Baikal Zen – Rare Phenomenon Makes Rocks Look Like They Are Floating Above Water

In winter, Siberia’s Lake Baikal becomes the scene of a rare natural phenomenon known as “Baikal Zen”. Large stones balance on thin ice “legs” above the surface of the lake, making it seem like they are floating in the air.

Lake Baikal is a fascinating body of water. It’s so large it can easily be mistaken for a sea, it is also the deepest and oldest lake on Earth, as well as the largest freshwater lake by volume. But these are only the most well-known facts about Lake Baikal. There are other more mysterious things going on there, some of which give the place a mystical, almost magical aura. Take the phenomenon known as Baikal Zen, for example – large, Zen-like pebbles balancing precariously on a thin ice pillar, above the frozen surface of the lake. Scientists have been studying this rare phenomenon for years, and we still don’t have a unanimously accepted explanation for it.

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The Hottest Place On Earth Feels Like Walking on a Hot Iron Pan

Iran’s Dasht-e Lut desert is only the 25th largest desert in the world, but it holds the record for the highest ;and surface temperature ever recorded, over 70 degrees Celsius.

Dasht-e Lut (Persian for “Emptiness Plain”) is a large salt desert that, scientists believe, formed on the bottom of a sea. Millions of years ago, tectonic shifts caused the bottom of the sea to rise, with the water slowly evaporating due to the high temperatures. Today, it’s a barren land about 51,800 square kilometers in size, surrounded by mountains on all sides, which contributes to the record-setting temperatures recorded here, as they prevent humid air from the Mediterranean and Arabian Seas to reach it.

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Unique Ice Volcano in Kazakhstan Attracts Tourists From Far and Wide

The steppes of Kazakhstan’s Almaty region are not the most inviting place, especially in winter time, but one unusual phenomenon has been attracting a lot of tourists there lately.

Located between the villages of Kegen and Shyrganak in the middle of a snow-covered plateau is a 14-meter-high ice tower that continuously spouts water which turns to ice almost instantly. The unique structure looks like a miniature volcano, only instead of hot lava, it spouts water. The sight has become popular both among locals, but also Instagram fans and influencers looking for special backgrounds for their social media posts.

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Company Launches Realistic Airplane Window Lamp for Grounded Travelers

Are you stuck in quarantine? Do you miss staring out the window at the clouds below while flying to your next vacation destination? Apparently, there’s a lamp for that!

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted all facets of daily life, but traveling has been particularly hard hit. For globetrotters used to frequent flying from destination to destination, the last year has been nothing short of a depression-inducing nightmare, but luckily, there are ways to treat your wanderlust. One solution, this clever lamp that perfectly imitates an airplane window and the view from above the clouds.

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The World’s Oldest Coal Fire Has Been Burning For 6,000 Years

A coal seam approximately 30 meters under Australia’s Mount Wingen has been burning continuously for approximately 6,000 years, earning the place its famous nickname, Burning Mountain.

Underground coal seam fires are not at all uncommon, in fact it’s estimated that about 1,000 coal seams are burning around the world at any one point. Such fires usually occur in coal-rich but less-developed countries, and are usually put out in a matter of days, a month at most. That’s not always the case though, and India’s Jharia coalfield, which has been burning continuously for over 100 years, is a perfect example. But even this century-old fire pales in comparison with the world’s oldest coal fire, an underground coal seem that has been smoldering for about six millennia.

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This Fairytale Castle Is Actually a Four-Star Hotel in China

Located on a small island, in the middle of Wanfeng Lake in southwestern China’s Guizhou Province, is one of the most stunning fairytale castles on Earth. Only it’s not actually a castle, but a four-star resort.

Built in 2011, the Jilong Castle Country Club, aka Jilongbao Resort, is one of the most impressive, yet unusual sights in all of China. On one hand, the location, the attention to detail and bridge linking it to the mainland are breathtaking, but on the other, it looks like something you would expect to find in a European country like Germany or France, where medieval castles actually still exist. Although China’s fascination with castles, and European architecture in general is well-known, it’s still a bit of an unusual tourist attraction.

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The Stunning Twin Temples Atop China’s Holy Mount Fanjing

Mount Fanjing, in southwestern China’s Wuling mountain range, is home to one of the most otherworldly sights on the planet: two small temples built atop a split rock spire, connected by an arched bridge, overlooking a stunning natural paradise.

Perched at the top of the natural rock spire known as the Red Clouds Golden Peak, the two small Buddhist temples have a history that goes back over 500 years, to the Ming Dynasty. How Buddhists managed to carry the needed materials up that precarious rock formation without modern technology remains a mystery, but the temple complex we see todays has been rebuilt according to its original look, only using sturdier materials like iron tiles, in order to resist the strong winds and overall harsh environment.

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The Loneliest House in the World

Photos of a mysterious solitary white house on the side of a green hill, on a small, deserted island surrounded by ocean as far as the eye can see have been doing the rounds on the internet for years, earning the place the unofficial title of “loneliest house in the world”.

The Vestmannaeyjar  archipelago consists of a cluster of small islands off the southern coast of Iceland. Elliðaey (or Ellirey) is the most northeastern of these islands, and home to the iconic single house siting alone on a grassy, sloping pasture. It’s an idyllic place that has remained uninhabited since the 1930s, which only makes the existence of this seemingly well-maintained man-made building even more mind-boggling.

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The Doomway – Britain’s Deadliest Footpath Has Claimed Over 100 Lives

The Broomway, a 600-year-old footpath connecting the coast of Essex to Foulness Island, in the UK, is rumored to have claimed over 100 lives over the centuries, which has earned it the reputation of Britain’s deadliest path and the eerie nickname “The Doomway”.

For centuries, the Broomway was the only way to access Foulness Island on foot. Recorded as early as 1419, the footpath runs for about 6 miles through vast sand flats and mud flats that look deceptively easy to navigate in good weather, but that can prove deadly in less than ideal conditions. Named after the hundreds of “brooms” – bundles of twigs attached to short poles – which once marked the path, the Broomway is now outlined by wooden poles that are easy to miss in fog and heavy rain. And getting lost in the treacherous sand flats can be deadly, for a number of reasons.

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Bosnia’s Energy Pyramids – Simple Hills or Ancient Man-Made Complex?

In the last decade and a half, the Bosnian town of Visoko has become a popular tourist attraction thanks to several “energy pyramids”, tree covered hills that some claim are actually part of the largest pyramid complex ever built.

The 350-foot-high Pljesevica Hill, aka the Pyramid of the Moon and the 720-foot-high Visocica Hill, or the Pyramid of the Sun, which border Visoko, are two very controversial landmarks in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. Along with a third so-called “pyramid” in the nearby hills, they allegedly make up an ancient man-made complex that gives off massive levels of “energy force” that have a positive influence on people’s lives. Although scientists have been trying to debunk these new-age claims for many years, believers include a number of high-profile names, including Bosnian officials and even tennis world no.1, Novak Djokovic.

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You Need a Reservation to See This Stunningly Beautiful Tree in Person

Every year, at the end of October, tens of thousands of people flock to a Buddhist temple in China to see a majestic gingko biloba tree shed its foliage and turn the temple compound from green to gold.

The Gu Guanyin Buddhist temple in the Zhongnan Mountains of China’s Shaanxi Province is home to a 1,400-year-old gingko biloba tree that some say was planted for the Tang dynasty (618–907) emperor Li Shimin, one of the greatest rulers in Chinese history. It towers majestically over the temple, and for a few days every autumn, it rains down a gold carpet of leaves that stands out against the muted tones of the season. Because of its striking appearance, it has been called the world’s most beautiful gingko biloba tree, and has become a tourist attraction in it own right.

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Bua Thong Sticky Waterfalls – A Waterfall You Can Climb With Your Bare Feet

Waterfalls are notoriously slippery, so trying to climb them without specialized gear is usually a bad idea, but at the Bua Thong Waterfalls in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province visitors can climb almost vertical falls using only their hands and feet.

The so-called Sticky Waterfalls get their name from the incredibly grippy limestone rocks that the water runs over. They feel like a very hard sponge to the touch and even though they can be described as prickly, you can easily climb them barefoot without hurting yourself. Because no algae or slimes adheres to this callous rock surface, the limestone creates enough friction to prevent slipping, allowing anyone in decent physical shape to climb even the steepest parts of the waterfalls.

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Monster of the Caspian Sea – A Once Glorious Soviet Aircraft Rusting Away on a Beach

Developed during the 1980’s in Soviet Russia, the futuristic looking MD-160 Lun-class ekranoplan had been sitting unused at a Russian naval base since the late 1990’s, but has now been beached on the shores of the Caspian Sea, as part of a plan to turn it into an ocean-side tourist attraction.

Known as the Caspian Sea Monster, the giant ekranoplan was designed in 1975 by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev, a prominent developer of of hydrofoil ships and ground effect vehicles. It used a cushion of air beneath its giant wings to hover at about 13 feet above water, making it hard to detect. It was built as part of the Soviet WIG program, which dated back to the 1960’s Cold War, and was the only Lun-class ekranoplan to ever be completed and equipped with supersonic missiles.

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Would You Spend a Night in This Mountain Cabin Perched on the Side of a Cliff?

La Casa en el Aire (literally ‘The House in the Air’ in Spanish) is a unique hostel perched on a cliff face, about 30 meters above ground, in the Colombian mountains.

Built primarily out of wood and featuring a tin roof, Casa en el Aire is attached to Cerro San Vicente, a monumental rock formation that rises up among the coffee landscape in rural Abejorral, Colombia’s Antioquia region. It is held in place by several steel wires connected to the cliff and supported by a long wooden pole also placed against the cliff. It stands about 20 meters above ground, at an altitude of about 2,500 meters above sea level. It is connected to a more stable-looking cable via a hanging bridge along the cliff face.

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Nekobiyaka – The World’s Only Black Cat Cafe

The Japanese castle town of Himeji is home to the only known black cat café in the world, Nekobiyaka, where you can enjoy a refreshing drink in the company of about a dozen black felines.

There are hundreds of cat cafes all over Japan, but only one dedicated exclusively to black cats. Nekobiyaka opened in 2013 and has since become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Himeji. The owner, Ms. Yagi, came up with idea of a black cat café as a way of increasing the felines’ chances of finding a forever home. As in most places around the world, the rate of adoption for black cats in Japan is significantly lower than for all other colors, and many of them end up euthanized. At Nekobiyaka, visitors get to interact with black felines and discover that the stigma and superstition surrounding them is simply ridiculous.

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