Russian Influencers Sentenced to Three Years in Gulag For Pranking Uber Driver

Three popular influencers were recently sentenced to over three years in a Russian penal colony for pranking the driver of a ride-sharing company by pretending to steal his car.

In March of 2021, the three bloggers decided to pull another one of their popular pranks and then post the footage on social media. They called an Uber-type taxi, and two of them got in the car and asked the driver to help their friend load some baggage in the trunk. When the driver got out of the vehicle, one of them got behind the wheel and drove off. The whole thing was caught on camera by one of their accomplices, who was filming from a few meters away, only to the driver, this seemed like an actual car theft, so by the time the vloggers brought the car back and explained that it had all been a joke, the police had already been notified. And they didn’t find the prank funny at all.

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Experts Baffled by Goose That Allegedly Lays Black Yolk Eggs

Photos and videos of eggs with black yolks that were reportedly laid by a grey goose have been doing the rounds on social media and leaving experts scratching their heads.

The intriguing photos and videos of the black eggs were posted on Sina Weibo last week by a man surnamed Zhu from Hangzhou City, in China’s Zhejiang Province. He claimed that the eggs came from a friend of his who kept many grey geese on his farm, and who had gifted him batches of normal goose eggs before. Only this time, what looked like ordinary eggs of standard size and white color turned out to be somewhat of an oddity. When cracked, the eggs revealed a clear egg-white, but a dark grey, almost black yolk, instead of the normal yellow or light orange.

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Businessman Build Taj Mahal Replica Home as Gift for His Wife

In a unique gesture of appreciation and love, an Indian man built a scaled-down replica of the iconic Taj Mahal as a “monument of love” for his wife of 27 years.

The original Taj Mahal, the most famous building in all of India, was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child. It’s one of the world’s most iconic symbols of love, so one businessman from Madhya Pradesh decided that it was the perfect inspiration for his own tribute to his spouse. He paid a reported 20 million rupees ($260,000) to have a construction team build a four-bedroom replica of the Taj Mahal, complete with intricate latticework, minarets, and a luxurious interior fit for a queen.

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Japanese Artist Creates the Most Intricate Food Carvings

Armed with an Xacto knife and mountains of patience, Japanese artist Gaku turns all kinds of fruits and vegetables into ephemeral works of art.

Inspired by the Japanese traditional food carving art mukimono, Gaku takes fruits or vegetables from the grocery store and carves them into a variety of intriguing patterns, from geometrical designs to traditional motifs and symbols, and even animal models. But apart from the skill and patience required to create these stunning food carvings, the most impressive thing about Gaku is his speed, as many times the artistic process is a race against time to make sure that oxidation doesn’t ruin his artwork. Weh working on apples or other produce that tends to oxidize quickly, he has to finish his designs in just a few minutes and still have time to photograph them.

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Vulture Bees Feed on Dead Flesh Rather Than Nectar, Still Produce Sweet Honey

While the vast majority of bee species rely on the pollen and nectar of flowers for nutrients, a few so-called “vulture bees” have evolved to feast on carrion, just like vultures or hyenas.

It was only a few decades ago that entomologists made the rather staggering discovery that not all bees feed on pollen and nectar. Deep in the rainforests of Costa Rica they found three bee species that seemed to prefer dead flesh to flowers. In a recently-published study, scientists revealed that these “vulture bees” had gut bacteria that appeared to thrive in acidic environments, just like the bacteria found in the guts of other carrion-loving creatures, like vultures and hyenas. Another surprising discovery was that, despite their unusual diet, the vulture bees still produced sweet honey.

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Shocking Photos Reveal How Finnish Fur Farms Fatten Up Arctic Foxes For Profit

Finland is Europe’s largest producer of fox fur, but undercover investigations have repeatedly shown that arctic fox farms engage in dubious practices, such as fattening the animals until they become deformed, just to increase their fur yield.

Despite a concentrated effort by PETA and many high-profile celebrities to deter the general public from buying natural animal fur, the fur trade has been booming. Around 100 million animals are killed for their fur every year, and the industry is worth tens of billions of dollars. While China is by far the world’s largest fur producer, thanks in great part to the lack of concrete animal welfare legislation, Finland is the largest fur producer in Europe, and the conditions in its animal farms are worse than you can probably imagine. Millions of arctic foxes are kept in tiny metal cages with no bedding, very little light, and are stuffed with food until they become deformed so that more fur can be harvested from them.

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The Hyper-Realistic Big Cat Paintings of Julie Rhodes

Julie Rhodes is a UK-based artist who specializes in photo-like hyperrealistic paintings of wildlife, particularly big cats like lions and tigers.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking Julie Rhodes’ paintings for photographs, as the differences are very hard to spot for the untrained eye. From her subjects’ intricate fur patterns, to the perfect coloring of the cats’ thick coats and the reflections in their eyes, these paintings are almost perfect. A professional artist with over 20 years of experience, Rhodes specializes mainly in paintings of big cats (lions, tigers, and leopards) but doesn’t shy away from portraying other animals as well, like elephants and zebras.

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Theme Park Visitor Seriously Injured by Crocodile He Mistook for Plastic Prop

In what can be described as one of the weirdest accidents of the year, a Filipino man was seriously hurt by a crocodile after climbing down into a pool to take a selfie with it, thinking it was just a realistic plastic model.

68-year-old Nehemias Chipada was visiting the Amaya View amusement park in Cagayan de Oro City, the Philippines, on November 10 when he spotted what he thought was a life-like model of a crocodile. It looked eerily realistic, so the Filipino man, who was celebrating his birthday with his family at the amusement park, climbed down to take a selfie with the cold-blooded reptile and even tapped it on the head. The thought that the 12-meter “model” could actually be a real crocodile never crossed his mind, at least until he got dangerously close to it and the reptile sank its teeth into his left arm…

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Indian “Benjamin Button Siblings” Look Older Than Their Parents

Keshav and Anjali Kumar, two young siblings from Jharkhand, India suffer from two rare conditions known as Cutis Laxa and Progeria, which make them look incredibly old for their age.

The Indian brother and sister originally made news headlines as the “Benjamin Button siblings” in 2016. Anjali was 7 at the time, and her younger brother was only 18-months-old, but they both already looked like octogenarians. And not only was their skin unusually wrinkly and saggy, but they both suffered from joint pain associated with old age. This paradoxical situation earned them the nickname ‘Benjamin Button siblings,’ after the fictional character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story. Keshav and Anjali Kumar were diagnosed with progeria and cutis laxa, two exceptionally rare conditions that are, unfortunately, incurable.

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New Technology Tracks Facial Muscle Movements to Expose Liars

When it comes to telling when someone is lying, we currently have very few options, but a team of Israeli researchers claims to have come up with something better than anything we’ve seen before.

Using stickers printed on soft surfaces containing electrodes that monitor and measure the activity of muscles and nerves, a team of researchers led by Prof. Dino Levy from Tel Aviv University, discovered that some people involuntarily activate muscles in their cheeks and eyebrows when they lie. No sensors had been able to measure these subtle muscle contractions before, but the innovative ones invented by Prof. Yael Hanein and sold by Israeli company X-trodes proved sensitive enough. Tests revealed a 73% success rate of lie identification, better than any existing technology.

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Young Father Sets Up DIY Lab to Create Medicine For His Son

Unable to find the medicine his two-year-old son desperately needs in China or even import it from abroad, a loving father set up his own laboratory and synthesized the drug himself.

Two-year-old Haoyang suffers from Menkes Syndrome, an ultra-rare genetic disorder that affects how copper is processed and absorbed in the body. The boy cannot move or speak and experts claim he only has months left to live but his father refuses to give up on him. As long as he draws breath, he is determined to do everything he can for his son, even if it means teaching himself chemistry and producing the medicine Chinese authorities have been unable to provide. Xu Wei, a desperate father from southwestern Kunming, has touched millions with his determination and unwavering devotion to his ailing son.

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Woman Tries to Hire Assassin on RentAHitman.com, Ends Up in Prison

A Michigan woman who turned to a bogus rent-a-hitman website to have an assassin kill her ex-husband was recently convicted for solicitation of murder.

The internet is amazing. You can find just about any kind of information or service if you put in the work and do some research, but when it comes to hiring someone to be your hitman, you may want to skip the obvious options. Wendy Wein, a 52-year-old woman from Michigan who wanted her ex-husband dead, failed to do just that. She found the website RentAHitman.com and assumed that it was a legitimate business where vengeful people like her could find professionals to do their dirty work for them. It won’t surprise anyone that this wasn’t the case and that she is now facing at least nine years behind bars.

RentAHitman.com promises confidentiality, boasts about complying with HIPPA, which apparently stands for the non-existent “Hitman Information Privacy & Protection Act of 1964,” features testimonies from satisfied customers, including women who caught their husbands cheating, and offers access to a network of over 17,000 “field operatives”. And that’s apparently more than enough for people to put in an order for a hitman…

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Secluded New Zealand Waterfall Doubles as a Playground For Young Seals

The picturesque Ohau Waterfall on New Zealand’s Kaikoura coast is the only waterfall in the world that doubles as a seal creche, a place where the young marine mammals can play and socialize without having to worry about predators.

Ohau is a 15-meter-high horsetail waterfall (the water maintains contact with the bedrock as it falls). It’s not the most eye-catching waterfall in the world, but it has something that no other land waterfall has – adorable seals. For one to three months a year, the shallow pool at the bottom of Ohau waterfall acts as a creche for dozens of New Zealand fur seal pups. By playing and interacting with each other, the young seals learn important behaviors and develop social skills, all while putting on an unforgettable spectacle for human visitors.

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Innovative Company Uses Kinetic Energy to “Throw” Rockets Into Space

California-based startup SpinLaunch has been making news headlines for its innovative approach to space flight – using a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to hurl rockets into space.

SpinLaunch has been working on a launch system that uses kinetic energy as its primary method. It relies on a complex mechanism that includes a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin the space rocket at several times the speed of sound before launching it upwards through a chute. If successful, SpinLaunch’s system could prove to be the most cost-effective and most reliable way of getting objects into outer space. The company has already had a successful launch in October, using its SpacePort suborbital accelerator in New Mexico to get a prototype vehicle tens of thousands of feet into the atmosphere.

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Fish With 555 Sharp Teeth Loses 20 of Them Every Day, Grows Them Right Back

Scientists recently found that one of the world’s “toothiest” animals, the Pacific lingcod, keeps its 555 teeth razor-sharp by losing up to 20 of them every day and growing them right back.

The Pacific lingcod (Ophiodon elongatus) is a carnivorous fish found in the North Pacific. You couldn’t tell just by looking at it, but this 20-inch (on average) fish has one of the scariest mouths in the world. Instead of the incisors, molars, and canines we’re used to seeing, it has hundreds of nearly microscopic teeth lining its jaws. Their hard palate is also covered in hundreds of tiny spikes, as are the pharyngeal jaws, a set of accessory jaws that the lingcod uses to chew its food the way we use our molars. Now scientists have found that Pacific lingcod keep their hundreds of teeth sharp by losing and then growing dozens of them in a day.

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