The World’s Rarest Flower Only Grows in Two Locations Around the World

“Middlemist’s Red,” also known as the spring rose, is widely regarded as the world’s rarest flower, as just two of these precious plants exist, one in New Zealand and another in the UK.

Named after John Middlemist, who collected it in China in 1804, the Middlemist’s Red camelia was always a rare flower that could only be found in the stately English homes of well-off families who could afford to buy them. Middlemist himself donated his specimen to Kew Gardens, but it somehow vanished, along with the others throughout London and the whole of the UK, with the exception of one place. By 1823, the Chiswick House & Gardens, a stately home in England, became the only place in the UK where a Middlemist’s Red could be admired.

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Swedish Couple Banned From Naming Baby ‘Vladimir Putin’

The Swedish tax agency, Skatteverket, rejected a young couple’s request to name their son Vladimir Putin, the name of the famous Russian president.

Public radio broadcaster SR recently reported the case of a couple based in Laholm, Sweden, who were banned from naming their newborn son after Russia’s president. Skatteverket didn’t explain exactly why they rejected the naming request, but according to Swedish law, names should not be offensive or risk causing problems for the bearer, nor are first names that clearly resemble surnames allowed. It wasn’t immediately clear what category “Vladimir Putin’ fell into, but the couple was forced to go for something less controversial.

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Man Claims to Have Been Sleeping Just 30 Minutes a Day for the Last 12 Years

Daisuke Hori, a 36-year-old man from Japan, has spent the last few years training his mind and body to function on as little sleep as possible. He claims to get just 30 minutes of sleep a day and not get tired at all.

Do you ever feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and that you’d rather shun sleep so you can do the things you like? Well, that’s probably most people, but few of us actually go through with that idea. Daisuke Hori is one such man. He claims to have lowered his daily sleep time from about 8 hours a day to just 30 minutes, without suffering any of the severe side-effects associated with sleep deprivation. He is the chairman of the “Japan Short-sleeper Association” and now teaches others how to lower their daily sleeping time so they can enjoy life more.

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Al Naslaa – Saudi Arabia’s Mysterious Rock Formation

Saudi Arabia’s Tayma Oasis is home to a 4,000-year-old geological mystery – a strange rock formation perfectly split down the middle with the precision of a laser beam.

The world-famous Al Naslaa rock formation is made up of two large sandstone boulders supported by a natural pedestal that appears much too small for its purpose. But what really draws people’s attention is the perfect split between the two boulders, which appears to have been done with a powerful laser beam. The almost flawless split has inspired lots of speculation on the internet, with some suggesting that Al Naslaa is proof that ancient civilizations may have been more advanced than history tells us.

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Real Goldy Locks – Rapper Claims to Have Implanted Gold Chains Into His Head

Mexican rapper Dan Sur has been getting a lot of attention lately, not because of his music, but because of his drastic physical transformation – replacing his natural hair with metal gold chains implanted into his head.

With the internet and social media constantly producing new artists and influencers, it’s hard to get noticed unless you do something truly extreme. Face tattoos, diamond-studded grillz, multicolored hair, it’s all been done before, so attention seekers really have to get creative. Dan Sur, a young from Mexico, seems to have found one such creative, albeit shocking, way of standing out from the crowd – replacing his natural locks with gold chains allegedly implanted into his skull.

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Political Candidate Forced to Run Against Doppelgangers Who Also Stole His Name

An opposition party candidate running for a municipal position in St Petersburg, Russia, is competing against at least two other people who not only legally changed their names to his, but also borrowed his physical appearance to confuse voters.

Russian opposition politicians are used to running against candidates with the same surname, it’s a commonly used tactic that can derail a few precious votes in close elections, but Boris Vishnevsky’s case stands out. A senior member of the liberal Yabloko party running for public office in a district of Saint Petersburg, Vishnevsky already knew that two of his opponents had recently changed their names to “Boris Vishnevsky” to confuse voters. What he didn’t know was that they’d stolen his look as well. In a district voting poster showing the three candidates side by side, it’s difficult to tell them apart, because they all look nearly identical.

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Mother Makes 13-year-Old Girl Jump Rope 3,000 Times Per Day to Grow Taller

A 13-year-old girl was diagnosed with a serious joint disease caused by being forced to jump rope 3,000 times a day by her mother, as a bizarre way of growing taller.

Chinese media recently reported the case of a 13-year-old girl in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province who developed traction apophysitis of the tibial tubercle after being forced by her mother to jump rope 3,000 a day in order to get taller. The girl had complained to her mother of knee pain, but she was initially accused of being lazy and was only taken to see a doctor after her symptoms worsened. After performing a physical checkup, doctors ruled out a meniscus injury but warned the mother that excessive exercise can cause serious injuries in children.

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Food-Stall Owner Adds Poppy Husk Powder to His Dishes to Make Them Addictive

A Chinese food stall owner was recently arrested after admitting to adding poppy husk powder to his dishes to get patrons hooked on them.

In late August of this year, the Lunan Police Station in Lianyungang City, China’s Jiangsu Province, received information that a local hot noodle stall owner might be using illegal ingredients to make his food more appetizing and more addictive. Apparently, the anonymous whistleblower had recently watched public safety warning videos about shady businessmen lacing their food with poppy husks to make them seem more appetizing, and wondered if the food stall that made the delicious hot noodles he loved so much was doing the same thing. As it turned out, they were in fact adding poppy husk powder to the noodles, to make them literally addictive, as a way to boost business.

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Woman Denounces Female Neighbor for Hanging Her Underwear in Plain Sight to Seduce Her Husband

Police in Quintana Roo, Mexico, recently received an unusual complaint from a local woman who accused her 23-year-old neighbor of hanging her underwear in plain sight in order to seduce her husband.

42-year-old Yuvitza E. decided to file a formal accusation against her “shameless” young neighbor, accusing her of breaking “good morals and decency”. She told police officers that it was no coincidence her young neighbor always washed her thongs on Saturday, around noon, when her husband was at home and free to gawk at her from their home. Yuvitza explained that she had repeatedly walked in on her husband staring at their neighbor’s underwear, and despite asking the woman to quit trying to seduce her man, she kept at it.

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Tolkien Superfan Lives Like a Real-Life Hobbit

Nicolas Gentile, a 37-year-old fan of Tolkien’s fantasy, decided he wanted more than just to read about the life of his favorite characters, the hobbits, so he started living as a real-life hobbit himself.

A pastry chef by training, Nicolas Gentile grew up reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s books and watching the popular Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movie trilogies. He had always been a fan of fantasy literature, movies, and games, but it was Middle Earth that captured his imagination the most. Only at one point, reading about and imagining the world and characters he loved wasn’t enough anymore. Gentile was tired of experiencing the adventures of others and decided that he could be a character in his very own real-life adventure, so he decided to start living as a hobbit.

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Newlyweds Send Invoice to Wedding Guests Who RSVP’d But Didn’t Show Up

A Chicago-based couple recently sparked a heated debate on social media, after posting photos of invoices they sent to wedding guests that confirmed their presence at the event but eventually decided not to attend.

Doug Simmons, 44, and Dedra McGee, 43, invited 109 guests to their fairytale wedding reception at the Royalton Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica. However, some of them repeatedly confirmed their presence, but ultimately failed to show up on the big day, which left the couple feeling so aggrieved that they decided to create invoices for the cost of the absentees’ meals. A model of the invoice posted on Facebook demands that the no-show guests pay $120, or $240 in case of a plus-one, as compensation for the expenses incurred by the couple on their behalf.

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Woman Allegedly Has Children With Ex-Boyfriend Because Her Husband Is Too Ugly

Afraid that having children with her “ugly” but otherwise great husband would cause them to end up looking horrible, a Ghanian woman allegedly decided to secretly have four kids with her handsome ex-boyfriend.

African social media has been abuzz with news of a vain Ghanian woman who married a successful, hardworking, and caring man despite his less than adequate looks. The fact that he was ugly, by her standards, didn’t bother who too much until they decided to try for a baby. She loved everything else about him, but she couldn’t risk giving birth to ugly children, so she always made sure to take birth control pills after sleeping with him. At one point, they went to a fertility clinic and they both turned out to be healthy, which the woman already knew, so in order not to raise her husband’s suspicion, she came out with a twisted yet ingenious plan…

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Scientists Baffled by Man Who Can Change His Pupil Size on Command

A 23-year-old student in Germany can reportedly shrink and enlarge his pupils on command, a feat previously thought to be physically impossible.

The dilation and constriction of the pupil were believed to be completely automated processes triggered by various factors, like entering a bright or dark environment, but a recent case study suggests that isn’t always the case. A young student in Germany is believed to be able to voluntarily control the tiny muscles that adjust the size of the pupil, a feat once thought to be impossible. The authors point out that while some people can alter their pupil size via “indirect methods”, this person is instead able to directly control the sphincter muscle in his eyes to adjust the size of his pupils.

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Would You Pay $21,500 to Run in the World’s First Premium Ultra Marathon?

Described as “the world’s first premium ultra,” the Highland Kings marathon requires participants to pay a £15,499 ($21,500) entrance fee. That makes it the most expensive ultramarathon on Earth.’

Ultramarathons aren’t usually associated with luxury, but Primal Adventure, an outdoor adventure business based in Scotland, is hoping to change that by organizing what many are calling the most expensive ultra marathon in history. The Highland Kings, a four-day camping race covering a distance of 120 miles on the west coast of Scotland, is limited to only 40 participants, each of whom will be required to pay an entrance fee of £15,499. The premium cost will give them access to luxury amenities like butlers, Michelin-star chefs, and hydrotherapy pools, among others.

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Techa – Russia’s Radioactive River

The Techa River flowing down the eastern flank of the Ural Mountains in Russia is considered the world’s most radioactive river, as a result of having been used as a dumping ground for nearly 80 million tons of radioactive wastewater over several years.

At first glance, the Techa River looks pristine, inviting even, and you’d never guess that it once was – and by some accounts, still is – the dumping ground of a secret nuclear compound responsible for exposing tens of thousands of people to as much as 20 times the radiation suffered by the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 23 or the 24 rural communities that the Techa flowed by have been evacuated in the last 13 years, but not before thousands of people developed cancers, or suffered chromosomal abnormalities and birth defects. Even today, when authorities claim the levels of radiation in the Techa River are “acceptable”, Geiger counters still beep ominously when placed near the waterline…

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