Indian Village Ends Diwali With Massive Cow Dung Battle

The small Indian village of Gummatapura is famous all over the world for its unique way of ending the annual Diwali celebrations – a massive cow dung battle called “Gorehabba”.

Spain has La Tomatina, a famous battle with tomatoes, Italy has the traditional Ivrea Battle of Oranges, and India has Gorehabba, a cow dung battle to end the important Diwali festivities. That may seem like an insult to Indian festivities, but only to those ignorant to the importance and significance of cow dung in Indian culture. It’s held in such high regard that companies use it as an ingredient for beauty products, handcrafted art, and even radiation repelling devices. Some claim it can even ward off the coronavirus… So yes, hurling cow dung at each other is far from disgusting for the dozens who participate in Gorehabba.

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Company Gifts Employees 4,116 New Cars as Bonus for Surpassing Profit Targets

A Chinese steel production company recently made international news headlines for offering 4,116 of its employees brand new cars as bonus for surpassing profit targets for the fifth consecutive year.

On October 1st, Jiangxi West Dajiu Iron & Steel Corporation organized an epic event to celebrate its success and reward employees for contributing to its yearly growth. It was reported that the company had reported increasing profits for the last five years, and management wanted to do something special to thank the staff, so they decided to give each one of them a car. A total of 4,116 new vehicles – 2,933 Jiangling Ford Territory and 1,183 FAW-Volkswagen Magotan – were distributed in batches in the weeks prior to the National Day holiday.

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Only in Japan: Burning a Mountain as a Celebration

On the fourth Saturday of each January, the dead grass of Mount Wakakusa is set ablaze as part of a unique and impressive festival called Wakakusa Yamayaki (‘Wakakusa Burning Mountain’).

No one known exactly how the tradition of burning an entire 342-metre-high hill in Japan’s Nara Prefecture actually started, but one thing is for certain – it has been around for hundreds of years. Some say it began as a boundary dispute between the two greatest temples of Nara, Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji, sometime during the 18th century. When mediation failed, the entire hill was burned to the ground, although no one quite remembers how that solved anything. Another theory claims that the annual fire originated as a way to eliminate pests and drive away wild boars. Today, it’s just an impressive sight to behold that attracts tourists from all over the world.

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Finch Sitting – The Controversial Sport Where You Sit on a Chair And Count Bird Calls

Sports are usually associated with skill and effort, be they physical or mental, but in Vinkensport or vinkenzetting (literally ‘Finch Sitting), a traditional animal sport practiced in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders, it’s all about sitting down and listening to birds singing.

In Vinkensport, small cages are lined up in a row about six feet apart on the street. Inside each box is a single male chaffinch whose job is to produce as many bird calls as possible in one hour. Sitting in front of the wooden cages are their owners, the vinkeniers (“finchers”) who tally the bird songs with chalk on a large wooden rod. Each chalk line represents one complete bird call which ends in a characteristic flourish known as a susk-e-wiet. Judges walk along the row of cages to make sure no one cheats. The chaffinch with the most bird calls in an hour is declared the winner. Vinkensport is a very passive sport, some would even call it boring, but it is also a very controversial one.

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Coronavirus Pandemic Inspires Haunted House Drive-Through Experience

A haunted house tour operator in Japan has announced the world’s first horror drive-through experienced as a responsible way of providing horror enthusiasts with summer scares during the Covid-19 pandemic.

While restaurants remain the most affected business by the devastating coronavirus, haunted house attractions and events aren’t fairing much better either. It’s hard scaring someone out of their wits without getting up close and personal, but some companies are starting to adapt to the situation and trying out new things. Case in point, haunted house design company Kowagarasetai, which has created what it calls the world’s first haunted house drive-through experience.

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The Impossible Climb – No Dirt Bike Has Ever Made It Atop This Notorious Hillside

The Andler Hillclimb is an annual dirt bike competition that has dirt bikers from around Europe try to reach the top of a treacherous hillside course in Belgium. It’s been held every year for the last two decades, but so far no one has been able to reach the top.

The so-called “impossible climb”, starts out as rough gravel and then switches over to a washboard of rough cliff face designed to throw riders off and send them and their bikes tumbling back down to the base of the hill. It’s not the angle of attack that’s the problem, according to most riders, but the sudden change of ride surface that makes keeping control of the bike and reaching the top so damn hard. Some fly off their bike early during the climb, while others get painfully close the the finish line, but in the end they all succumb to the power of gravity before reaching their goal.

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Indian Girl Sets new World Record for Most Yoga Contortions in One Minute

Most yoga practitioners struggle to pull off the Niralamba Poorna Chakrasana contortion just once in their lives, but one 11-year-old girl recently managed to do it a whopping 21 time in one minute, setting a new world record.

On January 20, Riya Paladia, a gymnastics and yoga practitioner from the village of Gaulapar, in India’s Uttarakhand state, stunned a local crowd with her amazing flexibility and speed, performing the tough Niralamba Poorna Chakrasana yoga position 21 times in one minute. Described as one of the very hardest yoga contortions, the move didn’t seem to pose any problem to the 11-year-old girl who slid on her back with ease before rising up on her feet again, without using her hands as support. It almost looks like she is being pulled up by invisible strings.

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Festival of Exploding Hammers Ushers in Lent with a Bang

Every February, on the day before Lent, the small Mexican town of San Juan de la Vega honors its namesake saint with a loud tradition that has come to be known as the Festival of Exploding Hammers.

The origins of this bombastic festival are shrouded in mystery. According to one local story, Juan de la Vega, a wealthy miner and rancher, was aided by San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) to recover gold stolen by bandits and residents came up with the exploding hammers to loudly commemorate their victory over the outlaws. Another story claims that “San Juanito” the patron saint of the town, was an outlaw himself, a sort of Mexican Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and that the today’s celebration is a reenactment of the fight between San Juanito and the local dons. Whatever the real origin may be, the explosive tradition is so popular in San Juan de la Vega that locals will risk life and limb to keep it going.

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World’s Scariest Haunted House Will Pay You $20,000 If You Can Make It Through a Tour

The owner of McKamey Manor, dubbed by many the world’s most terrifying haunted house, is promising anyone who can survive its scariest tour yet a prize of $20,000.

Many haunted houses claim to be the most terrifying, but there’s a general consensus among cheap thrill enthusiasts that  McKamey Manor is really the scariest of them all. And if its current reputation wasn’t enough, owner Russ McKamey is upping the ante by offering a prize of $20,000 to anyone brave enough to make it through a tour that can last up to 10 hours and takes participants to their physical and mental limits.

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Russia’s Fascination with “Drug Bust” Marriage Proposals

Having armed men wearing combat masks manhandling you and simulating a drug bust hardly sounds like the scenario of a perfect marriage proposals, but it’s apparently all the rage in Russia.

Imagine driving a car, minding your own business, when all of a sudden a black van cuts you off and slams the breaks forcing you to do the same in a split second. That would be scary enough, but it gets worse. The van door slides open and masked men carrying assault rifles jump out and violently pull you out of the vehicle, while they go through your personal belongings seemingly searching for something. And then they find it – a small plastic bag full of white powder that they claim is illegal drugs. You’ve never seen it before, but they claim otherwise and you feel your legs shaking under you as you try to grasp the implications of the situation. Then, all of a sudden, one of the threatening men drops down to one knee, pops open a small case and says “Marry me!”

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German Company Uses Super-Strong Glue to Suspend 17.5-Tonne Truck in the Air for an Hour

DELO, a small German company specializing in industrial adhesives, recently set a new Guinness Record after successfully suspending a 17-tonne-truck in the air for an hour using only super-strong glue.

In an attempt to show that it produces the world’s strongest adhesives, Bavaria-based company DELO set out to lift a 17.5 tonne truck one meter above ground using only 3 grams of a very strong glue developed specifically for this event. They used an industrial crane and four aluminum cylinders with a cover surface of of 3.5 cm (the diameter of a standard soda can) bonded to the wheels of the truck with a few drops of high-temperature-resistant DELO MONOPOX adhesive. The truck hung in the air for a full hour, thus breaking the previous record of 16.09 tonnes.

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Man Spends Almost Five Days Sitting on a Toilet Bowl, Sets World Record

48-year-old Jimmy De Frenne, from Belgium, recently set a new world record for the longest time spent sitting on a toilet, after spending five days on a toilet bowl in a bar.

After breaking the world record for the longest time spent ironing non-stop (82 hours) in 2016, Jimmy De Frenne recently set his sights on another bizarre world record attempt – the longest time spent sitting on a toilet bowl. There was no official record to break as Guinness World Records had no such category, but De Frenne had heard of a man who had allegedly spent 100 hours sitting on a “throne” and thought he could do better. He set himself a goal of 168 hours and spent almost five days last week sitting on a toilet bowl at Filip’s Place bar in Ostend, but had to quit after only 116 hours as his body just couldn’t handle it anymore.

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Italian Winemakers Set Vineyards Ablaze to Keep Them from Freezing

Breathtaking photos of vineyards in northern Italy lit up at night by hundreds of torches have been doing the rounds online for the past week. As temperatures unexpectedly dropped below zero last week, winemakers had to come up with a way to keep the vineyards from freezing, and fire was apparently their best choice.

Farmers usually do their best to keep fire away from their grape vines, but with temperatures expected to reach a freezing -9 degrees C, winemakers had no choice hundreds of torches spread out over several hectares to keep the vineyards from freezing. This technique has long been used by winemakers all over the world to create air movement, which prevents frost pockets from forming. Temperatures under -1 degrees Celsius can cause serious damage to emerging buds, so teams patrol the vineyards all night long, making sure that the fires are burning, to at least mitigate the damage.

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World’s Most Depressing Sports Competition Has Coffins for Prizes

Copa Ataúdes or Coffin Cup, a yearly futsal tournament hosted by the Peruvian city of Juliaca, has been dubbed the world’s most depressing sports competition for offering coffins as prizes to the three best teams.

The Juliaca Coffin Cup is not your usual futsal tournament. It’s a competition between teams representing the twelve largest funeral houses in the  Puno Region of southeastern Peru, so it kind of makes sense that the main prizes be something representative of the funeral business. Still, fighting your heart out on the pitch for an expensive casket you have to share with five other teammates doesn’t exactly sound worthwhile. That didn’t stop the winning team from parading their $1,300 luxury coffin on their shoulders and singing “Olé, olé, campeon!” at the end of the final match, though.

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Finland to Host World’s First Ever Heavy Metal Knitting Championship

Heavy metal and knitting doesn’t exactly sound like a match made in heaven, but that hasn’t stopped some truly creative minds in Finland from combining them in the world’s very first Heavy Metal Knitting Championship.

Finnish Marketing Agency Tovari teamed up with Joensuu City Cultural Services and the Joensuu Conservatory in order to bring together two of the most popular things in the northern European country. Heavy metal is really big in Finland, with over 50 heavy metal bands per 100,000 Finnish citizens (more than anywhere else in the world), and knitting not less so, as hundreds of thousands of people out of a population of around 5.5 million are practising some kind of needlework crafts. After brainstorming for the best way to combine the two, the creative minds behind this initiative came up with the World Heavy Metal Knitting Championship.

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