This Indian Temple Is Home to a ‘Vegetarian’ Crocodile

Sri Ananthapura temple in north Kerala’s Kasaragod district is allegedly home to a vegetarian crocodile named ‘Babiya’ who has been living there for over 70 years.

Pictures of a large crocodile inside the Sri Ananthapadmanabha Swamy Lake Temple made international news headlines last year, boosting the small Hindu temple’s popularity. But in reality, this was one of the few times that the giant reptile had entered the temple, as it spends most of its time in an adjacent pond, waiting for the priests to bring it the daily meals, which are always vegetarian. If the priests are to be believed, Babiya the crocodile has been living solely on cooked rice for as long as he’s been at the temple, which adds up to over seven decades.

Read More »

The Tiny Russian Village Where Everyone Knows How to Walk a Tightrope

Tsovkra-1, a small village in the mountains of Russia’s Dagestan autonomous republic, is famous for being the only place in the world where the entire able-bodied population knows how to walk a tightrope.

No one knows exactly how the tightrope-walking tradition of Tsovkra-1 (named ‘1’ because of another Tsvokra village nearby) began, but one thing is for sure – for the last 100 years, every able-bodied man, woman, and child in the village has learned the walk a tightrope, and many have gone on to become circus performers. Although Tsovkra-1’s population has dropped from around 3,000 in the 1980s to under 400 today, all those who remain are trained in the art of tightrope walking.

Read More »

Route 36 – Bolivia’s Notorious Cocaine Bar

Route 36 is an illegal pop-up bar in the Bolivian capital city of La Paz notorious for being the world’s first and only cocaine bar.

South America is home to many popular tourist attractions, like the ruins of Machu Pichu, the Salar de Uyuni salt desert, or Angel Falls, but when it comes to drug tourism, there’s one place that everyone puts on their must-visit list. Route 36 is probably the only place in the world where you can walk in and order cocaine from the bar without having to worry about the legal consequences. Aimed exclusively at foreign tourists looking to indulge in some high-purity cocaine – no Bolivians allowed – Route 36 has been around for at least 12 years, during which time it has become famous as the world’s only cocaine bar.

Read More »

The Dancing Mangrove Trees of Sumba Island

Indonesia’s remote Sumba Island is famous for a great many things, but above all its uniquely shaped mangroves, dubbed “dancing trees” for the way they seem to sway with the setting sun in the background.

Calm waters, a white sandy beach, and inviting waters are all things you can expect to find at Walakiri Beach, one of the top tourist spots on Sumba Island. But that’s not why people flock to this small tropical paradise, as they can all be found somewhere else as well. What draws people to Walakiri are the dozens of unique mangrove trees lining the beach, some of which are so bizarrely shaped they almost look like they are frozen in a dancing motion.

Read More »

The Hitachi Tree – A Beloved Japanese Corporate Symbol That Grows in Hawaii

Ever since 1975, a majestic monkeypod tree growing on the Hawaiian island of Oahu has been the symbol of electronics and technology giant Hitachi, making it one of the most beloved corporate symbols of Japan.

The so-called “Hitachi Tree” is one of the several monkeypod trees growing in the privately-owned Moanalua Gardens, once the childhood home of King Kamehameha the IV, but it gets by far the most attention from tourists, with staff members claiming that around 1,000 people visit it every day. Most of them are Japanese, and there’s a good explanation for that. The tree has been used as a symbol by the Hitachi Corporation for nearly five decades, and millions of Japanese grew up seeing its beautiful crown on TV every day and humming its very own catchy jingle.

Read More »

Al Naslaa – Saudi Arabia’s Mysterious Rock Formation

Saudi Arabia’s Tayma Oasis is home to a 4,000-year-old geological mystery – a strange rock formation perfectly split down the middle with the precision of a laser beam.

The world-famous Al Naslaa rock formation is made up of two large sandstone boulders supported by a natural pedestal that appears much too small for its purpose. But what really draws people’s attention is the perfect split between the two boulders, which appears to have been done with a powerful laser beam. The almost flawless split has inspired lots of speculation on the internet, with some suggesting that Al Naslaa is proof that ancient civilizations may have been more advanced than history tells us.

Read More »

Australian Golf Course Pond Is Home to Aggressive Bull Sharks

You’ve probably heard of crocodile-infested golf course ponds before, but one unique golf course in Australia is home to an even greater threat that makes water hazards truly dangerous – sharks.

The 14th tee at the Carbrook Golf Club in Brisbane is a tricky one, as it’s close to a 21 hectare, 14-meter deep lagoon that happens to be the home of a dozen full-grown bull sharks. They’ve been around since the late 1990s, and even though the species is notorious for its aggressiveness, especially against humans, the bull sharks of Carbrook have become somewhat of a tourist attraction. The club even has a monthly tournament named after its unusual inhabitants, Shark Lake Challenge.

  Read More »

The Wall of Hives – Box-Covered Cliffside In China Is a Unique Wild Bee Sanctuary

A near-vertical cliff wall in the mountains of Shennongjia Nature Reserve, China’s Hubei Province, is home to over 700 wooden boxes which make up one of the country’s last sanctuaries for native wild bees.

Beekeeping has been carried out in China since at least the 2nd century AD, and roughly half of the world’s supply of honey comes from the Asian country, but few know that over 80% of the native bee population is now extinct. The introduction of the European honey bee (Apis Mellifera) is considered the main cause of the drastic decline of native Chinese bees. It has brought viral diseases, has been known to attack Chinese honeybee hives, and interfere with its mating rituals. Today, the Chinese honey bee (Apis Cerana Cerana) is listed as an endangered species, and the cliff-hanging hives of the Shennongjia Nature Reserve make up one of the few protected sanctuaries in the country.

Read More »

World’s Largest Rhythmic Spring Stops Flowing Every 15 Minutes

Just east of Afton town, at the foot of a rocky mountain in Wyoming, lies one of the world’s most mysterious natural wonders – a rhythmic spring that intermittently stops and starts flowing around every 15 minutes.

Only a few rhythmic springs exist in the world, and Intermittent Spring in Wyoming’s Swift Creek canyon is the largest of them all. As its name suggests, this peculiar spring flows intermittently. You will see a large quantity of water using out of a hole in the mountain and then flowing down forming a large creek for about 15 minutes, and then dry up for another 15 before the cycle starts all over again. The reasons for this intermittent flow are not entirely understood, but scientists have a pretty sound theory.

Read More »

The Koi Fish Cafes of Ho Chi Minh City

Imagine enjoying a hot cup of java or your favorite soft drink in the middle of a pond filled with beautiful koi fish that you can actually hand-feed and you get an idea of what Vietnam’s koi fish cafes are like.

When it comes to fish-themed cafes, Ho Chi Minh City has a leg up on pretty much every other city in the world. Back in 2018 we featured Amix Coffee, a flooded cafe that allowed patrons to enjoy their favorite drinks with dozens of small fish literally at their feet, but this was apparently not the only cool fish-themed venue in town. In fact, the bustling metropolis apparently has about a dozen cafes that double as koi ponds, where the popular fish swim among patrons.

Read More »

This New Zealand Lake Is the Clearest Body of Fresh Water Known to Man

Rotomairewhenua, also known as the Blue Lake of New Zealand’s Nelson Lakes National Park, is officially recognized as the clearest body of fresh water in the world.

Blue Lake is spring fed by the neighboring glacial Lake Constance, and the water passes through a natural debris damn formed a long time ago by a landslide. This debris acts as a natural filter that retains most of the particles suspended in the glacial water, making Blue Lake almost as clear as distilled water. New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) carried out scientific tests of the water and determined it to be the clearest natural body of fresh water known to man.

Read More »

Brazil’s Unique “Coca Cola Lagoon”

Ever dreamed of swimming in a lake of Coca Cola? Well, you can actually do just that at the unique Coca Cola Lagoon in Rio Grande del Norte, Brazil, where the water has the exact same color as the popular soft drink.

Looking at the water of Lagoa da Araraquara, it’s easy to see why it is popularly known as Coca Cola Lagoon. It has the same dark hue, but very different ingredients and no carbonation. Instead of caramel, the water of this popular lagoon is colored by a concentration of iodine and iron, in combination with the pigmentation of the reeds near its shores.

Read More »

Mexico’s Tule Tree Has the World’s Thickest Trunk, And It’s Still Growing

Located a church courtyard, in the picturesque town of Santa Maria del Tule, the Tree of Tule is a 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress famous for having the world’s thickest trunk.

So just how thick is Mexico’s Tule Tree? Well, it takes thirty people with arms extended joining hands to fully encircle it, so that should give you an idea. Officially, it has a circumference of 42 meters, which sounds impossible for a tree trunk. In fact, in the past people  and scientists alike were convinced that the Tree of Tule had resulted from the merger of two separate tree, until DNA evidence showed that there was in fact just one tree.

Read More »

Devil’s Bath – New Zealand’s Neon Green Sulphur Pond

New Zealand’s Wai-O-Tapu volcanic area offers no shortage of intriguing natural wonders, but perhaps the most eye-catching one is Devil’s Bath, a bright green pond full of sulfur-infused stink water.

Devil’s Bath gets its color from a combination of hydrogen sulfide gases and ferrous salts. The shade  and intensity of the green sludge depends on the inclination of the sun’s rays and the amount of minerals present in the water at any given moment, but there’s never a day that the green body of water doesn’t look weird compared to what you’d expect a pond to look like. And then there is the smell of this charming attraction, which is best described as half sewer, half rotten egg. So yeah, Devil’s Bath sounds like an appropriate name…

Read More »

Kagami Numa – Japan’s Magical Dragon’s Eye Lake

Kagami Numa is a mythical Japanese lake that turns into a giant eye every spring, during the thawing process, hence its nickname, Dragon’s Eye Lake.

Located near the summit of Mount Hachimantai in north-eastern Japan, in the middle of a dense forest, Kagami Numa doesn’t look much different than the many other volcanic lakes in the area, most of the year. But for about a week – ate May to early June – it turns into a giant blue eye that inspired its intriguing nickname, Dragon’s Eye Lake. The unique appearance of the circular lake during this one week has inspired a legend of two dragons in love that chose this body of water as their meeting spot.

Read More »