The Crooked Bush of Saskatchewan – An Intriguing Botanical Anomaly

Saskatchewan’s Crooked Bush, a small grove of aspen trees that grew in a very unusual way, is a botanical oddity that has fascinated both tourists and scientists for years.

Aspen trees don’t usually grow crooked. Like most other threes, they grow straight up, towards the sun, but not the specimens that make up the Crooked Bush. Located near Hafford, in Canada’s Saskatchewan province, this anomaly is the world’s only known crooked aspen tree grove. The strange appearance of the trees was first observed in the 1940s and it has since attracted thousands of tourists to this place. The advent of the internet only made the Crooked Bush more popular and there is now even a wooden walkway that visitors can use to avoid stepping on new growth.

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Centuripe – A Small Italian Town Shaped Like a Person

Centuripe, a small town tucked in the hills of Sicily, is known as “the balcony of Sicily” for the stunning views it offers across to Mount Etna, but few know that, from the air, the town itself is quite the sight.

Pio Andrea Peri, a 32-year-old local photographer, recently used his drone to capture the unique shape of Centuripe from high up in the sky. After first discovering the unusual shape of his town while looking at it on Google Earth, Peri decided to take his drone and check it out for himself. He was so surprised by what he saw on his monitor that he snapped a few photos and shared them on social media, where they went viral almost instantly. From the right angle, Centuripe looks like the silhouette of a person with their arms and legs stretched out.

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This Mexican Restaurant Serves Your Order in Just 13.5 Seconds

Karne Garibaldi, a popular restaurant in Guadalajara, holds the Guinness record for the world’s fastest food service: 13.5 seconds from order time until the food hits the table.

Usually, when visiting a popular award-winning restaurant, you expect waiting times to be on the long side, but that’s definitely not the case at Karne Garibaldi, a restaurant best known for its carne en su jugo dish and for having the world’s fastest order time. After patrons finish giving their orders to the waiters, it takes just over a dozen seconds before the plates hit their tables, which, as those who have eaten there at least once will tell you, is downright impressive. Karne Garibaldi has held the world record for the world’s fastest food service (13.5 seconds) since 1996.

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The Desert of Maine – An Unusual Tourist Attraction

The Desert of Maine, a 40-something-acre patch of sand and silt near the town of Freeport, is a geological oddity, natural wonder, and a warning of what irresponsible land use can create.

The “most famous natural phenomenon in Maine” is actually the result of poor land management over several generations. Although not technically a desert in its own right – the state of Maine gets way too much rain for it to qualify as such – the rolling dunes of sand covering the over 40 acres of land certainly look the part. The sand and silt have been there for at least tens of thousands of years, ever since the glaciers covering Maine, ground rocks into pebbles and pebbles into sand as they receded during the last ice age. But it was human activity that brought it back to the surface over 100 years ago.

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Sweet Fishs Café – Thailand’s Crazy Koi Fish Café

Imagine a place where you can enjoy your favorite cup of coffee in the company of dozens of koi fish as they swim through ankle-deep water that covers the entire floor. That’s Thailand’s koi fish café in a nutshell.

Remember Amix Coffee, the “flooded café” of Ho Chi Minh City, where hundreds of decorative fish of all shapes and sizes lived on the water-covered floor as patrons walked among them? It drew a lot of criticism from animal rights activists and closed down after just a couple of months, but if you liked the concept, you’ll be happy to know there’s another flooded café you can visit. Sweet Fishs Café is a unique venue in the Thai city of Khanom, where people can walk through ankle-deep water populated with dozens of koi fish.

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Creepy Doll-Filled Balcony in Caracas Looks Like the Set of a Horror Movie

The “Balcony of the Dolls” is an eerie landmark in central Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. It consists of a large balcony lined with old doll heads that seem to follow people with their eyes as they pass by.

Located in the middle of Avenida Este 12, between Fuerzas Armadas and Sur 5, in a place known as “El Muerto” corner, is a two-storey building that has captured the imagination of both locals and visitors of the Venezuelan capital. It’s the sort of thing that’s easy to miss if you simply walk by in a hurry without looking up, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to take in the sights, there’s no way to miss the hundreds of creepy doll heads looking back at you from above.

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Kongthong, the Indian “Whistling Village” Where Everyone Has a Song for a Name

Kongthong, a remote village tucked away in the hills of India’s Meghalaya state, has a unique, centuries-old tradition where every inhabitant is given both a regular name and a song at birth, both of which become their identity.

Kongthong was recently nominated as India’s no. 1 recommendation for the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s ‘Best Tourism Villages‘ contest, both for its natural beauty and hospitable dwellers, and its unique naming tradition. The 650-or-so people who call Kongthong home, have a normal name that they use for official purposes, as well as unique tunes composed for them by their parents at birth. These songs are made especially for them, are used as their bearers’ names throughout their life, and die with them when their time comes. Because everyone in Kongthong uses their song name locally, the beautiful community has become known as India’s Whistling Village.

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Baljenac – Croatia’s Famous Fingerprint Island

Located off the coast of Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea, Baljenac is a tiny island covered by a series of dry-stone walls that make it look like a giant fingerprint when seen from above.

The oval-shaped island of Baljenac is covered by a 23-kilometer-long network of dry-stone walls. you’d think it was an ancient labyrinth, if not for the fact that the walls are only about waist high and designed solely to make agriculture easier in an inhospitable place. The rocky terrain and strong winds aren’t exactly ideal for plant cultivation, so the inhabitants of the nearby island of Kaprije built these stone walls to separate their crops and offer them some protection. It’s a technique used in other parts of Europe, like England or Ireland, but nowhere else do these walls imitate the pattern of a human fingerprint as they do on Baljenac Island.

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A Stay at the World’s Most Remote Hotel Will Cost You $35,000

Perched on the ridge of the Don Sheldon Amphitheater of Denali’s breathtaking Ruth Glacier, in Alaska, and reachable only by air, Sheldon Chalet is famous as the world’s most remote hotel.

Alaska’s Denali National Park stretches six million acres and is a shelter for grizzly bears, caribou, moose, wolves and other wildlife. It’s one of the most beautiful places you can visit in the United States, but also one of the most inaccessible. For example, the Don Sheldon Amphitheater, a glacial valley situated at an elevation of 6,000 feet (1,829 meters), was once only accessible by ski-equipped plane, but after the completion of the luxurious Sheldon Chalet, private helicopter rides also became an option.

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No One Has Been Able to Locate the Source of This Mysterious Spring

For centuries, people have been asking themselves what the source of the underground spring known as Fosse Dionne spring in France’s Burgundy region might be, but they never got to the bottom of it, because they literally couldn’t get to the bottom of it.

The Fosse Dionne is a huge upsurge of water around which the town of Tonnerre was built. For as long as anyone can remember it has been spewing massive amounts of water, with a flow of around 311 liters of water per second on a regular basis, which can increase to 3,000 liters per second in rainy weather conditions. The Romans used it for drinking water, the Celts considered it sacred, and the French used it as a public bathhouse during the 1700s, but no one has ever been able to locate its source. Many have tried, some have died trying, but the source of the Fosse Dionne remains a mystery.

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Life-size Fire-Breathing, Three-Headed Dragon Statue Draws Crowd to Russian Village

In recent years, the village of Kamenka in Russia’s Lipetsk region has become famous as the home of Zmei Gorynich, a giant three-headed statue of one of the most iconic villains of Slavic folk stories.

The “Kudykina Gora” family park on the outskirts of Kamenka village has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lipetsk largely thanks to a single exhibit – the statue of Zmei Gorynich, an “extremely realistic” and “frighteningly attractive” rendition of the main antagonist in dozens of Russian folk stories and legends. Created by Ukrainian sculptor Vladimir Kolesnikov, the impressive statue stands about 15 meters high and is about as large as you’d expect a fearsome three-headed dragon to be. Did I mention it also breathes fire and screams menacingly from time to time?

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The Rig – Saudi Arabia Turns Offshore Oil Platform Extreme Theme Park

As part of its ambitious efforts to attract tourists from across the world, Saudi Arabia has announced plans to turn an abandoned offshore oil platform into an oil-themed extreme theme park.

Named ‘The Rig’, the upcoming offshore theme park is part of the Saudi Vision 2030’s strategy, which aims to diversify the country’s economy and boost its tourism industry in particular. The 1.6 million-square-foot extreme theme park will feature roller-coaster rides, submarines, bungee jumping, and sky diving, among other adrenaline-inducing amenities, as well as three hotels and 11 restaurants across The Rig’s interconnected platforms.

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Les Grands Buffets – Probably the World’s Most Impressive All-You-Can-Eat Buffet

Les Grands Buffet à Narbonne is a unique all-you-can-eat buffet in Narbonne, France, where you can stuff your face with the most decadent dishes of French cuisine, in a luxurious environment, and without breaking the bank.

While the above paragraph may sound like the beginning of a sponsored post, that is most certainly not the case. I only discovered Les Grands Buffet yesterday, while on my daily session of internet surfing for interesting topics to write about, when some photos of what looked like a lobster fountain caught my eye. It turned out to be just one of the many eye-catching arrangements at the Les Grands Buffet in Narbonne, France, a unique all-you-can-eat-buffet that only serves the best dishes of French cuisine, from lobsters to foie gras and cassoulet. It’s the kind of place that, as a gourmand, you simply have to visit at least once in your life.

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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.

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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.

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