Turning Barren Patch of Land into Paradise of Biodiversity

In 1991, Anil and Pamela Malhotra bought a 55 acres of unused farmland in Karnataka, India, and started planting native trees on it. Over the last 25 years, their small forest has turned into a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary that hundreds of endangered plants, animals and birds call home.

Anil and Pamela met and married in New Jersey, USA, during the 1960s. They both shared a love for wildlife, and after visiting Hawaii on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the archipelago’s lush forests and fascinating fauna. They bought some land and decided to settle there. “That is where we learnt the value of forests and realized that despite threats of global warming no serious efforts were being made to save forests for the future,” Anil said.

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India’s ‘Mother of Orphans’ Has Raised Over 1,400 Abandoned Children

The story of Sindhutai Sapkal is one of incredible determination in the face of adversity, rebirth and love of children who nobody else wanted. The 68-year-old has raised over 1,400 orphans, offering them not just food and shelter, but also the love of a real family. Her amazing work has earned her over 750 awards, and the nickname “Mother of Orphans”.

Sapkal runs four orphanages in her home town of Prune, India’s Maharashtra state – two for girls and two for boys – with the help of her biological daughter, Mamta, and her eldest adopted children, some of whom have become lawyers, doctors and professors. The children under her care were found trying to fend for themselves in railway station, abandoned in dustbins, or even dragged by stray dogs in the streets. New ones are brought to her orphanages all the time, and as long as they are eligible for adoption, she never turns them away. But unlike state-run orphanages, the Mother of Orphans doesn’t give her children up for adoption with other families, and doesn’t turn them away when they turn 18.

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The Amazing Story of an Indian Man Who Cycled to Europe for Love

On January 22, 1977, 24-year-old P.K. Mahanandia set out on a four-month bicycle ride from Delhi, India, to Boras, Sweden, to be with the woman he knew was his soulmate. Their amazing love story became the subject of a best-selling book by Swedish author Per J. Andersson.

Mahanandia met Charlotte Von Schedvin in 1975, completely by chance. He was working as a sketch artist in Connaught Place, a shopping and business hub in Delhi, and Ms. Von Schedvin, from Sweden, was visiting India as a tourist. One day, as she was walking around the city, she noticed a curly young man with a sign that read “a portrait in 10 minutes for 10 rupees” and decided to test the claim. She sat down for a portrait, but something made the man nervous, as his hands wouldn’t stop shaking. Disappointed with the result of his drawing but intrigued by the man, she decided to return the next day for a new one, but the result was no better.

The Swedish tourist would later learn that P.K. Mahanandia had very good reason for being nervous. The moment he had laid eyes on her, the artist remembered a prophecy his mother had made when he was only a boy. Mahanandia was a Dalit, the lowest caste in Indian society, and faced discrimination from upper-caste students growing up, so whenever he was said, his mother would tell him that he would someday marry a woman “whose zodiac sign would be Taurus, she would come from a far away land, she would be musical and would own a jungle”. As soon as he saw her, he knew she was the one.

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Snack-Loving Deer Visits Norwegian Pensioner Twice a Day Every Winter

Every winter for the past three years, 80-year-old Mette Kvam, from the Norwegian town of Aurland, has been getting two daily visits from a very special friend – a majestic stag who seems to love her tasty snacks.

It all started three years ago, when Mette first saw her friend “Flippen” hanging out in her yard, on the edge of the nearby forest. She opened the window and offered the beautiful animal a crunchy cookie. To her surprise, the animal came closer and stretched its neck to grab the treat. Flippen must have liked it very much, because he has been coming back for more ever since. He visits Mette every morning and evening, from early November to April, when he and his deer friends head higher up into the mountains for the warm season. But as soon as they come back down, he starts coming by the woman’s house again.

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Mother of Four Builds Dream House from Scratch Using YouTube Tutorials

It’s hard to believe that a family with no construction experience could build a two-storey, five-bedroom house all by themselves, by watching tutorials on YouTube, but Cara Brookins and her four kids are living proof that it can be done. Their amazing story is now the subject of a book – ‘Rise, How a House Built a Family’.

In 2008, Cara Brookins took her four children (ages 7, 15, 11 and 2) and left her abusive husband in search of a better life. They moved into a tiny home outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, for a while, while they looked for place that could comfortably house her four kids. Her initial plan was to buy a house, but she quickly realized that they were either too expensive or too small for their needs. One day, they passed by a house ravaged by a tornado that had all of its inner workings exposed. It was this sight that inspired them to undertake a challenge that would change their lives.

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Dog Saves Owner’s Life by Lying on Top of Him for 20 Hours to Keep Him from Freezing

In what can only be described as a heroic act, a golden retriever managed to save his owner’s life by lying on top of him for almost 24 hours to keep him from freezing to death after slipping on ice and breaking his neck.

On New Year’s Eve, 64-year-old Bob (who chose not to reveal his last name for privacy reasons), of Petoskey, Michigan, was watching the Fiesta Bowl between Clemson and Ohio State. It was around 10:30 pm when he decided to go outside and fetch some more wood for his fireplace wearing only long johns, slippers and a shirt. He had taken the short, 15-foot walk to the firewood shed thousands of times before, but this time his poor choice of footwear made him slip, and the fall left him unable to move. The man started screaming for help, but his closest neighbor’s house is a quarter of a mile away, and at that hour, there was no one around to help him. Luckily, his 5-year-old golden retriever came to help.

“I was screaming for help, but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter-mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came,” Bob recalls. “By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking. She kept barking for help, but never left my side. She kept me warm and alert. I knew I had to persevere through this and that was my choice to stay alive.”

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Man Has Spent the Last 40 Years Living Alone in Colorado Ghost Town Recording All Kinds of Useful Data

For the past four decades, billy barr – he insists his name be written with lower case letters only – has been living by himself in Gothic, Colorado, a ghost town deserted since the 1920s, passing the time by recording all sorts of data, from daily snowfalls, temperatures, snow melting, animal sightings, etc.. He never imagined that the results of his 40-year hobby would one day help scientists better understand global warming and earn him a cool superhero name – The Snow Guardian.

billy bar first came to Gothic in 1972 as a Rutgers University environmental science student doing water chemistry research. He liked the quiet life here so much that he completed his semester to get his degree and became a permanent resident of the mountainous ghost town. He had grown up in New Jersey, but never really liked being surrounded by so many people, so moving to this secluded ghost town was a chance to get away from social pressure. “I grew up in the city. It was too much for me,” he says.

barr began the winter of 1974 camping in a tent, which is not exactly ideal in a place where snow reaches twenty-five feet a year. Luckily, the owner of an abandoned mining shack was kind enough to let billy move in, to keep him from freezing to death. It became his home for the next eight years, and also the place where he started his impressive database on snow. The modern-day hermit claims that the sole goal behind his epic journal was to fight boredom. There’s not a lot to do in a ghost town in winter time, so he just started monitoring things like daily snowfalls, snow density, temperature, and anything else he could measure. “I didn’t have anything else to do. It was simple curiosity,” billy says.

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Stray Dog Accompanies Indian Pilgrim on Epic 600 Km Walk

Naveen, a 38-year-old a Sabarimala pilgrim claims he has found a friend for life in Malu, a stray dog who accompanied him on a 600-km walk from the Mookambika temple in Kollur,to the Sabarimala shrine in Pathanamthitta, India. Apart from keeping him company, the dog also protected his belongings and even woke him up when he overslept.

It was on the second day of his pilgrimage that Naveen met Malu. He had become worried about the stray dogs that would approach him, especially in the morning hours, shooing them away so they wouldn’t attempt to attack them, but he quickly realized that Malu was different. “It was after nearly 80 kilometers or so, that I noticed her. She walked towards me from the opposite direction and stopped when she reached right in front of me, the young Pilgrim recalls. “I did try shooing her off many times, but she would just not go.”

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Inspiring Paraplegic Athlete Climbs 500-Meter High Mountain in His Wheelchair

On December 9th, 2011, champion rock-climber Lai Chi-wai suffered a motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. On the same day, five years later, he climbed Hong Kong’s iconic Lion Rock once again, this time in a wheelchair.

33-year-old Lai Chi-wai is a four-time winner of the Asian Rock Climbing Championships, but on a faithful day, five years ago, his promising athletic career seemed to be over, following a devastating motorcycle accident. “When I woke up, I was already in the hospital and had been operated on. The staff told me … I was paralyzed from the waist down and would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” the young rock climber recalls.

For his family and friends, the tragic outcome of the accident meant that he could no longer do the one thing that truly gave him a feeling of fulfillment – climbing heights. But despite losing the use of his legs, Lai Chi-wai wasn’t ready to give up on his passion. After recovering from the accident, he took up wheelchair boxing, a relatively new sport that he claims improves mental focus and physical fitness of paraplegics and increases their confidence, but he also continued to train with his old mountain climber friends.

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The Pilgrim – Man Spends Eleven Years Walking 107,000 Kilometers in the Name of Faith

Jose Antonio Garcia has become known as ‘The Pilgrim’ in his native country of Spain, after spending the last 11 years of his life walking over 100,000 kilometers to various pilgrimage sites on all continents except Oceania. This year, his amazing journey has finally come to an end.

Born in Puerto de Santa María, in the Spanish province of Cadiz, Jose Antonio Garcia spent most of his life on water, working as a sailor. He wasn’t the most religious person, but after going through a near-death experience, he decided to dedicate his life to an epic pilgrimage to as many holy sites as he could walk to. In 1999, the fishing boat Jose was working on capsized off the coast of Norway, and he was the only survivor out of a crew of 17. He spent hours in the freezing water clinging to the bodies of two fellow sailors, and it was then that he turned to religion, vowing to the Virgen del Carmel, the patron of sailors, that he would walk to all of the world’s holy shrines, if she saved his life.

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City Comes Together to Buy 32 Tonnes of Potatoes in One Day to Help Farmer in Need

In what can only be described as a touching display of kindness, the residents of a neighborhood near Shenzhen, in southern China, came together to help a total stranger sell 32 tonnes of potatoes in a single day, after he was rejected by a local wholesale market.

60-year-old Ma, a potato farmer from Qinghai Province, in northwest China, had been duped by a businessman to bring all his stock to Shenzhen and sell it at a higher price. Enticed by the prospect of a earning a higher profit for a year’s work, he paid 16,000 Yuan ($2,312) in transportation fees and traveled 2500 miles across China, a journey that took four days and four nights. But upon reaching his destination, on November 5th, Ma had his hopes shattered by the wholesaler who had promised to take his entire potato harvest off his hands, after he backed off on the deal, claiming that the potatoes were too small.

Left without a buyer, Ma had no choice but unload all 32 tonnes of potatoes on the side of the road near an industrial park in Guanlan, and try to sell some of it to passers-by. Going back home with nothing to show for his trip than the expenses incurred was not an option. But his idea wasn’t working as well as he had hoped either. “Some of his friends from Qinghai helped him contact people to buy the potatoes, but it hasn’t helped much as he has so many potatoes,” the owner of a nearby grocery store told Shenzhen Daily. But just when he was ready to give up and go home, a miracle happened.

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