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Rent-a-Pilgrim – Portuguese Man Walks to Holy Shrine in the Name of Others, for a Fee

If you’re too sick, too busy or just too lazy to embark on a pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Fatima, in Portugal, you can just hire Carlos Gil to do it for you. The 52-year-old real-estate agent charges €2,500 ($2,700) for every 100-mile journey he takes on foot in the name of someone else.

Carlos Gil started offering the unusual service, which has been referred to as “pilgrimage by proxy”, 16 years ago, when he got this “crazy idea” of reviving a 700-year-old tradition. In the Middle Ages, wealthy noblemen who were to sick or too busy to go on pilgrimage themselves would hire others to do it for them. The practice is virtually unknown t most people, as the Catholic Church frowns upon renting someone to visit a holy place in your name. Gil believes he is the only person offering the service in Portugal, and one of the few in the world.

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Throw Away That Alarm Clock, You Can Now Have a Real Japanese Fisherman Wake You Up in the Morning

Waking up in the morning is tough, and sometimes a ringing alarm clock just isn’t enough to jolt you out of a blissful slumber. Luckily, snoozers in Japan now have a better alternative – an energy-inducing phone call from a fisherman at sea.

Fisherman Japan, an organization whose main purpose is to make fishing cool again, recently launched an interesting wake-up call service aimed at people who have trouble waking up in the morning. Called Fisherman Call, the service literally has Japanese fishermen from the Sanriku region – one of the world’s top three fishing grounds – call registered users at a specified time to wake them up and strike up a short conversation that is sure to get them out of bed and boost their energy level for the entire day. Sounds awesome!

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Thai Hospital Provides Masks for Women Too Shy to Get a Potentially Life-Saving Pap Smear Test

The gynecology ward at the Nong Krot Hospital, in Thailand’s Kamphaeng Phet province, looked more like a masked ball hall a couple of days ago, as both patients and staff wore masks to conceal their faces. The initiative was meant to make women more comfortable about getting a pap smear test.

Named after its inventor, Greek doctor Giorgios Papanikolaou, the pap smear is a medical test that can detect abnormal cells that have the potential to cause cervical cancer. It involves collecting cells with a small brush from the cervix, a procedure that many Thai women apparently find so embarrassing that they would rather risk their lives to avoid. So to make it more comfortable for them, the Sa Kaew sub-district office and the Nong Krot Hospital came up with an unconventional solution – providing masks to both patients and staff.

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Chinese Scientist Passes 71,000 Volts of Static Electricity Through His Body to Test Human Limit

For years, experts have suggested that 50,000 volts of static electricity is the highest threshold that the human body can withstand, but one Chinese scientist recently proved them wrong by passing 71,000 volts through his body and living to tell the tale.

Liu Shangshe, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, in Beijing, recently took a very hands-on approach to testing the human threshold for static electricity. In a controversial experiment to determine how much static electricity the human body can withstand, the Chinese researcher passed 71,000 volts of static electricity through his own body. According to Chinese media, Shangshe’s assistants started at 20,000 volts, ramping up the voltage in stages, causing all the hair on his body to stand on end with every discharge.

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Tattoo Artist Creates “Soundwave Tattoos” That You Can Actually Listen to

Tattoos have always been considered a visual medium, but thank to an innovative blend of art and technology, you can now listen to your skin art by using a smartphone app. Be it the voice of a loved one, your favorite song or a motivational quote, you’ll be able to take it everywhere with you and listen to it anytime you like.

Los Angeles-based tattoo artist Nate Siggard came up with the idea for audible tattoos when two friends came in to get the opening line from Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” inked into their skin. The artist’s girlfriend casually said that it would be cool if you could actually listen to it, and her comment was apparently enough for Nate to pursue this seemingly crazy idea further.

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Elderly Chinese Man Lives in Secluded Mausoleum Preparing for His Eternal Rest

After losing his entire family a long time ago, a Chinese doctor built his own mausoleum in the mountains of Hunan Province and has been living in it ever since, waiting for his eternal rest.

92-year-old Liang Fusheng had a beautiful family once, but he lost both his wife and his three children to disease, years ago. Left with no one to take care of him in his old age and unwilling to become a burden for the villagers he had spent a lifetime looking after, the grieving doctor started building his own mausoleum in the 1990s. He paid the villagers to carry construction materials up the rocky terrain all the way to a steep cliff overlooking the deep valley he called home, and spent 14 years and 260,000 yuan ($38,000) building his eternal resting place.

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Intricately “Tattooed” Fish Caught in the Philippines Sparks Wacky Online Debate

Photos of a large fish caught in the southern Philippines that appears to have its skin covered with artistic tattoo-like markings has sparked quite a debate on social media, with people offering the most outrageous explanations for the intricate design.

The fish was caught by fishermen in the province of Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental, who immediately noticed that much of its skin was marked by artistic designs, including what looks like a crest made up of a crown sitting on top of a shield, some letters and intertwining plant leaves. The strange design also attracted the attention of passers-by as well, some of whom were quick to snap some photos of the fish and upload them to social media. They were soon picked up by large news networks and eventually went viral.

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Frenchman Cycles from Paris to Moscow Without Moving an Inch to Set New World Record

53-year-old Pascal Pich, a legendary ultra-athlete with several endurance records to his name, is set to complete the longest, and at the same time shortest, race of his career – over 3,000 kilometers (the distance between Paris and Moscow) pedaled on a stationary bicycle.

“You have to be a little crazy to say ‘I will pedal for 6 days without moving'”, Pascal Pich says about his unusual challenge. But being a little crazy is exactly how he managed to become one of the world’s most acclaimed extreme athletes and set 10 endurance world records. So yes, cycling around 600 kilometers a day on a stationary bike with only 2-3 hours of sleep may sound crazy for anyone else, but not for him.

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Fantasy Fan Undergoes Plastic Surgery, Skin Bleaching and Eye Coloring in Quest to Become Real-Life Elf

Luis Padron, a 25-year-old fantasy fan and cosplay enthusiast from Argentina, has spent tens of thousands of dollars altering his looks in his desire to become a real-life elf.

Luis says he became obsessed with fantastic beings like elves and angels after being bullied as a child. He used to get picked on because he dyed his hair and had a different dress style than most boys his age, and since he didn’t have many friends growing up, he spent all of his free time reading fantasy books and dressing as his favorite characters. By the end of high-school, his unusual looks and natural quirkiness let to him becoming admired, and that just fueled his desire to be different. Now, he’s trying to make the changes permanent with the help of cosmetic medical procedures.

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Woman Swallows $9,000 in Cash to Avoid Giving Half to Her Ex-Partner

A 28-year-old woman recently ended up in the emergency room at University Hospital of Santander (HUS) in Bucaramanga, Colombia, after swallowing over $9,000 in $100 bills to make sure that her ex didn’t get half of it.

The bizarre incident took place on April 22, when Sandra Milena Almeida showed up at the hospital complaining of severe stomach pain. Doctors quickly realized that the 28-year-old woman had a gastric obstruction so she was rushed into the operating room for emergency surgery. When they opened her up, doctors were shocked to find that Almeida’s stomach was full of rolled up $100 bills. They managed to extract most of the money from the small intestine, with the rest making its way through the colon to be evacuated naturally.

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Legend Has It That This Spicy Pizza Induces Child Labor

According to a popular rumor among pregnant women, spicy food can help induce child labor, and while that has yet to be confirmed by medical specialists, a pizza place in Charlotte North Carolina has become a popular destination for mothers-to-be eager to bring their offspring into the world sooner.

Hawthorne’s New York Pizza and Bar in Charlotte is considering changing the name of its Buffalo Wings Pizza into “The Inducer” after dozens of pregnant women have credited it with helping them deliver their babies ahead of schedule. Tales of the labor-inducing properties of this medium-hot pizza have been circulating around Charlotte for over half a decade, and some women actually swear by it.

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The Cat Man of Kyushu Walks His Nine Furry Felines in a Baby Stroller

Taking nine pet cats on daily strolls through the city is kind of unusual, but having them sit in a baby stroller while you’re pushing them around is bound to catch some eyeballs. So it’s no surprise that the Cat Man of Kyushu attracts attention wherever he goes.

Masahiko Suga, a 55-year-old retired electronics company worker, first made headlines back in 2014, when photos of him walking nine beautiful cats in a baby stroller on the streets of Tokyo went viral. Japan is no stranger to weird sights, some of them involving cats, but this was new, even for them, so everyone took out their cameras and smartphones and started snapping photos. They made the rounds online for months, and Masahiko earned the nickname the Cat Man.

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Man Pays 200 Strangers to Act as Guests at His Wedding, Ends Up in Jail

What was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives turned into a complete nightmare for a young couple in China, after it was revealed that the groom had hired 200 random people to act as his friends and relatives at the wedding.

The groom, known only by his surname, Wang, and his fiancee, Xiaoli, were supposed to tie the knot on Sunday, April 30th, during a big wedding banquet at a hotel in Xian, China’s Shaanxi Province. Everything was going according to plan up to the point when the family of the bride noticed that half of the tables reserved for the groom’s guests laid empty. Wang kept telling them that they were on their way, but the bride and her parents really became suspicious of him after talking to the few guests that were seated at his tables and noticing that while they all said that they were Wang’s friends, they couldn’t really say how they knew him.

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Rare Condition Allows Woman to Remember Everything She Has Ever Experienced

Can you imagine being able to remember every single experience of your life, every conversation you have ever had, every meal you’ve eaten, every word in your favorite book and even the feel of the clothes you wore on your very first birthday? That’s what Becky Sharrock’s life is like, and as amazing as that ability sounds, she says it can also be quite terrifying at times.

Three years ago, Rebecca Sharrock was reading a newspaper article which mentioned that it was impossible for people to remember details of their lives that had occurred during the first four years of their existence. “What absolute nonsense,” she thought to herself, because she could clearly remember her life all the way back to when she was just 12 days old. Her parents had carried her to the driver’s seat of their car and laid her down for a photo. She remembers looking around and wondering what the seat cover and steering wheel above her were. But it wasn’t nonsense, she was just one of only 80 known people suffering from a mysterious condition called Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).

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The Brave “Spiderman Cleaners” Risking Their Lives to Keep China’s Mountains Trash-Free

With millions of Chinese visiting the country’s sacred mountains every year, keeping them trash-free is incredibly difficult. Luckily, that’s where the Spiderman cleaners come in. These dedicated men an women risk their lives on a daily basis, rappelling down steep cliffs to reach plastic bottles, bags and various other garbage thrown there by uncivilized tourists.

Spiderman cleaners get their name from the dangerous nature of their job. Photos released in the media show them dangling thousands of feet above ground on the side of steep mountain cliffs, supported only by ropes or cables, as they attempt to collect hard-to-reach trash. In an attempt to highlight the danger of their work and make tourists think twice before littering, some of the cleaners actually exchanged their regular uniforms for Spiderman costumes. This has made them a hit with visitors, who often stop to watch these real-life versions of their favorite superhero descend into the abyss to pick up a piece of trash, rewarding them with applause and cheers when they complete their mission.

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