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

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

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’! Read More »

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

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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World’s First Sand Castle Hotels Open in Holland

If you love building sandcastles then here’s your chance to actually live in one. ‘Zand Hotels’ – the world’s first hotels constructed out of sand have opened in two Dutch towns – Oss and Sneek – to commemorate sand sculpture festivals held there each year.

The two pop-up hotels have fully furnished one-room suites, hidden inside eight-meter sculptures. One is modeled after the iconic Bedrock homes from the Flintstones, and the other has a Chinese theme, with dragons, the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Army as decorations. Believe it or not, these sand hotels have all the modern amenities, like electricity, running water, glass windows, king size beds, soft carpets, luxurious bathrooms and Wi-Fi!

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This Ukrainian 220-Year-Old Apple Tree Has a Very Unique Way of Staying Alive

The city of Krolevets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, is home to the world’s most unique apple garden, consisting of only one tree. Spanning 10 acres, the 220-year-old tree – known as ‘apple tree colony’ – has dozens of individually rooted trunks that constantly spring to life, making it seemingly impossible to die.

The tree seems to have worked out a brilliant survival strategy, and it looks prepared to survive for centuries to come. It started off as a regular tree, but as it aged, its branches bent so low to the ground that they started to take root as well. Every time one of the ingrown trunks dies, its branches immediately bend to the ground and take root. It had only nine trunks in 1970, but that number had doubled by 2008.

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World’s Only Public Diamond Mine Lets You Keep What You Find

The Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public. Visitors get to go on a real-life treasure hunt and keep whatever they find!

According to park officials, over 600 diamonds of various colors and grades are found by visitors each year. Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed since the mine was discovered in 1906 – 19,000 of them since the mine became a state park in 1972.

Scientists believe that these diamonds were formed three billion years ago in the earth’s mantle, 60 to 100 miles below the earth’s surface. The precious rocks were brought up to the surface about 100 million years ago, by a rising column of magma. A huge volcanic eruption resulted in an 80-acer crater, filled with fragments of mantle rock that contained diamonds. Over the years, the rocks have eroded, leaving the diamonds and other semi-precious gems loose in the soil.

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Awesome DC Comics-Themed Cafes in Malaysia Have Superheroes on the Menu

JT Network, a company that owns a chain of licensed DC Comics retail stores across Asia, has now ventured into the restaurant business. They’ve opened two new superhero-themed cafes in Malaysia which cater to comic-book fans in the country. A third ‘DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe’ is all set to open in Singapore on September 1.

“Fly, zoom or swoosh down to the DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe – yes, the official DC Comics cafe!” reads the description on Malaysia’s restaurant search website Offpeak. “Dine-in or chill out in our universe, surrounded by the awesome ambience that is home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and other members of the Justice League.”

Every dish on the menu at these theme cafes has a popular DC Comics character’s name attached to it. Some of the treats include the Aquaman Justice Jumbo Prawn Cocktail, the Superman of Steel BBQ Chicken Burrito, and the Dark Knight Mini Wagyu Beef Burger – a black bun treat emblazoned with the iconic Batman logo.

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The Petrifying Well of Knaresborough Turns Objects into Stone

Located on the banks of the river Nidd, near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, is a mystical well that converts objects to stone. Any object touched by the well’s dripping waters – leaves, sticks, dead birds, and more – naturally turn to stone within a few months!

For many centuries, locals believed that the Petrifying Well was cursed by the devil – a myth fueled by the fact that the side of the well looks like a giant’s skull. They constantly lived with the fear that if they touched the well’s water, they would be turned to stone too.

A few adventurous people left everyday objects near the waterfall, only to witness the transformation occur over weeks. Some of these relics can be spotted even today, like a Victorian top hat and a lady’s bonnet from the 1800s – both converted to solid stone. More recently, people have left teddy bears, kettles, and even a bicycle in the petrifying well, with similar results.

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There Is a “Crappy” Poop-Themed Cafe in South Korea

Believe it or not, there’s a cafe in Seoul, South Korea that has poop as its central theme. From the outside, Poop Cafe looks perfectly normal but when it comes to service, everything comes with a toilet twist.

Coffee and tea, for instance, are served in adorable little toilet bowl-shaped cups. The foam art on the lattes are poop-shaped, as are the throw pillows and cushions that decorate the shop. Poop shaped scones are served with jam in a toilet bowl and the cups have cute poop faces on them too.

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Norwegian Wildlife Park Lets Visitors Get Up-Close and Personal with Majestic Wolves

Situated in Salangsdalen, Norway’s Troms county, Polar Park has a diverse population of wild animals, including foxes, reindeer, wolverines, wolves, lynx, elk, musk, and bears. But the most popular attraction is the Wolf Camp, a facility set up with the goal of ensuring a better life for wolves in captivity. It also provides visitors with the unique opportunity up-close and personal with the beautiful creatures.

So how is it that these ferocious wolves are able to accept human company with such ease? Well, it turns out that in the wild, wolves are actually afraid of humans – so they lash out under stress. But the animals at Polar Park were raised to enjoy the company of humans, so they feel calm around visitors. Known as the ‘Salangen wolf pack’, these are the first wolves in Norway that is socialized with humans. That means they actually enjoy our presence as part of their environment and will even come up to visitors to cuddle with them a or lick their faces.

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Abandoned Chinese Village Reclaimed by Nature Becomes Tourist Attraction

It really doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to reclaim her territory, slowly obliterating all signs of human occupation, if we only allow it. Case in point is the abandoned Chinese village of Houtou Wan which, within a span of 50 years, has become a beautiful secret garden completely covered in lush vegetation.  

Houtou Wan village is located on one of the 394 Shengsi Islands of China’s Yangtze River. It used to be a thriving fishing town a few decades ago, but it was gradually abandoned as the number of fishing vessels outgrew the size of the bay and the population was forced to relocate. All but a handful of villagers left Hotou Wan in the last half century, leaving nature to work her magic on the settlement. The result is nothing short of breathtaking.

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Walter’s Coffee Roastery – A Breaking Bad-Themed Cafe in Istanbul

If Breaking Bad’s Walter White ever decided to go into the coffee business and open his own cafe, it would probably look a lot like the awesome ‘Walter’s Coffee Roastery’, in Istanbul.

Inspired by the popular TV show Breaking Bad, Deniz Kosan, a young Turkish entrepreneur, has opened the “world’s first Coffee Super Lab.” Everything inside this unique cafe, right from the roasting equipment to the beaker-like espresso cups or the giant periodic table covering one of the walls reminds you of Walter White and his meth lab. The staff often don yellow hazardous materials suits and the menu features plenty of Breaking bad references, like pancakes with Walter White’s face powdered on them or Blue Sky-decorated cupcakes.

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Eccentric Man Builds Giant “Chicken Church” in the Middle of Indonesian Jungle

Buried deep inside the Indonesian jungle is a very odd structure, shaped like a giant chicken. The long abandoned construction, locally known as Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church), is a popular tourist attraction in the hills of Magelang, Central Java.

Word on the internet is this strange construction was designed to be a church, but according to its creator, the building is neither a chicken nor a church. Daniel Alamsjah, 67, revealed that he was working in Jakarta when he suddenly received a divine message from God to build a prayer room in the form of a dove. “Perhaps because of my Christian faith, people thought I was building a church,” he said. “But it’s not a church. I was building a prayer house, a place for people who believe in God.”

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World’s Smallest Park Is No Bigger Than a Flower Pot

Mill Ends Park, in Portland, Oregon, currently holds the record for the world’s smallest park. With a diameter of just two meters, it only has room for one tree and a few tiny plants, but it’s one of the city’s most popular landmarks.

Mill Ends was originally supposed to be the site of a light pole, but for some reason, the pole never arrived and weeds began to sprout from the hole. Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, whose office overlooked the tiny park, noticed the derelict patch of land and decided to do something about it. He started planting foliage there and even came up with a special column in the local paper dedicated to Mill Ends Park. He managed to create a whole story around the place, including leprechauns living there that only he could see, and tiny shamrocks growing inside the other plants.

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Men Shower Themselves with Molten Iron During Fiery Chinese Celebration

Every year, during the Lantern Festival, the Chinese village of Nuanquan hosts one of the most spectacular pyrotechnics show in the world. Called Da Shuhua (Chinese for “tree flower) the tradition involves experienced blacksmiths showering themselves with molten iron.

Da Shuhua is believed to have originated over 300 years ago, when local blacksmiths came up with a unique alternative to fireworks. The rich would always celebrate New Year with fire crackers, but poor blacksmiths could not afford them, so they had to rely on their to find a cheaper alternative. Inspired by iron striking, the blacksmiths started melting iron at temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Celsius and throwing it at a large stone wall to create an effect similar to fireworks. In contact with the cold stone, the splashed molten iron would generate beautiful iron flowers that rained down on the brave blacksmiths.

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