China Introduces Live Crab Vending Machines

What’s the last thing you’d expect to find in a vending machine? Ok, so it may not be hairy crabs, but you have to admit this is pretty weird.

I’ve posted some weird vending machines here on Oddity Central, like the gold dispenser in the UAE, or the contaminated water vending machine, but this latest find really takes the cake. Located in the Xinjiekou subway station, in Nanjing, China, this particular vending machine is full of live hairy crabs and crab vinegar, making it available to enjoy seafood on the go.

The quirky food dispenser was installed on the 1st of October, and at first, it surprised even the Chinese. People would stop and stare at the crustaceans inside, and others would even take out their cameras and take photos of them. Business was out to a slow start, with only one hairy crab sold per day, but as people got used to the thought of buying live crabs from a vending machine, the figures jumped to an impressive 200 crabs a day. People noticed they were cheaper than the crabs found at the local food markets, and buying them on their daily commute they also saved precious time.

Depending on size, crabs can be bought for 10 RMB, 12 RMB, 25 RMB and 50 RMB. They all seem dead, but their actually just hibernating due to the low temperature in the vending machine.

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Finnish Bear Won’t Hibernate Unless He Is Tucked-In

Juuso, a large brown bear from the Predator Animal Center, in Finland, only agreed to crawl into his shelter and hibernate, after his best friend tucked him in.

With winter drawing ever nearer, Juuso, a young brown bear from Finland’s Predator Center, seemed tired. All the other bears had already began their winter hibernation, and Juuso’s eyes were closing all the time, but refused to go into his man-made lair. You’d think he was suffering from insomnia, but in fact, all he really needed was to be tucked-in by his best friend, caretaker Sulo Karjalainen.

Sulo has been making sure the animals of the Predator Center have everything they need, and in turn, this ferocious creatures accepted him as a friend. To make sure Juuso gets some shut-eye during the winter months, Sulo went into the bear’s lair first, and his furry friend followed shortly. Happy and relaxed in the company of his friend, Juuso soon laid his head on his bed of straw, sighed and finally went to sleep. All I can say is: Sleep tight Juuso!

Watch a video of Juuso and Sulo, at the bottom.

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Father of 88 Plans to Reach 100 Children by 2015

Daad Murad Abdul Rahman, a 64-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates, is the proud father of 88 children, but doesn’t plan on stopping until he reaches his 100th offspring.

One thing is for sure, if good parenting was judged by the number of children, Daad Murad Abdul Rahman would definitely qualify for the title of world’s greatest dad. He is the father of 50 boys and 38 girls. His eldest son, Tariq, is 39 years old, while his youngest child was born just a few months ago. Over the years Daad has been married 15 times, and has had children with every one of his wives. Twelve of them have divorced him (probably tired of giving birth), but three still remain faithful.

To reach his goal of becoming the father of 100 children, this Arab superdad is planning on marrying once again, to an 18-year-old Indian girl. The Meher (money the groom pays the bride’s father) has already been paid, and the wedding is scheduled to take place in Jaipur. Naturally, the 64-year-old is thrilled about the marriage, and says he’s already applied for an Indian visa.

Believe it or not, Daad Murad Abdul Rahman is seen as a national hero in the UAE, and enjoys many benefits offered by the state. His 127 family members were offered seven free houses to live in, and Rahman himself receives pension from the military, as well as substantial financial aid.

Daad and his family first attracted the attention of international media in 2007, when he had “just” 78 mouths to feed. He’s been really busy, and managed to make 10 more babies in just three years time, so his goal doesn’t seem hard to reach at all.

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Formula One Fan Spends Three Years Building His Own Race Course

James Michael Harlan, an American designer and car enthusiast has spent three years building the White Lake Formula One Ring, a 1/32 scale Scalextric Formula One race course.

Complete with miniature race cars, pit crews, a podium, all set in a beautiful handcrafted landscape, the White Lake Formula One Ring is definitely this year’s ultimate boy’s toy. The four lane wide, 145-foot-long racetrack looks absolutely stunning, but what’s most astonishing is the fact that 39-year-old James Michael Harlan used common materials like copper tape, MDF, electrical wire and some paint to complete his masterpiece.

And it would be a shame to build such an amazing Formula 1 circuit and not use it for racing, right? As a true car racing fan, James Michael Harlan organizes race nights with around 30 people, with qualifying rounds, pit stops and everything else you can expect in a real Formula One race. He’s even been known to run 24-hour races, when the track is lit by sunlight during the day, and by track-level lighting, at night.

While he realizes this is not the kind of thing an exhibition designer usually builds, he admits he sometimes looks at it and realizes he’s created something truly amazing. So far he spent around $6,000 and 7,000 hours on his White Lake Formula One Ring, but he says he’s just getting started, as there are so many other things he want to add.

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Chinese Students Create Amazing Paper Bridge

A team of students from the Harbin Engineering University have created a small paper bridge able to sustain more than 25 times its own weight.

The young undergraduates spent an entire month designing and building the bridge, and finally presented it to the world,on November 7. Now, building a paper bridge model doesn’t sound that remarkable, especially when the builders are attending an engineering institute, but their creation is much more than a simple paper model. The 3.8-meter-long, 1.2 meter-tall bridge weighs just 58 kilograms, but it is able to sustain up to 1,500 kilograms, and the group of 11 students proved it by standing on the bridge at the same time.

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Crazy Cleaning – A Naked Student Cleaning Service

A group of cash-strapped Czech students have created Crazy Cleaning, a cleaning service performed by naked boys and girls.

The economic crisis has taken its toll on everybody, and young Czech students make no exception. Strapped for cash, they’ve come up with all sorts of ideas to get their hands on some, but none as crazy as Katka Kopecka’s, who decided to recruit some of her friends and open up a nude cleaning agency. The 21-year-old founder says she had to come up with something shocking to get out of a long-term financial slump, and since most people hate to clean, but love to stare at a nice naked body, a naked cleaning service was her best choice.

Crazy Cleaning currently offers 15 naked cleaners to choose from, and customers can opt for them wearing underwear, going topless or getting completely naked. An hour of complete cleaning service costs $240 and clients can just sit comfortably and watch the naked students do all the cleaning.

Now, before any feminists decide to complain about how women are discriminated and used as pieces of meat, you should know Crazy Cleaners offers both male and female nude cleaners. While Katka Kopecka understands how some people might consider this kind of service a form of masked prostitution, she says her business has nothing to do with that. She claims Crazy Cleaners receives many calls from business people with hectic schedules, who just like to come home and relax by looking at a nice naked body cleaning the house. Read More »

Young Taiwanese Woman Plans to Marry Herself

30-year-old Chen Wei-yih is set to defy Asian perception of single independent women as failures, by marrying herself, on November 6.

The young Taiwanese from Taipei has been dreaming about getting married ever since she was just a little girl. Now that she’s all grown up, she’s ready to put on the traditional white dress and veil and finally tie the knot…with herself. Like many other Asian women, Chen Wei-yih focused most of her attention on her career and hasn’t been able to find a suitable partner. While other girls go as far as stripping in public to find husbands, Chen decided it’s more important to first love herself before she loves others, and asked her own hand in marriage.

The wedding ceremony is set to take place on November 6, when Chen Wei-yih will put on her wedding dress and go out for a gourmet meal with family members and 30 of her closest friends. After the wedding, Chen and her beloved self will leave on a romantic honeymoon to Autralia.

Chen-Wei-yih courage to challenge social perception in such an original way has inspired many, and her Facebook wall has been assaulted with messages of encouragement and appreciation, sent mostly by young Asian women like herself.

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Iron Man Fans Showcase Homemade Suits in London

Two die-hard Iron Man fans chose the streets of London as the best place to show off the cool homemade costumes they worked so hard to complete.

32-year-old John Bekkensten, from Norway, is an established sculptor for the movie industry, with works featured in blockbuster hits like “Gladiator”. “Braveheart”, “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and others. But John is also a big fan of Iron Man, so apart form his official projects, he spent over a year replicating the costumes of the popular hero and his sidekick, War Machine, out of fiberglass and plastic.

John ended up wearing the much cooler War Machine costume, while his buddy got the chance to be Iron Man. Together they got on double decker buses, took picture with London guards and managed to stun pretty much everyone they passed by.

If you’re interested in cool movie props, be sure to check out John Bekkensten official site.

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American Sculptor Carves World’s Biggest Halloween Pumpkin

You might think you had your hands full with this year’s Halloween Pumpkin, but American sculptor Scott Cully had to carve his way through a 1,800-pound giant pumpkin.

Scott Cully has made a name for himself by carving overgrown pumpkins, and he even held the previous record for the world’s largest jack o’lantern, but this year he managed to beat his own record and get another mention in the Guinness Book. It took him two days, working at a pace of 100 pounds per hour, to work his way through the giant pumpkin, grown by Chris Stevens, from Wisconsin, but he managed to do it just in time for the big Halloween party. The event took place at the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s probably still on display, so you can check it out, if you’re in the Big Apple.

Scott Cully started carving pumpkins in 1988, when he and his wife got his hands on a 400-pound pumpkin, and, inspired by a few bottles of quality English hard cider, they began carving it into a jack o’lantern. Then he just kept on creating new designs, into bigger and bigger pumpkins. Using just a handful of kitchen utensils, Scott stays true to the tradition of creating jack o’lanterns, by creating scary Halloween pumpkins, with big mouths that kids can slide their heads through, and big threatening teeth.

Believe it or not, Scott Cully absolutely hates pumpkin pie. Ironic, isn’t it?

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Russian Builds House Shaped Like Noah’s Ark

Nikolay Orekhov, from the village of Kemerovo, eastern Russia, has built his house to look like a miniature replica of Noah’s ark. Not that he’s ever seen the real thing, but we’ve all been blessed with an imagination.

47-year-old Nikolay Orekhov has spent more than a year working on his unusual house shaped like some sort of ugly ship. According to Russian site Life.ru, the reason behind this modern version of Noah’s ark is Nikolay’s fear of floods caused by climate change. He says he’s not a fanatic but he does strongly believe in the possibility of a serious flood.

But according to the livejournal of Viktor Borisov, who also took some photos of Orekhov’s ship-shaped house, the weird craftsman actually dreamed about building the strange structure, and has really no fear of an actual flood. Regardless of his reasons, Nikolay Orekhov managed to create a truly unique piece of architecture, and he did it all without any blueprints. All the plans he needed were all in his head, and frankly, you can tell by the final result.

Located in his backyard, Nikolay Orekhov’s strange house measures 9 meters in height and 14 meters in length, and is three levels high. On the first floor, the Russian builder created a bathroom (complete with sauna and swimming pool) and a small kitchen, the second floor features two bedrooms and a nursery, while the third one is a greenhouse.

Nikolay began building his ship-shaped house on the “sacred” date of July 7, 2007, and is now living in it with his family. His neighbors have started referring to his weird creation as the “Ark of Nikolayev”.

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Kung Fu Sisters Organize Combat Tournament to Find Suitors

When you’re a deadly martial arts expert, traditional dating just doesn’t cut it, so you have to take special measures to find your soul mate. In the case of sisters Xiao Lin (22) and Xiao Yin (21) we’re talking about a martial arts tournament for suitors.

The two young sisters, from Foushan, East China, said they’ve tried dating agencies, but the men they met were too weak, and they could easily beat them. Since they want their special half to be stronger than them, they decided to bring back an ancient tradition called Bi Wu Zhao Qin – a tournament in which the warrior princesses of old found their men.

The three-day tournament will take place in their home town, and will have challengers compete in an archery event, carry weights over sharp bamboo spears, and finally, beat one of the sisters in full contact combat. I take it this isn’t a challenge for gentlemen…

The two kung fu sisters will give their opponent the chance to choose between open hand combat and any weapon, but they warn everyone that they won’t be holding back: “If they can’t beat us they aren’t worthy”, said Xiao Lin. Only after they’ve beaten one of the sisters can the suitors take off their masks to see the face of the one they’re going to marry.

A combat tournament for a girl’s hand in marriage sounds pretty honorable, even fairytale-like, but in this modern day, I doubt too many suitors will go through these challenges for a girl whose face they can’t even see.

via Metro.co.uk

Orlando Creates World’s Biggest Human Smiley Face

Five hundred people wearing yellow and black ponchos gathered in Orlando to create the world’s largest human smiley face. At fifty feet in diameter, the human smiley face was about the size of a basketball court.

On October 1st, in celebration of the World Smile Day, a giant smiley face was spotted on the top parking deck of the new Amway Center arena. It was made up of hundreds of smiling people dressed in black and yellow, who stood shoulder to shoulder for a good ten minutes. The human smiley face was a result of Orlando’s World Smile Search Campaign, which looked for people who had smile stories to share with the world. In half a year, over 20,000 stories were received, and some of the people who shared their stories were invited to be apart of the smiley face.

The human smiley face of Orlando was acknowledged as the largest smiley face in the world, but I seem to recall a very similar event took place in 2008, in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, and it looks like there were a lot more than 500 participants there. Maybe they just didn’t invite a Guinness official?

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French Chocolatier Creates Floating Chocolate Boat

George Larnicol, a 55-year-old French chocolatier, managed to create and sail a 3.5-meter-long boat made of chocolate.

On Saturday, September 25, the walled city of Concarneau, in north-western France, hosted an event unique in the world – the launch of a full size chocolate boat. George Larnicol, the mastermind behind this crazy creation, first attempted to sail a chocolate boat on August 15, but the boat crumbled to pieces when turned over from where it was mounted. But one small failure wasn’t enough to make Larnicol quit, and on Saturday, he returned to Concarneau port, with a new chocolate boat named “Bateau Chocolat II” (French for Chocolate Boat II)

The 1.2-ton-heavy boat had a sugar framework, while the rest of it was made entirely of pure chocolate. It took Larnicol and his team one and a half months to complete, working eight hours a day, which adds up to a total of about 400 hours.

George Larnicol and a friend got in the chocolate boat and sailed in it for a bout an hour, waving proudly to the audience, and smiling the whole time. The attached electrical motor allowed the Bateau Chocolat II to reach a top speed of 15km/h.

Chocolatier George Larnicol, who owns a chain  of chocolate shops in western France, promised to build a giant 12 meter-long yacht, with two masts, made of 6 to 8 tons of chocolate, sometime in 2012. That’s going to be a sight to be hold, and you can bet you’ll read about it on Oddity Central.

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Two-Legged Pig Becomes Tourist Attraction

Zhu Jianqiang, which translates as “strong willed pig”, was born without her hind legs, but managed to survive, and is now a local celebrity.

As a piglet, Zhu Jianqiang had nine strong siblings, and neighbors told her owner it would be best to just throw her away or put her out of her misery. But farmer Wang Xihai would hear none of it, and he even refused his wife when she told him to throw the piglet away. He believes all life should be given the chance to survive, and Zhu Jianqiang managed to beat all odds.

After seeing the little piglet fight for her life, Wang Xihai decided to get more involved, and began training her to walk on her front legs, just a few days after she was born. After only 30 days, she began walking on her own, and now, even though she weighs a good 50 kg, Zhu Jianqing walks upside down quite effortlessly.

Word about the amazing two-legged pig spread rapidly, and Wang Xihai says his home is overrun by tourists, every day. “I won’t sell her no matter what the offer is”, he added.

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Ice Boats Are Good Just in Theory

BBC science show Bang Goes The Theory set out to test inventor Geoffrey Pyke’s claim that ice boats could be used during World War 2, in case steel supplies ran out.

Geoffrey Pyke suggested suggested it was possible to build unsinkable boats using a special material called Pykrete – a mixture of ice and wood pulp. In theory, the icy material could be moulded into any shape and because of its slow melting rate, could carry troops and vehicles for long distances. The idea was first mentioned during the early 1940s, but it sounds like a good idea for modern times, as well, so the guys at Bang Goes The Theory decided to test it out.

The team mixed 5,000 liters of water with the hemp-like wood pulp, moulded the mixture into the shape of a boat and froze it in one of England’s largest ice warehouses, in Tilbury, Essex. It took three weeks to freeze the boat, before it was transported to Portsmouth Harbor. The crew prepared for a trip to Cowes, on the Island of Wight, but son after the boat was launched on the water, it began taking water. Before they even got comfortable in their icy boat, the crew had to abandon ship and swim to the rescue craft.

But this test wasn’t enough to disprove Pyke’s theory. According to experts there are several explanation for the recent Pykrete failure, and they include water temperature and size. Geoffrey envisioned his revolutionary material used to create 1,000-ton carriers, not half-a-ton boats, because a large ice surface requires a lot more energy to start melting. Also the waters of Solent Bay are far warmer than the Atlantic, where the carriers were meant to be used.

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