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Drought Reveals Medieval “Hunger Stones” in European Rivers

“When you see me, cry”. This is just one of the ominous messages carved into the medieval ‘hunger stones’ that have been revealed by sever drought in the Elbe River, near the northern Czech town of Decin.

Hunger stones, or ‘hungersteine’ as the Germans call them, are carved boulders or river plates that only become visible in severe droughts, when water levels drop particularly low. The inscriptions chiselled into them are believed to have once been used to warn people that hard times and famine were coming. The Elbe river, which starts in the Czech Republic and flows into Germany features dozens of hunger stones with inscriptions dating back to the 17th century, but other European rivers feature such ominous stones with carvings from as early as 1417.

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Hong Kong Woman Gets Scammed into Marrying Total Stranger

A 21-year-old woman from Hong Kong who though she was undergoing a ‘mock wedding test’ to secure a job as a wedding planner ended up officially married to a total stranger from mainland China.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told authorities that her ordeal began in May of this year, when she saw a social media posting about a job as a make-up artist apprentice. It offered a monthly salary of HK$14,000 (US$1,800) as well as free training, and required no previous work experience at all. Most people would call that “too good to be true”, but the young woman decided it was the opportunity of a lifetime. Turns out she was wrong.

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Portugal’s ‘Chicken Girl’ – The Tragic Story of a Girl Who Grew Up in a Chicken Coop

In 1980, Portugal was shocked by the story of Maria Isabel Quaresma Dos Santos, a 9-year-old girl who had spent her entire childhood in a chicken coop, deprived of any human interaction and affection. Because of the effects growing up with chickens had on her behavior, Isabel became known as “Chicken Girl”.

According to an article published by the Diário de Notícias newspapers in 1980, Maria Isabel Quaresma Dos Santos was born on July 6, 1970, on a farm in Tábua, in Portugal’s district of Coimbra. When she was only one year old, her mother, who doctors would later diagnose with severe mental problems, locked her away in the chicken coop, because she didn’t consider her as part of the family. Maria Isabel would spent the next 8 years of her life in this place, surrounded only by chickens and surviving on the same food as the birds – grains, cabbage leaves and whatever leftovers the family would feed them.

Interestingly, Maria Isabel’s older brothers did not share her fate. They lived normal lives, slept in the family home, went to school and interacted with other children from the local community. It was later revealed that everyone in Tábua knew about the girl growing up in the Dos Santos’ chicken coop, but no one ever denounced the family to the authorities or try to help her in any way. Tábua was a small rural community in those times, and people focused on working in the fields instead of getting mixed up in the affairs of their neighbors.

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Store Owner Fights Consumerism by Renting Out Clothes Instead of Selling Them

Do you buy too many clothes? Or do you often buy new garments only to wear them once before throwing them away? Research shows that you are not alone; a recent YouGov survey in Australia has shown that roughly a quarter of Australians have thrown away an article of clothing after wearing it just once.

Entrepreneur Sarah Freeman was so shocked by these findings that she decided to do something about it. She has founded a “clothes library” in Sydney, where customers can rent clothing instead of purchasing it; this way, you can still only wear it once, but without being wasteful.

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Russian Man Gets Over 11 Years in Prison for Shamanic Medicine He Bought in Peru

A young Russian artist was recently sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for bringing home two small bottles of ayahuasca – a famous spiritual medicine prepared by indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin  – that he bought while visiting Peru.

Maxim Gert, a resident of Nizhny Tagil, a city in Russia’s Sverdlovsk Oblast, had no idea that a simple souvenir he bought on a business trip to Peru could land him behind bars for over a decade. Maxim had long been suffering from back pain, and while in the South American country, someone suggested he meet one of the local shamans and try ayahuasca, a traditional spiritual medicine with known psychoactive properties. It’s unclear whether he noticed an improvement while consuming the brew in Peru, but he did decide to continue his ayahuasca treatment at home, so he took two small bottles with him on the flight home. That turned out to be a huge mistake.

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Woman Earns a Living Hugging Total Strangers

As human beings, one of the things we often overlook in our daily lives is physical touch; without it, we can fall into depression and a number of other mental health problems. To fulfill this need, a mother of 3 from Australia’s Gold Coast has become a “cuddle therapist”, and currently makes around $58,000 a year hugging people.

Jessica O’Neill claims that her hugs can help those who are suffering from loneliness, depression, or low self confidence. She didn’t get into this strange career overnight. Originally, Jessica was a massage therapist and counselor, quite ordinary professions. She noticed that when she hugged her clients during sessions, they dropped their guards and opened up to her more.

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Rare Medical Condition Causes Vietnamese Girl to Sweat Blood

An 11-year-old girl was recently admitted at the Quy Hoa National Leprosy Dermatology Hospital, in Vietnam, under suspicion of suffering from hematidrosis, a very rare medical condition in which people sweat blood.

The young girl, identified only as N., to protect her privacy, allegedly started sweating blood three or four months ago, when her parents claim she was very stressed about her exam for fifth grade. They didn’t take her to a doctor when the first symptoms appeared, but things gradually got worse, to the point where the girl would sweat blood 3 or 4 times a day and suffer from severe headaches.

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Gongbang – South Korea’s Fascination with Watching Other People Study for Hours on End

Gongbang is the name of a growing live-streaming trend in South Korea, where people broadcast themselves studying in almost total silence for hours on end to dozens, sometimes hundreds of viewers who love nothing more than to watch them do it.

Ask most popular streamers and they’ll tell you that the keys to a successful live-streaming career are providing entertaining and exciting content, and viewer engagement. That’s what makes the Gongbang live-streaming trend, which has been growing in the Asian country over the last decade, so fascinating. Gongbang streamers almost never connect with their audience, and as for providing exciting content, the most excitement they offer is turning a page every once in a while. They simply broadcast themselves studying for many hours at a time, and, for some reason, people love watching them do it.

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Vanishing Bones Disease – Mysterious Condition Causes Sufferers’ Bones to Slowly Disappear

Despite the amazing scientific advances we have made in the last century, there are still many medical cases that can’t be fully explained. Vanishing Bones Syndrome sounds like something straight out of an episode of House MD, but doctors at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in Scotland encountered a case of this bizarre condition in a 44-year-old woman.

Also known as Gorham-Stout disease, this extremely rare condition causes the sufferer to experience progressive bone loss. The disease is so uncommon that there has only ever been 64 recorded cases in medical literature since it was first described in 1838. In a healthy person, bones are constantly rebuilding themselves to help maintain their strength, and Gorham-Stout disease is believed to be a malfunction of this process; the bone breaks itself down faster than it can repair itself.

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Man Undergoes Extreme Procedures to Make His Face Look Like a Skull

Kalaca Skull, a 22-year-old tattoo artist from Colombia, has been making headlines all over South America for undergoing extreme surgical procedures to make his face look like a skull.

Born Eric Yeiner Hincapié Ramírez, the young tattoo artist claims he had been fascinated by skulls ever since he was a child, but only started turning his face into one after his mother’s death, two years ago, because she didn’t approve of the idea. First, he had the lower half of his nose removed, because, well, skulls don’t have noses. They don’t have ears either so he had most of his ear lobes cut off as well. But his transformation didn’t stop there. After splitting his tongue and tattooing it to an unnatural blue-grey color, he had large black eye-sockets tattooed around his eyes, as well as large teeth and even the hollow space between the mandible and maxilla tattooed around his mouth.

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Man Fakes Mugging, Slashes His Own Arms to Avoid Buying Girlfriend Expensive Car

Men often go to great lengths to fulfill their loved ones’ wishes, but this story is a bout a guy who went to extremes to ensure that he wouldn’t have to fulfill a promise he had made to his girlfriend, while at the same time making sure that she didn’t blame him for it.

Earlier this month, a man surnamed Tang, from Chengdu, China, promised his girlfriend that he would buy her a brand new luxury car, and she made sure to constantly remind him of his promise ever since. The problem was that Tang didn’t have the money, and with time running out, he had to come up with a way out of this mess that he had put himself in. His solution, though undoubtedly original, was pretty extreme.

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Mamma Beer – A Czech Beer Developed Specifically for Cancer Patients

Chemotherapy has many nasty side effects, and one that patients often find particularly frustrating is dysgeusia. This side effect causes food and drink to taste bland, bitter, or metallic. Now, a Prague based cancer advocacy group has come up with a solution to that problem – a non-alcoholic beer called Mama Beer.

Mamma Beer has been formulated to help breast cancer patients overcome the symptoms of dysgeusia. Its flavor profile has been engineered to make it taste good to those undergoing chemotherapy, but in addition to it’s great taste, the beer also contains a range of vitamins and minerals that have been known to help people deal with cancer treatment. 

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Resignation Syndrome – The Mysterious Condition Affecting Refugee Children in Sweden

In Sweden, hundreds of refugee children are reportedly suffering from a strange condition known as “resignation syndrome”. These children fall into a coma-like state; they don’t eat, speak, or even open their eyes. Sufferers of resignation syndrome are often left bedbound for years at a time.

Their appearances suggest they have been involved in some sort of accident or suffer from some sort of neurological illness, but sufferers of resignation syndrome have nothing physically wrong with them—they have simply lost the will to live. The condition is known as “uppgivenhetssyndrom” in Sweden, and it is thought to only affect young members of the refugee population.

Research has linked resignation syndrome with the stress and disappointment of having asylum claims rejected. In recent years, regulations surrounding asylum cases have tightened, and those refugees who were not fleeing from an active war zone were likely to have their applications rejected. These rejections could often take years to be decided upon, leaving refugee families in a state of limbo. For many children, the weight of rejection proved too much to bear and they would shut down completely, entering a coma-like state, seemingly on the edge between life and death.

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Bizarre Condition Allows Man to Turn His Legs 180 Degrees and Walk Backward

Moses Lanham, a 57-year-old man from Michigan, has become known as ‘Mr. Plastic’ for his unusual ability to turn his legs along with his knees 180 degrees and walk backward.

Mr Plastic discovered his superhuman ability when he was only 14-years-old. He was climbing a rope in gym class when he lost his grip and crashed to the floor, landing awkwardly. At first, he thought something was dislocated, but he soon realized that he could easily turn his lower legs 180 degrees and back again without experiencing any pain. Medical tests revealed that he was able to do this thanks to of double cartilage in his hips, knees and ankles. He has been using this gift to freak people out ever since.

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Siberian Village to Change Name to ‘Syria’ in Order to Draw Government’s Attention

In order to get the attention of the government in Moscow, the citizens of a small Russian village have launched an initiative to their name from Bungur to “Syria”. Their reasoning is that Russia has invested tens of millions of dollars in the middle eastern state, so surely they can spare some rubles for a Syria a little closer to home.

Bungur has been in a state of disrepair for a long time, and things are only getting worse. The roads are damaged, the electricity and water supply switch off intermittently, and healthcare services are nonexistent. While these kinds of complaints are not unusual for small Russian communities, this village’s way of trying to deal with the situation has raised some eyebrows.

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