X

Nameless Beach in Japan is Made of Recycled Colored Glass

There are only a handful of glass beaches in the whole world, and it’s their rarity that makes them so popular. However, Japan is home to a beautiful glass beach that is so obscure it doesn’t even have a name.

Unlike California’s famous glass beach, or the one in Ussuri Bay, on Russia’s Pacific shoreline, where nature had to work hard to erode truckloads of sharp glass and porcelain shards dumped as trash into rounded pebbles that you can safely walk on, the colored glass grains of this nameless Japanese beach, in Omura City, were actually recycled beforehand. I guess the Japanese thought they’d give Mother Nature a break for a change and did the work for her.

Read More »

China’s Smallest Mountain Is Less Than 1 Meter High, Looks More Like a Big Rock

If you’re looking for the world’s easiest mountain to climb, head to Shouguang, in China’s Shandong Province, where you’ll find ‘Jingshan’, the smallest mountain in the country, and probably the world. It measures only 0.6 meters from ground level to its highest point, and can be conquered with a single step.

Jingshan may not be the most impressive mountain in the world, but as the only mountain in Shouguang district, it is a symbol of the region and one of its most popular tourist attractions. Mentions of the mountain in the district’s official records can be traced back over 100 years, including its precise location, dimensions and the fact that despite its laughable size above ground, it seems to be the tip of a much larger underground mountain.

Read More »

Thai Death-Themed Cafe Wants Visitors to Appreciate Life More

From cat cafes to toilet cafes and even cafes dedicated to female thighs, themed cafes are all the rage these days. Usually, entrepreneurs go for funny or exciting themes to attract as many people as possible, but one cafe in Thailand is based on the most morbid theme of all – death.

The Kid-Mai Death Cafe looks more like the scene of a funeral than a place you’d want to hang out with your friends. Black is the dominant color, but that’s probably the least morbid thing about this establishment. Funeral wreaths are used as floral decorations, items on the menu have names like “ageing”, “painful”, “illness”, and “death” and are displayed as funeral photos at the bar, and there’s even a coffin that visitors can lie down in to get a small discount.

Read More »

The Loneliest Tree on Earth – A Fascinating Tale of Survival

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a Sitka Spruce growing on New Zealand’s southernmost subarctic island, is the loneliest and most remote tree on Earth. Not only is it the only tree on Campbell Island, but the nearest other tree can be found over 200 kilometers away, on the Auckland Islands.

Located about 700 km south of Bluff, Campbell Island is one of the harshest places in the world. With strong winds blowing almost all year round, less than 600 hours of sunshine and only 40 days per year without rain, it’s not exactly an ideal place to live, which is probably why, except for occasional visits by research scientists, it has remained deserted for over half a century. Trees aren’t supposed to be growing here either, a fact made evident by the wind-tolerant shrubs and grasses covering the island, which only makes the thriving “loneliest tree on Earth” so much more impressive.

Read More »

Unique Russian Cafe Lets Patrons Decorate the Walls with Plasticine

The Didu Cafe in Moscow, is one of the most interesting-looking cafes in the world. Its walls are covered with over 140,000 colorful plasticine figurines made by visitors over the years. It’s also home to the largest plasticine Mona Lisa on Earth.

The founder of Didu Cafe wanted to give patrons a chance to leave their mark on this place in a semi-permanent way, but also give them something to do while waiting for their food and drinks. Plasticine was the perfect solution. It’s easy to work with, colorful and ends up looking good, or at least funny, even in the hands of someone with no artistic talents. So he placed boxes of plasticine on all the tables and started inviting guests to create small artworks out of it and decorate the walls and ceiling of the cafe with them. Today, Didu is home to over 140,000 plasticine artworks, from abstract designs and childish figurines, to popular symbols and even profane messages.

Read More »

America’s Smallest and Loneliest Town Has a Population of Exactly 1

Welcome to Monowi, Nebraska, population 1. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Monowi is the only incorporated town in the country with only one resident.

As the only person living in Monowi, 84-year-old Elsie Eiler, is the town’s mayor, clerk, treasurer, librarian, bartender, among other functions. Every year she hangs a sign in the tavern advertising mayoral elections and then votes for herself. Federal law also requires her to produce a municipal road plan annually to secure state funding, and pay $500 in taxes to keep the water and electricity turned on. She also does the required paperwork to keep Monowi’s incorporated status and prevent it from becoming a ghost town.

Read More »

Japanese Ex-Programmer Opens “Open Source Restaurant” Where Patrons Can Work for Their Food

An unusual restaurant in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo offers meals in exchange for 50 minutes of labor. This unique “open-source” eatery, called Mirai Shokudo, is the brainchild of former engineer Sekai Kobayashi, 33, who wanted to create a place for hungry people who otherwise couldn’t afford to eat out.

There is no permanent staff other than Kobayashi at the restaurant, which seats 12 at a counter. Customers can either pay for their meals or work one of two daily shifts to earn their meal. The lunch shift consists of serving orders, clearing tables, and other such tasks, while the evening shift, which starts after closing, consists mainly of cleaning. The shift can be exchanged for either a free meal or can be “paid forward” in the form of a voucher that is left at the front door for a hungry but broke patron. First-time customers must eat at the restaurant once before working a shift to familiarize themselves with the setting. So far over 500 people have opted to work for their meals.

Read More »

Kihnu – The Estonian Island Where Women Are in Charge

There is a piece of Estonian land where men are a very rare sight. The island of Kihnu, located in the Baltic Sea, seven miles off the country’s west coast, is a domain ruled by women. This quaint place of pastoral tranquility and just 400 inhabitants is one of the world’s last matriarchal societies.

It’s not that the women of Kihnu have anything against men; it’s just that they have no choice but hold the social and administrative reins. That’s because the male population is away for months on end, providing for the small community by fishing. This leaves the ladies responsible for running things and they have been doing so for centuries – raising the kids, working in the fields, and handling matters of governance.

Read More »

This Landfill Diner in Indonesia Lets Patrons Pay for Food with Plastic Waste

An extraordinary new restaurant in Semarang, Indonesia is on a mission to support locals trapped in poverty, many of whome are earning less than $25 (USD) a month, by providing them with an alternative way to pay for their food.

The Methane Gas Canteen, run by husband and wife team Sarimin and Suyatmi, is located in an unexpected place for an eatery – Jatibarang Landfill in Semarang, Central Java. The landfill is a mountain of putrifying waste, where poor locals spend their days scavenging plastic and glass to sell. Meanwhile, the couple, who spent 40 years collecting waste before opening the restaurant, is busy cooking.

What makes the restaurant unusual, aside from its location, is that no cash is required to pay for meals. Poor scavengers have the option to pay for their food with recyclable waste instead of hard currency. Saramin, 56, weighs the plastic customers bring in, calculates its worth, and then deducts that value from the cost of the meal, refunding any surplus value to the patron. The scheme is part of the community’s solution to reduce waste in the landfill and recycle non-degradable plastics.

Read More »

Snowflake, Arizona – A Desert Refuge for People Allergic to Modern Life

A tiny off-grid community in Snowflake, Arizona has become a refuge for people suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Often referred to as Environmental Illness, (EI), the condition is a chronic disorder in which exposure to everyday chemicals and technology causes symptoms of varying intensity.

Some of the symptoms of MCS are merely annoying and range from muscle pain to general fatigue. Others are reportedly crippling, such as intense nausea, migraines, sudden panic, and even vertigo. Sufferers claim that their symptoms coincide with exposure to chemicals and technologies around them, such as fragrances, synthetic fabrics, pesticides, and Wi-Fi. Most doctors hesitate to legitimise the condition, citing lack of scientific evidence, calling it a psycho-social condition with acute physical symptoms. For this reason, sufferers, who typically are self-diagnosed, often have difficulty finding medical help for the disease and have to resort to alternative treatments.

Read More »

Mystery Surrounding Ancient City Build Atop Coral Reefs Leaves Scientists Baffled

In a remote region of the western Pacific, just north of the equator, lies the ruins of the ancient and enigmatic city of Nan Madol. The magnificent ruin, built in a lagoon on the east side of Micronesian island Pohnpei, consists of 92 artificial islets constructed on coral reefs which are linked by a network of canals, giving it the nickname Venice of the Pacific.

Nan Madol is an engineering wonder, with massive basalt walls reaching 16 meters high in some places. Carbon dating indicates the structures are around 900 years old, but the islets themselves date even further back to the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The basalt stones originated on the opposite side of Pohnpei from a volcanic plug, where magma had hardened within the vent of an active volcano. What has modern archeologists mystified is how these massive stones were moved from one side of Pohnpei to the other using what primitive technology would have been available at the time. Furthermore, once the basalt had been successfully transported, it would have then been hoisted to heights of 16 meters. The effort required to build the megalithic structures would have rivaled that of the Egyptian pyramids, with a total area of 75 hectares, and an estimated total weight of 750,000 metric tons.

Read More »

Vietnam’s “Old Flames” Market, Where Jilted Lovers Sell Memorabilia from Failed Relationships

In Hanoi Vietnam, a young entrepreneur called Dinh Thang has found a creative solution to the post break-up blues. Instead of wallowing among the leftover relics of failed relationships, such as love letters and clothing, Thang has boxed them up and put a price tag on them. In February 2017 he founded the Old Flames Market where the broken hearted can gather together and sell the remnants of their affairs to curious customers.

“This fair is only one of those many cool ideas my friends and I came up with after a chit chat about ex-girlfriends, boyfriends, and things,” Thang told Vietnam News*. “After the break-ups, we found there were many objects left in our homes by old lovers, and we do not want to see them again since they remind us of unhappy memories. However, these things were still in good shape. It would harm the environment if we tossed them away. Then, we thought we should make an exchange with other people, so the objects would find new owners. They can buy new, good objects and we protect the environment. It’s a win-win.”

Read More »

World’s First Holiday Resort for Plus-Sized Tourists Features Reinforced Beds, Extra-Wide Chairs

Known as a sanctuary for plus-sized people looking to have a good time without feeling embarrassed about their weight, The Resort is believed to be the world’s first and only vacationing retreat for the obese.

Hidden away on the island of Eleuthera, in the heart of the Caribbean, The Resort opened its gates two years ago, and has since become popular among overweight tourists looking for an exotic and judgement-free holiday destination. The entire complex was built from the ground up with obese people in mind. The doorways are wider than usual, the extra-strong beds are reinforced with  two bars of steel to support hundreds of pounds, and the chairs and loungers are a meter wide and made of a particularly strong wood. Even the toilets are custom made to support heavier frames.

Read More »

“Asia’s Cleanest Village” Sets Example for the World

From discarded plastic bottles and wrappers to the cow dung littering the streets of major cities like Delhi, trash is a big problem in India, but not in the small village of Mawlynnong. People here have zero tolerance for garbage and spend a lot of their time making sure every square inch of their village is spotless.

Mawlynnong first made news headlines in 2003, when a journalist from Discover Magazine dubbed it “Asia’s cleanest village”. After hearing about this place where everyone, from young children to the elderly, was dedicated to maintaining a state of complete cleanliness, he decided to investigate, and was so impressed by what he witnessed during his stay that he deemed Mawlynnong worthy of the title of cleanest village in all of Asia. His article drew a lot of attention to the community of around 600 people in the Indian state of Meghalaya, and people from all over the world started traveling there to see this example of cleanliness for themselves.

Read More »

The Alaskan Town Where Bald Eagles Are as Common as Pigeons

The majestic bald eagle is the national bird of the United States, but most Americans are lucky to see one first-hand during their lifetimes. Unless they live in the town of Unalaska, Alaska, where bald eagles are as common as pigeons are in other human settlements.

Unalaska is home to around 4,700 people who have to share their space with over 600 beautiful bald eagles. It looks and sounds like something out of a fairytale, but it turns out that sharing your home with territorial predators also has its downsides. For one thing, you’re more likely to get attacked by a bald eagle in Unalaska than anywhere else in the US, and locals constantly have to keep an eye out for the birds, especially when going near their nests. They apparently hate it when people get too close.

Read More »

Page 1 of 2112345...1020...Last »