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Mooning of the Amtrack Train

On every second Saturday of July, people gather outside the Mugs Away Saloon, in Laguna Niguel, California, for the annual Mooning of the Amtrack.

Known also as the Mooning of the Train, this tradition dates back to 1979. Legend has it it all started when a rich person walked into the bar and promised free drinks to anyone with enough balls to show their naked behinds to the passing Amtrak train.

This year around 1,000 people attended the mooning and a great time doing so. there were no incidents, unlike last year, when many of the 8,000 mooners got intoxicated in public and the festivities had to be shut down.

The trains are mostly full when they pass by the Mugs Away Saloon and the conductors even slow down so the passengers can really enjoy the view.

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The Zipper Pond of Taiwan

An artistically designed pond that looks like it could be zipped up at any time.

Designed by renowned Taiwanese sculptor Ju Chun, the Zipper Pond has become one of the most popular attractions at the Juming Museum, outside Taipei.  It does look absolutely amazing…I mean I’ve seen some beautiful ponds in my time, but a zipper pond? That’s special.

via Crooked Brains

photos by JT

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Bous a la Mar Festival, in Denia, Spain

Spanish people really have a thing for bulls, don’t they. Bullfighting, the festival of Pamplona, they’re all centered around the bull.

During the Bous a la Mar Festival, in Denia, near the city of Alicante, people get chased by bulls through the streets and into the Mediterranean Sea. The brave participants plunge into the waters just before the bulls are about to catch them. The animals often fall into the sea as well, where they are taunted some more. Eventually, the bulls are caught with a lasso and towed back to shore by a boat.

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Beer-Bike Bar of Amsterdam

The Dutch love to ride bikes and drink beer, so they decided to mix them together and created the Beer-Bike Bar.

Able to accommodate between 10-19 beer lovers, the Beer-Bike Bar is powered by its clients’ pedaling. An increasingly popular party-mobile, the beer-bike is equally popular with both men and women, but it has raised some concerns because of two accidents, since it was launched, in April.

According to Ard Karsten, the manager of the Beer-Bike Bar of Amsterdam, the authorities will certainly realize that although people are allowed to drink in public aboard the beer-bike, they are only served 30 liters. Whether there are 10 or 19 people on board, there are only 30 liters of beer available. The Dutch must all be heavy drinkers, because I have some friends that can get pretty wild after 3 liters of beer. However, the man who steers the Beer-Bike Bar around the city is always sober.

via All Pics 4 U

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Trekkies Party in Vulcan, Alberta

Why journey to Vulcan in a spaceship when you can just drive there?

The Canadian town of Vulcan, Alberta has become a true pilgrimage site for Star-Trek fans because of its coincidental link to the sci-fi series. Vulcan received its name in 1915, from a surveyor of the Canadian Pacific Railway who named it after the Roman God of Fire. It has no connection to Mister Spock’s home planet, but do trekkies care?

Of course not, anything that relates to the Star-Trek universe, accidentally or not, is worth a visit. So the people of Vulcan decided to capitalize on this great tourism opportunity and built a 5-ton replica of the USS Enterprise. And it paid out. This year trekkies gathered in Vulcan, Alberta for a celebration called Spock Days.

Photos show Klingons, Romulans, Tholians, Vulcans and even good old Captain Kirk had a great time in Vulcan this year.

via Telegraph.co.uk

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Harbin Snow Sculpture Festival

I have to be honest and start by saying I’m a huge fan of winter and all that it implies, snow, ice, cold weather, the whole enchilada, so I guess I was a little subjective in picking this piece over others. But even you sun worshipers have to admit that these snow sculptures, especially the castles are simply amazing.

These were all sculpted in blocks of snow and ice, during the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, in China by the most talented sculptures in the world. The festival dates back to 1963 and is one of the four largest ice and snow festivals, along with along with Japan’s Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway’s Ski Festival.

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Blue building of Rotterdam

I guess the Dutch have a thing for colorful infrastructure, because the famous Yellow Brick Road is also found in Holland.

This blue building is set in the Delfshaven district, in Rotterdam and it used to be one of the towns least interesting buildings and one of the most unnoticed by the public. The administration asked an artistic firm to freshen the place up, or it would be demolished. They chose to paint the place blue and the deal with the neighborhood is that it will stay this way until the community comes up with a new plan for the area.

Funniest thing is the blue building has become the most photographed building in Rotterdam. That’s how important 2 layers of paint can be.

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Paradise is moving to Dubai

If you haven’t started saving up for a house on the Palm Paradise of Dubai, you’d better start soon the construction will be done soon. Progress is significant according to these pics, with several houses actually finished and ready to welcome their owners. Just imagine walking out of one of those beauties and plunging into the clear blue waters…must be heaven on Earth!

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World’s largest swimming pool

I have to say that after seeing these pics, I’ve decided I’d love to visit this place as much as I’d love to visit Devil’s Pool, at Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe. It’s just one of those sights that simply takes your breath away.

This man-made wonder is 1013 meters long covers 80 acres, its deepest end reaches 115ft and it holds 66 million gallons of water. If you want to take a dip in the world’s largest swimming pool you’ll have to travel to San Alfonso del Mar in Algarrobo, Chile, where a computer-controlled suction and filtration system continuously pumps water from the ocean, keeping crystal clear.

Although it wasn’t cheap, costing around $2 billion to build and another $4 million/year for maintenance, the pool seems to be worth it as it has been attracting huge crowds of curious tourists, since it opened in December.

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Japanese mud festival

Hundreds of Japanese grown-men wrestle each other in the mud water of Mimusubi shrine in Yotsukaido, a settlement near Tokyo. Every year on February 25 these men take part in this strange yet fun looking rite, believed to bring good harvest for the whole year and good health for babies.

Morning Glory Pool

Set in Yellowstone National Park in the US, Morning Glory Pool is one of our planet’s many natural wonders. It is one of the park’s many hot springs and it was named in 1880, due to its resemblance to the well-known flower. The pool used to be completely blue, but human kind had to screw things up, as it always does, and because of the debris that’s been thrown in along the years, part of the vent has been clogged. That caused the temperature of the water to decrease, allowing bacteria to settle in, and that’s how the yellow fringe was formed. I’m not saying it’s less beautiful now but, in recent years the bacteria has started moving more and more towards the center of the pool and if the vandalism doesn’t stop, we might soon admire Morning Glory Pool only in photos…

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Miguel Hermoso Cuesta/Wikimedia Commons

 

Jellyfish lake

Before you go laying the “this is photoshoped” line on me, do a little search on the web and convince yourself it is real. It’s actually one of the most well-known diving places in the world, set in Palau. Actually if any of you watched Survivor Palau, you might remember this as one of the sights.

Jellyfish Lake was once connected to the waters of the Pacific ocean, but is now completely isolated. The large population of jellyfish living here was believed to be missing those stinging cells, also known as nemastocysts, but it turns out they do have them, only they’re really tiny. That’s why it’s perfectly ok for people to swim so close to the jellyfish, our tissue doesn’t feel the sting.

This is definitely one of the “must-go before I die” places, right up there with Devil’s Pool and Morning Glory Pool!

Photo: tata_aka_T/Flickr

Photo: Shinji/Flickr

 

Karni Mata, the temple of rats

The Karni Mata Hindu temple was built by Maharajah Ganga Singh in the early 1900s as a tribute to the rat goddess, Karni Mata and the most intriguing aspect of it, is that it’s home for over 20.000 worshiped rats.

The legend behind this temple is that Karni Mata, a matriarch from the 14th century was a reincarnation of Durga, the goddess of power and victory. at one point one of her clansmen’s child died and she tried to bring it back to life only to be told by Yama, the god of death that he had already reincarnated as a rat. Karni Mata struck a deal with Tama, that all her dead clansmen would reincarnate as rats, until they were ready to be born again into the tribe.

It’s a nice story but I can’t stop thinking about how that place must smell…

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Ivrea Orange Battle Carnival

Ivrea is a small town, about 40 minutes north of Turin, Italy. It isn’t a very animated settlement, but once a year, during the Orange Battle Carnival, Ivrea comes to life. the battle is an allegoric representation of the medieval insurrection of 1194, against the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick of Swabia. Masked, armored men throw oranges at the crowd who in turn throw them back at them, until the streets are covered by a carpet of squashed oranges that is sometimes even 30 cm thick…

As much fun as I’m sure this carnival is I have to wonder if those oranges, like the bananas in the banana wall, would have been more appreciated by some starving children in a third world country. But hey, that’s just me…

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The Icehotel

Situated in the village of Jukkasjärvi, 200 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, in Sweeden, the Icehotel is one of the most fantastic tourist locations on the face of the Earth. Using pure, clear ice from the frozen Torne River, artists from all around the world come to Jukkasjärvi every year, to sculpt beautiful ice and snow structures. We are not aware of how spicy the prices are ( you can check here) but we’re sure it’s a unique experience that’s gotta be worth every penny!

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