Harry Potter Themed Coffee Shop Opens in Nevada

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It’s been nine years since the last Harry Potter book and five years since the last movie, but Potter mania is still as strong as ever. The instant popularity of a new Harry Potter-themed cafe in Henderson, Nevada is proof of that. When ‘Bad Owl’ first opened its doors on February 13, hundreds of muggles were already waiting to get in, and it has since then been receiving worldwide attention for its delightfully rich Potter-themed decor and menu.

“There was a line outside even before they opened,” said Harry Potter fan Shelby, speaking to Mugglenet.com. “They were opening late because they were on the local news this morning. We waited in line for about an hour to order. The ambience was perfect with a thick velvet curtain darkening the room and little Harry Potter details everywhere.”

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Caring Husband Creates Giant Scented Flower Garden to Make His Blind Wife Smile Again

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Over 7,000 people visit this beautiful phlox moss garden in Shintomi Town, Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture on any given day in the months of March and April, drawn both by the beauty of this scented purple carpet and the touching story behind its very existence.

The story of this popular tourist spot can be traced back to 1956, when Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki, a newlywed couple, purchased a plot of land in Shintomi. They built a house and a dairy farm on it and worked hard for several years, tending to a herd of 60 cows. They hoped to take a trip around Japan when they eventually retired, but things didn’t quite turn out as they had planned.

At age 52, after 30 years of marriage, Mrs. Kuroki developed an eye condition and went blind a week later. Devastated at the prospect of living with a disability, the poor woman grew depressed and shut herself from the world, choosing a life of seclusion. Mr. Kuroki was saddened to see his normally cheerful wife in so much pain. Because she couldn’t travel across Japan as they had always planned, he wanted to find a way to bring the whole of Japan to her.

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La Colonia Tovar – A Picturesque German Alpine Village in Venezuela

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Venezuela is one of the last places you would expect to find a picturesque German alpine village, and yet… La Colonia Tovar, also known as ‘The Germany of the Caribbean’, is conspicuous for its white houses with timbers and red roofs surrounded by flower gardens, carefully tended fields and creeks with water mills, and its hearty German cuisine of sausages and sauerkraut and large slices of black forest cake followed by a cold pint of beer.

It’s hard to imagine such a place actually exists in a South American country with a predominantly tropical climate, like Venezuela. But travel north to the state of Aragua, about 1,800 meters up in the forests of the Cordillera de la Costa, and you’ll reach this quaint little town reminiscent of alpine Germany. Founded in 1843 by a group of 300-odd immigrants from the Schwarzwald (the Black Forest) of the Grand Duchy of Baden, on the eastern bank of the Rhine River, the town still maintains the original cultural imprint of this centuries-old community.

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The Artistic Water Tanks of Punjab

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The state of Punjab, in northern India, is well known for its rich, vibrant culture, including great food, music, and dance. But what most people don’t know is that the Indian state is also home to some of the most extravagant water tanks in the world.

The concrete structures that the people of Punjab use to store water on the roofs of their houses are hardly ever ordinary-looking or boring. Instead, these ‘designer’ tanks come in a variety of unlikely shapes and sizes inspired by people’s interests and experiences. It’s not uncommon to see water tanks modeled after airplanes, army tanks, ships, birds, animals, and even humans!

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Cliffside Capsule Hotel in Peru Offers Stunning Views, Is Not for the Faint-of Heart

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The Nature Vive Skylodge hotel, in Cusco, Peru, is made up of three transparent capsules attached to the side of a cliff, 1,312 meters above the beautiful Sacred Valley, once the heartland of the Inca Empire. Reaching this unique hotel is an adventure in itself, but once inside the pods, thrill-seekers can enjoy a stunning view of this natural paradise.

Each of the three 24×8-foot hanging capsule suits are built from an aerospace-grade aluminum frame and weather-resistant polycarbonate. Furnished with four beds, a small dining area, and a separate bathroom, the rooms can accommodate up to eight people. The transparent walls allow visitors to enjoy an almost 360-degree view of the Sacred valley, while four ventilation ducts let in the fresh mountain air. High quality mattresses, cotton sheets, down pillows, quilts and curtains for privacy are provided to ensure your your stay is as comfortable as possible.

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These “Walking Trees” in Ecuador Can Allegedly Move Up to 20 Meters per Year

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The Socratea exorrhiza is perhaps the world’s only mobile tree. They say its complicated system of roots also serves as legs, helping the tree constantly move towards sunlight as the seasons change. Walking trees can apparently move up to 2-3 cm per day, or 20 meters per year. That may not sound like much, but it’s pretty much a marathon by tree-standards.

Rainforest guides in Latin American countries like Ecuador have been telling tourists about the amazing walking trees for decades now. The most common version of the story is that the tree slowly ‘walks’ in search of the sun by growing new roots towards the light and allowing its old roots to die. The unusual roots, split from the trunk a few feet above the ground, add to the illusion of the tree having legs.

“As the soil erodes, the tree grows new, long roots that find new and more solid ground, sometimes up to 20m,” explained Peter Vrsansky, a palaeobiologist from the Slovak Academy of Sciences who lived for a few months in the Unesco Sumaco Biosphere Reserve, about a day’s journey from Ecuador’s capital Quito.

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This Is Probably the Most Precarious Vehicle Bridge in the World

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There are plenty of dangerous-looking vehicle bridges around the world, but few as adrenaline-inducing as Kuandinsky Bridge, in Russia’s Trans-Baikal Region.

Stretching 570 meters over the Vitim River, this precarious vehicle crossing is just over two meters wide and features no railing or other safety features to keep the cars from falling into the frozen water if anything should go wrong. Its decaying metallic structure is simply covered with old wooden railway sleepers that become very slippery when covered with ice and snow, which is almost all year round, since this is Siberia we’re talking about.

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Not the Place for a First Date – Moscow’s New Toilet-Themed Cafe

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Following in South Korea’s footsteps is Moscow’s newest eatery, ‘Crazy Toilet Cafe’. The place offers its customers a highly realistic toilet-themed dining experience, complete with faecal-inspired dishes served in miniature lavatories and urinals!

The cafe, which opened late last month on the busy Arbat street, features about 50 real toilet bowls
that serve as seating. The tables are mini bathtubs propped on legs and covered with glass, showing cartoon characters using the toilet. Cafe management says they’re solely relying on the novelty of the place to attract one-time customers, as people are highly unlikely to pay the cafe a second visit.

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This Japanese Maid Cafe Is Staffed Exclusively by Chubby Girls

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At Shangrila, a newly opened cafe in Akihabara, Tokyo, the waiting staff is made up of well-rounded young women, playfully nicknamed ‘marshmallow girls’.

According to the founders of Shangrila, the cafe is trying to promote the ‘bostive’ (body positive) mindset among Japanese youth. They want to contribute towards reducing the stigma associated with being overweight, and show people that ‘skinny’ isn’t the only definition of ‘cute’.

While maid-themed cafes are common in Japan, Shangrila is the only one that exclusively employs plus-sized women. Interestingly, they do not sell any junk food. Instead, they serve fresh food prepared by an Italian chef, using only organic ingredients. They claim to have the best pizza in all of Akihabara, but since the place is quite new, that is yet to be confirmed.

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Would You Spend the Night at This Creepy Clown Motel?

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If you’re looking for the ultimate test of courage, spending a night at the creepy Clown Motel of Tonomah, in the middle of the Nevada Desert might just qualify as a worthy challenge. Not only is the place filled with grinning clowns, but there is also an abandoned cemetery located literally right next to the motel.

A clown-themed motel in the middle of the dessert sound a lot like the perfect setting for a classic horror flick, but the Clown Motel is actually very real. For decades, it has been catering to truckers, long-haul drivers and tourists traversing the Nevada desert, although those suffering from coulrophobia – the fear of clowns – tend to stay well away even if it means driving dozens of miles to the next town. And for good reason, considering the place is crawling with clowns.

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Connecticut Turkey Farm Always Colors Its Birds for the Holidays

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Every holidays season for the past six decades, Gozzi’s Turkey Farm in Guilford, Connecticut, has been drawing visitors young and old with its host of decorative turkeys dyed in bright hues of purple, orange, yellow and green.

Bill Gozzi, the farm’s third generation owner, says that the tradition of putting live colored turkeys on display for visitors dates back to the 1940’s, shortly after his grandparents opened the place. It was originally a treat for neighborhood kids, but it grew into something more, and soon visitors from far and wide started visiting the farm to see the dyed turkeys during the Holidays. “My grandmother started it years ago as a fun thing for the kids in the neighborhood, and it caught on and just busloads of kids come now,” Gozzi said. “It’s a tradition for a lot of people. I get a lot of people saying, ‘My grandparents brought me here, and now I’m bringing my kids.'”

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The Sea Organ of Zadar – A Musical Instrument Powered by Wave Movement

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The Sea Organ is an incredible musical instrument made up of a system of pipes and whistles that plays actual music as the waves of the Adriatic Sea push air through it.

At the end of World War 2, the shoreline of Zadar, a beautiful Croatian city with a history dating back to prehistoric times, had been almost completely destroyed. In the years that followed, many of its lost landmarks were rebuilt as plain blocks of concrete, and the coastline was no exception. Seeking to restore it back to its former glory, local authorities brought in award-winning architect Nikola Bašić, who, inspired by the hydraulis, an instrument built by the ancient Greeks that used water to push air through tuned pipes, designed and overlooked the construction of the Sea Organ, or Morske orgulje.

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Iconic “Tree of Life” in Kalaloch Is a Monument to Resilience

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Located on an eroded, partially caved in cliff on Kalaloch beach, within Olympic National Park in Washington, the Tree of Life is stubbornly hanging on to the eroding soil with just a few of its roots. Some call it magical, others immortal, I just think it’s resilient. 

The roots in the middle are exposed and spread out, making it look like the tree is hanging on for dear life. And what’s truly surprising is that it has managed to survive this way for years, sprouting fresh green leaves despite its roots having very little contact with soil. It hasn’t toppled over, not even during the worst of storms that regularly hit the coast. While many other healthy trees in the area have succumbed to the unpredictable weather, the Tree of Life manages to survive, year after year.

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17th Door – A Scary Haunted House Where Monsters Get “Free Reign” and You Need to Sign a Waiver to Enter

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With Halloween just around the corner, scary houses around the world are churning up new ways to spook the bejesus out of people. The latest is ‘17th Door’ in Tustin, California, guaranteed to give you one of the ‘scariest’ experience in the world. So much so that you actually have to sign a waiver before entering.

The house is a fictional medical college called Gluttire with 17 rooms, each more terrifying than the last. They’re meant to provide you a glimpse into the demented mind of a first-year student named Paula. She is tormented by her past, and she also grapples with drugs, anorexia, and suicidal tendencies.

Visitors are locked in each room for about 90 seconds, with only grotesque monsters for company. The monsters are free to touch and even lick them. All five senses are engaged, with foul scents, extreme temperatures, detailed visuals, startling sounds, and even a few taste tests. When the bell rings, it’s time to move on to the next, scarier room. And there’s only one way to end the experience: Yell ‘Mercy’!

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China’s Surreal Firefly-Themed Park Comes Alive at Night

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If your childhood memories are filled with summers spent chasing fireflies, then you’re going to love this new theme park in China. It’s completely dedicated to the glowing insects that naturally illuminate their habitat at night.

The park, located at the East Lake Peony Garden in Wuhan city, central China’s Hubei province, is home to about 10,000 fireflies. The insects are divided into five separate zones – the flying zone, the observation zone, zero-distance contact zone, breeding zone, and the science popularization area. Each zone is meant to cater to different categories of visitors, right from casual visitors to researchers.

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