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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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This International Store Chain Only Sells Rubber Ducks

From eBay to toy stores and gift shops, there are plenty of places to look for rubber ducks, but if you’re searching for a brick-and-mortar store that only caters to rubber duck enthusiasts, there’s only one place to go – The Duck Store.

It all started a few years ago in Amsterdam, when the owner of a small toy store on Oude Leliestraat, noticed that visitors, most of which were tourists, were particularly interested in rubber ducks. The adorable bathtub toys seemed to always draw people’s attention and put a smile on their faces. Then, one day, the owner read the words of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – famous for his giant rubber duck art installations – and was inspired to get rid of the other toys and focus solely on rubber ducks. And that’s how the Amsterdam Duck Store was born.

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Nature Turns Human Pollution into Stunning Glass Beach

For years, Ussuri Bay, on Russia’s Pacific shoreline, was a dumping ground for glass bottles and waste from a nearby porcelain factory. But nature found a way to turn lemons into lemonade, and today, all those unwanted materials have been shaped into a colorful glass beach.

The story goes that many years ago, truckloads of glass and porcelain were dumped in Ussuri Bay, but instead of what should have been a landfill for unwanted waste, Steklyashka beach is actually one of the most stunning tourist attractions in the world. Years of erosion have rounded and polished the pieces of glass and porcelain into beautiful pebbles of various colors and have turned this place into a wonderland reminiscent of California’s Glass Beach.

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The Japanese Train Station Built Around a 700-Year-Old Tree

Kayashima Station, in Neyagawa, a north-eastern suburb of Osaka, is one of the most unusual-looking train stations in all of Japan. Despite being located on an elevated platform, Kayashima has a giant broccoli-like tree pocking out through a rectangular hole in its roof.

The Big Kusu Tree of Kayashima, as the camphor tree is commonly known in Japan, is older than most records, but officials estimate that it has been around for at least 700 years. In 1910, when Kayashima train station was originally opened, the tree stood right next to it, offering travelers some much needed shelter on both sunny and rainy days. It didn’t bother anyone for the next 60 years, but as Japan’s population increased at an accelerated rate, overcrowding became a problem and local authorities decided that the train station needed to be expanded. Plans were approved in 1972, and the old camphor tree was going to be cut down.

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World’s Most Expensive Trip Around the World Will Cost You Almost $14 Million

If you’ve always dreamed about an epic trip around the world, and have more money that you know what to do with, you might be interested in this offer from experiential travel boutique DreamMaker – a 20-day luxury tour of 20 cities across the globe for you and 49 of your closest friends, at the modest price of $13,875,000.

As you can probably imagine, this isn’t just another trip around the world, but an ultra-luxurious experience designed for a splurging  billionaire and his entourage. So what can you expect from a $14 million trip. Well, first of all the ultra rich client will be flying between the 20 cities on the itinerary in a private Boeing 767 jet, while his 49 family and friends follow in their very own Boeing Business Jet. That makes a lot of sense, we don’t want these guys feeling crowded on what’s supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, right? Anyway, DreamMaker claims that the lucky group will only be spending 12% of the time in the air and 88% on the ground, but they want to make every moment as pleasant as possible. So they’ve prepared a variety of in-flight surprises.

Dubbed ‘Experiental Aviation’, the time spent on board the two luxury jets is described as “the pinnacle of private aviation.” To ensure that everyone’s needs are catered to in a timely and professional fashion, the guest to staff ratio will be one on one, with a host of 50 other professionals – all experts in their respective fields – eager to make your flight as pleasant as possible. A master sommelier will treat guests to the world’s finest wines, a yoga instructor will conduct in-flight yoga sessions to help everyone relax, and renowned hypnotherapist April Norris has apparently been commissioned to develop “a holistic program that integrates cutting-edge wearable sleep technology with alternative wellness techniques such as hypnotherapy, Reiki healing, Ayurvedic medicine and acupuncture.”

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Family Looking for Nanny to Join Them on Trip Around the World Receives over 19,000 Applications

M’Kenzie and Derek Tillotson, of Utah, USA, are planning to embark on an epic trip around the world with their three young children, and are looking for a travel nanny to assist them on their journey. They posted a Facebook video hoping to get a few dozen applications, but ended up with messages from nearly 20,000 people hoping to get the job.

The couple runs a family travel blog called ‘Five Take Flight’ and recently decided to sell their home in Utah and go on an unforgettable adventure around the world.  They plan to leave in July, flying from their home in Utah to New York City, then to Iceland, and the rest of Europe. They’ll return to their home city for a two weeks over Christmas, before flying to Hawaii, New Zealand, and finally Asia. It sounds like an incredible experience, but it’s also going to be pretty tough to manage with three kids, which is why they’ve decided to take someone to travel with them and lend a hand when necessary.

“We’re looking for somebody who’s going to love our children as much as we do, even when they’re acting like this,” M’Kenzie says in the video, while two of their children goof around in front of the camera. “You’ll be an honorary member of the family and will be treated with respect and be able to voice your opinion.” The travel nanny will be required to handle most of the homeschooling for the couple’s two boys, while also looking after their baby sister and also handle some of the cooking and cleaning.

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San Francisco Restaurant Serves Food on iPads instead of Plates

Technology is seeping into everything, even restaurant tableware. Quince, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco has recently swapped ol’ fashioned porcelain plates with Apple iPads for a couple of its most popular dishes.

Restaurants have been using tablets instead of classic menus for years now, and some have even introduced app-powered ordering and payment options, but until not too long ago, plating seemed to be immune to this high-tech trend. They’re feeling the heat now, though, as more and more restaurants swap them out for futuristic tablet-based dishes, in an effort to attracts tech aficionados with and appetite for fine cuisine.

The latest to join the exclusive restaurants where tablet plating is actually a thing is Quince, a San Francisco eatery run by Michael and Lindsey Tusk. They are serving a dish called ‘A Dog in Search of Gold’ on an Apple iPad that’s playing a video of a dog hunting for truffles. If you’re wondering about the connection, the dish is composed of white truffle croquettes. And in case you’re not into truffles, Quince also serves frog legs on top of iPads playing videos of frogs in a pond.

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Bangkok’s Husky Cafe – A Must-See for Dog Lovers

If you’re a dog lover visiting Bangkok, you simply must stop by the True Love Café, a wonderful place where you can get a taste of Thai cuisine, or enjoy some refreshments in the company of dozens of adorable huskies.

The True Love Café opened in 2013, when Chotiros Ratanabirabongse, Paw for short, a long-time husky breeder, decided to convert his farm into a place where people could interact and learn more about this wonderful canine breed. The place instantly became a hit with tourists, and today it is one of Bangkok’s most popular attractions.

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This Japanese Restaurant Chain Is an Introvert’s Paradise

If your idea of a good restaurant experience includes a nice conversation and interaction with the waiting staff, then Ichiran Ramen is probably not a place you want to visit. The popular Japanese chain is all about solo dining, taking extraordinary measures to ensure that patrons avoid human interaction as much as possible.

Manabu Yoshitomi, the founder of Ichiran Ramen, came up with the concept for his famous restaurants when he was just a high-school student, after seeing his female friends attempting to cover their mouths when eating ramen. After asking them about it, Yoshitomi discovered that their reluctance to being watched by other people as they slurped noodles was actually a huge barrier to them visiting ramen shops. This information inspired the young man to open a tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen restaurant that offered almost total privacy instead of human interaction.

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Japanese Skating Rink Freezes 5,000 Marine Creatures in Ice as Promotional Gimmick

Japan’s Space World theme park sparked worldwide controversy after it froze 5,000 fish, crabs and other shellfish in the ice of its newest skating rink, aptly-named ‘Freezing Port–Ice Museum’.

On November 12, Space World, a popular theme park in the city of Kitakyushu, south-west Japan, opened its newest attraction – a skating ring embedded with 5,000 frozen fish, crabs and various other shellfish, as well as enlarged photos of larger marine creatures, like stingrays and sharks. It was advertised as the first of its kind in the world, and in the beginning, the reaction of the public was very positive. Space World officials said that since Freezing Port opened two weeks ago, they had an unprecedented number of visitors, but things went south very fast after the bizarre ice rink received coverage on a local TV station, on November 26. Inquiries and criticism started pouring in, and the Space World Facebook page was bombarded with negative comments.

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Japan’s Unique Museum of Stones Shaped Like Human Faces

Chinsekikan, or The Hall of Curious Rocks is a unique museum in the Japanese town Saitama, just outside Tokyo, where visitors can admire close to 1,000 rocks that resemble human faces.

This outlandish tourist attraction is the work of the late Shozo Hayama, a rock enthusiast who spent 50 years of his life collecting strange-looking rocks, and especially those that resembled human faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist, and believe it or not he actually put together a collection of over 900 human-looking rocks, some of which resemble famous people, like rock’n roll legend Elvis Presley or Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

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Hong Kong’s Unique Sanctuary of Discarded Deities

In Hong Kong, when people damage their statues of deities or simply replace them with newer ones, they don’t throw them away. Instead they leave them on the side of the road for people to worship or take them home. One man has been picking them up for over 17 years, and today his colorful collection is one of the island’s most impressive tourist attractions.

85-year-old Wong Wing-pong, a retired butcher, looks after thousands of unwanted statues of deities, including Buddhas, Taoist deities, local gods and Christian icons. They are all perched on a rocky slope in a park near the waterfront in Wah Fu. Legend has it that he picked this spot because it already had a statue of Tin Hau, the patron goddess of fishermen, and he believed it would make it easier for people to come see both the Buddhas and the goddess at the same time. However, he recently told news reporters that it was simply the place where he found the first discarded statues, a few dozen of them, 17 years ago.

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