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Japanese Hotel Lets You Rent an Alpaca as a Witness at Your Wedding

The Epinard Nasu Hotel, in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, offers a highly unconventional wedding service – newlyweds can rent a cute, fluffy alpaca from a nearby zoo to act as a witness to their wedding.

No one really knows when the hotel started using alpacas to attract customers, or how they came up with the unique idea, but judging from the number of photos happy newlyweds have been posting on Japanese social media lately, it’s definitely becoming popular. It’s not that alpacas are good luck charms, nor are they part of some obscure Japanese ritual, they’re just cute and a sure way to make a wedding memorable.

The alpacas are escorted down the aisle by a professional trainer who makes sure they are on their best behavior during the wedding ceremony. Still, somethings not even the most experienced trainers can prevent, so if you smell something funny during the proceedings, just ignore it. Usually they just stand there as the newlyweds exchange vows and declare their love for each other, kind of like human witnesses do.

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Japanese Women Are Falling Hard for a “Handsome” Gorilla Named Shabani

Meet Shabani, a handsome male gorilla that has managed to steal the hearts of young women all over Japan. He is fondly known as ‘ikimen’, a Japanese term for ‘good-looking man’, and some have even hailed him as the animal-world equivalent of George Clooney or Hugh Jackman!

Shabani, who grew up in an Australian zoo, has been living at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya, Japan, since 2007. The western lowland gorilla is blessed with a shiny black coat and a macho brooding expression that make him very photogenic. In fact, his photos have gone viral on Twitter, where fans have shared them thousands of times over with comments like: “he’s too handsome!”

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Kindhearted Woman Saves 100 Dogs From Being Eaten During Controversial Festival

A 65-year-old dog lover from China, has gone to great lengths to save as many dogs as she possibly could from being eaten during this year’s Yulin Dog Meat Festival. She managed to pay around $1,000 for the release of 100 otherwise doomed canines. It may not sound like much, but the media attention her actions got in international media also helped raise awareness about the cruel festival, thus increasing the chances of it being banned in the near future.

Yang Xiaoyun, a retired school teacher from Tianjin, China, traveled 1,500 miles from her home to the city of Yulin, to save scores of dogs from being slaughtered and eaten during the Dog Meat Festival. Photos shared on Chinese internet portal Netease show the 65-year-old woman walking through a market where dogs were kept in cages and paying for various sums of money for their release. Reports say she ended up paying 7,000 yuan ($1,000) to save 100 dogs.

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Rare Vietnamese Chicken Breed Has the Weirdest Legs You’ve Ever Seen

You might find its freakishly butch legs rather repulsive, but believe it or not, the Dong Tao chicken is incredibly popular in Vietnam. Once reserved for royalty and ritual offerings, the rare breed is now prized by chicken breeders and its meat is served in exclusive restaurants that cater to the wealthy.

An adult Dong Tao chicken can grow up to weigh three to six kilograms, with legs as thick as a human’s wrist. The hens are generally white, while the cocks have colorful feathers. Dong Tao meat is considered far more delicious than regular chickens, explaining its high demand and incredibly steep price tag.

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Rare Condition Gives Cat Creepy Alien Eyes

Matilda the cat is well on her way to becoming an internet sensation, thanks to her large, glassy, ‘alien’ eyes. Her mysterious appearance has earned her over 33,000 followers on Instagram and that number is about to skyrocket now that her photos have gone viral.

Sadly, Matilda’s story isn’t as amusing as it seems. The two-year-old tabby suffers from a rare condition that’s only getting worse as she grows older. Matilda’s anonymous owners, who refer to themselves as her ‘servants’, have revealed that she used to be pretty normal as a kitten, with the exception of having a ‘squinty eye’ from time to time.

“Matilda lives with her loving servants who include The Bearded Man, The Lady and Dog,” the servants write on Matilda’s official site. “She was born on Valentine’s Day in 2013 in a hoarder house in a small town, and was quickly picked up by a rescue society. When she found her forever home she was only 12 weeks old and the cutest, teensiest thing that anyone had ever seen.”

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Harmless Caterpillar Mimics Menacing Snake Head to Fool Predators

Meet the Dynastor darius darius, a harmless caterpillar with astounding survival skills. In order to avoid being attacked by predators during its pupal stage (when the larvae transform into butterflies or moths), the helpless creature takes on the form of a rather menacing snake!

Native to Trinidad, the shape-shifting D. darius often mimics the head of a Gaboon pit viper, successfully fooling even the toughest of its predators. After it sheds its final layer of skin, the caterpillar enters its pupal stage, and its chrysalis takes the shape of a viper’s head. The transformation lasts 13 days, during which time this mimicry is its only line of defense. To make the appearance even more believable, the scary-looking chrysalis hangs on the underside of forest leaves at a carefully selected angle.

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Patient Japanese Man Takes Pet Giant Tortoise Out for Long Walks

A Japanese man and his adorable pet tortoise have become internet sensations after photos of them strolling along the streets of Tokyo went viral. The man – funeral director Mitani Hisao – revealed that the tortoise has been his pet for the past 19 years, taking the place of the child he never had.

Hisao added that the African spurred tortoise was a tiny baby, only five cm in diameter, when he first spotted it in a pet-store window. “I never had any children, but 19 years ago my wife caught the eyes of this little tortoise and felt an instant bond with him,” he said. “I couldn’t leave the store without it.” So they adopted the little creature, named it Bon-chan, and cared for it as they would a child.

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Real-Life Dr. Frankenstein Who Has Completed Over 1,000 Head Transplants on Mice Hopes to One Day Do Them on Humans

In 2013, Chinese surgeon Xiaoping Ren conducted a historic surgery: he basically sliced the head off one mouse and attached it to the body of another. Believe it or not, the grotesque creature he had created actually survived for a few minutes – it opened its eyes, and even managed to breathe on its own. The operation was hailed a success, and since then, the eccentric doctor and his team have conducted head transplants on over 1,000 mice!

With each operation, Dr. Ren has tried to perfect his procedure by using tiny tubes to carry oxygenated blood from the mice’s brains to their new bodies. After over 1,000 transplants, the results are not very encouraging – after the procedure, the mice open their eyes, breathe on their own and even show signs of movement, but so far, every one of them has died within a day. That sounds scary and even unethical, but Dr. Ren is so motivated by his modest success that he wants to continue experimenting on other creatures. According to a Wall Street Journal report, he’s planning to conduct head transplants on monkeys next, hoping to create the first head-transplanted primate that can live and breathe on its own, ‘at least for a little while’. Read More »

Roger the Kangaroo Crushes Metal Buckets with His Bare Paws, Poses Like a True Bodybuilder

Meet Roger, the alpha male at the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia. When he’s not too busy fighting off younger males for the title of supreme leader, Roger likes to show off his muscles and practice his kickboxing moves.

If you’re an aspiring bodybuilder desperate enough to accept tips from a kangaroo, you should know his favorite training exercise is crushing his metal feed bucket with his bare paws. Sure, it sounds extreme, but just look at Roger’s guns!

You can tell he knows he looks good, too. The way he flexes for the camera and stares menacingly into the lens, he’s a natural superstar.

Roger-the-kangaroo

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In This Brazilian Town Dolphins Have Been Helping Locals Fish for Over a Century

Fishermen from the Brazilian town of Laguna have developed a unique symbiotic relationship with dolphins: they rely on the intelligent creatures to help them catch fish! Studies have revealed that there’s a particular group of about 20 bottlenose dolphins that work alongside the fishermen, while the rest of the local dolphins prefer to look for food on their own.

The dolphins work together to herd groups of mullet towards the fishermen. They then use head- or fin-signals to alert the fishermen as to when and where the nets should be thrown. The system works well for both parties: neither could survive without the other. The fishermen get to catch all the fish they need, while most of the stray fish that manage to escape the nets swim right into the dolphins’ mouths. The water is so murky near Laguna that the fishermen could never catch fish as efficiently without the dolphins’ help. That’s why they only fish when the marine mammals show up.

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Dogs with Perfectly Square or Round Haircuts Are All the Rage in Taiwan

A bizarre new dog grooming trend in Taiwan has dog owners giving their pet pooches square or round haircuts. Canine hairdressers all over Taipei are up to date on the special technique required for these eccentric makeovers.

“It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge,” parlour owner Tain Yeh says. It started with a few people opting for these haircuts and sharing their pets’ photographs online, after which the trend caught on. Thousands of pet owners are now approaching salons, asking for their dogs’ hair to be cut in geometric patterns. Some are actually doing it simply to gain more likes and shares!

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This Famous Dutch Owl Loves to Land on People’s Heads

A strange owl in the Dutch town of Noordeinde has become famous for its penchant for landing on people’s heads. It seems that the bird simply lands on people who happen to be walking by, for no apparent reason!

Apparently, a fence or a tree just isn’t good enough for the beautiful European eagle owl, weighing around six pounds. It only lands on people’s heads, staying perched for about a minute before flying off in search of its next target.

The residents of Noordeinde aren’t bothered by the owl one bit. In fact, they’re quite delighted with all the attention that their town is receiving, thanks to the wild bird. “I’ve seen photographers and birders from around the country, from The Hague to Spijkenisse, they come from everywhere to see the eagle owl,” a cheerful resident said. “Our village is finally on the map!”

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Stray Dog Who Followed Extreme Sports Team During Grueling Amazon Race Melts Internet Hearts

When a team of Swedish athletes trekking through the Ecuadorian rainforest last year sat down for a meal of canned meat, they were joined by the most unusual dinner guest – a scruffy old stray dog. They felt sorry for the poor creature and gave him some of their food, but little did they expect that the small gesture of kindness would earn them a friend for life. From that moment on the dog never left their side, following them through the rough terrain for the entire duration of the trek!

The group of four trekkers happened to be navigating the final two stages of the 430-mile Adventure Racing World Championship, during the time that the dog – whom they later named Arthur – befriended them. “I had just opened a food pack when I saw a scruffy miserable dog in the corner of my eye,” said team member Mikaels Lindord. “I thought he was hungry and gave him a meatball. Then I thought no more of it.”

But the act certainly made an impression on Arthur, who refused to leave his new master’s side. Despite his ill health, he kept up with the team through every gruelling task. He swam alongside them while they kayaked down rivers, dragged himself up treacherous hills as they hiked, and even managed to pull himself through knee-deep mud during treks.

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Breathtaking Photo Almost Cost the Photographer His Life

When Pakistani photographer Atif Saeed set out for a drive through a safari park in Lahore in 2012, little did he know that he would end up risking his life for what is possibly the best photograph of his career – a close-up shot of a charging lion!

It all started during the drive, when Saeed spotted a lion a short distance away. “It as an adult male lion, and what I liked most about him was the beautiful, dark hair on his neck,” the 38-year-old later recalled. He got out of the car, left the door open, and crouched in the grass to take pictures with his 500mm telephoto lens. He did realise at the time that it could be a foolish move, but he told himself that it was the only way to get a natural photograph.

Saeed got his opportunity within seconds – the sound of the shutter apparently irritated the lion, and it turned around to charge at him. The lion’s expression at that moment was ferocious enough to send even the bravest of huntsmen into a state of shock. But Saeed managed to quickly gather his wits. He clicked a picture at lightning before leaping into his car and slamming the door shut, missing the aggressive beast by inches!

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Japanese Beauty Cream Leaves Your Hands Smelling Like Cat Paws

Lots of people love cats, but how many would actually want to smell like one? Well, as it turns out, there’s a small army of cat-lovers out there who love the smell of cat paws. So much so that they’re willing to spend money on this Japanese hand cream that promises to lend them the irresistible whiff of feline paws.

The cream is the brainchild of Japanese online retailer Felissimo. The company claims that the unusual idea came about during a brainstorming session, when an employee suggested a cream that leaves the skin as soft and squeezable as a cat’s paw. Everyone at the meeting loved the idea, and eventually they got to talking about the smell of cats’ paws, which is apparently considered mysteriously soothing. So the company finally decided to market their cream with the same smell.

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