X

South Korean Cafe Makes You Feel Like You’re in an A-Ha Music Video

Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is a uniquely-designed cafe in Seoul’s Yeonnam-dong district that makes visitors feel like they’ve miraculously steeped into a cartoon or a comic.

Remember the song “Take on Me” by Norwegian band A-ha? It’s one of the catchiest tunes of all time, but I remember being fascinated with its music video, as a child. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before, a person stepping into the pages of a comic book that comes to life. I still consider it one of the coolest music videos ever made, but you’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning in an article about a cafe in South Korea. Well, it was the first thing that came into my mind when I saw photos of the incredible Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20.

Read More »

This Chilean Community Requires Residents to Have Their Appendix Removed

Can you imagine needing to have your appendix removed just to be able to live in your city? That’s exactly what the residents of Villa Las Estrellas, a small Chilean settlement in Antarctica, are required to do in order to live there long-term.

To be able to comprehend such a bizarre requirement, you first need to know a few things about Villa Las Estrellas. In short, this place is probably the closest you can get to experiencing life on another planet. It’s located so far away from human civilization and weather conditions are so extreme that would-be residents must pass a very thorough psychological exam in order to prove that they can live here for a long period of time. In winter time, the whole place is buried under several meters of snow and the hours of daylight are replaced with a few minutes of twilight. The average temperature is -2.3 degrees Celsius, but they can drop to -47 in winter months, making it nearly impossible to even set foot outside the container-like houses.

Read More »

The Indian Village Where People Play with Live Scorpions

Most people wouldn’t dare touch a scorpion for all the money in the world, but in one small Indian village, people actually seek out the poisonous arachnids and put them on their faces, or eve in their mouths, as part of a worshiping ritual.

Every year, on Naga Panchami, when most of India worships the snake god, the people of Kandakoor, about 20 kilometers from Yadgir, in the state of Karnataka, worship their Scorpion Goddess, Kondammai. Men and women, children and the elderly, all queue to go up a nearby hill called Chellina Betta (Scorpion Hill) and reach an idol of Kondammai, to which they offer sarees, coconuts and oil, and pray for good health and prosperity. After this ritual is completed, everyone starts looking for scorpions to play with.

Read More »

India’s Great Banyan Tree Is Its Own Forest

If you were to see the Great Banyan Tree in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden from a distance, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a forest. Spanning more than 14,493 square meters, the tree is the widest in the world—so large that it covers more ground than the average Wal-Mart.

No one is quite sure exactly how old the Great Banyan Tree is due to a lack of official records, but experts estimate that the tree is at least 250 years old; the earliest references to the tree have been found in travel writing dating all the way back to the 19th century. Over the years, the tree has been through a lot. Not only has it survived 2 major cyclones in 1864 and 1867, but its main trunk was also infected with a deadly fungus. This infection meant that the main trunk of the tree needed to be removed in 1925.

Read More »

The Oakland Buddha – How One Buddha Statue Brought Neighbourhood Crime Down by 82%

A non-religious man in Oakland managed to virtually eliminate neighborhood crime with nothing more than a statue of Buddha bought from a local hardware store.

The neighborhood of 11th Avenue and East 19th Street was formerly a rough part of Oakland, riddled with a variety of illegal activities ranging from littering and vandalization to drug dealing, robberies, prostitution, and assaults. That is until one local, Dan Stevenson, purchased a 60-cm-tall stone statue of Buddha and placed it on the street corner opposite his home. People were constantly dumping mattresses, couches and other junk there, and all kind of shady characters would hang around, so he figured the statue would be an improvement. But, in this case, calling the effect of the statue an improvement would be a gross understatement.

Read More »

The Swiss Man Who Built a UFO Landing Port in Argentina Because Aliens Told Him to

This is the story of Werner Jaisli, a Swiss man who in 2008 started building a giant, star-shaped ‘ovniport’ – a UFO landing spot – in an Argentinian desert, because aliens telepathically ordered him to.

It’s not clear exactly when Werner Jaisli arrived in Cachi, a small town in the Argentinian province of Salta, but it’s not hard to figure out what drew him to this place. The deserts of Salta have become famous among UFO enthusiasts around the globe, after several sightings of unidentified flying objects and other unexplained phenomena were reported in the area over the last few decades. On the night of November 24, 2008, Jaisli himself was allegedly contacted by aliens who gave him specific instructions on how to build a UFO landing port, aka ‘ovniport’.

Read More »

Venice Cafe Charges Tourist $50 for Two Coffees and Two Small Bottles of Water

A cafe in Venice, Italy has been slammed as a tourist trap after recently charging a man €43 ($50) for  two espressos and two small bottles of water.

Venice’s St. Marks Square is known for its notoriously pricey cafes and restaurants, but one such establishment has been getting a lot of negative attention online after a bill of €43 for two espressos and two small bottles of water went viral online. Juan Carlos Bustamente, a 62-year-old Chilean political consultant currently living in Italy, posted the receipt from Caffe Lavena on his Facebook page and it quickly went viral, with many commenters expressing their outrage about the insanely high prices.

Read More »

Vietnamese House Has a Fence Made Entirely Out of Old TV Sets

Photos of a small house on the Vietnamese island of Hon Thom have getting a lot of attention on social media for its unique fence made exclusively out of discarded old television sets.

The unusual house is reportedly located on the road to Hon Thom cable car and is very popular with tourists, for obvious reasons. After all, it’s not every day that you pass by a fence constructed out of old, but somehow intact television sets. How those old cathode ray tubes haven’t been shattered by strong winds or vandals is a mystery, as is the reason why the owner decided on this particular material for the fence. Perhaps a television repairman lives there, or perhaps someone just hoarded them and one day decided to put them to good use. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the fence is a good way to attract attention.

Read More »

Japan’s Unusual Obsession with Moss

As a very insular society, Japan has developed a culture that can be very interesting and sometimes bizarre to the outside observer. For example, in recent years, many Japanese have become infatuated with moss. Nature excursions centered around observing the thousands of species of Japanese moss have exploded in popularity to the point that the demand for a place on these trips far exceeds availability.

Selling moss-related products like moss-containing jewelry has also become a lucrative market. You can buy rings that have tiny containers holding moss instead of stones. For many young women in Japan, love of these plants has become a part of their identity. These young enthusiasts call themselves “moss girls” and organize moss-themed events such as viewing parties, where they make drinks inspired from the plants.

Read More »

The African Village Where Crocodiles and Humans Live Side by Side in Peace

In cultures all across the globe, animals are revered, and even worshipped. In Hinduism, for example, cows are valued for their gentle nature. But not every sacred animal is quite so harmless; crocodiles were worshipped in Ancient Egypt, as they were believed to be living representations of the god Sobek. You may be surprised to learn that the deification of crocodiles is far from ancient history.

In Burkina Faso, just 30 kilometers away from the capital of Ouagadougou, there is a small village of Bazoule, where its people — descendents of Mossis warriors — have chosen the Crocodylus suchus as its totem. Although Bazoule is located in a landlocked country, it does have its own pond, where 150 of these unusually docile creatures reside. Despite the fearsome reputation of crocodiles, the villagers have no problem living alongside them. In fact, the Mossi boldly approach the crocodiles to play; they even sit on and lie next to them.

Read More »

Eibenthal – A Picturesque Village Where Theft Doesn’t Exist

Eibenthal is an idyllic village nestled in the Banatului Mountains of Western Romania. It’s a charming place inhabited mainly by ethnic Czechs, but what really makes it stand out from other villages in the area, or pretty much anywhere else in the world, for that matter, is its reputation as a theft-free community.

There is no police station in Eibenthal, and frankly, there’s no need for one either. People in this area of Mehedinti county are famously peaceful and respectful of each other, and the crime rate is considerably lower than the national average. Theft, for example is virtually non existent, and people are perfectly comfortable leaving money in bags on the streets for the bread delivery man. He drives by, takes the money and leaves the requested number of bread loaves and the change in the bags hanging on lamp posts or people’s fences. In over 20 years, no one has ever reported any money of bread missing.

Read More »

Thai Restaurant Finds Success with Screaming Hot Waiters

If you’re looking for a way to get your restaurant business off the ground, this unique eatery in Bangkok, Thailand is proof that having a team of hot male waiters dress in skimpy female garb and scream like damsels in distress as they serve patrons is a sure way to success.

Staneemeehoi (Shell Station) is one of many seafood restaurants in Bangkok. As the name suggests, it specializes in shellfish, and judging by the hundreds of reviews on TripAdvisor and Facebook, the dishes and dips served here are above average, but that’s not really what has people coming back. Staneemeehoi is famous for its unique service. It employs a team of muscular young men who wear skimpy female clothing and try their best to act girly as they serve and entertain customers. That includes imitating a girly scream, dancing provocatively and puckering their lips as they pose for pictures.

Read More »

Japan’s Stylish-Looking Trash-Collecting Samurai

The Gomi Hiroi Samurai – “trash collecting samurai” – are members of a street performance group who walk the streets of Japan collecting trash with their katanas and trusty garbage grabbers.

These modern-day samurai are part of “Issei Ichidai Jidaigumi”, a performance group that originated in Kyoto but has since opened branches in other Japanese cities as well. They sport a very similar look to the samurai of old, but often spice up their appearance with stylish hats, and modern footwear. They are known for performing samurai-inspired songs, dances, and sword shows at various public events, but in the last few years, the Tokyo branch of the Jidaigumi has been making national news headlines for their theatrical trash-cleaning endeavours. They basically turn collecting street garbage into a performance worth buying tickets to.

Read More »

The Mysterious Bent Trees of North America

To the casual observer, the thousands of bent trees scattered throughout the North American continent look like mere freaks of nature, deformed by the elements of disease, but a more careful analysis reveals that these trees bend sharply into right angles, parallel the earth, which suggests that they were intentionally shaped long ago, for an unknown purpose.

Bent, splintered or otherwise deformed trees are not exactly uncommon, but the so called “trail trees” still growing in many US states have a very specific shape. At about four or five feet above the ground, their trunks bend sharply forming right angles, parallel the earth, and then sharply bend upwards once again. Various accidents can cause this shape to occur naturally, but another distinctive trait of these mysterious trees is that they feature no scars in their bent areas. While scientists have yet to agree that this is proof that the trees were purposely bent by humans centuries ago, there are many who believe that the bent trees were once used as markers by hunters and gatherers to help them find their way around the vast wilderness.

Read More »

The Creeping Devil – A Unique Cactus That Kills Parts of Itself to Move Across the Desert

The Creeping Devil is a rare and fascinating species of cactus that is not only capable of cloning itself to survive, but also of detaching from its major shoot to move through the desert over time.

Also known by its scientific name, Stenocereus eruca, this unusual species of cactus is endemic to the northwestern Mexican state of Baja California Sur, and is the only known moving cactus in the world. Unlike most other species of cactus, which typically grow vertically, toward the sky, the creeping devil is different – it lies flat on the ground with only its tip slightly raised. This plays a major role in the plant’s survival in isolation, but also in its unique capacity to migrate along the desert over long periods of time.

Read More »