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Family Stuck Atop Hidden Waterfall Saved After Sending Down Message in a Bottle

In a story that seems taken out of a Hollywood movie, an American family stranded at the top of a hidden waterfall in California, with no way to safely descend, managed to call for help by throwing a message in a bottle down into the waterfall.

Curtis Whitson, his girlfriend, Krystal Ramirez, and their 13-year-old son, Hunter, were nearing the end of a four-day floating and camping trip when they realized they had become stranded on an isolated patch of land, atop a waterfall on the Arroyo Seco seasonal river, in California. Whitson had embarked on the same trip seven years prior, but recalled a thick rope attached to the slippery wall that had allowed him to safely rappel down and continue his journey. That rope was gone now and the rope he had with him was too flimsy to guarantee a safe descent. They were stuck there, and he needed to come up with a plan to call in a rescue party.

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Dog Walks 200Km Through Siberian Wilderness to Return to Her Owners

Maru, a one-year-old Bullmastiff traveling on train through the Siberian taiga, reportedly jumped off and walked over 200 km trying to return to the owner who had rejected her.

Born at a dog kennel in Novosibirsk, Maru was sold to a family in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, 800 km away, when she was only five months old. However, six months later kennel owner Alla Morozova received a call from the dog’s owners informing her that they were allergic to animals and could no longer look after their pet. The contract stipulated that in the case that the buyers no longer wanted a dog, they should inform Morozova first, so she could make arrangements to retrieve them. She had someone get Maru and accompany her on a train ride back to Novosibirsk, but 200 km into the journey, something went wrong.

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“Greek Hachiko” Has Been Waiting by His Owner’s Car Crash Site for 18 Months

A loyal dog in Greece recently melted the hearts of millions around the world after it was reported that it has spent the last 18 months at a roadside shrine where his owner tragically lost his life in a traffic accident.

Nicknamed the “Greek Hachiko” after the legendary Akita Inu who spent years waiting at a train station in Japan for his owner who had passed away, the unnamed white dog has reportedly been living at a roadside shrine near the Greek town of Nafpaktos for the last year and a half. Despite several the efforts of several locals to adopt the dog, he keeps escaping and always returns to the place where his owner lost his life in a car crash.

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Woman Loses Her Voice for 12 Years After Accidentally Swallowing a Coin

Marie McCreadie was just 13 years old when she lost her voice to what doctors could only assume was a freak virus. 12 years later, she was shocked to discover that her sudden loss of voice had been caused by an old coin stuck between her vocal coins, which prevented them from vibrating. This is an old story that is once again getting a lot of attention because of Marie McCreadie ‘s newly published book, “Voiceless”, in which she details the traumatic experience of losing her voice at a young age and regaining it after 12 long years.

When 13-year-old Marie  – then Marie Heffernan – suddenly lost the ability to speak one day in 1972, doctors put it down to a bad bout of bronchitis, but even after recovering from the illness, she still couldn’t utter a sound. They performed all kinds of tests but nothing appeared to be wrong, so they eventually put it down to a virus and told the 13-year-old girl to just go back to school and lead a normal life, as a mute. She was frightened and confused, and her parents didn’t really know how to handle things in the beginning either. Luckily, Marie and her friends started finding new ways of communicating, like passing written notes to each other, which was fun and made getting used to a voiceless life easier. Things got worse as time went by and her voice didn’t recover, but the other children’s reactions were nothing compared to the treatment she got from her teachers.

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60-Year-Old Man Survives Four Days Stranded at Sea with No Food or Water

John Low, a 60-year-old Singaporean diving instructor, spent four days and three nights drifting in the South China Sea with nothing but a small buoy and a useless backpack, after his boat was capsized last month.

On May 4th, John Low was getting ready for a leisurely dive off the coast of Tioman Island, in the South China Sea, when a strong wave hit his anchored boat and threw him into the water. Before he even could even realize what had happened, the boat, started taking water and eventually sank. All John could retrieve was a ring buoy and his backpack, but he wasn’t too worried at first, as he figured he could swim his way back to land. However, try as he might, he couldn’t fight the currents, which constantly pushed him out into the open sea. By 10 pm, he could no longer see the shore, and he started panicking. For the next four days, he was all alone, with no food and potable water.

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11-Year-Old Boy Eats Five Times a Day to Gain Weight And Save His Father’s Life

An 11-year-old boy from Xinxiang city, China’s Henan province, has been praised for taking on the mission of saving his father’s life by eating as much as he possibly can.

Lu Zikuan’s father was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago and has been treated with medication ever since. However, last August his health started deteriorating drastically and doctors informed him that his only option was a life-saving bone marrow transplant. After screening members of his family for possible matches, they found that the only viable donor was Zikuan, who was 10-years-old at the time. Despite his young age, the primary school student was eager to go under the knife to save his father’s life. But there was one big problem, he weighed only 30 kg, and doctors told the family that they wouldn’t operate on him unless he gained at least 15 kg more. So in March of this year he started stuffing his face with as much fatty food as possible.

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Sick of Waiting for the Government, Kenyan Man Digs Rural Road by Hand

A 45-year-old man from rural Kenya is being hailed a hero by his community after single-handedly digging a one-mile road through a bushy area in oly six days, using only rudimentary tools.

The people of Kaganda, a small village 80km north of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, had long been appealing to local government officials to start work on a short stretch of road that would shorten their daily trips to a nearby shopping center. Although the bushy area on which the road was supposed to be built had been earmarked by authorities, local leaders kept stalling the project. After a shorter footpath that Kaganda villagers used to get to the shopping center was fenced off because it passed through private property, the people were left with no option but to walk 4km every day. That’s when a local hero decided to take matters into his own hand and dig the much-awaited road himself, for free.

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The Brazilian Couple Who Brought a Dead Subtropical Rainforest Back to Life

Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado is a world renowned social documentary photographer and photojournalist from Brazil, but few people know that he is also the mastermind behind one of the most amazing environment restoration projects in history. Together with his wife, Salgado has nearly completed the recovery of a single uninterrupted section of the Atlantic Forest, planting millions of saplings over the last two decades.

The story of Instituto Terra, the non-profit organization founded by Sebastião Salgado and his wife, Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado, began in 1998. The celebrated photographer had recently returned from Rwanda, where he had documented the tragedies of war. The horrors he witnessed during those troubled wars haunted him long after he left Africa, and at one point he completely lost both his faith in humanity and the desire to shoot photos. It was around this time that Sebastião’s parents offered him and Lélia the old farm he had grown up in, and he took the opportunity to return home thinking that the idyllic paradise he remembered would help him heal. However, he found that his home was nothing like he remembered it.

Salgado grew up on a 1,750-acre farm in the state of Minas Gerais 70 miles inland from Brazil’s Atlantic coast. He recalls that, when he was only a boy, the Atlantic Forest covered half his family’s farm and half the Rio Doce Valley, and that the fauna that called it home created a cacophony of sounds every day. But that wasn’t the sight he came home to in the mid 90’s.

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Double Amputee Turns Barren Hills into Lush 17,000-Tree Forest

Ma Sanxiao, a 70-year-old double amputee and army veteran from Jingxing, North China’s Hebei province, has pent the last 19 years of his life planting thousands of trees and turning the once barren hills surrounding his village into a small forest.

Ma was diagnosed with blood poisoning in 1974, while serving in the Chinese Army. His condition got worse after he retired, and eventually had both legs amputated because of it – his right leg in 1985, and the left one in 2005. After seven major operations and constant medical treatments, he could barely afford to take care of his family, and ,because of his disability, finding a job proved very difficult. His veteran subsidy was enough to cover his medicine, but he couldn’t remain idle, so in 2000, after getting inspired by another tree-planting story on TV, the double-amputee started planting parasol trees in the barren hills around his remote village, with the intention of selling them for profit.

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12-Year-Old Boy Goes Viral for Doing His Homework Under a Streetlight Because Family Can’t Afford Electricity

CCTV footage showing a 12-year-old boy from the town of Moche, in Peru, doing his homework on the sidewalk, under a streetlight, because his family can’t afford electricity in their home, has been viewed millions of times on social media after being shared by local police.

Staff at the Moche police department first noticed Víctor Martín Angulo Córdoba late last month, while checking security cameras. They noticed a young boy sitting on the sidewalk by himself at night, which they thought was suspicious. It was only when they zoomed in that they realized he was actually reading and writing something in his notebook, taking advantage of the streetlight overhead. Touched by the boy’s dedication to his studies, the police department shared the CCTV video on their official Facebook account and it quickly went viral.

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Female Vigilante Group Has Been Defending This Indian Forest for 20 Years

A group of 75 female volunteers from India’s Odisha state has spent every day of the last 20 years patrolling a 75-hectare forest to protect it from woodcutters and timber smugglers.

In 1999, the eastern state of Odisha was ravaged by a supercyclone. People lost their homes, their crops and had to go without food or clothing for several days. But many in Gundalba, a small village in the Mahanadi delta of Puri district, realized that the only reason they were still alive was thanks to a forest and mangrove area that had shielded them from the brunt of the devastation. They knew they had to protect it at all costs, but with all the men busy rebuilding the village after the supercyclone, the task of watching over the forest fell to the women. They quickly formed a vigilante group and  have been taking turns patrolling the forested area in search of timber smugglers and woodcutters for the last 20 years.

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Meet Vaggelis Chatzis, the World’s Only One-Handed Professional Boxer

Vaggelis Chatzis’s life is considered by many the ultimate underdog story. After having his right forearm amputated from below the elbow when he was only a baby, he grew up to become the world’s only one-handed professional boxer.

Chatzis was born with a cancerous tumour in his right hand which would have ultimately killed him if doctors didn’t amputate part of his arm to stop the cells from spreading. He was only three months old at the time, so the young Greek has had to rely on his left hand alone for as long as he can remember. Growing up was tough, as the other kids would often bully him and make fun of his three-fingered prosthetic hand, calling him things like Captain Hook. That caused him to grow up into a very angry young man, and that anger got him in a lot of trouble. He started hanging out with the wrong crowd, spent his nights drinking and partying, and got into fights a lot. But then he discovered boxing and he fell in love.

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Indian “Tree Man” Planted Over 5 Million Trees to Cope with Tragedy

Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani took his last breath on January 18, 2019, but he will live on in the memory of his countrymen as the “Tree Man of Uttarakhan”, a dedicated conservationist who planted over 50 lakh (5 million) trees and turned his once barren homeland into a lush forest.

Saklani had been fond of trees all his life. He planted his first sapling when he was eight years old under his uncle’s guidance, and kept at it for the next seven decades of his life, until he lost his sight and succumbed to the hardships of old age. However, by that time, the once barren hills in and around his native village of Pujargaon had already become home to a lush forest. Vishweshwar Dutt Saklani’s love for trees is well known, as he often used to call them his children or his closest companions, but few know that the legendary conservationist planted millions of trees to cope with the tragedies in his life.

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Real-Life “50 First Dates” – Japanese Man Makes Amnesic Girlfriend Fall in Love with Him Every Day

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the name of Maruyama’s boyfriend was Li Huayu, and that the girl still lost her memory every day, when in reality this only occurred only in the first two months after her accident.  

The touching love story between an amnesia sufferer whose memory was wiped clean every morning and the loyal boyfriend who makes her fall in love with him every day has touched the hearts of millions in Japan.

“50 First Dates”, a 2004 romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, tells the story of a young woman whose short term memory was affected by a car crash. Every morning, her memory resets to the day of the accident, but that doesn’t deter Sandler’s character from making their relationship work, even if it means making her fall in love with him every day. It’s one of the best romantic comedies of all times, in my opinion, but I never imagined that such a love story could exist in real life. Well, a Japanese couple reportedly lived their very own “50 First Dates” romance for to months.

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Teenage Girls Pretend to Be Boys for 4 Years to Keep Father’s Barbershop Afloat

Two teenage sisters in India were recently honored for their grit and determination after it was discovered that they disguised themselves as boys for four years in order to keep their father’s barbershop open after he became ill.

Jyoti Kumari, 18, and her 16-year-old sister, Neha, from Banwari Tola, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, took over their father’s barbershop in 2014 after he suffered a severe paralytic attack that left him bedridden. The girls were only 13 and 11-years-old at the time, but the barbershop was the family’s only source of income, so they had to do something to put food on the table. At first, the barbershop was closed, but as the family savings evaporated, Jyoti and Neha reopened it and started running it themselves. But things didn’t go well at first, as some men were skeptical about having girls shave their beards and trim their mustaches, while others treated them badly. So they started disguising themselves as men.

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