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Monte Neme – Spain’s Very Own Toxic Maldives

During the same time that a turquoise but toxic lake near the Russian city of Novosibirsk is making international headlines as the “Siberian Maldives“, a similarly dangerous attraction is gaining notoriety in Spain.

During the first and second World Wars, Monte Neme was a prized tungsten mine that supplied the material necessary for making light bulbs and hardening steel. Today, the mine is no longer accessible, but it remains popular, albeit for a totally different reason. Galician influencers have discovered that the turquoise lake that now covers the flooded mine is the ideal location for spectacular selfies. Despite knowing that the alluring water contains a high concentration of chemicals that give it its unusual color, they flock to Monte Neme to take photos, and some even bathe in the toxic water.

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The Siberian Maldives – An Alluring But Dangerous Tourist Attraction

Russian Instagram users in search of the perfect selfie have been flocking to a lake near the Siberian city of Novosibirsk that boasts turquoise water and white sandy beaches similar to those in the Maldives. But unlike the popular Indian Ocean archipelago, there is nothing natural about its beauty.

Dubbed the “Siberian Maldives” or “Novosibirsk Maldives”, the gorgeous lake is actually a man-made toxic dump used to dump ash from a nearby coal plant. The water apparently gets its bright turquoise color from its depth and the calcium salts and other metal oxides dissolved in it. Alluring as it may seem at first glance, the Siberian Generating Company (SGC) warns that its ash-dumping pond has a high pH of more than 8 and cause an allergic allergic reaction in contact with human skin. That hasn’t stopped people from posing for photos on the lake’s beaches and even venturing on the water on paddle boards and inflatable unicorns.

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World’s Longest Water Slide Will Take You on a Four-Minute Ride Through a Malaysian Jungle

Located on a jungle-covered hillside in Malaysia, the new 1,140-meter-long water slide being built at Penang’s Escape Theme Park will most likely be declared the longest in the world when it opens, in August 2019.

The current Guinness record for the world’s longest water slide has been held by the 605-meter slide at Action Park, in New Jersey, since 2015, but in just two months time it will be claimed by a new water slide currently under construction in the Malaysian state of Penang. Already 65 percent complete, the slide already measures 705-meters-long, and when finished will take thrill-seekers on an epic 4-minute ride from the top of a hill, through a lush jungle before, dropping them into a large swimming pool at the bottom. Escape Theme Park announced that the remaining 435-meter section of the water slide will be completed in time for its August inauguration.

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This Russian Beach Is Covered With Hundreds of Man-Made Stone Towers

Cape Vyatlina, one of the most picturesque places in the Russian Far East, has come to be known as the Russian Stonehenge in recent years, after people started building stone towers on its rocky beach. Today, there are hundreds of them, and new ones are erected almost every day.

The tradition of building towers at Cape Vyatlina by stacking stones of various sizes on top of each other started in 2015, when a group of activists from Vladivostok built 155 such monuments in celebration of the city’s 155th anniversary. Many of these original towers, some up to 3.5-meters-tall, were destroyed by the collapse of a nearby grotto, but other locals and tourists took it upon themselves to restore them and even add to their number. Today, there are several hundreds of these hand-stacked stone towers covering the beach at Cape Vyatlina and building them has become somewhat of a superstition.

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Shinjuku Tiger – Tokyo Living Legend Has Been Wearing a Tiger Mask for 45 Years

Yoshiro Harada, a newspaper delivery man from Tokyo, Japan, was only 24 years old when he decided to live the rest of his life as a tiger and became Shinjuku Tiger. Today, at age 69, he is considered a living legend of the business district.

Born in Nagano Prefecture, Harada moved to Tokyo in 1967 to attend Daito Bunka University. He started delivering newspapers while he was still in school, and eventually decided to quit the university and dedicate himself to his job full time. He can’t really recall the reason he quit his studies, all he knows is that he wanted to quit. The same can be said about his beginnings as Shinjuku Tiger. One day in 1972, as he was attending a shrine festival in Kabukichō, an entertainment and red-light district in Shinjuku, he passed by a row of shops and noticed one of them was selling colorful, plastic tiger masks. That’s when it hit him, he was going to live the rest of his life as a tiger.

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Solothurn – The Swiss Town Obsessed with the Number 11

Solothurn is a picturesque town in the north-west of Switzerland known primarily for its special affinity for the number 11. It seems like everything in this place was designed around this magical number, from the fact that there are precisely 11 churches and chapels, as well as eleven historical fountains, eleven museums and eleven towers in Solothurn, to the rather bizarre clock in the town square that features an 11-hour dial and the number 12 missing.

Although virtually everyone in Solothurn knows about the town’s obsession with the number 11, its origin is shrouded in mystery. Some say it was inspired by a folk legend about magical elves coming down from the nearby Weissenstein mountain to hearten the people of Solothurn, who worked hard but never prospered. The grateful inhabitants started incorporating the number 11, or ‘elf’ in German, as a tribute for the creatures’ aid. But there are also those who claim that the number 11 has biblical connotations, deeming it holy and prophetic. One thing’s for sure, though, Solothurn’s obsession with this number can be traced back centuries.

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Montenegro’s Water Tree – A Rare Natural Phenomenon

The small village of Dinoša, in Montenegro, is home to an old mulberry tree that turns into a water fountain every time it rains heavily.

As we all know, water doesn’t normally gush out of living trees, but at least in this case the phenomenon has a perfectly reasonable explanation. You see, the meadow that the mulberry tree grows in has many underground springs which flood during heavy rainfalls, and the additional pressure pumps the water up through the hollow trunk of the tree and out through a hole a few feet above the ground.

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Conch Island – A Man-Made Island Built Out of Millions of Conch Shells

Conch “Island” isn’t technically an island, but a mountain of conch shells discarded by fishermen in the same place over hundreds of years.

Located just east of Anegada, the second largest of the British Virgin Islands, in the Caribbean, Conch Island is both a stunning tourist attraction and a testimony to the popularity of conch meat in this part of the world. For centuries, local fishermen have been diving in the shallow waters on this side of Anegada in search of these, slow-moving, edible marine snails and many of them have been throwing their large shells in the same spot. The shell mountain that is Conch Island is a result of their perseverance.

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Would You Pay to Sleep in a House Surrounded by 77 Lions?

The Lion House is a unique rentable property in South Africa that allows tourists to spend their vacation in the middle of a nature reserve, surrounded by 77 adult lions.

Imagine going to sleep to the sound of lion roars, knowing that the only thing standing between you and dozens of predators is an electrified fence. If that sounds like the kind of thing you’ve always dreamed of, you’d better start saving for a stay at the Lion House, a special three-bedroom house located in the middle of a wildlife sanctuary in Harrismith, South Africa. It doesn’t feature many of the amenities you’d expect to find in a place that costs over $100 a night to rent, like TV or air-conditioning, but it does offer something very few, if any, other places around the world have – lions, 77 of them to be exact.

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The Levitating Stone of Shivapur, a Controversial “Miracle”

Every day, hundreds of tourists and devotees visit a shrine in Shivapur, a small village about 180 km east of Mumbai, in India, to witness a controversial “miracle” known as the Levitating Stone of Shivapur.

The Shrine of Qamar Ali Darvesh, a Muslim Sufi Saint who lived about 700 years ago, features an ancient stone that reportedly weighs 154lbs (90kg). Lifting this stone off the ground would normally require a lot of strength, but according to believers in the Levitating Stone miracle, it’s possible for a set number of men to lift it up over their heads with only their index fingers, but only after shouting Qamar Ali Darvesh’s name. This phenomenon has fascinated Indian Muslims for centuries, but many believe it’s nothing more than a gimmick.

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Popcorn Beach – A Unique Tourist Attraction That Looks Good Enough to Eat

Fuerteventura, the second largest of Spain’s Canary Islands is mostly known for its white sandy beaches, but few people know that this island also hosts one of the world’s most stunning attractions, a beach that has popcorn for sand.

There are plenty of tourist spots named after things they resemble, even if just vaguely, but that’s not the case of Popcorn Beach. This amazing place genuinely looks like it’s covered with million of white, puffy popcorn, but don’t go putting them in your mouth, as they are actually stony pieces of coral shaped like popcorn by the elements.

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India’s Great Banyan Tree Is Its Own Forest

If you were to see the Great Banyan Tree in the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanic Garden from a distance, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a forest. Spanning more than 14,493 square meters, the tree is the widest in the world—so large that it covers more ground than the average Wal-Mart.

No one is quite sure exactly how old the Great Banyan Tree is due to a lack of official records, but experts estimate that the tree is at least 250 years old; the earliest references to the tree have been found in travel writing dating all the way back to the 19th century. Over the years, the tree has been through a lot. Not only has it survived 2 major cyclones in 1864 and 1867, but its main trunk was also infected with a deadly fungus. This infection meant that the main trunk of the tree needed to be removed in 1925.

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The Oakland Buddha – How One Buddha Statue Brought Neighbourhood Crime Down by 82%

A non-religious man in Oakland managed to virtually eliminate neighborhood crime with nothing more than a statue of Buddha bought from a local hardware store.

The neighborhood of 11th Avenue and East 19th Street was formerly a rough part of Oakland, riddled with a variety of illegal activities ranging from littering and vandalization to drug dealing, robberies, prostitution, and assaults. That is until one local, Dan Stevenson, purchased a 60-cm-tall stone statue of Buddha and placed it on the street corner opposite his home. People were constantly dumping mattresses, couches and other junk there, and all kind of shady characters would hang around, so he figured the statue would be an improvement. But, in this case, calling the effect of the statue an improvement would be a gross understatement.

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Vietnamese House Has a Fence Made Entirely Out of Old TV Sets

Photos of a small house on the Vietnamese island of Hon Thom have getting a lot of attention on social media for its unique fence made exclusively out of discarded old television sets.

The unusual house is reportedly located on the road to Hon Thom cable car and is very popular with tourists, for obvious reasons. After all, it’s not every day that you pass by a fence constructed out of old, but somehow intact television sets. How those old cathode ray tubes haven’t been shattered by strong winds or vandals is a mystery, as is the reason why the owner decided on this particular material for the fence. Perhaps a television repairman lives there, or perhaps someone just hoarded them and one day decided to put them to good use. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that the fence is a good way to attract attention.

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Japan’s Unusual Obsession with Moss

As a very insular society, Japan has developed a culture that can be very interesting and sometimes bizarre to the outside observer. For example, in recent years, many Japanese have become infatuated with moss. Nature excursions centered around observing the thousands of species of Japanese moss have exploded in popularity to the point that the demand for a place on these trips far exceeds availability.

Selling moss-related products like moss-containing jewelry has also become a lucrative market. You can buy rings that have tiny containers holding moss instead of stones. For many young women in Japan, love of these plants has become a part of their identity. These young enthusiasts call themselves “moss girls” and organize moss-themed events such as viewing parties, where they make drinks inspired from the plants.

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