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Optical Illusions at South Korea’s Awesome Trick Eye Museums

Planting a kiss on Mona Lisa’s cheek, riding the legendary Pegasus and even getting peed on by a baby, it’s all possible at one of South Korea’s Trick Eye Museums.

I’ve never been to Korea, but apparently people there, like the Japanese, love to take photos of themselves with cool stuff, so it’s no wonder they’ve created a bunch of tourist attractions where people can immortalize themselves doing the craziest things. They’re called “trick eye museums” and feature various well-executed trompe l’oeil (French for “deceive the eye) artworks that either look like they’re coming out of the frame, or that you’re stepping in. If you manage to get a shot from the right angle, you can get some really cool photos of yourself interacting with the paintings. Judging by the photos I’ve found, these places are lots of fun.

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Digital Artist Creates Realistic Version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

Ever wondered what the sky must have looked like when Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night? Well, Alex Cruz has and he even created his own realistic-looking version of the post-impressionist’s masterpiece, using Photoshop.

“I’ve often wondered about how the night ski looked to Van Gogh when he painted Starry Night,” Ruiz said. “I wanted this piece to be somewhat magical and fantastic, not just a normal night painting. Hence the large moon, large stars, transparent clouds, etc., yet keeping a mostly realistic feel to it.” I don’t know how long it took the Dutch artist to finish his famous artwork, but Ruiz did his in just 7 hours, using matte painting techniques in Photoshop. Art sure has come a long way since the 1800s.

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The Future Is Now – China Opens Robot-Operated Restaurant

Well, it’s not exactly as advanced as you’re used to seeing in sci-fi movies, but China’s colorful robot-themed restaurant can be a sign of things to come.

They’re probably going to render us extinct one day, so we might as well enjoy their servitude, while it lasts. A unique restaurant, in Harbin, China’s Heilongjiang Province, has 18 different robots doing all kinds of jobs, from ushering in guests to waiting tables and cooking various dishes. All the robots were designed and created by the Harbin Haohai Robot Company. Chief Engineer Liu Hasheng, they invested around 5 million yuan ($790,000) in the restaurant, with each robot costing 200,000 to 300,000 yuan ($31,500 – $47,000). With an average cost per dinner of between $6 and $10, they won’t be recovering their investment anytime soon, but it is great advertisement for what the robot company can create.

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Mr. Kanso – Japan’s Weird Canned Food Restaurants

I bet you’d have never thought a restaurant that serves only canned food could ever become popular. Well, it can in Japan.

Eating cold food from  metal cans with plastic cutlery, is not everyone’s idea of a good eating out experience, but Osaka’s Kanso Restaurant has been offering this exact type of experience for a while now and has enjoyed great success. Things have been going so well that Clean Brothers, the restaurant and cafe company behind the bizarre diner, has begun franchising the idea throughout Japan, under the name Mr. Kanso. And I’m not talking disaster shelters or anything like that, but big cities like Tokyo and Nagoya. The original Kanso opened in 2002, and there are currently 17 branches, 14 of which are franchises, but the number of interested franchisees is growing steadily.

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Belgian Artist Creates Elaborate Dresses Out of Simple Sheets of Paper

Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave can use sheets of paper to create incredible garments many designers can’t really make out of fabric.

At first glance, Isabelle de Borchgrave’s creations seems made of expensive materials like silk, pleated cotton and damask, but in reality, her 18th century-inspired garments are made exclusively from paper. The Brussels-based artist painstakingly glues every “seam”, crumples, irons and fluffs paper to make it look like real lace and created buttons out of tiny rolls of paper, ultimately creating designer masterpieces you simply must see to believe they’re real. In her able hands, flimsy pieces of paper can become anything from ribbons to jewelry and feathers, a talent that makes de Borchgrave “unique”, according to French designer Hubert de Givenchy.

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Bovine Boarding at Pakistan’s Traditional Bull Races

If you think surfing and snowboarding are extreme sports, then you’ve probably never seen what happens in Pakistan, during traditional bovine races. It involves bulls, a board and dirt.

Tens of thousands of people gather whenever there is a bull race held in Pakistan. They are usually the highlight of festivals organized in rural areas of the Asian country, and attract lots of spectators due to their thrilling nature. Watching a bunch of oxen running alongside each other might not be your idea of a fun time, but add a man on riding a board on a dirty track trying to guide the animals, and things become pretty exciting. The traditional competition  attracts landlords and farmers from all around the province where the race is held, and they all bring their fastest and strongest bulls in hopes of gaining a reputation.

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Chinese Lamborghini Is 99% Identical to the Original, Costs Just $65,000

A brand new Lamborghini Murcielago LP64 would cost you over $400,000, but in China you can buy one that looks almost identical for only $65,000.

The Chinese love to build their own Lamborghini sport cars, probably because the original ones sold in China tend to break down a lot. The latest Lamborghini replica to come out of the rising Asian country is of the stunning Murcielago LP64, and is probably the best one yet. Refered to as the Shanzai Lamborghini, this impressive looking vehicle is said to be 99% identical to the original on the outside, while the interior is “only” 70% identical. Still, the price tag of 420,000 yuan ($65,000) is unbeatable for this kind of car. Only you’re not really buying a piece of Italian engineering, but a really well modified Toyota MR2.

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Awesome Mosaic Is Made of Over 1 Million Coffee Beans

Measuring nearly 30 square meters, The Awakening mosaic recently unveiled in Gorky Park, Moscow, set a new world record for the largest coffee bean mosaic.

It’s not very often that you get to see artworks as impressive as the one created by Russian artist Arkadi Kim. He and his team spent around two weeks working on the impressive mosaic, weighing the coffee beans, roasting them to achieve the desired color tones and placing them at just the right spot on the giant panel set up in Gorky Park. Believe it or not, this unique piece of art is made of 1 million coffee beans, weighing an impressive 180 kg (397 pounds). Entitled “The Awakening”, it shows the detailed visage of a girl and alluring coffee aroma making its way to her nose.

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Sleazy Avatar-Themed Nightclub Opens in South Africa

Somehow I thought Avatar-themed nightclubs would be kind of cool, but recently opened Avastar (I know, right?) proves they can be sleazier than you ever imagined.

Judging by the success of James Cameron’s Avatar movie, it was only a matter of time before someone used his fantasy world as nightclub theme. Only I think anyone could have done a much better job of it than Mike Basson, a South African entrepreneur who looks like one of the gangster Guy Richie uses in his movies. He came up with the “brilliant” name “Avastar” for his new nightclub in Rivonia, South Africa’s version of Las Vegas, slapped cheesy artworks of nude Na’Vi women on the walls, and described his idea as a mind-blowing combination of nature and technology. It’s also got some fancy chandeliers supposed to look like the Tree of Life and some fire-spitting volcanoes, fog machines and lasers, LEDs, pretty everything an Avatar fan dreams of finding in a nightclub themed after their favorite movie.

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A “Bald” Art Movement – Artist Uses His Head in the Name of Art

A few years ago, when he started to go bald, English artist Philip Levine decided he didn’t want to shave his head like everyone else. Instead he opted to turn it into a canvas for his art. That’s how the “headism” art movement was born.

While other complain about losing their hair, young Philip Levine looks at the full half of the glass: being bald gives him full freedom in a very specific and original way. Ever since he started shaving his head, in 2006, he began using it as a canvas for his various design ideas, and soon trend websites started posting photos of his bald artworks. In 2009 he realized his head was becoming and inspiration in the art world and decided to put on a show. Ever since then, his name and the headism art he pioneered have become iconic withing London’s art and fashion scenes.

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Artist Turns Dirty Bed Sheets into Inspiring Portraits

Only a week ago we featured the stunning portraits Kumi Yamashita creates with a single sewing thread wrapped around nails. That’s when we discovered some of her other impressive masterpieces. Today we present her dirty bed linen artworks  made with dirty army boot prints.

Most of us would like to have clean bed sheets all the time, but even the most obsessed cleanliness freak would let Kumi Yamashita trample all over his bed. The talented Japanese artist turns the cotton bedroom accessory and turns into a canvas for her footprint portraits. I’m not sure if she actually puts the shoes on her feet and creates the artworks with her feet, or just handles them with her hands, but regardless of her technique, the “Someone Else’s Mess” series is one of the most original I’ve ever seen.

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Japanese Girl Takes Body Art to Photoshop Levels

Look at the photo below. I know what you’re thinking, photoshopped, right? Not exactly, although this person doesn’t really need a change of batteries, the photo hasn’t been digitally altered. It’s just the creepy/cool body art of Chooo-San.

Chooo-San discovered her talent for body art during a gap year studying for university admission exams. While taking breaks from her studies, she would often draw eyes on her hands. Soon, her doodles started getting better and better, so she moved on to create even more bizarre body modifications. Using only acrylic paint, the young Japanese girl can turn herself into a creepy mutant with several pairs of eyes covering her face, or a robot with integrated batteries and LCD display.

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The Photo-Like Charcoal and Graphite Drawings of Robert Longo

New York-based artist Robert Longo creates detailed charcoal drawings that look amazingly photo-like. If you thought your sketches were pretty good, wait till you see what this guy can do.

You know when you look at a photo and you say to yourself “this looks too good to be true”? Most of the time Photoshop is to blame, but Robert Longo decided to create his own black and white photographs, the hard way. Instead of a few mouse clicks, he uses charcoal, graphite and paper, spending hours-on-end to create incredibly realistic works of art. You don’t need to be an expert to figure out Longo is an exceptional artist, but he has captured the attention of the art world, and his works have been exhibited in galleries around the world.

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Welcome to the World’s Craziest, Most Controversial Zoo

At the Lujan Zoo, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, visitors can do much more than admire wild animals from a distance. They can ride on the backs of wild lions, feed tigers or hand-feed cheetahs.

You couldn’t pay me enough to get up close and personal with a full-grown lion, but apparently there are people out there who can’t wait to get into a cage with it, and at the Lujan Zoo they get to do just that. Daredevils can feed grapes to the grizzly bears or even allow them to use their tongues to pick up the fruits from between their lips, pet elephants, ride on the back of tigers and whatever else you can think of that involves interacting with wild animals. I know what you’re thinking, all this is an accident waiting to happen, but you’ll be surprised to learn that ever since the zoo opened in 1994, there hasn’t been a single accident. In fact, zoo keepers are so confident nothing is going to go wrong that they don’t require visitors to sign any waivers before entering the animals’ cages, and they even allow small children.

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Jason de Graaf’s Works Look Like High-Resolution Photographs, But They’re Not

Canadian artist Jason de Graaf creates hyperrealistic paintings that look more like carefully composed still-life photographs. We’ve featured many artist who can easily fool you into thinking their paintings are photos, but Jason de Graaf really is in a class of his own.

Just so you can understand how incredibly real de Graaf’s paintings look, you should know they’ve inspired the term “Magic Realism” as a description. The talented artist born in Montreal says: “My paintings are about staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs.”

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