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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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Ocean Park Charges Visitors $145 for the Chance to Scoop Polar Bear Poop

An ocean park in Wuhan, China, has come up with an original way to learn more about animals and makes a small profit in the process. For a fee of about $145, visitors can learn more about animals by cleaning their pens and preparing their feed.

The Wuhan Haichang Ocean Park recently made international headlines for a pretty bizarre service. In an effort to get people more interested in animals, it is allowing people to pay for the chance to get closer to them, scoop up their droppings, prepare their food and feed them. The offer is available only once a week, and applications and reservations have to be made a week in advance. It’s not free, though. People have to pay 998 yuan ($145) for the three-hour experience.

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Japanese Company Offers Fake Friends to Make You Look Popular on Facebook

Want to brag about your active social life on Facebook, when you really have no friends? Trying to make your ex jealous by posing with an attractive new partner, but can’t find a date? No need to worry, this Japanese company will happily send you some fake friends or lovers for a fun photo shoot that will make your online friends green with envy. You’ll have to pay for it, though.

Keeping up appearances on social media is apparently very important to a lot of people, and Japanese company Family Romance is committed to helping its clients do just that. Whether they are looking to show co-workers that they are much more fun to be around than they appear to be at the office, or trying to impress a special someone with their active social life, the company’s Real Appeal service aims to help them succeed, by providing some fake friends for impressive photo shoots. Clients can then post these pics on their Facebook or Instagram pages to show everyone how fun their life is, without anyone knowing it’s all a paid-for illusion.

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Russian Entrepreneurs Give Women the Chance to Rent Flower Bouquets and Expensive Gifts for Women’s Day Photo Shoots

With Women’s Day just around the corner, social networks like Instagram and VKontakte have become flooded with ads from Russian entrepreneurs offering women in Moscow the chance to rent impressive 101-rose bouquets and designer shopping bags for 10-minute photo shoots.

If your boyfriend is cheap, but you want to spark the envy of all your girlfriends without actually breaking the bank, or if you just want to make your boyfriend jealous, and you live in Moscow, Russia, there are a number of online services that you can use to have a gorgeous bouquet and an expensive-looking gift delivered at your doorstep for a 10-minute photo session. You can then post the pics online on March 8 and watch everyone go green with envy.

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The Human Bed Warmer – Russian Woman Offers Bed Warming Services for Single Men

A young woman from Moscow, Russia, has come up with an innovative way to supplement her income – charging single men a hefty fee for laying in their bed for an hour to warm it and fill it with her positive energy, thus guaranteeing a good night’s sleep.

21-year-old Viktoria Ivachyova is a human be warmer for hire, charging a whopping 4,900 Russian rubles ($82) per night, or 102 700 ($1700) per month to lay down on strangers’ beds and make sure it’s nice and warm when they turn in for the night. Believe it or not, she has already had 10 customers, and with the amount of free publicity she’s getting these days in national media, the unusual service is bound to become more popular. In fact, Viktoria is already planning on putting together a team of female bed warmers to keep up with demand.

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English Company Is Looking for Women Willing to Clean Houses in the Nude

London-based company Naturist Cleaners, “one of UK’s leading naturist and nude cleaning service providers”, is currently looking for women willing to clean private houses wearing just slippers and cleaning gloves. Women “of all ages and sizes” can apply, and the job pays £45 ($57) an hour.

“We are looking for female naturist cleaners who can clean private houses nude,” the job ad reads. “The job will require doing all general cleaning like dusting, tidying up, vacuuming, watering plants, making beds, using the washing machine, ironing clothes and cleaning windows.” So it’s a regular cleaning job, minus the clothes. Clients, most of which are part of nudist community, are charged £65 for the first hour, and £55 for every hour after that. They also have to agree to a “no touching” policy and also not to photograph or film the nude cleaners as they perform their job.

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New Service Lets You Send Chocolate-Covered World’s Hottest Pepper Anonymously

Pepper Bomb Your Mom is a new online service that allows you to send chocolate-covered Carolina Reaper peppers – the world’s hottest peppers – to your friends/enemies anonymously, for just $9.99.

This past summer, 18-year-old friends Lizzy and Sabrina shot to internet fame after filming themselves doing the world’s hottest pepper challenge and posting the footage on YouTube. 2.2 million Scoville units on the hotness scale proved too much to handle for these girls and they experienced all kinds of nasty symptoms, from the classic burning sensation and panic attacks to nausea and asthma. The extreme experience got them over 8 million views on YouTube and inspired them to launch an unusual business which basically allows people to inflict the same kind of pain they went through by sending them chocolate-covered Carolina Reaper peppers.

“Want to prank someone you love/hate for $9.99? What better way than to send them chocolates with Carolina Reaper peppers on the inside. No, these aren’t your Grandma’s chocolate in the mail. This chocolate is filled with the Guinness World Records ‘Hottest Pepper,” their website states.

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Introducing Napflix, a Boring Video Streaming Service Guaranteed to Put Viewers to Sleep

People often prefer to fall asleep while watching TV, but that doesn’t always work out as planned. Sometimes the shows you end up watching turn out to be genuinely interesting and instead of slowly dozing off, you end up spending hours with your eyeballs glued to the screen. But there’s no risk of that happening when using Napflix, a video streaming service designed to be more than boring enough to put you to sleep.

The Napflix website describes the service as a “video platform where you can find the most silent and sleepy content selection to relax your brain and easily fall asleep.” Regardless of what specific type of programs you find least interesting, you’re bound to find them on Napflix. While browsing the selection of boring video material, you’ll find everything from from long lectures and documentaries, senseless game simulations and chess matches to static landscapes and religious rituals.

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If You Need a Question Answered and Google Is Down, There’s a Number You Can Call

Ever wonder what life was like before internet search engines like Google? How did people get answers to all-important questions like ‘what’s the average life expectancy of a frog’, or ‘is there a full moon every night in Acapulco?’ Many of them turned to the ‘ask a librarian’  phone service of the New York Public Library, and, believe it or not, some of them still do it today.

They are called the “human google”, a team of real-life people whose main purpose while on the job is to search 120-years worth of archives and provide answers to some of the strangest, most complicated questions available. Set up during the 1940s, when search engines and the internet weren’t even ideas yet, the Ask NYPL department is made up of nine librarians and information assistants who cater to the needs of people who don’t have access to modern technology or simply prefer to interact with another human being.

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The People Walker of Los Angeles

A young Los Angeles actor in need of a second job to pay his bills has come with a brilliant way to supplement his income – people walking.

Chuck McCarthy originally considered becoming a dog walker to earn some extra cash, but soon realized that the job required more than walking canines on a leash. “I didn’t want to pick up dog poop, and that’s kind of what you’really being paid for, for dog walking,” he said. But people don’t usually poop when they’return out on walks, so after taking dogs and leashes out of the equation, Chuck realized there was money to be made waking people around Los Angeles instead.

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This App Lets You Order Leftover Dishes Restaurants Would Otherwise Throw Away

Too Good to Go is a smartphone app that allows users to order leftover food that restaurants would otherwise throw away at discount prices. Originally launched in Denmark, the service has recently been introduced in the United Kingdom by a couple of young entrepreneurs, after returning from the Nordic country.

The main purpose of this newly launched service is to cut food waste. Millions of tonnes of food are thrown in the trash every year in the UK alone, with restaurants accounting for fairly large chunk, so eco-entrepreneurs Chris Wilson and Jamie Crummie came up with a more profitable alternative. “It costs restaurants on average 97p for every meal they throw away so we are saving them that expense and giving them extra,” Wilson said. “And we provide them with all packaging so they have recyclable and eco-friendly boxes.” As for Too Good to Go users, they get the chance to order fancy dishes at low prices ranging between £2 to £3.80 per meal.

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Mistress Dispellers – The Controversial Services Keeping Chinese Families Together

In the Western world, when a wife finds out her husband is having an affair she they either confronts him directly about it asking him to stop, or just gets a divorce. But things are a bit more complicated in China, due to the social stigma and financial burden associated with divorce, so an increasing number of women are turning to companies specializing in driving away mistresses. Introducing the “mistress dispellers”.

It’s not uncommon for Chinese businessmen and high ranking officials to signal their status by maintaining a mistress, and with the country’s economy growing at a rapid pace, it’s no wonder that “mistress dispeller” services that combat cheating are becoming very popular. For a considerable fee – typically starting in the tens of thousands of dollars – these companies will coach scorned wives how to strengthen their marriage while employing a variety of tactics to drive away the problematic mistress.

While it may sound like a scam to cheat the poor wives out of serious sums of money, mistress dispellers, or “xiaoshan quantui”, are apparently very good at what they do. Shu Xin, director of  Weiqing International Marriage Hospital Emotion Clinic Group, a mistress dispeller company based in Shanghai, says that every case starts with thorough research on the mistress. An investigation team will analyze her family, friends, education, job and daily habits looking for any information that could help them meet their goal.

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Introducing Pooper – An Uber-Like App for Dog Poop

If you’re too busy or squeamish to pick up after your dog, you’re going to love this new smartphone app that connects you to someone willing to do it for you, for a fee.

A service that allows you to call someone to pick up your dog’s poop sounds unreal, which is probably why the announcement of Pooper has been met with skepticism. Articles claiming that the app is most likely fake have prompted the creators of Pooper to issue a statement saying that their service is real, but they are fine with all the doubts as long as it spreads the word and attracts more investors.

Here’s how Pooper works: after installing the app on a smartphone and opting for one of the monthly payment plans, a dog owner (referred to as “pooper”) can take a photo of the dog’s excrement, pinpoint its location on a digital map and call on a nearby “scooper” to come pick it up. They are then free to leave knowing that the dog’s business will be taken care of. You can opt to pay $15 a months for two scoops a day in 15-mile scoop radius, $25 for three scoops a day in a 30-mile radius, or $35 for unlimited scoops in an unlimited radius.

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Smell Dating Service Matches People Based on Solely on Their Odor

Smell undoubtedly contributes to a person’s attractiveness, but could it be the sole deciding factor in choosing a partner? Well, the creators of this New York matchmaking service decided to find out. At ‘Smell Dating’, the world’s “first mail odor dating service”, single people are paired up based on their reaction to each other’s body odor.

Created by Tega Brain, artist and teacher at New York’s School for Poetic Computation, and Sam Lavigne, an editor and researcher at New York University, Smell Dating is described more as an art project than a business. They based the project on the science behind pheromones, which are chemical signals that different species send out to attract mates. “Unlike sight and sound, smell is interpreted first in terms of memory and emotion before being mapped to language,” the project website reads. “When it comes to long-term romantic partnership, it may actually be riskier to ignore the powerful signal of scent than to rely on it.”

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