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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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World’s Largest Rose Bush Dates Back to 1885

You’ve probably seen some impressive-looking flowers, but unless you’ve been to the Tombstone Rose Tree Museum, you’ve never seen anything quite like the World’s Largest Rose Bush – a gnarled trunk about 12 feet in diameter, with its branches covering 9,000 square feet. It’s been around since 1885, and yes, it still blooms every Spring.

The White Lady Banksia Rose found its way to Tombstone, Arizona, from Scotland, over a century ago. In 1884, a young miner by the name of Henry Gee and his bride Mary left Scotland for the United States and settled in the legendary town. Mary felt homesick and after writing to her family about it, she received a box full of plants, bulbs and cuttings from the beautiful garden that she missed so much. As a token of friendship, Mary gifted one of the rose cuttings to a friend she had made in Tombstone, a woman called Amelia Adamson. The two of them planted it near the woodshed in the back patio of Amelia’s boarding house, and not only did the rose flourish in the Arizona desert, it grew into the largest rose bush in the world.

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The Famous Stone-Sculpting Hermit of Nicaragua

Alberto Gutierrez Giron has been living alone in the mountains of Nicaragua for nearly 40 years, sculpting a 300-foot long cliff into a giant artwork, just like the one he saw in a dream, when he turned 9-years-old.

Popularly known as the “Hermit of Nicaragua”, “Stone Man” or “Sculptor of the Mountain”, Alberto Gutierez claims he was born on October 17, 1944 – although he doesn’t have a birth certificate anymore – in a village near Esteli City. He had always loved exploring the forests around his home, and at age 33, he decided he wanted to live his whole life surrounded by nature, creating an epic stone artwork he had dreamed of as a young boy. He had been thinking about it for years, but during the war that swept Nicaragua at the time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get away from it all.

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Chinese Woman Spends $900,000 Building Her Very Own “Palace of Ceramics”

Yu Ermei, and 86-year-old woman from Jingdezhen, Eastern China, has spent around $900,000 and five years of her life building a “palace” completely decorated with ceramic pieces. Most people consider her insane for spending so much time and money on this project, but she says that her life would be incomplete without it.

When Yu came up with the idea for her unique porcelain palace, six years ago, her family thought she had become senile, but she tried to explain that this was her life’s dream. Jingdezhen is considered “China’s porcelain capital” and having lived here since age 12, the woman wanted to leave something behind in honor of the city that had shaped her existence. She had worked in the ceramics business for most of her life, first as an apprentice in a porcelain workshop, then as a worker in two state-owned factories, before gaining enough experience to open her own kiln and porcelain factory, which ended up making her a sizable fortune. This palace would be her way of giving back to Jingdezhen and a tribute to ceramics.

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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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Swiss Village Bans Tourists from Taking Photos Because It’s Too Beautiful

Located in the Swiss Alps, near the famous resort of St. Moritz, the commune of Bergün/Bravuogn is one of the most beautiful mountain villages in Europe. So beautiful, in fact, that photos of it shared on social media may make people feel depresses that they can’t visit, so local authorities banned tourist from taking photos.

It may sound like a joke, but it’s actually a new law adopted by the Bergün village council and approved by its mayor. And yes, their justification for the photo ban is that photos of their beautiful home with the stunning mountain peaks in the background could make people seeing them on social media jealous and depressed. To deter visitors from taking photos in Bergün, they plant to implement a symbolic €5 fine for those caught breaking the new rules.

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Mr. Healing – South Korea’s “Relaxation Cafe” Chain

People usually visit cafes for a dose of energy-boosting caffeine to alleviate tiredness and keep themselves from falling asleep, but Mr. Healing, a popular cafe chain in South Korea actually encourages people to lie down, take a break, and even get some shut-eye.

Mr. Healing bills itself as a relaxation cafe, a place where people can come in, order a drink and lie down a comfortable massage chair, where they can even take a short nap to the soothing sound of ambient or classical music, with pleasant and relaxing scents inundating their senses. The experience is so popular among Koreans that the chain has expanded to 47 different venues throughout the Asian country.

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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 World’s Largest Residential Cruise Ship Takes Community-at-Sea on Perpetual Vacation

Wouldn’t it be great if you could travel to the most exciting destinations on Earth without the hassle of packing and unpacking, or ever having your dream vacation end? Well, for the few dozen residents of “The World”, this dream is a reality.

The World” is the largest, oldest and currently only active residential cruise ship on the planet. Collectively owned by its residents, many of whom live aboard the vessel full-time, The World continuously sales on a worldwide itinerary at a maximum speed of 18.5 knots. Residents decide the yearly itinerary, along with the ship’s captain, often planning expeditions in the most exciting and exclusive of places. So far they have visited the tribes of Papua New Guinea, tracked polar bears in the Russian Arctic, kayaked among icebergs and retraced Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic Trans-Antarctic Expedition, among other memorable adventures. The things most of us only dream about, these people experience day.

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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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Couple Spend 25 Years Turning Barren Patch of Land into Paradise of Biodiversity

In 1991, Anil and Pamela Malhotra bought a 55 acres of unused farmland in Karnataka, India, and started planting native trees on it. Over the last 25 years, their small forest has turned into a 300-acre wildlife sanctuary that hundreds of endangered plants, animals and birds call home.

Anil and Pamela met and married in New Jersey, USA, during the 1960s. They both shared a love for wildlife, and after visiting Hawaii on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the archipelago’s lush forests and fascinating fauna. They bought some land and decided to settle there. “That is where we learnt the value of forests and realized that despite threats of global warming no serious efforts were being made to save forests for the future,” Anil said.

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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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