Toyoni – Japan’s Naturally Heart-Shaped Lake

Surrounded by lush forest on all sides and untouched by human civilization, the heart-shaped Lake Toyoni is a hidden gem among Japan’s many tourism attractions.

Up until a few years ago, Lake Toyoni was virtually unknown to most Japanese, but a popular television commercial featuring an aerial view of the heart-shaped natural wonder turned it into a popular tourist spot virtually overnight. The internet is full of digitally-altered heart-shaped lakes, but Toyoni is one of the few, if not the only one, in the world that actually has this shape, so when people learned that it was real, they flocked to the island of Hokkaido to see the natural wonder for themselves.

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Muscle Girls – A Unique Fitness-Themed Bar Staffed by Female Weight-Training Enthusiasts

Muscle Girls is a Tokyo-based women’s gym that doubles as a fitness-themed bar staffed by a group of young, muscular women.

Japan is famous for its plethora of themed bars and cafes, from black cat cafes to cafes dedicated to women’s thighs, but Muscle Girls is the country’s first and only bar dedicated to female weightlifting. Founded by a young fitness enthusiast who goes by the name of Eri Muscle, Muscle Girls started out as a women’s gym, but recently transitioned into the entertainment industry, opening its own unique bar as well as a popular YouTube channel. Photos and videos of the venue started going viral earlier this year, mainly because of its staff, which is made up exclusively of muscular, fitness-loving girls.

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This Florida Pub Is Decorated With Nearly Two Million Dollars in Cash

McGuire’s Irish Pub is a popular restaurant and local landmark in Pensacola, Florida, famous for having an estimated two million dollars in cash hanging from the ceiling.

The history of McGuire’s Irish Pub’s unique decoration can be traced back to 1977, when Martin McGuire and his wife, Molly opened the opened the business. He tended the bar while Molly waited tables, and when she made her first $1 tip, she celebrated by writing the date on it and tacking it to the back bar for good luck. Little did she know that this was the start of a longstanding tradition that is still being respected by patrons of the pub. The very next day after that first bill was tacked to the bar, people started adding to the collection, and they’ve been doing it ever since.

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2D Cafe Makes You Feel Like You’re Inside a Black and White Coloring Book

BW Kafe is an unusual-looking cafe with venues in Moscow and Sankt Petersburg which look like the setting of A-ha’s famous “Take on Me” video.

BW Kafe first made international headlines last year, when photos of the Sankt Petersburg branch went viral online. Designed by Russian artist Anfisa Toshina, the interior of the cafe looks sketched with charcoal on a piece of white paper, creating the illusion that you are the only 3D “object” in a two-dimensional world. It’s a pretty nice trick, but one that might seem oddly familiar if you’ve been on the internet sometime in the last two years…

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Japan’s Mesmerizing Tree Circles Are the Result of a 50-Year Experiment

A cedar forest in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture is home to a couple of unusual crop circle-like patterns that are clearly not random in nature.

Photos of the bizarre patterns, which are visible only from above, made their way on the internet about three years ago and fueled all kinds of conspiracy theories that involved everything from aliens to secret government experiments. Well, that second one turned out to be quite close to the truth, only the experiments weren’t secret, and they weren’t conducted by some obscure outfit, but by Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Back in 1973 an area of land near Nichinan City was designated as “experimental forestry” and the results of that experiment are visible today.

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The Loneliest Monk in Tibet Lives Alone in This Isolated Temple

Located on top of a small mound, on a sliver of land stretching into the serene Yamdrok Lake is Rituo Temple, the home of just one solitary monk who spends his days chanting sutras and meditating.

Rituo, which means “the stone on the mountain” in Tibetan, is often referred to as Tibet’s loneliest temple. It has a history that goes back more than 700 years, but it’s considered one of the country’s hidden gems, as few tourists venture out to visit it. That’s because it’s located in the middle of nowhere, on a thin patch of land stretching into Yamdrok, one of the three holy lakes of Tibet. But the few people who did visit it, tell stories about the peace and quiet that most of us only dream of, and about the surreal experience of taking in the amazing natural scenery from atop the solitary rock mound.

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Dubai’s Love Lake – Two Hearts in the Middle of the Desert

Love Lake, a heart-shaped, man-made lake located in the desert near Dubai, is probably one of the most impressive attractions for romantic couples visiting the Middle-East.

From its iconic palm-shaped island, to skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa, Dubai has no shortage of world-renowned attractions, but there is a lot more to discover in the desert around the most populated city in the UAE. One such hidden gems is the man-made Love Lake, technically two intertwined heart-shaped lakes situated near the Al Qudra Oasis. Measuring a whopping 550,000 square meters, this stunning tourist attraction is even visible from space.

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Island in Middle of German Lake Is the Perfect Pandemic Retreat

Wilhelmstein Island, an artificial island on Lake Steinhude in the Hanover region of northwestern Germany, looks like the perfect place to isolate yourself during a pandemic.

The story of Wilhelmstein Island began in 1761, when Count Wilhelm von Schaumburg-Lippe, ruler of the County of Schaumburg-Lippe-Bückeburg and an important military commander in the Seven Years’ War, ordered the construction of a military fortress in the middle of Steinhude Meer, the largest lake in northern Germany. The military defensive complex originally consisted of 16 islands built on large foundations of stone transported to the middle of the lake by local fishermen in their boats. A star shaped fortress was built in the middle of the main island, and later a military college designed to train the leaders of the next generation.

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The Famous House in the Middle of the Loire River

Known as La maison dans la Loire (the House in the Loire), the three-storey building looks like the victim of a flood that once swept it away, but appearances can be deceiving…

Walking along the river Loire, near the town of Lavau-sur-Loire, just a stone throw away from Nantes, you’re bound to spot a rather unusual sight – a tilted building located right in the middle of the river. You’d think it was brutally swept away by some catastrophic flood, but it was actually placed there deliberately by a company that specializes in salvaging wrecks, at the request of a French artist. Today, the House in the Loire is one of the highlights of river cruises on the Loire.

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The Hottest Place On Earth Feels Like Walking on a Hot Iron Pan

Iran’s Dasht-e Lut desert is only the 25th largest desert in the world, but it holds the record for the highest ;and surface temperature ever recorded, over 70 degrees Celsius.

Dasht-e Lut (Persian for “Emptiness Plain”) is a large salt desert that, scientists believe, formed on the bottom of a sea. Millions of years ago, tectonic shifts caused the bottom of the sea to rise, with the water slowly evaporating due to the high temperatures. Today, it’s a barren land about 51,800 square kilometers in size, surrounded by mountains on all sides, which contributes to the record-setting temperatures recorded here, as they prevent humid air from the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas to reach it.

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The Unique Oval Community Gardens of Copenhagen

The Naerum  suburban district of Copenhagen, in Denmark, is home to one of the most visually appealing allotment gardens in the world – the “round gardens”, which are actually oval.

Søren Carl Theodor Marius Sørensen is considered one of the greatest landscape architects to have ever lived, and the oval gardens of Naerum are one of his most famous projects. In 1948, 40 oval allotment gardens, each measuring approximately 25 × 15 m, were laid out on a rolling lawn, between public housing on one side and more traditional allotments on the other. Owners were free to position their cottages, select the surrounding hedges, and lay out the interior of their plots, but Sørensen provided some directions, stressing that they were meant as a guide, not rules. Seven decades later, the oval gardens of Naerum are still one of the most beautiful attractions in the Danish capital.

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Unique Ice Volcano in Kazakhstan Attracts Tourists From Far and Wide

The steppes of Kazakhstan’s Almaty region are not the most inviting place, especially in winter time, but one unusual phenomenon has been attracting a lot of tourists there lately.

Located between the villages of Kegen and Shyrganak in the middle of a snow-covered plateau is a 14-meter-high ice tower that continuously spouts water which turns to ice almost instantly. The unique structure looks like a miniature volcano, only instead of hot lava, it spouts water. The sight has become popular both among locals, but also Instagram fans and influencers looking for special backgrounds for their social media posts.

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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 Fairytale Castle Is Actually a Four-Star Hotel in China

Located on a small island, in the middle of Wanfeng Lake in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province, is one of the most stunning fairytale castles on Earth. Only it’s not actually a castle, but a four-star resort.

Built in 2011, the Jilong Castle Country Club, aka Jilongbao Resort, is one of the most impressive, yet unusual sights in all of China. On one hand, the location, the attention to detail and bridge linking it to the mainland are breathtaking, but on the other, it looks like something you would expect to find in a European country like Germany or France, where medieval castles actually still exist. Although China’s fascination with castles, and European architecture in general is well-known, it’s still a bit of an unusual tourist attraction.

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The Stunning Twin Temples Atop China’s Holy Mount Fanjing

Mount Fanjing, in southwestern China’s Wuling mountain range, is home to one of the most otherworldly sights on the planet: two small temples built atop a split rock spire, connected by an arched bridge, overlooking a stunning natural paradise.

Perched at the top of the natural rock spire known as the Red Clouds Golden Peak, the two small Buddhist temples have a history that goes back over 500 years, to the Ming Dynasty. How Buddhists managed to carry the needed materials up that precarious rock formation without modern technology remains a mystery, but the temple complex we see todays has been rebuilt according to its original look, only using sturdier materials like iron tiles, in order to resist the strong winds and overall harsh environment.

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