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Hananuma Masakichi – The Artist Who Recreated Himself from Wood

Hananuma Masakichi is one of those extraordinary artist who never really got the recognition they deserved. This Japanese sculptor created a life size statue of himself that is almost 100% identical in appearance to its maker. Although created over a century ago, the Masakichi sculpture still baffles artists and scientists alike.

Masakichi started working on his greatest masterpiece after he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He believed he was going to dies soon, and decided to create a life-size statue of himself as a gift for the woman he loved. In 1885, when his artwork was finally completed, it was so life-like and realistic-looking that people couldn’t tell which was the fake even when the real Masakichi stood next to it. Working with adjustable mirrors, the Japanese artist made each of his body-parts separately, using strips of dark wood. The number of strips he used differs between 2,000 and 5,000, depending on which source you believe. No nails were used during the building process, the wooden strips were all assembled using dovetail joints, glue and wooden pegs. They are joined so perfectly that no seams can be seen on the wooden statue, even with a magnifying glass. The level of detail achieved by Masakichi is so mind-blowing that it reflects every tendon, muscle, vein, bone, wrinkle, down to the pores on his body. The anatomically-correct eyeballs he created for his statue still have opticians wondering how he made them.

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Ripley’s Terminator Sculpture Is a Tribute to Hollywood

Ripley’s Believe It or Not has recently acquired a realistic-looking sculpture of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, and it that wasn’t cool enough, it’s covered with some of the most popular film characters created by Tinseltown.

Ripley’s has a variety of amazing stuff waiting to be discovered in its Odditoriums, but their newest attraction – a sculpture executed by John Ramos – may just be their geekiest yet. The life-size Terminator was designed as an homage to the American film industry and features depictions of some of the most popular characters in the history of cinema. Looking closely, you’ll discover three dimensional scenes from blockbuster hits like Rocky, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Jaws, Alien, Predator, The Simpsons, Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.

This unique Terminator sculpture is made of clay, resin, paper, plastic and even a real vampire bat, and took Ramos five months to complete. He is now working on a motorcycle to go with the statue and plans on covering with even more Hollywood inspired artworks.

The Terminator is currently on display in the Orlando Odditorium lobby, but will be transferred to the one in Hollywood, as soon as it’s renovation is complete.

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Woman Makes Giant Penny Sculpture Using 84,000 Pennies

Wander Martich, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, spent three months working on a giant penny sculpture made of 84,000 common pennies.

The story of how an average woman managed to create this unique artwork began in 2006, when Martich and her family were going through a really tough time. She had just got divorced, lost her house to foreclosure and was an unemployed mother of two daughters, aged 6 and 9. She was literally saving every penny and her girls pitched in the contents of their piggy bank, to help out in these troubled times. The pennies ended up in a plastic water jug, and even after Wander finally found a job, she took $20 from every paycheck, changed them into pennies and kept filling up the water jug.

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Artist Recreates Da Vinci’s Last Supper Out of Laundry Lint

Michigan-based artist Laura Bell has created a unique replica of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, exclusively out of colored laundry lint. The fluffy masterpiece measures 14 feet long by 4 feet tall.

The amateur artist from Roscommon, Michigan, was inspired to create this amazing artwork 10 years ago, when she saw a laundry lint portrait at the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Wisconsin Dells Odditorium. In 2009, encouraged by her husband, Laura began working on her one-of-kind replica of The Last Supper, for the 2010 Art Prize competition, held in Grand Rapids.

As you can imagine, making a painting from laundry lint couldn’t have been easy. Laura Bell spent seven months just collecting the laundry lint she needed for her special project. The lint she collected from her own dryer was always the same color, so she tried laundramat lint, but that always had shades of gray. Eventually, she ended up buying different color towels and washing and drying them separately, to get just the right colors for her masterpiece.

Laura estimates she spent 700-800 hours just doing laundry to collect the needed material, plus another 200 hours putting it together in her unusual replica of The Last Supper. The artist says most people who see it are amazed it was created out of basic laundry lint that hasn’t been colored or dyed, while for some, seeing such a unique work of art is a spiritual experience.

Laura Bell’s The Last Supper made from lint was recently acquired by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and will soon find its place in one of the company’s 32 odditoriums around the world.

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Vintage Vampire Killing Kits at Ripley’s Museums

Vampire killing kits were a must-have for wealthy nobles traveling to Eastern Europe, during the mid 19th century, and with vampires making a comeback (at least in Hollywood), these things may still be useful.

There are only a few original vampire kits in the world, and most of them, 26 to be exact, can be found in Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums, in 8 countries around the world. With interest for vampires on the rise, in the media, vampire killing kits are among the most popular of Ripley’s  exhibits.

Most vampire killing kits were made in Boston, and contained a crucifix, bible, wooden stake, holy water, pistol with lead bullets and various concoctions meant to wreak havoc among blood suckers. They were available by mail order, for people traveling to remote regions like Transylvania, where people were talking about vampires well before Bram Stoker invented Dracula.

These are only 8 of the vampire kits in Ripley’s possession, but you can get an idea of how cool they are. I wonder if they’re interested in this 19th century vampire slaying kit we featured a while back. It would be a nice addition to their collection.

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