X

This Chilean Community Requires Residents to Have Their Appendix Removed

Can you imagine needing to have your appendix removed just to be able to live in your city? That’s exactly what the residents of Villa Las Estrellas, a small Chilean settlement in Antarctica, are required to do in order to live there long-term.

To be able to comprehend such a bizarre requirement, you first need to know a few things about Villa Las Estrellas. In short, this place is probably the closest you can get to experiencing life on another planet. It’s located so far away from human civilization and weather conditions are so extreme that would-be residents must pass a very thorough psychological exam in order to prove that they can live here for a long period of time. In winter time, the whole place is buried under several meters of snow and the hours of daylight are replaced with a few minutes of twilight. The average temperature is -2.3 degrees Celsius, but they can drop to -47 in winter months, making it nearly impossible to even set foot outside the container-like houses.

Read More »

Dog Survives 6 Days in Atacama Desert After Jumping from Airplane

After falling from an airplane and roaming through the Atacama Desert for 6 days, “Gaspar the miracle dog” was recently rescued and reunited with his owner.

Surviving the harsh Atacame Desert for almost a week is a challenge for any human, let alone a scared dachsund that happened to have fallen out of an airplane at landing. So it’s no wonder that 2-year-old Gaspar has been dubbed a “miracle dog” for defying the odds and making it out alive out of the driest desert on Earth.

Read More »

These Three Dogs Are Bringing Chile’s Fire-Devastated Forests Back to Life

In January 2017, a series of fires in central Chile’s La Maue region burned down over 457,000 hectares of forest, leaving behind nothing but charred ground. Now, three border collies are helping replant it all by doing what they love most, running.

Das, Olivia, and Summer, three female border collies have been working hard to bring the fire-devastated forest back to life, since March. Not that they know how hard or how important their work is, since they are essentially running and playing. The dogs’ owner, 32-year-old Francisca Torres, takes them to various areas of charred forest in her truck, equips them with special vests that come with special satchels which she fills with seeds of endemic plants. Then the dogs are sent out to run around and spread as many seeds as they can. When they return, she rewards them with snacks, fills up their satchels and sends them out on another run.

Read More »

This Chilean Sanctuary Gives Rescued Farm Animals the Love and Affection They Deserve

If there is such a place as heaven for farm animals, it must be a lot like Santuario Igualdad Interspecies, an incredible sanctuary for domestic animals destined for slaughter or left for dead. Here, not only do they get to live in perfect peace and harmony, but they receive all the love and affection they deserve.

A couple of days ago, I cam across this incredible video of a man cuddling with a grown cow. The animal seemed to be enjoying the human affection immensely, and responded by gently laying its head on the man’s chest and closing its eyes in delight as he petted and kissed its neck. It was very touching, and I decided that I had to learn more about it. I soon discovered an entire YouTube channel full of similar videos of two people affectionately interacting with various farm animals, like pigs, goats or ducks. They were shot at Santuario Igualdad Interspecie, a small animal sanctuary, in Chile, where tending to the emotional needs of rescued farm animals is of the utmost importance.

Read More »

Chilean Police Report Paranormal Activity While Investigating Domestic Disturbance

People report cases of paranormal activity somewhere around the world virtually every day, but it’s not often that you hear police officers actually confirming these occurrences. However, that’s exactly what happened a couple of days ago in a Chilean city, when police investigating a domestic disturbance were allegedly attacked by mysterious forces.

On February 26, 2017, a group of Carabineros – Chilean police force – were called to investigate a home in Puerto Montt, after the desperate owners called the emergency number to complain that they were being terrorized by unnatural forces. When they arrived at the house in the municipality of municipality of Fe y Esperanza, they noticed several broken windows and a partially burned mattress in the yard. The owners were outside and as soon as they saw the police approaching they started telling them that there was strange paranormal activity inside the house. Obviously, the Carabineros didn’t believe them, but they quickly changed their mind once they went inside to investigate.

Second corporal Boris Olavarría González, of the Sixth Police Station in Puerto Montt, told reporters that he and his colleagues were questioning the owners inside the house when a trowel fell from the attic like somebody had thrown it down. After checking the attic and confirming that it was empty, González claims that he called out the “demon” asking it to leave. After receiving no response, he decided to go back outside, but on his way to the front door he was struck from behind by a knife.

Read More »

Chilean Woman Adopts Abandoned Dead Babies So She Can Bury Them

We’ve seen lots of stories of kind people who adopt children, but this is a first – a Chilean woman who adopts dead babies! Fueled by the strong belief that every baby deserves a proper goodbye, she officially adopts abandoned babies that are found dead so she can organize funerals for them.

It all started 12 years ago when Bernarda Gallardo read a story in a local newspaper about an abandoned baby in Puerto Montt. “They killed and dumped a newborn baby on the rubbish heap,” the article read. Bernarda, who was in the process of adopting a child at the time, was horrified by the report. She realised if the baby had lived it might have come to her for adoption. So she decided to do something about it.

“If you get a baby that is alive, you clothe it and feed it and put it in a cot,” she explained. “If your baby arrives dead you have to get a coffin and give it a decent burial.”

Bernarda-Gallardo Read More »

Delicias del Sol – Chile’s Sun-Powered Restaurant

The people in Villaseca, Chile are some of the most the eco-concious on the Planet, using only sun-powered ovens to cook all their food. With these ovens, which can generate temperatures up to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit), the villagers can prepare all kinds of dishes, including vegetables, meats and even deserts.

At first, cooking with solar energy was a necessity, due to the scarcity of wood in the country, which forced the villagers to spend hours on end every day looking for wood so they could eat. Two decades ago, the poor people of Villaseca were facing a tough wood crisis because of the desertification of the region. Every day, one member of the family had to go looking for wood to burn in their ovens so they could cook and eat warm meals. Thankfully, Rojas, a woman who lives in the Elqui Valley, and four other women were chosen to be guinea pigs in a trial project involving solar energy, conducted by the University of Chile. They were given specially engineered ovens that captured the sun’s rays and allowed any kind of food to be cooked in a heated compartment. The idea was well received, since the arid region is extremely sunny with more than 300 days of sunshine every year. Now, their sustainable ovens are the area’s main attraction and, the people there eat healthier because sun-cooked food lacks the carbon dioxide that emanates from burning wood.

Delicias-del-Sol-restaurant

Read More »

Mysterious Condition Causes Girl to Cry Tears of Blood

20-year-old Yaritza Oliva is living a nightmare. For the last couple of weeks the girl from Purranque, Chile, has been crying tears of blood and so far no one has been able to explain her mysterious condition.

Yaritza first noticed blood tears coming out of her eyes about two weeks ago, but due to her family’s poor financial situation, she couldn’t seek any professional help. The only ophthalmologist who attends at the local hospital in Purranque a few days a week has so many scheduled patients that he wouldn’t see her without an appointment. One of the few times she was consulted by a professional physician was when she was transferred at the hospital of Puerto Montt, where doctors were baffled by her condition, but could only give her some eye drops for the burning sensation she feels when the blood pours from her eyes. At first, Yaritza believed she suffered some kind of extreme conjunctivitis or infection, but after seeing photos and video footage of the girl crying blood, Dr.Alexander Lutz, an ophthalmologist at Las Condes Clinic, excluded those possibilities saying they have very different symptoms. He argued the mysterious condition could be caused by blood clotting problems, alterations in platelets or by the use of certain medications. An expert would have to check if there is bleeding in any other areas of Yaritza’s body, but she didn’t reveal anything of the sorts in the video interview with Chilean website 24 Horas. Read More »

Magic Mountain Lodge – Chile’s Water Spewing Volcano Hotel

Ever wondered what it would be like to live inside a volcano? Now you can have your chance at a hotel that’s shaped like one – Magic Mountain. There’s even stuff spewing off the top (water, not molten lava) and cascading down the walls and windows. But it doesn’t look much like a volcano, not to me at least. I think it’s got this old-world charm to it, like a tower from Medieval times. Especially with the antique doors and windows, and a shaky wooden drawbridge to let people into their rooms.

The Magic Mountain Hotel is located in Huilo Huilo, a private Natural Reserve in the Los Rios region of Chile. The antique appearance ends with the exterior however, as the interiors are done up in luxury. There are only 9 rooms, named after bird species found in the area. Each of them overlooks the thick forest and wildlife outside, including toucans, iguanas, pumas and lizards. Guests even get a glimpse of a real-life volcano from the hotel – the enormous Arenal Volcano. Outside the rooms the special services provided to guests are definitely worth a mention. Hot tubs made out of huge tree trunks, overlooking the forest are a major tourist attraction at Magic Mountain, as is the world’s longest zip line running through the grounds.

Read More »

Chilean Taekwondo Instructor Opens Real-Life Jedi Academy

Following a dream of combining his passion for martial arts with his love for the Star Wars saga, a Chilean taekwondo instructor has opened the first Jedi school in South America.

William Berrueta has been a fan of the Star Wars franchise for a very long time, but it was the Star Wars Exhibition Tour, which came to Chile in 2005, that inspired the martial arts instructor to start a training program for young sci-fi enthusiasts, based on Jedi powers. It took a while for the 46-year-old to fulfill his dream, but last Thursday, the “Jedi Temple” school, in Quilpué, finally opened its doors to 20 would-be Jedi warriors, aged between six and twelve. Now, after being featured on BBC, it has already gained international acclaim.

“The idea is to make these children into Padawan,” said Berrueta, who will work with the young apprentices for a period of three months, teaching them yoga, self-defense and meditation. “In this period they will learn relaxation techniques, so they can concentrate and improve flexibility and mobility, so that they understand their bodies better.” Students of the Quilpué Jedi school will train dressed as Jedi fighters and practice with shatter-resistant lightsabers designed by William Berrueta himself. During exhibitions, they will use special sabers, imported from the US, for about $250 each.

Read More »

Qeswachaka – A Handwoven Bridge Made of Grass

The Qeswachaka hanging bridge, of Cuzco, Peru, is handwoven every year, from a local grass called Qoya.

Located approximately 100 km from Cuzco, Qeswachaka bridge was once part of a network of bridges, built in the time of the Inca empire, but is now the only one of its kind, in the world. Spanning 120 feet over the Apurimac river, at around 13,000 feet above water, Qeswachaka (also spelled Q’eswachaka or Keswachaka) is built using the ancient Qhapaq nan technique, used by the Inca people.

Qhapaq nan bridges were built from grass, and were wide enough for only one person to pass, at a time. In ancient times these bridges were constantly under surveillance and everyone crossing them was monitored. When Pizzaro began his march for Cuzco, Qeswachaka was destroyed, to slow his advance, but was reconstructed, many years later.

Made from a local herb, known as Qoya, the fibers of Qeswachaka bridge deteriorate rapidly, and local communities have to reconstruct the bridge every year. Around 1,000 men and women, from various Andean communities gather at Qeswachaka bridge, every second week of June, for the rebuilding ceremony. Long blade of Qoya grass are woven into six long cables, which are bound and secured by eucalyptus trunks, buried at each end of the bridge.

It’s not that building a more modern bridge would be impossible, but this is a way for the Andean people to celebrate and honor their Inca ancestors, and keep their centuries old traditions alive.

Photos by REUTERS via Daylife

Read More »

The Marble Caves of Rio Tranquilo

Located in the Coyhaique province, Chile, the Marble Caves are some of the most impressive attractions of Patagonia.

Las Cavernas de Marmol, as the Spanish call them were created by the clear waters of Rio Tranquilo that dug into a giant limestone peninsula, creating an impressive labyrinth of caves. The peninsula is known as the Marble Cathedral and can be reached by boat, during a guided tour.

Marble-Caves

Read More »