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Russian Cows Get to Watch TV

They’re probably going to end up in someone’s burger, but at least these guys can say they’ve lived a happy life.

A Russian farmer learned that happy cows are more productive, so he decided to buy some state of the art LED TVs (not sure if they’re HD) so the cows can have something to watch. The TV’s play an endless loop of images taken in the Swiss Alps, showing green pastures, lakes and trees, stretching as far as the eye can see.

The reaction of the cows wasn’t as spectacular as you might expect. These are high quality displays, a human would have probably jumped for joy, but the cows simply ignored their expensive gifts. Now the farmer is measuring the results of his investment, by comparing the productivity of these television-watching cows, to a group deprived of television.

I tell you, these cows better step up their game, or they might end up with a hole in their stomachs. And that’s no joke.

via EnglishRussia

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The Mysterious Dancing Forest of Kaliningrad

Located on the thin Curonian Spit that splits the Curonian Lagoon from the Baltic Sea, lies one of the strangest natural phenomena on Earth.

Known as the Dancing Forest by caretakers of Curonian Spit National Park and as the Drunken Forest, by locals, this unusual pine forest is made of trees of various shapes, most of them twisted in circles and spirals, along the ground.

According to tourists, the Dancing Forest looks more like a site near Chernobyl, with 20-year-old pines tied into natural knots and loops, like lumpy contortionists. A few years ago, the park manager invited students from local universities to conduct studies, and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Since then, several theories emerged, including one suggested by a psychic who said the forest is located on a spot where massive amounts of positive and negative energies collide. Others say the causes are geological, that it must have something to do with the unstable sandy soil. But the most widely accepted theory is that the Dancing Forest was manipulated by the powerful winds blowing in the area.

Whatever the reason, the Dancing Forest of Kaliningrad is definitely an interesting site, especially if you’re into strange natural phenomena.

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Russian Entrepreneur’s Mobile Sauna

It’s nice to see people coming up with original ways of earning a buck or two, and it doesn’t get much more original that Sergei’s mobile sauna business.

In Sergei’s Russian village, saunas (traditionally called “banya”) were a must in every villager’s backyard. However, many locals still don’t have their own banyas, so our Russian businessman decided to bring the steamy fun to them.

Using an old “Belarus” tractor, Sergei carries a wooden sauna wherever it’s needed. Customers can either use the banya in their yards or have Sergei drive them around the village and jump out of the sauna and into the cold snow, on the outskirts of the village.

via EnglishRussia

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Russian Mafia Tombstones

Say what you will about Russian mobsters, but you can’t say they lack artistic sense. Too bad it only shows on their tombstones.

These photos were taken in the cemetery of Dnepropetrovsk, in the Ukraine, a place much like the mafia-infested Yekaterinburg, in Mother Russia. Although the two cities are 2,000 km apart, mafia fashion is very much the same.

During the Russian Mafia Wars of the ’90s bosses started commissioning these lavish tombstones for them and their loyal subjects. A macabre masterpiece like this costs betwee $8,000 and $250,000, but I can bet that was never a problem.

via Trinixy.ru

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Lena’s Stone Forest

One of the most beautiful natural wonders of Russia, Lena’s Stone Forest is also one of the most difficult to reach, by tourists.

Known also as Lena’s Stone Pillars, this incredible rock formation is not only beautiful to look at, it’s also holds important information on the formation of the organic world. Fossils from various organisms dating back to the Cambrian era could supply invaluable insight on life evolved on planet Earth.

Lena’s Stone Forest offers tourists a unique sight. Colossal stone statues rise up from the earth and pierce the sky, like giants frozen in time. The pillars are grouped together and stretch for tens of kilometers, along the river banks.

Unfortunately reaching this wondrous place is no easy feat. It lies in a part of Siberia not yet touched by civilization and it will take you roughly four days to reach it, from Moscow. After a long flight, you’ll encounter armed locals more than glad to take you to Lena’s Stone Pillars, in their boats, for a “small” $500 fee. The boat ride lasts about 3 days, but once/if you reach your destination, it will all have been worth it.

via English Russia

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Red-Deer Butchering in Russia

BEFORE YOU SCROLL DOWN TO THE PHOTOS, BE WARNED, THEY ARE NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED!

Welcome to the village of Salba, 610 km southeast of the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. This is where 600 Siberian Marals (a subspecies of Red-Deer) lose their antlers every year. These photos, taken June 15 2009, at a private ranch, in Salba, show the marals held in special devices, in order to have their antlers removed with a hand saw.

The antlers are sold to markets in Russia and East Asia, where antler velvet is used as a holistic medicine. Some people consume the antlers themselves, grinding and consuming them in small quantities.

Marals go through this brutal process every year and, even though some say it doesn’t cause them too much pain because they have no nerves in the antlers, I still call it animal cruelty.

Photos by REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

via Drugoi

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Russians Know How to Party

I have a few Russian friends and i know for a fact they are party animals.

In this case we’re talking about Russian border guards, who celebrated Russisan Border Guards Day on May 28. Both active and retired members of the guard partyed in Gorky Park, Moscow, with food, music and, of, course, plenty of vodka. They seem to have had a memorable time, being a Russian Border Guard must be fun.

Photos by EPA

via Telegraph.co.uk

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3,2,1 launch piglet!

This is apparently how they used to test new inventions in the Soviet Union during the 50s and 60s (at least that’s when these photos are taken). In this experiment they got that little pig drunk by forcing it to drink wine (Kagor, maybe you heard of it) and launching it into the air using some kind of giant mortar cannon. Some of you might find it funny, but I just think it’s cruel.

I guess animal cruelty and animal testing are old issues that aren’t going away anytime soon…

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