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Man Raised by Wolves Is Disappointed with Life Among Humans

Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja lived among wolves for 12 years in the mountains of Spain’s Cordoba province, before being discovered by the Civil Guard at age 19 and brought back into civilization. But even now, at age 72, Pantoja still hasn’t completely adjusted to life among humans.

Born in Añora, Cordoba, in 1946, Marcos Rodríguez Pantoja lost his mother when he was only three years old, and soon after, his father abandoned him to live with another woman in a neighboring town. As a young boy, he was taken to the mountains to replace an old sheepherder and look after a heard of 300 sheep. He remembers that the old man taught him to make a fire and use various tools, but in 1954, when Marcos hadn’t even turned eight years old, the sheepherder died, living him all alone.

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Woman Has Been Living in an Aseptic Glass Cage for 13 Years, Unable to Even Touch Her Loved Ones

53-year-old Juana Munoz, from Cadiz, Spain, has been living in a custom glass cage for the last 13 years. It is her prison, but also the very thing that keeps her protected from all the things that would otherwise kill her.

After being diagnosed with four life-threatening conditions – multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and electrosensitivity – Juana Munoz had no choice but to isolate herself inside a 25-meter glass cage. She cannot leave that space without following a very strict protocol, and anyone coming in must first shower with chemical-free cleaning products and wear only organic cotton clothes. The most painful thing is that her family cannot touch, let alone hug her without putting her life in danger. Juana’s two children, aged 26 and 29, are only allowed to hug her two times a year, and only after undergoing several days of preparation.

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Exasperated Woman Wants Her Remains Tested for DNA to Prove That She’s Alive

53-year-old Juana Escudero is alive and well, but she’s been struggling to prove it for the last seven years. Following an administrative error, she was registered as deceased, and has been unable to accomplish simple tasks, like renewing her driver’s license or scheduling a doctor’s appointment, ever since. Escudero has become so desperate to fix things that she now wants to dig up her own grave to prove that she’s not the one buried there.

It all started seven years ago, when a woman whose name and date of birth matched Juana Escudero’s perfectly died in Malaga, Spain. Even though the protagonist of this story was alive and well in Alcalá de Guadaíra, a town near Seville, the strange coincidence caused their Social Security data to clash, and the living Escudero has been dead to the Government ever since. She and her family thought it was funny at first, but they’ve stopped laughing at it for a long time now.

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New Service Has Couples Walking Barefoot on Broken Glass on Their Wedding Day

Couples looking for a unique and unforgettable wedding day experience can now add walking barefoot on broken glass on their list of options. A Spanish company recently introduced the service as a metaphor for marriage.

Some people wouldn’t dare walk barefoot on pieces of broken glass even if somebody paid them to do it, but a Spanish company believes that couples will actually pay them for the opportunity to do exactly that on the day of their wedding. Wedding Glass is the first company in Spain, and probably the world, to offer walking on broken glass as a wedding ritual, but they believe that it will soon become a trend in the business, as couples these days are no longer happy with just the classic church ceremony and subsequent party.

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Architect Turns Old Cement Factory into Awe-Inspiring Work/Living Space

Covered by climbing plants and surrounded by a garden of eucalyptus, palms, olive trees and cypresses, this old cement factory on the outskirts of Barcelona looks like an abandoned industrial complex reclaimed by nature. In reality, it’s a bustling work/living space designed by Spanish architect Ricardo Bofill.

Bofill discovered the closed down World War I cement factory in 1973, and was immediately drawn to it. He and his team bought the entire complex consisting of over 30 silos, subterranean galleries and huge machine rooms and convert it into the head of office of Taller de Arquitectura. They spent two years demolishing dilapidated structures and remodeling those worth converting. When the dust settled, only eight silos remained, which became offices, a models laboratory, archives, a library, a projections room, a gigantic exhibition space known as “The Cathedral” and a residential space for Bofill.

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The Cruel Spanish Tradition That Kills Tens of Thousands of Greyhounds Every Year

You probably already know about bullfighting and the controversy surrounding this ancient tradition, but there’s another less known tradition that claims the lives of tens of thousands of Spanish hunting dogs every year. And worst of all, nobody seems to want to do anything about it.

Galgos, or Spanish greyhounds, are an ancient breed of hunting dog that was once raised only by Spanish noble families. Today, these beautiful animals have been reduced to tools that modern-day hunters dispose of in a variety of gruesome ways as soon as the hunting season ends. The traditional explanation for their cruelty is that if the dogs have shamed their master by not performing to their expectations, this dishonor must be washed away by torturing and killing the animals, but in reality, it’s all about cutting costs. It makes more sense to them to buy new Galgos from a breeder for about 10 euros a piece, than spend money on feeding the ones they already own until the next hunting season. So they just get rid of them in the most appalling ways imaginable.

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This Man Gets Paid $4,000 for Slicing a Leg of Spanish Cured Ham

Florencio Sanchidrián has been slicing Iberian ham (jamon) for the last three decades and today his name is synonymous with the Spanish delicacy. The 55-year-old is regarded as the world’s best ham slicer in the world, and he charges accordingly for his services – a reported $4,000 to slice a leg of ham.

Born in the city of Avila, Spain, Sanchidrián trained as a professional bullfighter in his youth, but eventually put his red cape away and moved to Barcelona to work as a waiter. One day, he started cutting ham and simply fell in love with it. He started taking jamon slicing courses, and before long, he was winning slicing competitions as well as national and international awards. Florencio is now known as an ambassador of Iberian ham around the world, and he tours the five continents “with a leg of ham under his arm” at least once or twice a year.

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Corona Brewery Founder makes Everyone in His Home Village a Millionaire

The 80 inhabitants of a small Spanish village by the name of Cerezales del Condado have all become millionaires overnight, after inheriting roughly $210 million from Antonino Fernández, the founder of the world famous Corona Brewery.

Fernández was born and raised in Cerezales del Condado, before emigrating to Mexico in 1949, at the age of 32, to work for his wife’s uncle, who owned Grupo Modelo, the company behind Corona, the world’s most famous Mexican beer. He started as a as a warehouse employee, but slowly moved up the ladder, until eventually becoming the CEO of the company, in 1971. He helped make Corona Mexico’s most popular beer, as well as one of the country’s most successful exports. But despite becoming a billionaire, Fernández never forgot about his modest beginnings, contributing substantial amounts of money to various charities in Spain and setting up non-profits to help disabled people find employment. But no one realized just how much Antonino Fernández loved his home, until they read his will.

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Spanish Junkyard Owner Replaces Guard Dogs with Bullfighting Bulls

After falling victim to no less than seven break-ins last summer, the owner of a second hand auto parts business in Montserrat, Spain, has replaced his guard dogs with a pair of ‘toro bravos’, a Spanish breed of bull used in bullfighting, to roam the property and deter potential intruders.

Emilio Cervero told Spanish reporters that his troubles began earlier this year, when local authorities in the Valencian town of Montserrat built new roundabout next to his junkyard. He was expropriated of part of his property, and the provincial government sealed off his downsized land with a flimsy wire fence to replace the original concrete wall which featured barbed wire protection. Since then, he claims thieves have broken in seven times, by snipping a hole in the wall, luring the guard dogs out of the compound, and simply walking in to take what they needed.

Señor Cervero claims that the financial cost of the break-ins wasn’t considerable, as it turns out that most of the thieves were young people looking to steal a rear-view mirror or a tire for their cars, but the frequency with which the intrusions occurred had become an inconvenience. The fence had to be fixed every time, not to mention that the alarms were set off, bothering his neighbors. And since guard dogs were proving ineffective, he decided it was time for something more extreme.

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Wannabe Youtuber Confuses Adwords with Adsense, Ends Up Owing Google $120,000

A 12-year-old boy from Spain who dreamed of becoming a popular YouTube entertainer and making lots of money online, signed up for Google’s Adwords promotion program instead of its Adsense revenue program and racked up €100,000 in debt.

Jose Javier, from the town of Torrevieja, in Spain’s Alicante province, dreamed of becoming rich and famous, like his favorite youtubers, so in August, he decided to set up his own YouTube account and register for Google’s lucrative revenue generation program. Only it appears he didn’t know anything about this digital tool, or even its exact name, because instead of opening an account with Adsense, he registered for Adwords, which instead of paying users ad revenue generated by traffic on their webpage or YouTube channel, charges them for promoting products or webpages on the internet. So instead of making money, he was spending it, and fast.

In order to register for Adwords, the wannabe youtuber used a bank account that his parents had set up for him to encourage him to save money. Because of the way that the advertising campaigns were set up in Adwords, advertising fees started piling up very fast, and the €2,000 originally available in the bank account evaporated in a matter of days. When the balance started showing up in the red, bank employees called Javier’s parents and told them that Google was attempting to charge the account for tens of thousands of dollars. The boy’s mother, Inma Quesada, told bank employees to block the transactions, but because Javier’s Adwords account was still active, his debt kept rising.

 

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The Spanish Village of Witches Cursed by the Catholic Church

Nestled in the foothills of the Macayo Mountains, in Aragon, Spain, lies a quaint village plagued by a curse so strong that only the Pope can lift it.

Trasmoz was once a bustling settlement with a population of around 10,000 people, but today it numbers only 62 inhabitants, of which only 30 live there permanently. For many, the downfall of Trasmoz has a lot to do with the curse placed on the village by the Catholic Church centuries ago and the stigma associated with witchcraft. Its history is riddled with legends of witches and pagan rituals, and even the ruined castle at its center is said to have been built in a single night by a magician called Mutamín. How many of these stories are true, and how many are simple rumors spread by the Church to justify its actions is left to interpretation.

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Spanish Couple Have Lived Alone in Abandoned Village for the Last 45 Years

For the past 45 years, Martin and Sinforosa Colomer have been the only two residents of La Estrella, an abandoned village in Spain. The only living beings they have for company are three dogs, four hens, a rooster, about 25 cats, and a few bees. The closest inhabited town is at least 25 kilometers away!

It’s a strange way to live, without any human contact, almost like they’re the last two people on earth. But the tiny village was not always this isolated. It was once bustling with life, with hundreds of inhabitants, a church, two schoolhouses, and several bars. In fact, La Estrella has an interesting past – legend has it that the village was constructed exclusively for the mistresses of many wealthy men.

According to various sources, a torrential storm in 1883 killed nearly half the inhabitants and destroyed at least 17 houses. The village square, vicarage and church remained unharmed, and a memorial was erected for all those who died. The place lost its charm after that and locals slowly began to abandon their homes.

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Spanish Comedy Club Charges Customers Based on the Number of Times They Laugh

The Teatreneu comedy club in Barcelona has come up with an innovative way of charging customers; they’re calling it ‘Pay-Per-Laugh’. The concept is as simple as it sounds – the club has reduced its entry fee to zero, and instead, users are charged every time they laugh. A special facial-recognition software helps track the exact number of laughs per customer.

The bizarre idea is actually an experiment in partnership with advertising agency The Cyranos McCann – it was set up in response to increased government taxes on theatrical performances from 8% to 21%, which led to a 30% drop in audience members in just one year. So Teatreneu decided to look at the situation with humor, and that’s how pay-per-laugh was born. Each seat is fitted with a facial recognition system that detects the smiles of the person seated behind. Entrance is free, and if the show produces no laughs, customers don’t pay anything. But if they do, each smile is charged 0.30 euros with an upper cap of 24 euros.

pay-per-laugh

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Spanish Town Installs World’s First Public Toilet for Dogs

A small town in Spain has come up with a new way of dealing with dog waste – a canine public toilet. Located along a busy thoroughfare in El Vendrell, northeastern Spain, the stainless steel contraption consists of two sections placed side by side – a doggy potty and a doggy urinal.

The potty is a raised steel platform with a covered hole. Dog owners need to lift the lid for their pets to defecate, and later press a handle to flush. Jets of water are released, which carry the excrement through underground pipes into the sewer system. Right next to the potty is the urinal – also a raised platform with small holes over which dogs can squat. The public toilet is the brainchild of dog-lover Enric Girona, who has spent over ten years observing and photographing dogs. Through his work, he recognized the need for a toilet for dogs, so he set about creating one himself. “Over the years, I’ve seen that if you train and raise dogs well, these animals can be just like humans,” he explained.

Girona invented several variants of the toilet, modifying each one as he learned more and more about dog behavior. The present version of the urinal, for example, doesn’t clean itself perfectly when flushing, because need to pick the odor so they are lured to the toilet. He also had the location in mind while designing these toilets, so they’d naturally blend into surroundings like parks and other public places. “You can’t have something that clashes with the setting,” he pointed out. “The design was done with the concept of being attractive.”

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Caga Tio – Catalonia’s Wacky Present-Pooping Christmas Log

Caga Tio is a Christmas tradition in the Catalonian region of Spain. Caga is pronounced caca, and it means ‘poop’. Tio means ‘tree trunk’ or ‘uncle’. So it is basically a tradition of the pooping tree trunk. What does the trunk poop? Why gifts, of course!

The Caga Tio is a small log of wood with a painted face and two front legs. It makes an appearance in homes every year on the 8th of December, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Children keep the log as a pet until Christmas, feeding it and keeping it warm. They believe the log will grow if they feed it properly.

There is no such thing as a growing log, of course. The parents actually replace the logs every few days with larger ones. It’s easy for families who live in the country; they just go outside, find a piece of wood and paint a face on it. Urban parents have a tougher time. They have to trek into the woods to find larger Caga Tios. But mostly they just buy new ones from shops. The Caga Tio is done growing by Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. The full grown log is placed in the center of the living room and covered with a large red blanket. Children gather around, sing songs and hit the Caga Tio with sticks repeatedly, until it ‘poops’ out the presents. Earlier, the tradition was to place the log partially in fire, ordering it to defecate. There aren’t many modern households with fireplaces anymore, so now it’s just down to hitting the log.

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