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UK Insurer Launches World’s First ‘Game of Thrones’ Spoiler Insurance

British insurance company Endsleigh Insurance Services recently launched its “Spoiler Cover” package, which allows Game of Thrones fans to receive financial compensation for plotlines ruined by friends, family or social media.

With the HBO series’ grand finale expected to air in the UK at 9pm on Monday 20 May, a full 19 hours after the final episode airs in the United States, the chances of plot leaks ruining fans’ viewing experience are pretty high. One insurance company came up with the idea of appeasing disgruntled fans by offering them financial compensation up to the sum of £100 per person if they accidentally fall victim to spoilers or unwanted plot reveals.

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Saudi Family Sparks Outrage by Tying Maid to a Tree for Leaving Furniture in the Sun

A young Filipino woman working as a maid for a wealthy family in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was reportedly tied to a tree by her employers as punishment for leaving a valuable piece of furniture in the sun.

26-year-old Lovely Acosta Baruelo is said to have angered her Saudi employers by leaving a piece of furniture outside, where it risked being damaged by the sun. As punishment, the family decided to make her feel the effects of staying in the scorching sun for too long, by tying her to a tree in their opulent Riyadh mansion. Photos of the woman tightly bound to the tree with a rope, as other servants carry on with their work around her unable to help, were allegedly taken by another Filipino worker who later shared them online, begging authorities to help the victim of the abuse.

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Italian Winemakers Set Vineyards Ablaze to Keep Them from Freezing

Breathtaking photos of vineyards in northern Italy lit up at night by hundreds of torches have been doing the rounds online for the past week. As temperatures unexpectedly dropped below zero last week, winemakers had to come up with a way to keep the vineyards from freezing, and fire was apparently their best choice.

Farmers usually do their best to keep fire away from their grape vines, but with temperatures expected to reach a freezing -9 degrees C, winemakers had no choice hundreds of torches spread out over several hectares to keep the vineyards from freezing. This technique has long been used by winemakers all over the world to create air movement, which prevents frost pockets from forming. Temperatures under -1 degrees Celsius can cause serious damage to emerging buds, so teams patrol the vineyards all night long, making sure that the fires are burning, to at least mitigate the damage.

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This Giant Cup Of Coffee Comes With a Cotton Candy Cloud That Rains Sugar

If you’re looking for the ultimate instagrammable coffee, you’ll have a tough time finding something cooler than Sweet Little Rain. That’s an odd name for a cup of coffee, but once you see it in action, you’ll realize it makes perfect sense.

Mellower Coffee, a Chinese coffee shop chain headquartered in Shanghai, owes much of its popularity to its gimmicky Sweet Little Rain, a large cup of Americano coffee served with a fluffy cloud of cotton coffee hanging over it. The steam rises up from the hot coffee melting the cotton candy and causing it to slowly rain down into the cup in the form of sweet sugar droplets.  At around $9 per serving, Sweet Little Rain isn’t the cheapest cup of coffee money can buy, but if you’re looking to impress your Instagram followers, it’s definitely worth it.

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Tenants Stop Paying Rent to Protest Insanitary Conditions, Owner Removes Doors and Windows in Retaliation

It’s been over a month since Nicole and Pascal Vermeulen, a middle-aged couple from Lignières, France, have had to sleep in fear of someone simply walking into their home at night. That’s because they don’t have a front door anymore, or windows for that matter, after the house owner removed them as punishment for not receiving the rent.

Three years ago, when the Vermeulen family found a 110 square-meter house for rent in the village of Lignières, for €500 a month, they thought they were getting a good deal, but things started going south soon after they moved in. The building’s septic tank got clogged years ago, which rendered the toilet and shower virtually unusable. The tenants have had to deal with human waste coming up through the toilet and the shower drain on more than one occasion, and the bathroom walls are constantly covered with mold. Also their garage always smells like a sewer. Despite their repeated pleas to the owner of the apartment to get the septic tank fixed, and the home being declared insanitary by the CAF (Direction of Family Allocations), the owner simply disregarded the problems.

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Man Allegedly Gets Pet Tarantula to Keep Arachnophobic Mother-in-Law Away

In a desperate attempt to get a break from his nagging in-laws and regain his privacy, a Reddit user allegedly took advantage of his mother-in-law’s severe arachnophobia by getting a tarantula as a pet.

Reddit user “ProbablyAssholeGuy” isn’t really into tarantulas. He thinks they’re cool and all, but he wouldn’t have actually gotten one as a pet if weren’t for the added bonus of keeping his wife’s mother away from his house. In a post that recently went viral on the social network, the man said that his traditional Chinese in-laws had really been getting on his nerves with their unannounced visits and blatant breaches of privacy, but despite complaining to his wife about it for years, she just ignored his concerns. So when he notice his mother-in-law’s reaction to simply seeing a spider sitting in the corner of the house, he got the idea to use her arachnophobia to keep her away.

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Drunk Man Throws Up Tumour, Gets Scared, Swallows It Back

A 63-year-old man recently made news headlines in China for reportedly throwing up a tumor after a drinking session, then getting scared and swallowing it back.

The unnamed man from Hunchun County, in China’s Hubei Province, had allegedly been feeling discomfort in his throat for some time, but since it didn’t hinder his breathing or swallowing too much, he never sought medical attention. However, last week, after having one too many drinks, the man started feeling nauseous. That was hardly unusual after a long drinking session, only this time, as he was getting ready to throw up, the 63-year-old felt a sharp pain in his lower throat followed by the disturbing presence of a large piece of meat in his mouth. Strangely enough, the fleshy mass seemed to be attached to something, so the drunk man couldn’t just cough it out, so he did the next best thing –  he chugged a glass of water and swallowed it back.

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French Village Is Offering $2,250 to Whoever Can Decipher Its Centuries-Old Stone Message

Plougastel, a small village in France’s Brittany region, is offering a prize of €2,000 ($2,250) to whoever can decipher a 230-year-old inscription carved into a nearby rock-slab.

Discovered just a few years ago, the mysterious rock is located in a cove accessible only at low tide. It features 20 lines of writing in a “language” that so far no one has been able to crack, two years  – 1786 and 1787 – as well as carved images of a ship with sails and rudder, and a sacred heart. Local academics have been struggling to decipher the centuries-old images for some time now, but so far all they’ve come up with is theories. Some believe that the writing may be in old Breton or Basque, while others think that whoever carved it into the rock slab may have been semi-illiterate.

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Viral Photos of “Young Boy” Marrying Adult Woman Are Not What They Seem

Last weekend, a series of photos that seemed to show a very young boy getting married to an adult woman went viral on Mexican social media. There was speculation of arranged marriage and child trafficking, but the true story turned out to be more tragic, and at the same time heartwarming, than everyone thought.

Mexican media recently reported that the protagonists of the viral photos did indeed get married during a two-day celebration in their native town of Xaltianguis, Acapulco. However, although the groom looks like a primary school student, he is actually a 19-year-old man named Jonathan who suffers from a rare disorder that stems his growth and makes him look much younger than his years. Despite his condition, Jonathan managed to find the love, and last weekend he and his fiancee tied the knot in front of family and friends.

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Pittsburgh Woman Terrified After Finding Ex-Boyfriend Living in Her Attic

A Pittsburgh woman who had noticed signs of strange activity in her house was shocked to discover that her ex boyfriend, who she had a restraining order against, had been living in her attic for at least three weeks.

The woman, whose name was not disclosed by the press for security reasons, had noticed small things awry in her house for weeks. She was afraid it was her ex-boyfriend, Cary Cocuzzi, but ultimately decided to ignore her fears, thinking she was just being paranoid. On one occasion she noticed the toilet seat left up, which was unusual because she only shared the house with her daughters, and another time she found a blanket on the floor in the basement. She thought about calling the police, but then she reconsidered, thinking she couldn’t just tell them “There’s a blanket in my basement”.

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This Man Is on a Quest to Build the World’s Largest Coin Pyramid

Three years ago, Corey Nielsen, a middle-aged man from Tolleson, Arizona, embarked on a journey to build the world’s largest pyramid of stacked pennies. He only had a few thousand coins and a dream at the time, but today he’s inching closer to finally accomplishing his goal.

The current record for the world’s largest coin pyramid stands at 1,000,935 coins. It was set in 2014 by Vytautas Jakštas and Domas Jokubauskis, in the small Baltic country of Lithuania, as a way to celebrate the adoption of the euro. In one of his videos, Corey Nielsen claims that they had a team of 100 people working on it – although I haven’t been able to verify if that is true – but he decided he could build an even bigger one by himself. He had built smaller penny pyramids before, but this was a much bigger project, one that would take daily work over multiple years to complete. Well, after almost three years of penny stacking, he’s nearly there.

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Chinese Woman Tries to Eat Live Octopus on Camera, It Doesn’t Go Well

A vlogger from China who live-streamed herself trying to eat a live Pacific octopus ended up screaming in pain after the marine creature used its suckers to attach itself to her face.

The young woman, who goes by “seaside girl Little Seven” on popular Chinese video platform Kuaishou, was allegedly planning to eat the octopus on camera, although the video begins with the creature already stuck to her face. She can be heard calmly telling her fans “look how hard it’s sucking” before realizing that she can’t actually remove it without pulling on it really hard. At one point, it looks like her left cheek might come off as she struggles to detach the octopus while screaming “painful” and “I can’t remove it”.

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Japanese Knotweed – An Invasive Plant That Is Proving Impossible to Control

With weedkillers more advanced than we’ve ever had and significant technological progress, it seems unlikely that any plant could cause major socioeconomic problems, at least in developed countries. That’s what makes the Japanese Knotweed so fascinating. Despite humanity’s best efforts to eradicate or at least control this resilient invasive plant, it continues to spread across Europe and North America, causing some serious damage.

When renowned Bavarian plant importer Phillip von Siebold brought a Japanese knotweed plant to the Utrecht plant fair in the Netherlands in the 1840s, no one imagined it would end up becoming a global threat. It was prized for its beautiful flowers and advertised as an ornament, medicine, wind shelter, soil retainer, dune stabilizer, cattle feed, and insect pollinator. Despite records of gardeners expressing their concerns about the plant’s invasiveness, it was sold across Europe for almost a century, and by the time everyone realized the monster we had released, it was too late to do anything about it.

The manner in which Japanese knotweed virtually took over most of the United Kingdom is a testament to its invasive potential. Von Siebold sent a single plant to Kew Gardens in London in 1850, and it was the descendants of that one plant that managed to colonize most of the British Isles. In 2000, tho biologists analyzed 150 samples from across the U.K. and concluded that they were all clones of the same plant Von Siebold sent over a century ago. The DNA was identical, which technically meant that the UK had been conquered not by a species, but by a single plant.

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Giant Honeybees Use Shimmering “Mexican Waves” to Repel Invaders

The giant honeybees of East Asia can build impressive open nests measuring a few meters across. The fact that they are always exposed makes them vulnerable to predators, particularly large wasps and hornets that love nothing more than invading hives and stealing grubs. Luckily, the bees have a secret weapon that is as visually mesmerizing as it is effective.

Called shimmering, the unique defensive strategy of giant honeybees involves large numbers of workers raising their rear-ends by ninety degrees and shaking them in unison, creating an effect similar to the well-known Mexican waves seen at stadiums across the world. How hundreds of bees are capable of communicating and producing this highly coordinated response to threats remains unknown, but after 15 years of studying the behavior in the wild, scientists are now convinced that shimmering is a defense mechanism.

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Professional Makeup Artist Uses Her Lips as a Canvas for Tiny, Detailed Artworks

We’ve featured some impressive body art on Oddity Central, like Luca Luce’s face-painted optical illusions or the colorful chest artworks of Georgina Ryland, but nothing quite like the detailed lip art of Ryan Kelly. The talented makeup artist paints tiny yet intricate portraits of celebrities and popular characters on her lips.

Looking at the kind of detail Ryan Kelly is able to produce on such a tiny and unusual canvas, it’s hard to believe that her lip art started out as a joke. Four years ago, Ryan and her husband were on the couch watching Katy Perry’s Superbowl halftime show, when their attention was caught by one of her dancers, who later went viral as “Left Shark”. He was fumbling through the choreography, but looked cool doing it, and they both found him hilarious. It was the makeup artist’s husband who suggested that she paint a shark on her lips and the fins on her fingers so she could puppet her very own Left Shark performance. She did just that and posted a photo of her facial makeover on social media. The response was overwhelmingly positive and inspired her to delve deeper into lip art.

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