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“Asia’s Cleanest Village” Sets Example for the World

From discarded plastic bottles and wrappers to the cow dung littering the streets of major cities like Delhi, trash is a big problem in India, but not in the small village of Mawlynnong. People here have zero tolerance for garbage and spend a lot of their time making sure every square inch of their village is spotless.

Mawlynnong first made news headlines in 2003, when a journalist from Discover Magazine dubbed it “Asia’s cleanest village”. After hearing about this place where everyone, from young children to the elderly, was dedicated to maintaining a state of complete cleanliness, he decided to investigate, and was so impressed by what he witnessed during his stay that he deemed Mawlynnong worthy of the title of cleanest village in all of Asia. His article drew a lot of attention to the community of around 600 people in the Indian state of Meghalaya, and people from all over the world started traveling there to see this example of cleanliness for themselves.

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The Alaskan Town Where Bald Eagles Are as Common as Pigeons

The majestic bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, but most Americans are lucky to see one first-hand during their lifetimes. Unless they live in the town of Unalaska, Alaska, where bald eagles are as common as pigeons are in other human settlements.

Unalaska is home to around 4,700 people who have to share their space with over 600 beautiful bald eagles. It looks and sounds like something out of a fairytale, but it turns out that sharing your home with territorial predators also has its downsides. For one thing, you’re more likely to get attacked by a bald eagle in Unalaska than anywhere else in the US, and locals constantly have to keep an eye out for the birds, especially when going near their nests. They apparently hate it when people get too close.

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The Old Motorcycle Worshiped as a Deity in India

In the Indian state of Rajasthan, some 50 km from the city of Jodhpur, along National Highway 65, there is a temple. That, in itself, is not unusual, as temples are virtually everywhere in India, but what is strange is that the deities worshiped here are an old Royal Enfield 350cc motorcycle and its deceased owner.

The story of “Om Bana” or “Bullet Baba” temple dates back to an accident that occurred almost three decades ago.  On December 23rd, 1988, Om Singh Rathore, the 23-year-old son of a village elder in Chotila, Pali district, was riding home on his motorcycle when he lost control, hit a tree and was catapulted into a 20-foot, where he died on the spot. His body was discovered the next day, and the broken “Bullet” motorcycle was taken to the police station. And that’s where things start to get weird.

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Costa Rica’s Turquoise River – A Natural Optical Illusion

Up until four years ago, Rio Celeste, a 14-kilometer river in Costa Rica’s Alajuela province, was a complete mystery to scientists, who could not understand why its waters had an unusual turquoise color. And then they realized that it wasn’t turquoise at all.

Theories regarding the turquoise color of Rio Celeste had been circulating in the scientific community for years, but nobody had ever managed to provide enough evidence to solve this natural enigma. Some claimed that the unusual coloring was caused by high levels of copper, but tests revealed that there was no copper in the water, others said that it was due to chemicals like calcium carbonate and sulfur, and some even connected it to the river’s proximity to the Tenorio Volcano. Everyone was so convinced that a mysterious chemical reaction was turning the water turquoise that they never even entertained the possibility of an optical illusion.

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Hallerbos – The Blue Forest of Belgium

Most times of the year, Hallerbos is a beautiful but unremarkable forest in central Belgium, near Brussels. However, in mid-April and all through May, it turns into the Blue Forest, a fairytale-like natural attraction unlike any other.

The Blue Forest of Belgium gets its intriguing name from the vibrant carpet of bluebells that replaces the usual brown floor of the forest. Imagine millions of flowers covering the ground as far as the eye can see and you can get a pretty good idea of what this place is like in full-bloom. Bluebell forests are not unusual in Europe, but what makes Hallerbos unique is the density of the flowers that make its floor look like a living carpet.

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This Chilean Sanctuary Gives Rescued Farm Animals the Love and Affection They Deserve

If there is such a place as heaven for farm animals, it must be a lot like Santuario Igualdad Interspecies, an incredible sanctuary for domestic animals destined for slaughter or left for dead. Here, not only do they get to live in perfect peace and harmony, but they receive all the love and affection they deserve.

A couple of days ago, I cam across this incredible video of a man cuddling with a grown cow. The animal seemed to be enjoying the human affection immensely, and responded by gently laying its head on the man’s chest and closing its eyes in delight as he petted and kissed its neck. It was very touching, and I decided that I had to learn more about it. I soon discovered an entire YouTube channel full of similar videos of two people affectionately interacting with various farm animals, like pigs, goats or ducks. They were shot at Santuario Igualdad Interspecie, a small animal sanctuary, in Chile, where tending to the emotional needs of rescued farm animals is of the utmost importance.

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The Eerie Tree Carvings of Perryville Park, in Maryland

Maryland’s Cecil County is home to many interesting parks, but none more mysterious and disturbing than the Perryville Community Park, in Perryville, where around 100 trees are marked by eerie messages left by patients from a veteran psychiatric and rehabilitation center, decades ago.

Before becoming a public park, the land was owned by the nearby Perry Point VA Hospital, and some of its former patients carved their disturbed thoughts into the trees. Over time, the words and drawings etched into the tree bark have grown larger, drawing the attention of curious passers-by. Interestingly, even though the mark trees of Perryville Community Park have become quite popular among fans of eerie tourist attractions, and even gotten their own Wikipedia entry, few residents of the Maryland town know about them and their history.

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The World’s Most Amazing Five-a-Side Football Field

This photo of a five-a-side football field surrounded by lush greenery in the jungle of Sabah, Malaysia, has been doing the rounds on the internet for the last few days. And for good reason, as it looks like a place that can only exist in someone’s fantasy.

The picture was captured by a teacher at the Longongon National School, in Nabawan, Malaysia, using a Mavic Pro drone. It shows the unreal-looking pitch located on a greenery-covered hillside, with thick vines seemingly encroaching on the playing field. Allowing the thick layer of living plants to completely take over the fencing around the pitch was apparently by design, as this helps cool the players during hot summer days and provides much-needed fresh air.

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The Bottle Cap Alley – A Dumping Ground Turned Tourist Attraction

Bottle Cap Alley is a unique roadside attraction located at the north edge of the Texas A&M University campus, in College Station Texas. As the name suggests, it is paved with hundreds of thousands – by some accounts, millions – of beer and soda bottle caps.

No one knows exactly how the tradition of paving the 50-meter-long by 2-meters-across alley with metal caps began, but seeing as it is located between the iconic Dry Bean pub and the Dixie Chicken restaurant, some people believe that it started out as a dumping site for the two establishments. Patrons who took their drinks outside followed their example, and as word of the Bottle Cap Alley spread, other local bars started bringing in their nightly haul of bottle caps here as well. It is estimated that the tradition goes back four decades.

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Migingo – The Most Densely Populated Island in the World

Migingo, a tiny rock island on Lake Victoria, in Kenya, measures just 0.49 acres, but is officially home to 131 residents – although some sources put the population at around 1,000 – making it the most densely populated island in the world.

The so-called “Iron Clad Island” of Migingo (after the metal shack shanty town covering it almost entirely) has a very unclear history. According to some accounts, it was originally settled by two Kenyan fishermen, Dalmas Tembo and George Kibebe, who came here in 1991 and laid the foundation of today’s community. Others say that it was a Ugandan, Joseph Unsubuga, who came here first and then brought more of his fishing friends. It was this kind of contradicting stories, and the battle over the island’s fish-rich waters that created a long-standing conflict over the ownership of Migingo between Kenya and neighboring Uganda.

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This International Store Chain Only Sells Rubber Ducks

From eBay to toy stores and gift shops, there are plenty of places to look for rubber ducks, but if you’re searching for a brick-and-mortar store that only caters to rubber duck enthusiasts, there’s only one place to go – The Duck Store.

It all started a few years ago in Amsterdam, when the owner of a small toy store on Oude Leliestraat, noticed that visitors, most of which were tourists, were particularly interested in rubber ducks. The adorable bathtub toys seemed to always draw people’s attention and put a smile on their faces. Then, one day, the owner read the words of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – famous for his giant rubber duck art installations – and was inspired to get rid of the other toys and focus solely on rubber ducks. And that’s how the Amsterdam Duck Store was born.

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Nature Turns Human Pollution into Stunning Glass Beach

For years, Ussuri Bay, on Russia’s Pacific shoreline, was a dumping ground for glass bottles and waste from a nearby porcelain factory. But nature found a way to turn lemons into lemonade, and today, all those unwanted materials have been shaped into a colorful glass beach.

The story goes that many years ago, truckloads of glass and porcelain were dumped in Ussuri Bay, but instead of what should have been a landfill for unwanted waste, Steklyashka beach is actually one of the most stunning tourist attractions in the world. Years of erosion have rounded and polished the pieces of glass and porcelain into beautiful pebbles of various colors and have turned this place into a wonderland reminiscent of California’s Glass Beach.

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New Japanese Gym Lets You Work Out with a Cute Maid

Maid cafes have been a big part of Japanese pop culture for a while now, but the maid phenomenon is transitioning into other areas as well. For example, a new gym near Tokyo’s famous Akihabara district offers patrons the chance to work out while assisted by beautiful trainers wearing maid costumes.

Can you imagine pumping some iron with a cute maid spotting you and cheering you on? Well, apparently a lot of Japanese guys can and they’re loving the idea. So much so that they’ve helped successfully crowdfund the MID GYM project thought up by a couple of young Japanese entrepreneurs. With more than a month to go to the deadline, the campaign to make the unique maid gym a reality has already met its 700,000 yen goal, on Japanese crowdfunding site CampFire. It’s not clear exactly when the Mid Gym will open its gates, but it’s definitely coming soon.

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San Francisco Restaurant Serves Food on iPads instead of Plates

Technology is seeping into everything, even restaurant tableware. Quince, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco has recently swapped ol’ fashioned porcelain plates with Apple iPads for a couple of its most popular dishes.

Restaurants have been using tablets instead of classic menus for years now, and some have even introduced app-powered ordering and payment options, but until not too long ago, plating seemed to be immune to this high-tech trend. They’re feeling the heat now, though, as more and more restaurants swap them out for futuristic tablet-based dishes, in an effort to attracts tech aficionados with and appetite for fine cuisine.

The latest to join the exclusive restaurants where tablet plating is actually a thing is Quince, a San Francisco eatery run by Michael and Lindsey Tusk. They are serving a dish called ‘A Dog in Search of Gold’ on an Apple iPad that’s playing a video of a dog hunting for truffles. If you’re wondering about the connection, the dish is composed of white truffle croquettes. And in case you’re not into truffles, Quince also serves frog legs on top of iPads playing videos of frogs in a pond.

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Bangkok’s Husky Cafe – A Must-See for Dog Lovers

If you’re a dog lover visiting Bangkok, you simply must stop by the True Love Café, a wonderful place where you can get a taste of Thai cuisine, or enjoy some refreshments in the company of dozens of adorable huskies.

The True Love Café opened in 2013, when Chotiros Ratanabirabongse, Paw for short, a long-time husky breeder, decided to convert his farm into a place where people could interact and learn more about this wonderful canine breed. The place instantly became a hit with tourists, and today it is one of Bangkok’s most popular attractions.

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