World’s Largest Sea Slug Looks Like an Alien From Another Planet

Measuring up to 99-centimeters-long, and weighing up to 14 kilograms, Aplysia vaccaria, also known as the black sea hare or California black sea hare, is the world’s largest sea slug.

I knew slugs could get pretty large, but i never imagined one as big and heavy as a medium-sized dog. Then again, Aplysia vaccaria, is a very rare sight, even if you live near its very limited habitat – off the coast of California and in the Gulf of California – as it only ventures into shallow water to lay eggs. Like most other sea slugs, these giant mollusks are herbivores, with brown algae and kelp making up most of their diet. The color of the plants the slug east determines its own color, which is why it is black or dark brown, while other member of the Aplysia family are reddish or green.

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Shadows From the Walls of Death – A Book That Can Literally Kill You

When people speak of potentially-deadly books, they usually refer to the radical or controversial ideas they contain, but in the case of one very scary book, the potential for lethalness is quite literal.

Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers is a book published in 1874 by Dr. Robert M. Kedzie, a Union surgeon during the American Civil War who later became a professor of chemistry. Of its 100 or so pages, 86 are just samples of arsenic-pigmented wallpaper that people used to decorate their homes during those times. Even though arsenic was a known toxin capable of killing a person if ingested, no one imagined it could kill even when used as an active ingredient to make wallpaper colors more vibrant. Kedzie did, though, so he printed this book as a warning.

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The Unlikely Success Story of a Man Who Gets Paid to Do Nothing

A 37-year-old Japanese man has built a successful career by renting himself out to do nothing. For some reason, he is inundated with requests from people who just want him by their side.

In just two years, Shoji Morimoto has gone from being just another unemployed middle-aged man in Tokyo, to a minor Japanese celebrity, with over 270,000 Twitter followers, appearances on national television, interviews in magazines, and even his own books and manga on Amazon. That’s quite surprising, considering Shoji has built his success on a service that requires him to basically do nothing but meet random people, listen to their stories or just physically be there for them. He basically rents himself out to strangers, letting them know beforehand that he can do nothing but eat, drink and hang around.

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The Men in This Bangladeshi Family Have No Fingerprints

In a world where fingerprints are the most collected and used biometric data, having no fingerprints is both a blessing and a curse, as the men in the Sarker family can attest.

For several generations, Sarker men have been born with completely smooth fingertips, and while that may not have been a huge deal a generation or two ago, nowadays, when the swirling patterns on the tip of our fingers are used as the main way to identify individuals, it’s an issue. For example, some of the men in the Bangladeshi family have been unable to obtain a driving license because of their lack of fingerprints, while others have been reluctant to travel for fear of getting in trouble at airports, for the same reason.

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Alien Dumplings – A Downright Scary-Looking Dish

The world is full of unappetizing dishes, from fermented fish dishes to the dreaded Kiviaq, but few actually look scary to get near to, let alone put in your mouth. These Japanese dumplings definitely fall in the latter category.

Last year, we published a story on one of the world’s most bizarre looking fish, the eel-like Warusobo, also known as the “Alien of the Ariake Sea“. One look at this slimy creature, and that nickname makes all the sense in the world. I don’t know if it’s those pointy teeth, or the lack of eyes, but there’s just something otherworldly about these things. That’s hasn’t stopped the people of Saga Prefecture, which borders the Ariake Sea, from turning the alien creature into a staple of local cuisine, including the delicious dumplings below.

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After 20 Years, Court Tells Baker to Stop Selling Cookies Made With Sawdust

A German baker who has reportedly been selling sawdust cookies for around two decades has recently been ordered to stop, as the finely milled wood has been deemed unfit for human consumption.

An administrative court in the southwestern German city of Karlsruhe has upheld a decision to ban the sale of cookies made with sawdust, despite the producer’s claim that they were a traditional vegetable product. The unnamed baker had been operating a mail order business, selling his sawdust cookies all over Germany. He openly listed sawdust as an ingredient on the packaging of his biscuits, and had already written to the city of Karlsruhe about his practice back in 2004, but received no answer. Then, in 2017, a routine examination of a biscuit sample led to a sales ban which he then contested in court.

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Man Turns Everyday Items Into Complex Exoskeletons Inspired by Popular Robots

Known as the “Brooklyn Transformer”, Peter Kokis has become a very recognizable figure in New York, thanks to an arsenal of impressive robot exoskeletons made out of all sorts of everyday items.

A former military pilot, Peter Kokis started making his now-famous exoskeletons after joking around with an ex-girlfriend. At one point, during a conversations, she told him “you’re too stiff, you need to loosen up and do something weird,” and he decided she was right. Using his experience in aviation, he started piecing together things he had around the house into an impressive exoskeleton that became known as Squid Boy. But that was only the beginning, as over the years he made wearable costumes inspired by the likes of The Transformers, The Terminator or the Xenomorphs of Alien.

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Artist Turns Old Lighthouse Into a Vibrantly Colored Work of Art

Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel turned a non-descript lighthouse in northern Spain’s Cantabria region into an eye-catching work of art.

Inspired by the “natural wealth of the region by representing local fauna and, with its textures, the cultural diversity of a modern and open Cantabria, which is connected to the world,” Okuda San Miguel turned the Faro de Ajo lighthouse into a technicolor work of art, featuring more than 70 vibrant hues. Okuda started work on the 16-meter-tall lighthouse in August and completed the project, titled “Infinite Cantabria”, in September. Now, the region’s last built lighthouse is meant to become a symbol of the cultural diversity of a modern and open Cantabria.

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This 25-Year-Old Puddle Has Its Own Instagram Account

A giant puddle in Russia’s Far East city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is being described as “invincible”, after it somehow survived unfixed for over a quarter of a century. It now has its own Instagram page and over 16,000 followers.

As it often happens in Russia and other eastern European countries, what started out as a small pothole gradually grew to become a giant puddle. It attained that rank in 1994, and locals have been trying to get local authorities to fix it ever since. So far it has proven a futile endeavor, as scheduled repairs have been postponed repeatedly. In the meantime, a frustrated local known only as Nikolay decided that the 25-year-old pothole was old enough to have its own Instagram page, and created one for it in September. The witty sarcastic posts created in first-person quickly went viral and got the local government to act.

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Talented Chef Makes Pancake Portraits Inspired by Pop Culture Icons and Anime Characters

Keisuke Inagaki, who describes himself as the “otaku chef” of La Ricetta Restaurant in Zama, Japan, has combined his two biggest passions – cooking and anime – to create his own style of pancake art.

The 51-year-old Japanese chef started making cute pancakes in 2011, as a way of lifting the spirits of kids in his home city of Fukushima, after it was devastated by a tsunami. He had volunteered for a program to take care of young children in a safe area after the nuclear disaster, and was looking for ways to get their attention. He had seen the pancake art of Nathan Shields on the internet, so he decided to give it a try himself, to impress the kids. That was only his starting point in the world of pancake art, though, as today Inagaki as on a whole other level.

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Entrepreneur Builds 600-Square-Meter Floating Sea Mansion

A Chinese entrepreneur spent a year and only 400,000 yuan ($61,000) building himself an awesome, 600-square-foot floating home on the coast of Fujian province.

The protagonist of our story is a young entrepreneur known only by his nickname, “Coastline”, who grew up near the sea, spending most of his time fishing and taking in the beautiful sunsets of Dongshan County, a large island in the South China Sea. Coastline spent most of his free time sea fishing, and always drove his friends crazy with his praise of the sea and the carefree lifestyle of the fishermen of Dongshan. One night in 2018, while drinking with his good friend, architect Dong Xinmeng, he started talking about how great it would be to have a floating home, so he could fish and drink beer all day. One drink led to another, and by the end of the night, they had decided to make his dream a reality.

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This Family Has Been Creating Beautiful Ice Trees Every Christmas, for Over 60 Years

Every year since 1961, the Veal family has been celebrating Christmas by creating their now-traditional giant ice tree on their property in Indianapolis, Indiana. It has become known as the Veal Ice Tree and is considered a seasonal tourist attraction.

If you’ve had enough of traditional Christmas trees and you’re looking for something more original, you’re going to love the Veal Ice Tree. It looks nothing like a tree, in fact no living trees have ever been used in the creation of this magnificent ice sculpture, but it became known as the ice tree a long time ago, and the name stuck. It’s actually an ice-sculpture made by attaching water hoses to a wooden frame, turning the water on on freezing nights, and letting the weather mold the ice-sculpture into existence. The Veal Ice Tree goes up every year, or almost every year, and it always gets a lot of attention from locals.

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This Ninja-Like Face Mask Promises to Give You a Non-Invasive Face Lift

People nowadays pay lots of money for youth-maintaining facial plastic surgery, but one Japanese company claims that its’ face mask can deliver the same results as a lift, so you don’t have to go under the knife.

Japanese company Ya-man claims that its MedLift silicone mask can keep you looking young by sending electrical signals to muscles in order to stimulate them. The ninja-like face mask comes with two electronic controllers which allow users to turn electric stimulation on and off, as well as select various modes and levels of intensity. Facial muscle firmness decreases with age, but by providing electrical stimulation MedLift promises to keep them nice and firm, delivering similar results to a successful facelift, minus the invasive surgery.

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YouTuber’s False Review Forces South Korean Restaurant to Shut Down

HayanTree, a popular restaurant and food reviewer on YouTube, has recently come under fire for causing a restaurant to close down after his false review negatively affected the business.

On December 7, HayanTree, who at the time sported just over 700,000 subscribers on YouTube, posted a video review of an all-you-can-eat soy sauce-marinated crab restaurant in Daegu. At one point, the popular YouTuber refills his plate, but notices grains of rice in his marinade, raising the suspicion that the restaurant might be reusing its unsold food. The controversial review quickly went viral, getting over 1 million views in a matter of days, and impacted the accused restaurant so profoundly that it had to be closed down a few days later.

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World’s Ugliest Orchid Discovered in the Forests of Madagascar

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but looking at this new species of orchid discovered by scientists in the forests of Madagascar, it’s easy to see why it’s already been dubbed the “world’s ugliest orchid”.

With over 700 genera and around 28,000 individual species, orchids make up one of the largest plant families. Most of these species are associated with beauty and elegance, but the newest member of this large family doesn’t really fit that description. Gastrodia agnicellus, one of this year’s newly discovered plants and fungi, has no leaves, grows from a woolly tuberous stem, has a bland brownish color, and spends most of its life underground, emerging only to flower or produce fruit.

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