China’s Surreal Firefly-Themed Park Comes Alive at Night

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If your childhood memories are filled with summers spent chasing fireflies, then you’re going to love this new theme park in China. It’s completely dedicated to the glowing insects that naturally illuminate their habitat at night.

The park, located at the East Lake Peony Garden in Wuhan city, central China’s Hubei province, is home to about 10,000 fireflies. The insects are divided into five separate zones – the flying zone, the observation zone, zero-distance contact zone, breeding zone, and the science popularization area. Each zone is meant to cater to different categories of visitors, right from casual visitors to researchers.

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World’s First Sand Castle Hotels Open in Holland

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If you love building sandcastles then here’s your chance to actually live in one. ‘Zand Hotels’ – the world’s first hotels constructed out of sand have opened in two Dutch towns – Oss and Sneek – to commemorate sand sculpture festivals held there each year.

The two pop-up hotels have fully furnished one-room suites, hidden inside eight-meter sculptures. One is modeled after the iconic Bedrock homes from the Flintstones, and the other has a Chinese theme, with dragons, the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Army as decorations. Believe it or not, these sand hotels have all the modern amenities, like electricity, running water, glass windows, king size beds, soft carpets, luxurious bathrooms and Wi-Fi!

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This Ukrainian 220-Year-Old Apple Tree Has a Very Unique Way of Staying Alive

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The city of Krolevets, in Ukraine’s Sumy region, is home to the world’s most unique apple garden, consisting of only one tree. Spanning 10 acres, the 220-year-old tree – known as ‘apple tree colony’ – has dozens of individually rooted trunks that constantly spring to life, making it seemingly impossible to die.

The tree seems to have worked out a brilliant survival strategy, and it looks prepared to survive for centuries to come. It started off as a regular tree, but as it aged, its branches bent so low to the ground that they started to take root as well. Every time one of the ingrown trunks dies, its branches immediately bend to the ground and take root. It had only nine trunks in 1970, but that number had doubled by 2008.

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No Man’s Land – Kenya’s Women-Only Village

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Umoja is literally a no man’s land in Kenya – a matriarchal refuge where men are not allowed. The village, founded 25 years ago by Rebecca Lolosoli, is meant to be a safe haven for women and girls who want to escape abuse in the otherwise patriarchal society of the Samburu people, in northern Kenya.

Rebecca, a member of the Samburu tribe, now serves as the chief matriarch of ‘Umoja Usau Women’s Village’. Having witnessed occasional violence as a child, she slowly came to the conclusion that some of the traditional Samburu practices were inherently abusive towards women. So she began to speak out against these practices, in favour of widows, orphans, and victims of rape, female genital cutting, and forced marriage.

Rebecca’s outspoken attitude was met with a lot of resistance. Things got out of hand when she spoke up for a few women who were raped by British soldiers training nearby. Men in her village beat her up, and her husband did not protest on her behalf. So in 1990, she led a female exodus and started her own village.

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World’s Only Public Diamond Mine Lets You Keep What You Find

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The Crater of Diamonds State Park, in Murfreesboro, Arkansas, is the world’s only diamond mine open to the public. Visitors get to go on a real-life treasure hunt and keep whatever they find!

According to park officials, over 600 diamonds of various colors and grades are found by visitors each year. Over 75,000 diamonds have been unearthed since the mine was discovered in 1906 – 19,000 of them since the mine became a state park in 1972.

Scientists believe that these diamonds were formed three billion years ago in the earth’s mantle, 60 to 100 miles below the earth’s surface. The precious rocks were brought up to the surface about 100 million years ago, by a rising column of magma. A huge volcanic eruption resulted in an 80-acer crater, filled with fragments of mantle rock that contained diamonds. Over the years, the rocks have eroded, leaving the diamonds and other semi-precious gems loose in the soil.

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Awesome DC Comics-Themed Cafes in Malaysia Have Superheroes on the Menu

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JT Network, a company that owns a chain of licensed DC Comics retail stores across Asia, has now ventured into the restaurant business. They’ve opened two new superhero-themed cafes in Malaysia which cater to comic-book fans in the country. A third ‘DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe’ is all set to open in Singapore on September 1.

“Fly, zoom or swoosh down to the DC Comics Super Heroes Cafe – yes, the official DC Comics cafe!” reads the description on Malaysia’s restaurant search website Offpeak. “Dine-in or chill out in our universe, surrounded by the awesome ambience that is home to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern and other members of the Justice League.”

Every dish on the menu at these theme cafes has a popular DC Comics character’s name attached to it. Some of the treats include the Aquaman Justice Jumbo Prawn Cocktail, the Superman of Steel BBQ Chicken Burrito, and the Dark Knight Mini Wagyu Beef Burger – a black bun treat emblazoned with the iconic Batman logo.

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The Petrifying Well of Knaresborough Turns Objects into Stone

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Located on the banks of the river Nidd, near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, is a mystical well that converts objects to stone. Any object touched by the well’s dripping waters – leaves, sticks, dead birds, and more – naturally turn to stone within a few months!

For many centuries, locals believed that the Petrifying Well was cursed by the devil – a myth fueled by the fact that the side of the well looks like a giant’s skull. They constantly lived with the fear that if they touched the well’s water, they would be turned to stone too.

A few adventurous people left everyday objects near the waterfall, only to witness the transformation occur over weeks. Some of these relics can be spotted even today, like a Victorian top hat and a lady’s bonnet from the 1800s – both converted to solid stone. More recently, people have left teddy bears, kettles, and even a bicycle in the petrifying well, with similar results.

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There Is a “Crappy” Poop-Themed Cafe in South Korea

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Believe it or not, there’s a cafe in Seoul, South Korea that has poop as its central theme. From the outside, Poop Cafe looks perfectly normal but when it comes to service, everything comes with a toilet twist.

Coffee and tea, for instance, are served in adorable little toilet bowl-shaped cups. The foam art on the lattes are poop-shaped, as are the throw pillows and cushions that decorate the shop. Poop shaped scones are served with jam in a toilet bowl and the cups have cute poop faces on them too.

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Norwegian Wildlife Park Lets Visitors Get Up-Close and Personal with Majestic Wolves

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Situated in Salangsdalen, Norway’s Troms county, Polar Park has a diverse population of wild animals, including foxes, reindeer, wolverines, wolves, lynx, elk, musk, and bears. But the most popular attraction is the Wolf Camp, a facility set up with the goal of ensuring a better life for wolves in captivity. It also provides visitors with the unique opportunity up-close and personal with the beautiful creatures.

So how is it that these ferocious wolves are able to accept human company with such ease? Well, it turns out that in the wild, wolves are actually afraid of humans – so they lash out under stress. But the animals at Polar Park were raised to enjoy the company of humans, so they feel calm around visitors. Known as the ‘Salangen wolf pack’, these are the first wolves in Norway that is socialized with humans. That means they actually enjoy our presence as part of their environment and will even come up to visitors to cuddle with them a or lick their faces.

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Abandoned Chinese Village Reclaimed by Nature Becomes Tourist Attraction

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It really doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to reclaim her territory, slowly obliterating all signs of human occupation, if we only allow it. Case in point is the abandoned Chinese village of Houtou Wan which, within a span of 50 years, has become a beautiful secret garden completely covered in lush vegetation.  

Houtou Wan village is located on one of the 394 Shengsi Islands of China’s Yangtze River. It used to be a thriving fishing town a few decades ago, but it was gradually abandoned as the number of fishing vessels outgrew the size of the bay and the population was forced to relocate. All but a handful of villagers left Hotou Wan in the last half century, leaving nature to work her magic on the settlement. The result is nothing short of breathtaking.

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No Humans Allowed – Wacky Japanese Cafe Caters Exclusively to Stuffed Toys

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Joining the ranks of Tokyo’s eccentric pet cafés and restaurants is Yawarakan’s, a place that exclusively caters to stuffed animals. It sounds like a hoax – who would spend money on serving real food to a bunch of toys, right? Well, you’re wrong. This is actually a thing in Japan, and apparently business is going great.

According to the restaurant’s owners, 85 percent of Japan’s adult female population owns at least one stuffed animal. 60 percent of these women actually decorate their beds with the cuddly toys. So they decided to find a way to tap into this market. They figured, if people are treating stuffed animals like real humans, then why not send the soft toys on vacation? So they created a café along the lines of a bed-and-breakfast, where the customers are all toys.



Walter’s Coffee Roastery – A Breaking Bad-Themed Cafe in Istanbul

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If Breaking Bad’s Walter White ever decided to go into the coffee business and open his own cafe, it would probably look a lot like the awesome ‘Walter’s Coffee Roastery’, in Istanbul.

Inspired by the popular TV show Breaking Bad, Deniz Kosan, a young Turkish entrepreneur, has opened the “world’s first Coffee Super Lab.” Everything inside this unique cafe, right from the roasting equipment to the beaker-like espresso cups or the giant periodic table covering one of the walls reminds you of Walter White and his meth lab. The staff often don yellow hazardous materials suits and the menu features plenty of Breaking bad references, like pancakes with Walter White’s face powdered on them or Blue Sky-decorated cupcakes.



Eccentric Man Builds Giant “Chicken Church” in the Middle of Indonesian Jungle

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Buried deep inside the Indonesian jungle is a very odd structure, shaped like a giant chicken. The long abandoned construction, locally known as Gereja Ayam (Chicken Church), is a popular tourist attraction in the hills of Magelang, Central Java.

Word on the internet is this strange construction was designed to be a church, but according to its creator, the building is neither a chicken nor a church. Daniel Alamsjah, 67, revealed that he was working in Jakarta when he suddenly received a divine message from God to build a prayer room in the form of a dove. “Perhaps because of my Christian faith, people thought I was building a church,” he said. “But it’s not a church. I was building a prayer house, a place for people who believe in God.”

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Colombians Celebrate Iconic Jeeps by Loading Them with Everything They Can Get Their Hands On

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The Yipao is a unique annual tradition in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle dedicated to the Willys Jeeps, the iconic American car the locals have been relying on since the 1940s.

For the people of Quindío district, Jeeps have been a source of livelihood and a significant part of daily life since the 1940s. The unpaved roads of the coffee mountains are filled with Jeeps that transport people and their belongings – including piles of coffee bags, livestock, harvested produce, and more. When families have to relocate, they often pile all their belongings onto one Jeep and move in a single trip.

Jeeps are such an integral part of life that they’re fondly known in Spanish as ‘mulitas mécanicas (mechanical mules). The country’s farmers use them to get to places that were previously accessible only by riding pack animals. Given how deeply Jeeps have impacted the life of locals, it’s only befitting that they pay homage to the vehicle during the annual Yipao parade.

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Down Cafe – A Turkish Cafe That Only Employs Workers with Down Syndrome

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A café in Istanbul is making headlines for exclusively hiring people with Down syndrome. The aptly named ‘Down Café’ employs staff between the ages of 18 and 25, and aims to empower them with self-confidence and independence.

Saruhan Singen, who founded the café in the Sisli district of Istanbul, said that he was inspired by his own experience of raising a daughter with Down syndrome. She now works at the café as well. “I have Sezil and I think she is a gift to me  to understand others like her,” Singen said. “When we think about the number of people with Down syndrome, there is not a wide range of career paths available.”

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