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The Indonesian Island That Somehow Makes Mammals Smaller

Ever since the remains of “Homo Florensis”, an extinct species of unusually short humans, were discovered on Flores Island, in eastern Indonesia, scientists have been fascinated with this patch of land, which apparently has the power to somehow make mammals shorter and smaller.

It all began in 2004, when the remains of a human who would have been about 1.1 m in height were discovered at Liang Bua cave. Partial skeletons of nine other individuals were subsequently unearthed and analysis showed that they were part of a yet unknown species of the “Homo” genus named Homo Florensis. It’s estimated that they lived on Flores Island roughly 190,000 to 50,000 years ago. With an average height of just 1.1 meters, they were shorter than modern pygmies which earned them the nickname of ‘real-life hobbits’. Scientists believed they were the ancestors of the pygmies currently living on Flores Island, which made perfect sense, only it turns out that the two have nothing in common. If anything, both species had been independently “shrunk” by the island itself.

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Doctors Pull Over 500 Teeth from 7-Year-Old Boy’s Mouth

Dentists at a hospital in Chennai, India, were shocked to find over 520 teeth growing in the mouth of a seven-year-old boy who occasionally complained of toothaches.

7-year-old P. Ravindran was taken to Saveetha Dental College and Hospital in Chennai to have a swelling on his lower right jaw looked at. Dentists ordered an X-Ray and CT-Scan, which revealed that the abscess-like swelling was actually a  sac full of what looked like hundreds of teeth of various sizes. The growth, known as compound composite odontoma, is a benign tumour composed of dental tissue, but this was a particularly large one, made up of a total of 526 teeth.

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Pakistani Reporter Receives International Praise for Brave, In-Depth Reporting

Azadar Hussain, a news reporter for Pakistani channel GTV News, shot to worldwide fame last week after footage of his daring reporting of local floods went viral online.

In a commendable attempt to show viewers what the people of Pakistan’s Kot Chatta region had to put up with following devastating floods, Azadar Hussain decided to conduct his on-location reporting submerged in floodwater to the point where only his head and the hand holding the microphone were visible. Hussain’s head is seen bobbing above the water as he clutches onto the microphone, but manages to remain calm and composed, offering a very clear and accurate depiction of the situation.

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Boy Inserts Sewing Needle in His Urethra to Keep Himself Awake

When it comes to keeping your self awake while doing homework, I could think of much better techniques than inserting a 10cm metal needle through my urethra, but it seems that’s the best a 12-year-old boy in China could come up with.

The unnamed by from Shanxi, China’s Xi’an province, was apparently so desperate to stay awake while doing his homework that he did something most of us couldn’t even imagine – he took one of his grandmother’s long acupuncture needles and shoved it down his urethra, the sensitive tube through which urine is pushed out of the body. It’s not clear exactly how that helped him stay awake, but that’s what he told his mother pushed him to do it. He later learned that shoving it too hard made it impossible to retrieve, which in turn made him unable to walk normally without enduring stringing pain.

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Indonesian Man Walks Backwards 800 Km to Meet the President

An Indonesian man has been making news headlines around the world for embarking on a unique challenge to save the environment. 43-year-old  Medi Bastoni is walking backward some 800 kilometers, from his village in East Java all the way to the capital Jakarta, to meet the president.

Bastoni set off from his home village of Dono, in East Java, on Jul. 18 and opes to reach the presidential palace in Jakarta in time to celebrate Indonesia’s 74th Independence Day on August 17, alongside President Joko Widodo. The main goal of his unique endeavor is to ask Indonesia’s president for a symbolic tree seed, to be planted in the forests on Mount Wills, near his village, to raise awareness about preserving the rainforest. He claims activists are already fighting to preserve the environment, but a symbolic gesture by the president would boost their efforts even more. And his willing to walk backwards for 800km just to meet Indonesia’s leader.

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Thai Restaurant Has Been Serving the Same Batch of Soup for 45 Years

Wattana Panich is a one of the most popular restaurants in Bangkok’s Ekkamai neighborhood, with hundreds of hungry patrons coming in to feast on its selection of delicious soups and stews every day. But the secret of the flavorsome dishes served at this Thai eatery may put a lot of Westerners off.

One of the most popular dishes at Wattana Panich is the rich beef noodle soup, made with stewed and raw beef, tripe, meatballs, internal organs and spices. But the most important ingredient is the broth, which, believe it or not, has been simmering for 45 years. It sounds  strange, but it’s true. Instead of throwing away the leftover broth every night, the owners of Wattana Panich carefully strain it and store it to be used as the base for next day’s batch of soup. They’ve been doing this every day for over four decades and credit it as the main secret to their delicious dishes.

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Indian Man Hasn’t Cut or Washed His Hair in 40 Years

A 63-year-old man in India who hasn’t cut or washed his hair in over 40 years has to keep his tangled 6-foot-long locks wrapped in a head cloth just to walk around without stepping on them.

Sakal Dev Tuddu, a resident of Mandada village, in Eastern India’s Bihar state, claims he has been growing his hair long since he was 22. For some reason, he didn’t cut his hair for a whole year, and when he woke up one day he noticed his locks had become tangled into a ‘jatta’ (dreadlock). He considered it a blessing from the Hindu god Shiva, so from that day on he never cut or washed his hair again. Today, his impressive jatta measures around 6 feet and reaches all the way to the ground and trails behind him. To keep his hair from becoming even dirtier, Sakal keeps it wrapped in a white cloth on top of his head whenever he goes out.

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The Predator of Mukdahan – Thailand’s Real-Life, Chopper-Riding Predator

A longtime Predator fan in Thailand has been getting a lot of attention for dressing up as a real-life human-hunting alien and riding his custom-made, Predator-themed choppers on the roads of his home province.

A video of a someone wearing a realistic Predator costume and riding an alien-looking chopper on a road in Thailand’s Mukdahan province has been doing the rounds on social media since last month. Unfortunately, the viral video doesn’t offer any context whatsoever, relying solely on the impressive visuals to attract attention, but it turns out that this isn’t just a random cosplayer, but a dedicated Predator fan known by the local communities as the Predator of Mukdahan.

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Restaurant in Japan Bans Japanese Customers, Only Serves Foreigners

A restaurant owner on Ishigakijima Island, Japan, has had enough of his countrymen’s bad banners, so he banned all Japanese customers, serving only overseas tourists instead.

Yaeyama Style, a small ramen restaurant in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture should be packed this time of year, but owner Akio Arima says he only serves a couple of bowls of ramen on some days. But it’s not that people don’t want eat there, but rather that Arima doesn’t want to serve them, even if it means losing money. Starting this month, he posted a recent notice on the front door of his restaurant letting would-be Japanese patrons know that they are no longer welcome at Yaeyama Style due to their bad manners.

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Increasing Number of Japanese People Are Renting Cars for Everything But Driving

Car-rental operators in Japan recently observed a very strange  trend – a considerable number of their clients were renting cars but logging an unusually low mileage or not driving the cars at all.

Renting a car is a very efficient and convenient way of getting from point A to point B, and operators prefer the distance traveled to be as long as possible, as they make more money. So when a number of leading car rental and car sharing companies in Japan noticed that a significant number of their clients were renting cars, but not driving them at all, they started getting worried. They couldn’t figure out why it was happening, though, so they did some surveys and got some pretty interesting results. It turns out that people are increasingly using car rental services for a variety of reasons, except driving.

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Chinese Man Makes a Living Posing as Real-Life “Laughing Buddha”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock your whole life, you’ve probably seen one of those souvenir statues of Maitreya, aka the Laughing Buddha. They’ve pretty popular even in non-Buddhist countries, and many people use them as good luck charms. But you know what’s better than a Laughing Buddha statue? A living, breathing Smiling Buddha.

Photos and videos of an overweight, bald man posing as the Laughing Buddha on a stage somewhere in China have been circulating on social media ever since last fall. Back then, Chinese newspapers reported that the man would get showered with money every time he performed, as people hoped their offering would earn them divine favor. He just sat there in the Buddha’s iconic position with his flabby belly exposed and a big smile on his face, but the audience loved it.

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Woman Praised as a Saint for Adopting 45 Children in the last 47 Years

Kong Zhenlan, a 71-year-old woman from China’s Shanxi Province, has dedicated the last four decades of her life to adopting and raising orphaned children, making sure that they had food on the table and got access to education.

Even though she could barely afford to support herself on a modest income, Kong Zhenlan couldn’t bear to walk by the orphanage in Jixian County every day and see so many children struggling in abhorrent poverty. One day, she stopped by and picked one of the orphans in her arms; that’s when she knew she had to to something to make their life better. The modest woman started adopting these abandoned children and raising them as her own. Over the last 47 years, she has adopted 45 orphans, some of whom grew up to become doctors and lawyers.

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Thai Doctor Finds Tiny Lizard Living in Patient’s Ear

25-year-old Varanya Nganthavee will likely remember her first day as a doctor at at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok for a very long time. After all, it’s not every day that you find a live gecko in a patient’s ear.

The young doctor recently posted her unusual experience on Facebook. She had nearly finished her first day on the job when a patient walked in complaining of an ear ache that had been pestering him for two days. Using an otoscope to inspect the ear canal, as is routine, Varanya was shocked to see something moving inside. She dripped some antibiotic drops into the man’s ear and asked him to tilt his head to ton side hoping that whatever bug had crawled inside the year would get out by itself. That didn’t happen, so a nurse had to use tweezers to yank it out. Only it wasn’t an insect, but a small gecko lizard commonly known as Jing Jok in Thailand.

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Parents Name Son “Google” Hoping It Will Give Him a Leg Up in Life

A baby in Indonesia has been awarded the title of “world’s strangest name” after it was revealed that his parents legally registered him as “Google”; no surname or middle name, just Google, just like the search engine.

The eight-month-old boy’s father, 31-year-old Andi Cahya Saputra, told Indonesian media that he first contemplated the idea of giving his child a tech-related name when his wife was seven months pregnant. Before that, he had considered more common names, like Albar Dirgantara Putra, or names mentioned in the Quran, but in the end he decided that none of them were quite right. So he ended up looking at names of technology companies and products like “Windows, iPhone, Microsoft and iOS”, and ultimately settled on Google. Although the mother didn’t really like the idea at first, she ultimately agreed and now they have a boy named after the world’s most popular internet search engine.

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Woman Underwent Over 300 Cosmetic Procedures Because Mother Told Her She Wasn’t Pretty Enough as a Child

A 39-year-old former hostess and model from Japan recently went on national television and revealed that she spent over 30 million yen ($280,000) on cosmetic procedures in the last 21 years, after becoming traumatized that her mother had never been satisfied with her looks growing up.

Tsubaki Tomomi had her first plastic surgery when she turned 18, right after graduating high-school. By the time she turned twenty, she had already fixed her teeth, had eye shaping surgery and gotten breast implants. She has been on a never-ending quest to enhance her physical appearance ever since, and doesn’t plan on stopping until the day she dies. Although Tsubaki claims to have embraced plastic surgery as a way of keeping herself looking youthful, she says that her obsession with it started in her childhood. Her mother used to always complain about her looks, calling her “unsightly” in front of other people, so she just got it into her head that she had to make herself look more pleasing. As soon as she got old enough to undergo plastic surgery, she did so. She claims to have spent over 30 million yen ($280,000) on cosmetic procedures since then.

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