Khunzakh – Literally Living on the Edge in Dagestan

The ancient village of Khunzakh, in Dagestan, is literally perched on the edge of a deep canyon, making it one of the most awe-inspiring human settlements in the world.

Before Khabib Nurmagomedov took the MMA world by storm and became the undisputed champion of the UFC Lightweight Division, most people hadn’t even heard of Dagestan. Today, it’s almost associated with the legendary mixed martial arts master, but the Russian autonomous republic is actually home to a number of wonders that the world has yet to discover. Today, we’re featuring Khunzakh, a very old village with a very unique location – right on the edge of a 100-meter-deep canyon.

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Mysterious Geyser in Japan Has Been Gushing Out Water for Two Weeks

A mysterious geyser that erupted in the middle of a forest on the Japanese island of Hokkaido has been shooting up columns of water up to 40-meters-high for the past couple of weeks.

Every year, on August 9, the small Japanese town of Oshamambe holds an annual summer festival complete with a traditional procession at the local Shinto shrine. However, this year’s festival has been overshadowed by an unusual occurrence a day before the event, when a huge geyser erupted in the middle of the shrine grounds’ forest. Locals woke up to a steady roar, a column of water shooting up above the tree canopy, and the unmistakable smell of sulfur in the air. The mysterious geyser has been shooting up water for the past couple of weeks and is showing no signs of slowing down.

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This European Football Stadium Has an Active Railway Track Passing Right Through It

Slovakian amateur football club TJ Tatran Cierny Balog prides itself on having one of the most unique stadiums in the world, complete with a railway track and a steam engine running straight through it.

Cierny Balog, a small Slovakian town of about 5,100 people, has become somewhat of a tourist spot in the last seven years or so, and it was all thanks to its football stadium. In 2015, a video of a steam engine passing through the stadium, on tracks positioned right between the field and the only existing grandstand went viral online, leaving a lot of people scratching their heads. Was it CGI, was it just part of a one-time event, or was there actually a train regularly passing right through the stadium? Well, as weird as it sounds, that last one was actually correct. The Čiernohronska Railway goes right through Cierny Balog stadium, and a steam-powered tourist train passes through it all summer long.

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Chichibugahama – Japan’s Instafamous Mirror Beach

Chichibugahama Beach is a popular tourist destination in Mitoyo City, Japan which rose to fame thanks to photo-sharing social media platforms like Instagram.

If you ever find ourself doubting the power of social media, just remember the story of Chichibugahama Beach. A once obscure seaside destination in Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture, this place turned into a magnet for Instagram influencers virtually overnight. It all started in 2016 when authorities in Mitoyo City organized a photo competition to boost local tourism. One of the most eye-catching entries featured two children reflected in the shallow waters of Chichibugahama, and the visual effect was so stunning that the idea of using this mirror effect as a tourist draw turned into a marketing success story.

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Ancient Wonder – The 1,600-Year-Old Iron Pillar That Refuses to Rust

The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque complex in New Delhi is home to an ancient wonder of metal work – a 1,600-year-old iron pillar that is exceptionally resistant to rust.

The Iron Pillar of Qutub Minar, as this ancient monument is sometimes referred to, measures 7.21-meters-tall, has a diameter of 41 centimeters and weighs about 6 tons. It’s also more than a millennium and a half old, believed to have been erected during the reign of Chandragupta II, one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta Empire. And even though it has spent all that time outdoors, the Pillar of Qutub Minar shows almost no sign of rust damage. For decades, scientists and metal workers from all over the world speculated about the properties of this unusual marvel, and it wasn’t until 2003 that the mystery was finally cracked.

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Panama’s El Valle de Anton – The Valley of Square Trees

A few miles north of the Panama Canal Zone lies the Valley of Square Trees, a unique tourist attraction where trees of the cottonwood family have rectangular trunks.

Unique in the entire world, this group of square-shaped cottonwood trees grows in a valley created from the ashes of a giant volcano – El Valle de Anton. Featuring hard-right angles, the trunks of the square trees have baffled tourists and scientists alike for several years. Experts from the University of Florida took saplings of the mysterious trees to see if they retain the same characteristics in a different environment, and concluded that their square shape must have something to do with conditions unique to the valley in which they grow. Evidence that the cause of this bizarre phenomenon is deep-seated is indicated by the fact that their tree rings, which represent its growth, are also square.

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Areia Prata – Brazil’s Radioactive Beach

The Areia Preta beach in the Brazilian city of Guarapari is famous for its black sand which has external radiation levels of almost 400 times the normal background radiation recorded in the US.

Brazil has hundreds of miles of beaches, but none are quite like “Praia Da Areia Preta”, in Guarapari. The sand in this region, particularly the black sand, contains moderate quantities of monazite, a phosphate mineral rich in several rare-earth elements, including uranium and thorium. Research has shown that background radiation on Areia Preta can reach 175 mSv per year, or 20 μSv/h, while some spots, particularly those with lost of black sand, have radiation levels of up to 55 μSv/h. To put that into perspective, the average radiation exposure level across the United States is about 0.34 μSv/h, while an X-ray gives people a one-time exposure to about 100 μSv.

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Centuripe – A Small Italian Town Shaped Like a Person

Centuripe, a small town tucked in the hills of Sicily, is known as “the balcony of Sicily” for the stunning views it offers across to Mount Etna, but few know that, from the air, the town itself is quite the sight.

Pio Andrea Peri, a 32-year-old local photographer, recently used his drone to capture the unique shape of Centuripe from high up in the sky. After first discovering the unusual shape of his town while looking at it on Google Earth, Peri decided to take his drone and check it out for himself. He was so surprised by what he saw on his monitor that he snapped a few photos and shared them on social media, where they went viral almost instantly. From the right angle, Centuripe looks like the silhouette of a person with their arms and legs stretched out.

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The Trembling Rock – A 132-Tonne Boulder That Anyone Can Move

The famous Trembling Rock of Huelgoat forest, in northeastern France, is a 7-meter-long, 137-tonne block of granite that anyone can move with their own hands, as long as they know how to push it.

The forest of Huelgoat is home to numerous large boulders and geological wonders, but Trembling Rock is by far the most popular of them all. The oblong boulder is so large and heavy that no human could ever hope to move it by themselves, and yet anyone, regardless of how skinny or weak they are, can gently rock it up and down just by pushing on the right spot. Left perched atop a much wider rock base in a unique position, Trembling Rock can make even the most feeble person on Earth look like the strongest person in the world.

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Creepy Doll-Filled Balcony in Caracas Looks Like the Set of a Horror Movie

The “Balcony of the Dolls” is an eerie landmark in central Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. It consists of a large balcony lined with old doll heads that seem to follow people with their eyes as they pass by.

Located in the middle of Avenida Este 12, between Fuerzas Armadas and Sur 5, in a place known as “El Muerto” corner, is a two-storey building that has captured the imagination of both locals and visitors of the Venezuelan capital. It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to miss if you simply walk by in a hurry without looking up, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to take in the sights, there’s no way to miss the hundreds of creepy doll heads looking back at you from above.

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This World War I Refuge Dug Into the Side of a Mountain Is a Spectacular Sight

Carved into a vertical rockface in the Monte Cristallo massif, in Italy’s Dolomites Mountains, this incredible shelter sits at 2,700 meters (8,858 feet) above sea level.

Mountain climbers brave enough to take on the Via Ferrata Ivano Dibona in the Italian Dolomites are treated to many memorable sights, including that of a unique structure embedded in the side of a vertical rockface. The iconic location, known as Buffa di Perrero, is believed to be a shelter built by Italian soldiers during World War I. It features brick walls, a slanted roof, two doorways, and four windows framed in wood. It’s hard to believe, but someone had to carry all those building materials up the side of the mountain, as there is no backdoor to an easier access route.

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Secluded New Zealand Waterfall Doubles as a Playground For Young Seals

The picturesque Ohau Waterfall on New Zealand’s Kaikoura coast is the only waterfall in the world that doubles as a seal creche, a place where the young marine mammals can play and socialize without having to worry about predators.

Ohau is a 15-meter-high horsetail waterfall (the water maintains contact with the bedrock as it falls). It’s not the most eye-catching waterfall in the world, but it has something that no other land waterfall has – adorable seals. For one to three months a year, the shallow pool at the bottom of Ohau waterfall acts as a creche for dozens of New Zealand fur seal pups. By playing and interacting with each other, the young seals learn important behaviors and develop social skills, all while putting on an unforgettable spectacle for human visitors.

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This French Bookstore Is a Cat-Lover’s Dream Come True

You know what a good book goes great with? Well, apparently cats, and this new bookstore in Aix-en-Provence, France is all the proof you need.

Mon Chat Pitre opened its doors in June of this year, and it has already become somewhat of a local attraction in Aix-en-Provence, especially among cat lovers. It has a nice selection of books to choose from, but what really sets it apart from other bookstores in the city, or anywhere else in France for that matter, is the “decor”. As you walk around the bookstore looking for your next read, you have the opportunity, nay, the privilege, to stroke six furry felines that love nothing more than to lay on the books on offer and beg visitors’ attention.

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The New York Earth Room – An NYC Apartment Filled With 140 Tons of Dirt

The New York Earth Room at 141 Wooster Street is a unique NYC attraction created in 1977 by local artist Walter De Maria by filling an apartment with 140 tons of dirt.

Consisting of 250 cubic yards of fertile dirt covering the floor of an apartment located on the second floor of a building on Wooster Street, The New York Earth Room is one of NYC’s most unusual artsy attractions. The Dia Art Foundation commissioned local artist Walter De Maria to create it in 1977, and it was opened to the general public in 1980. De Maria had previously created two other earth rooms in Germany, but the one in New York is the only one in existence today. Art lovers can visit the unusual attraction, gaze upon the mass of dirt and take in its earthy fragrance, but they are forbidden from stepping on the dirt or even touching it.

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The Rig – Saudi Arabia Turns Offshore Oil Platform Extreme Theme Park

As part of its ambitious efforts to attract tourists from across the world, Saudi Arabia has announced plans to turn an abandoned offshore oil platform into an oil-themed extreme theme park.

Named ‘The Rig’, the upcoming offshore theme park is part of the Saudi Vision 2030’s strategy, which aims to diversify the country’s economy and boost its tourism industry in particular. The 1.6 million-square-foot extreme theme park will feature roller-coaster rides, submarines, bungee jumping, and sky diving, among other adrenaline-inducing amenities, as well as three hotels and 11 restaurants across The Rig’s interconnected platforms.

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