The Koi Fish Cafes of Ho Chi Minh City

Imagine enjoying a hot cup of java or your favorite soft drink in the middle of a pond filled with beautiful koi fish that you can actually hand-feed and you get an idea of what Vietnam’s koi fish cafes are like.

When it comes to fish-themed cafes, Ho Chi Minh City has a leg up on pretty much every other city in the world. Back in 2018 we featured Amix Coffee, a flooded cafe that allowed patrons to enjoy their favorite drinks with dozens of small fish literally at their feet, but this was apparently not the only cool fish-themed venue in town. In fact, the bustling metropolis apparently has about a dozen cafes that double as koi ponds, where the popular fish swim among patrons.

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This New Zealand Lake Is the Clearest Body of Fresh Water Known to Man

Rotomairewhenua, also known as the Blue Lake of New Zealand’s Nelson Lakes National Park, is officially recognized as the clearest body of fresh water in the world.

Blue Lake is spring fed by the neighboring glacial Lake Constance, and the water passes through a natural debris damn formed a long time ago by a landslide. This debris acts as a natural filter that retains most of the particles suspended in the glacial water, making Blue Lake almost as clear as distilled water. New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) carried out scientific tests of the water and determined it to be the clearest natural body of fresh water known to man.

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Brazil’s Unique “Coca Cola Lagoon”

Ever dreamed of swimming in a lake of Coca Cola? Well, you can actually do just that at the unique Coca Cola Lagoon in Rio Grande del Norte, Brazil, where the water has the exact same color as the popular soft drink.

Looking at the water of Lagoa da Araraquara, it’s easy to see why it is popularly known as Coca Cola Lagoon. It has the same dark hue, but very different ingredients and no carbonation. Instead of caramel, the water of this popular lagoon is colored by a concentration of iodine and iron, in combination with the pigmentation of the reeds near its shores.

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Mexico’s Tule Tree Has the World’s Thickest Trunk, And It’s Still Growing

Located a church courtyard, in the picturesque town of Santa Maria del Tule, the Tree of Tule is a 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress famous for having the world’s thickest trunk.

So just how thick is Mexico’s Tule Tree? Well, it takes thirty people with arms extended joining hands to fully encircle it, so that should give you an idea. Officially, it has a circumference of 42 meters, which sounds impossible for a tree trunk. In fact, in the past people  and scientists alike were convinced that the Tree of Tule had resulted from the merger of two separate tree, until DNA evidence showed that there was in fact just one tree.

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Welcome to Yanjin, the World’s Narrowest City

Built along the Nanxi River, between the steep mountains of China’s Yunnan Province, Yanjin county is widely regarded as the world’s narrowest city.

Looking at Yanjin county from above, it’s hard to believe that such a settlement actually exists in real life. The narrow stretch of usable land sandwiched between the troubled waters of the Nanxi River and steep mountains on either side hardly seems like a suitable location for a city of roughly 450,000 people, but that’s exactly what makes Yanjin so special. It looks more like something you’d expect to see in a fantasy movie, or in a building simulation game than a modern-day city.

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Hoshizuna-no-Hama – Japan’s Beautiful Star Sand Beach

Hoshizuna-no-Hama, which translates to “Sand in the Shape of a Star”, is a small but charming Japanese beach famous for its star-shaped tiny grains of sand.

Located on Irimote, the second-largest island in Okinawa prefecture, Hoshizuna-no-Hama doesn’t look too different than the hundreds of other beaches in the Japanese archipelago, at least at first glance. Closer inspection reveals that many of the sand grains have a very recognizable shape – either a five or six-tipped star. That’s because Hoshizuna-no-Hama beach consists in part of billions of exoskeleton of foraminifers, marine protozoa that thrives on the ocean floor. Their calcium carbonate shells remain behind after their death and are constantly washed ashore by the ocean, creating this stunning natural wonder.

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Devil’s Bath – New Zealand’s Neon Green Sulphur Pond

New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu volcanic area offers no shortage of intriguing natural wonders, but perhaps the most eye-catching one is Devil’s Bath, a bright green pond full of sulfur-infused stink water.

Devil’s Bath gets its color from a combination of hydrogen sulfide gases and ferrous salts. The shade  and intensity of the green sludge depends on the inclination of the sun’s rays and the amount of minerals present in the water at any given moment, but there’s never a day that the green body of water doesn’t look weird compared to what you’d expect a pond to look like. And then there is the smell of this charming attraction, which is best described as half sewer, half rotten egg. So yeah, Devil’s Bath sounds like an appropriate name…

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Kagami Numa – Japan’s Magical Dragon’s Eye Lake

Kagami Numa is a mythical Japanese lake that turns into a giant eye every spring, during the thawing process, hence its nickname, Dragon’s Eye Lake.

Located near the summit of Mount Hachimantai in north-eastern Japan, in the middle of a dense forest, Kagami Numa doesn’t look much different than the many other volcanic lakes in the area, most of the year. But for about a week – ate May to early June – it turns into a giant blue eye that inspired its intriguing nickname, Dragon’s Eye Lake. The unique appearance of the circular lake during this one week has inspired a legend of two dragons in love that chose this body of water as their meeting spot.

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“Tree of Life” Grows on Salt Island in the Middle of the Dead Sea

A tree seemingly growing out of a pristine white salt island in the heart of the Dead Sea isn’t something you’d expect to see when visiting the world’s saltiest body of water, and yet that’s exactly the sight you’re treated to near the beach of Ein Bokek.

With a salt concentration over 10 times that of the ocean, the Dead Sea is incapable of sustaining any plant or animal life, so come there’s a tree growing there, and on an island made of salt, of all places? Within swimming distance of the beach in Ein Bokek, an Israeli resort near Arad, lies the iconic Dead Sea Salt Island, a surreal natural formation made of dazzling white salt and surrounded by turquoise water. At its center are a pool of shallow, inviting water, and a tree that has no place being there. And yet…

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Abandoned Building Mysteriously Shows Up on El Salvador Beach

A mysterious ruined villa was recently discovered on a beach in Costa del Sol, El Salvador, leaving tourists scratching their heads at how it got there.

One of the last things you would expect to find washed up on a tropical beach is a concrete villa, and yet that’s exactly the kind of bizarre attraction that beachgoers at the picturesque La Puntilla Beach are treated to these days. It’s unclear how the abandoned home ended up on the popular beach, but it seems to have been there a while, as it is covered up with what appears like recent graffiti. One of the most popular theories is that the villa was the victim of a powerful hurricane that his El Salvador over two decades ago.

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The Florida Goblet – A Eucalyptus Plantation With a Very Unique Shape

The South American country of Uruguay is home to a unique eucalyptus plantation with a very distinct shape that can only by admired from high above.

Up until a few years ago, few people even knew that the Florida Goblet existed. It wasn’t until Google Earth became a thing that people discovered its unusual shape. To some, it looks like a goblet with a crown on top of it, while others see a chandelier, but the thing that everyone can agree on it its massive size. The plantation measures about 500 meters long by 235 wide and the lines that make up the top and bottom of the design are around 13-meters-wide. It’s so large that from the ground, you could never tell it has this peculiar shape.

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Cono de Arita – Argentina’s Mysterious Natural Pyramid

The Salar de Arizaro, Argentina’s second largest salt flat, is home to one of the world’s most mysterious natural formations – Cono de Arita, a 200-meter-tall conical pyramid that’s so perfectly shaped that it appears man-made.

In fact, all through the early twentieth century, everyone was convinced that Cono de Arita, like the actual pyramids of Egypt, had been built my man. However, scientific research has since showed that this imposing formation is actually the tip of a small volcano that lacked the power to burst through the Earth’s curst and spew lava or develop a crater. Today it is considered the most perfect natural cone in the world.

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Burj Al Babas – Turkey’s Famous Ghost Town of Fairytale Castles

Burj Al Babas is an abandoned housing development in Turkey, which consists of hundreds of miniature Disney-like chateaus stretching out almost as far as the eye can see.

It was supposed to be a bustling holiday retreat for the world’s super-rich, a neighborhood of castle-inspired villas spread around in a picturesque valley, near the the historic village of Mudurnu, in northwestern Turkey. Instead, today Burj Al Babas is one of the world’s largest ghost towns, featuring hundreds of unfinished villas, some of which have already started to deteriorate. It’s a story of big ambitions, sky-high property prices and economic woes that ultimately spelled the end of the dream that was Burj Al Babas.

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The Only On and Off This Island Is by Industrial Crane

Minami-daitojima, a small Japanese island surrounded by raised coral reef, has no beaches or docks, so the only way for people or boats to make it on the island is to be flung through the air by large industrial cranes.

A round uplifted coral island in the Okinawa archipelago, Minami-daitojima, aka Daito Island, has been using cranes to get people and small boats on and off for the last 50 years. Because of the coral reefs surrounding it, ships can only moor up to 4 to 6 meters away, so this method is the safest and fastest to reach or leave the island. Boats are secures with straps and chains, while people have to get in an elevator-like cage, fasten the door and then get flung through the air by an industrial crane on the island. The experience has been described both as “terrifying” and as “fun” as an amusement park ride.

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The Well of Barhout – Yemen’s Mysterious Well of Hell

In the arid wastes of eastern Yemen lies a fascinating natural wonder called the Well of Barhout. Shrouded in mystery and folklore, this large hole in the ground said to be the most hated spot on Earth to God.

Located in the eponymous valley, Barhout Well is 30 meters wide and thought to be anywhere between 100 and 250 meters deep. The depth is just pure estimation, as no one has been down to the bottom of it, and considering the chilling legends and stories surrounding it, I doubt any of the locals would attempt a decent. Not even Yemeni scientists and explorers have been able to reach the bottom, as the low oxygen and strange odors emanating from the well forced them back to the surface.

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