Devious Parasite Grants Host the Gift of Eternal Youth, But For a Price

Scientists have discovered that Temnothorax ants infected by a certain tapeworm parasite can live at least three times longer than their uninfected peers while maintaining a youthful appearance and getting special treatment.

A multi-year scientific study published in May of this year has revealed a phenomenon worthy of a science-fiction or fantasy blockbuster – a parasitic tapeworm that grants its host eternal youth while making them irresistible to their uninfected peers, who work harder just to bring them food and fulfill their every wish. It sounds unreal, but scientists at the  Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Austria have studied colonies of Temnothorax ants and found that when they are infected with the tapeworm Anomotaenia brevis, they become virtually immortal.

Temnothorax-nylanderi is a relatively common species of small ants that live in forests throughout Central Europe. They form small colonies on the forest floor, inside acorns or wooden branches, and most importantly, they serve as an intermediate host for the tapeworm Anomotaenia brevis. Up to 70 parasitic larvae can survive in the hemolymph, the body fluid of insects, but instead of competing for resources with their hosts and slowly killing them, the parasites appear to extend their lives considerably, possibly even indefinitely.

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The Tiny Russian Village Where Everyone Knows How to Walk a Tightrope

Tsovkra-1, a small village in the mountains of Russia’s Dagestan autonomous republic, is famous for being the only place in the world where the entire able-bodied population knows how to walk a tightrope.

No one knows exactly how the tightrope-walking tradition of Tsovkra-1 (named ‘1’ because of another Tsvokra village nearby) began, but one thing is for sure – for the last 100 years, every able-bodied man, woman, and child in the village has learned the walk a tightrope, and many have gone on to become circus performers. Although Tsovkra-1’s population has dropped from around 3,000 in the 1980s to under 400 today, all those who remain are trained in the art of tightrope walking.

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Artist Slammed for Throwing Away 1,000 Pure Gold Rice Grains to Highlight Food Waste

Shanghai-based artist Yang Yexin has been getting a lot of criticism for throwing away 1,000 grains of rice made of pure gold as part of a performance artwork to highlight current food waste.

If you’re planning on visiting Shanghai soon, you may want to keep your eyes peeled as you walk through the city streets, as you may stumble on small precious nuggets worth a pretty penny. Local artist Yang Yexin recently released a video of himself throwing 1,000 gold grains in trashcans, in drains, in the grass, and in the Huangpu River, as a way of drawing attention to food waste in modern society. The rice grains  showed in the video were made from 500 grams of gold worth over 200,000 yuan ($31,000), by a jewelry store that made them “in accordance with the actual size of each real rice grain.”

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Cyber-Criminals Use Voice Cloning Technology in $35 Million Bank Heist

A bank manager in the U.A.E. was conned into authorizing a $35 million transfer after receiving vocal confirmation from the account holder. Only that wasn’t who the manager thought they were…

Early last year, the manager of an undisclosed bank in the United Arab Emirates received a call from a longtime client – the director of a company with whom he had spoken before. The man was excited that his company was about to make an important acquisition, so he needed the bank to authorize a transfer of $35 million as soon as possible. The client added that a lawyer named Martin Zelner had been contracted to handle the acquisition, and the manager could see emails from the lawyer in his inbox. He had spoken to the client before, he recognized his voice, and everything he said checked out. So he proceeded to make the most expensive mistake of his career…

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Italian Artist Turns Spilled Coffee Into Art

Some people are so incredibly talented that they can be artistically inspired by the most unexpected of things, such as spilled drinks. Case in point – Italian artist Giulia Bernardelli, whose amazing coffee art began as a mishap.

One day, Giulia was drawing and having her coffee at the same time. At one point, she moved her hand too quickly and spilled her coffee all over the canvas, but the way the coffee stain spread inspired her to pick up the spoon and use it as a brush, to guide the brown liquid. And that’s how her journey into coffee art began. She got better and better at it, and today Bernardelli is regarded as one of the world’s best coffee artists.

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How Did a Van Wind Up on Top of a Bus Station in France?

This week, the people of Plounéventer, a town in France’s Brittany region, woke up to a very bizarre sight – a white van perched on top of a bus station.

Imagine waking up early in the morning to take the bus to work and finding a car on top of the bus station? It’s still night out, there’s hardly anyone around, and there’s a car in the last place you’d expect to see one. No, it’s not a lost episode of the Twilight Zone, but something that commuters in the French town of Plounéventer experienced on Monday morning. Some clicked a few photos of the white van perched on top of the Place de l’Eglise bus station and posted them on social media, where they quickly went viral.

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The Swiss Mini Gun – World’s Smallest Working Revolver

If you’re looking for an unusual and extremely expensive way of dealing with small pests, like cockroaches, may we recommend the world’s smallest working revolver?

The Swiss Mini Gun holds the Guinness World Record for the smallest functioning revolver in the world. It measures 5.5 cm long, 3.5 cm tall and 1 cm wide, weighing only 19.8g. It’s so easy to conceal that countries like the United States and the United Kingdom have made the Swiss Mini Gun illegal to import. But while its reduced size may be unusual, this tiny firearm has all the same features as a normal-sized double-action revolver. Its manufacturing was only possible by employing techniques used in the Swiss watchmaking and jewelry industries.

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These Halloween Brownies Look Like Crap

Aptly named Cat Poop Brownies, these Halloween treats created by Singaporean cafe Nasty Cookie really look like something you’d only expect to find in a cat’s litter box.

When it comes to disgusting-looking food, we’ve featured a few examples over the years, with notable mentions including milkfish intestines and alien dumplings, but most often than not, the unappetizing look was not by design. In the case of Cat Poop Brownies, however, the bakers at Nasty Cookie tried to make the chocolatey treats as “crappy” as possible. Shaped just like cat poop and placed on a layer of crumble that looks just like litter sand, this brownie dessert looks hard to stomach, to say the least.

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Man Rents Poisonous Snake to Kill His Wife And Marry Another Woman

An Indian man was found guilty of murdering his wife by renting a cobra to bite her and make it look like an accident, so he could take her jewelry and marry another woman.

In what has been described as a modern murder mystery, a young man from the Kollam District of the Indian state of Kerala was convicted of arranging and carrying out his wife’s murder with the help of a venomous snake. The heinous crime took place in May of 2020, but investigators needed over a year to collect the necessary evidence to charge the husband. In fact, the 32-year-old man might have gotten away with murder if not for the wife’s parents, who suspected foul play and filed a complaint against him.

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Japanese Company Specializes in Fashion Apparel For Robots

Rocket Road is a unique clothing brand aimed not at humans, but at robots of all shapes and sizes. It aims to offer customization options and seamlessly bridge the gap between humans and machines.

Last month, Japanese company Rocket Road announced the launch of its first lineup of functional protective cover wear for robotic arms. These decorative and functional covers are available in over 40 different colors, can be made out of dustproof, anti-bacterial, water repellent or heat-resistant material, and are meant to brighten up the otherwise bland working environment and provide the robotic arms with a bit of personality. But this is only the company’s latest project. Rocket Road has been creating robot clothing for a long time now and has quite an impressive portfolio.

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The Surprising Love Story Between a Cow and a Leopard

Viral photos of a leopard and a cow cuddling somewhere in rural India tell the unique love story between two very unlikely friends.

Cows and leopards are usually not the best of friends, with the latter sometimes preying on bovines to survive. However, you wouldn’t even be tempted to think that looking at a set of viral photos that have been doing the rounds on social media for nearly two decades now. They show an adult leopard cuddling and playing with a cow, which, if the accompanying caption is to be believed, adopted and breastfed the feline as a cub. The story behind the photos has been exaggerated over the years to attract even more attention, but the photos are real and the relationship between the two animals is a testament to the fact that miracles can happen.

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Caterpillar Wears Its Molted Heads as a Bizarre Multi-Tiered Hat

The caterpillar of the Uraba lugens moth is deserving of the nickname “Mad Hatterpillar”, as it stacks the heads of its molted exoskeletons into an intriguing headpiece.

The Uraba lugens caterpillar molds up to 13 times while in its caterpillar phase, but it doesn’t shed all of its previous body parts. It uses some of the empty shells that once housed its head to create a rather impressive tower-shaped headpiece. As the caterpillar grows, so does its head, so each of the empty shells on top of its head is bigger than the next. Every time it molds, the head portion of its exoskeleton stays attached to its body, giving the critter a unique look as well as a handy decoy in the case of an attack.

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Naughty Child Puts Bicycle Lock Around Mother’s Neck, Forgets Lock Combination

A Chinese mother recently walked into a police station asking for help to remove a bicycle from around her neck after her 4-year-old boy put it on her and forgot the unlock code.

On October 7th, a young mother walked into a police station in Huai’an, China’s Jiangsu Province, with a bizarre “choker” around her neck – a grey and yellow bicycle locking device similar to a U-lock. She told the staff there that her son was playing with the lock next to her as she was cleaning the bathroom when he suddenly put it around her neck and locked it. She thought it funny at first, as it was her lock and she knew the unlock code, but it turned out that the boy had somehow changed it and now neither of them knew the combination to unlock it.

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Scientists Use Brain Implant to Cure Woman’s Severe Depression

A woman who had exhausted all other options of treating her depression claims her life has become infinitely better since having a matchbox-sized implanted into her skull.

Having holes drilled into your skull and electrical wires connected directly to your brain sounds like a daunting proposition for most people, but for Sarah, a 36-year-old woman who had been battling depression for years, it was a desperate attempt to get back to a normal life. For years, she had been battling severe depression, and all other treatments, including anti-depressants and electroconvulsive therapy, had failed. Anything was better than the darkness she had been experiencing, and getting a brain implant proved a winning bet, as she has now been depression-free for over a year.

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Milk Fish Intestines – A Taiwanese Delicacy That’s Hard to Swallow

Taiwanese food is very popular all over the world, but some of the dishes it proposes are hard to swallow even for natives. Take for example milkfish intestines, a delicacy that’s difficult to look at, let alone swallow.

Milkfish is farmed on a large scale in Taiwan, not only for its meat but also its intestines, which are apparently the base of several dishes, including black fried intestines and milkfish intestine soup. Both are reportedly delicious, but you first have to get over the fact that they look like cooked worms, and even then, the idea of eating fish guts doesn’t appeal to everyone. Southern Taiwan, which hosts the most milkfish farms, is reportedly more familiar with milkfish intestine dishes which have become somewhat of a local challenge for visitors.

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