Car Sickness Hell – A Winding Mountain Road With 600 Hairpin Turns

A 75-kilometer stretch of mountain road in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has been dubbed a car sick person’s worst nightmare for its hundreds of hairpin turns.

Known as Pamir Plateau Sky road or the Panlong Ancient Road, the winding road traversing the Kunlun Mountains of  Xinjiang is one of the most visually impressive roads in the world. Seen from above, it looks like a giant grey dragon slithering through the Kashgar region of the Uygur Autonomous Region in China. It officially opened in July of 2019 to facilitate the passage through the Kunlun Mountains for the region’s farmers, but soon became a tourist attraction for driving enthusiasts wanting to test their skills. With an alleged 600 hairpin turns, this road isn’t for the faint of heart or for the car sick.

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This Wooden Shack in the Middle of a Desert Is the World’s Most Remote Post Office

Deep in the Tengger Desert of Inner Mongolia, surrounded by sand dunes as far as the eye can see, lies the world’s loneliest post office, a surprisingly bustling outpost of human connection.

Measuring only 15 square meters, the wooden post office of Tengger Desert is not much to look at, but that’s ok, it doesn’t get too many visitors anyway. Besides, after being abandoned for over 35 years, it actually doesn’t look half bad. Thanks to the efforts of a few intrepid individuals who learned about the existence of an old abandoned desert post office by mistake, it has been given a new lease on life, and thanks to the magic of the internet, it has actually become quite a busy operation.

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Panama’s El Valle de Anton – The Valley of Square Trees

A few miles north of the Panama Canal Zone lies the Valley of Square Trees, a unique tourist attraction where trees of the cottonwood family have rectangular trunks.

Unique in the entire world, this group of square-shaped cottonwood trees grows in a valley created from the ashes of a giant volcano – El Valle de Anton. Featuring hard-right angles, the trunks of the square trees have baffled tourists and scientists alike for several years. Experts from the University of Florida took saplings of the mysterious trees to see if they retain the same characteristics in a different environment, and concluded that their square shape must have something to do with conditions unique to the valley in which they grow. Evidence that the cause of this bizarre phenomenon is deep-seated is indicated by the fact that their tree rings, which represent its growth, are also square.

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This Triangular Mosaic Is the Smallest Piece of Private Property in New York City

New York City is full of unusual plots of land left over from various construction projects, but none as small and emblematic as the Hess Triangle, a private property barely larger than a pizza slice.

The story of the Hess Triangle began in 1910 when the city of New York claimed eminent domain in order to expropriate and demolish 253 buildings, including the Voorhis, a 5-storey apartment building owned by David Hess. The businessman and his family fought the decision, but by 1913, they had exhausted all legal options and had to watch their property be demolished. However, in 1928, while checking property papers, Hess’s heirs discovered that the city had neglected to seize a tiny corned of Plot 55, and quickly filed a notice of possession for it. That’s how the Hess Triangle, the smallest piece of real estate in NYC came to be.

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Unique Tokyo Café Only Serves Struggling Writers Working on Tight Deadlines

The Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo, Japan only caters to writers working on tight deadlines, providing the motivation and assistance required to make sure they meet those deadlines.

Japan is no stranger to offbeat cafes that sometimes inspire worldwide trends. Remember cat cafes? That popular trend originated in the Asian country, as did, maid cafes, owl cafes, reptile cafes, and even a cafe dedicated to female thighs. And those are just a handful of examples; in reality, Japan has come up with a plethora of intriguing cafe concepts, and somehow keeps coming up with new ones. The latest example is the Manuscript Writing Café in Tokyo’s Koenji neighborhood, a venue that only welcomes writers struggling to meet their deadlines.

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Vozrozhdeniya – Probably the Deadliest Former Island on Earth

Vozrozhdeniya was once an isolated island in the Aral Sea. Today, it’s a wasteland infused with tonnes of anthrax, as well as other exotic and deadly diseases.

The Aral Sea was once the fourth-largest sea on planet Earth, but after the rivers that fed it were diverted by the Soviets to irrigate cotton fields, its waters receded and today it is nothing but a salty-sand wasteland where temperatures frequently reach 60 degrees Celsius and signs of life are scarce to non-existent. But you know what’s worse than a salt-covered wasteland – a salt-covered wasteland infused with anthrax and a plethora of other exotic diseases that the Soviet Union experimented with for years. That’s what makes Vozrozhdeniya one of the deadliest places in the world.

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Portugal’s Anchor Cemetery – A Symbolic Memorial to a Dead Industry

The sand dunes behind Barril Beach on Portugal’s southern Algarve Coast are home to over 200 rusty anchors abandoned there almost 60 years ago by the local tuna fishing community.

O Cemitério das Âncoras (The Anchor Cemetery) is one of the most iconic Sights of the Algarve Coast, yet not many people know its history and meaning. This isn’t just a random place where old ships abandoned their anchors many years ago, but a memorial to a now-defunct trade going back hundreds of years. In 1964, the local community decided to commemorate the death of traditional Bluefin Tuna fishing by burying the anchors that once formed the backbone of the complex tuna traps known as armações. They’ve remained there ever since as a reminder of the effect of industrialization and over-fishing on the locals.

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This Portuguese Library Relies on Bats to Preserve Old Books and Manuscripts

The Joanina Library of the University of Coimbra Alta and Sofia is one of two Portuguese libraries to house colonies of bats as natural deterrents for bugs that would otherwise feed on old books and manuscripts.

As unusual as having a colony of Common pipistrelle bats living behind the bookshelves of one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, the curators of this historical marvel swear that the flying rodents provide an indispensable service – they feast on bugs that would otherwise damage or feed on old books. And with some of these ancient manuscripts being virtually priceless, it’s no wonder that the bats are regarded as helpful guardians.

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At Karen’s Diner Attitude From the Waiters Is What You’re Paying For

If your idea of a nice meal out on the town happens to include rude restaurant staff that’s actually paid to insult and ridicule you, booking a table at Karen’s Diner should be on your priorities list.

“Great Food, Terrible Service” is the motto of Karen’s Diner, a new and intriguing fast-food restaurant chain that is currently operating in Australia and the UK. In case you haven’t made the connection yet, the name plays on the popular American slang for an obnoxious and entitled middle-aged customer who is never satisfied and wants to talk to the manager about the most trivial issues. Well, some bright minds decided that this sort of attitude would be perfect for the staff of a restaurant in order to offer patrons a truly memorable experience.

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Areia Prata – Brazil’s Radioactive Beach

The Areia Preta beach in the Brazilian city of Guarapari is famous for its black sand which has external radiation levels of almost 400 times the normal background radiation recorded in the US.

Brazil has hundreds of miles of beaches, but none are quite like “Praia Da Areia Preta”, in Guarapari. The sand in this region, particularly the black sand, contains moderate quantities of monazite, a phosphate mineral rich in several rare-earth elements, including uranium and thorium. Research has shown that background radiation on Areia Preta can reach 175 mSv per year, or 20 μSv/h, while some spots, particularly those with lost of black sand, have radiation levels of up to 55 μSv/h. To put that into perspective, the average radiation exposure level across the United States is about 0.34 μSv/h, while an X-ray gives people a one-time exposure to about 100 μSv.

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China’s Famous ‘Strange Slope’ Appears to Defy Gravity

Strange Slope is a natural tourist attraction in China’s Liaoning Province, where a strange phenomenon causes things to roll uphill and prevents them from rolling downhill.

Located at the foot of Maoshan Mountain, near the city of Shenyang, the Strange Slope scenic area is considered one of the eight natural wonders of Liaoning Province. It was discovered in 1990, when, local stories say, a police officer stopped his car in the area and, taking his foot off the brake, noticed his vehicle slowly rolled uphill, all the way to the top. Word of the bizarre phenomenon spread like wildfire, and before long, people from all over the country, and even from abroad, were coming to see the gravity-defying slope in person. Authorities cleaned the place up, created separate lanes for bikes and cars, and Strange Slope became one of the most popular scenic areas in Liaoning.

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Kjeragbolten – A Photo-Friendly Boulder Wedged Over a 3,228-Foot Deep Abyss

Kjeragbolten is one of the most instagrammable places in Norway. It’s an ancient boulder wedged in a crevasse by the edge of Kjerag mountain, in Lysefjord.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen photos of people standing on this giant boulder wedged in-between two stone walls, above this seemingly bottomless abyss. Well, technically, the abyss is 984 meters or 3,228 feet deep, so in terms of chances of survival in case of a fall, it might as well be bottomless. However, despite its dramatic appearance, Kjeragbolten is relatively easy to access on foot without any special equipment, making it one of the hottest tourist spots in Norway.

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Russian Businessman Builds Fairytale Castle in the Middle of a Lake

Chateau Erken, in the Russian Federation’s Kabardino-Balkaria autonomous republic, looks like an extremely well-preserved medieval castle, but in reality, this architectural wonder is just over a decade old.

Located in the vineyard-dominated countryside of Kabardino-Balkaria, Chateau Erken is a tourist attraction unlike any other in Russia. Not only does it mimic the fortress-like design of European medieval castles, but its location in the middle of a man-made lake full of fish and wild birds is just as impressive. People from all over the country come to this rural area in Southern Russia to see Chateau Erken in person. Photos and videos of this amazing castle have been doing the rounds on social media for years, but some people still can’t believe it exists and that it was built not by a king, but by a legendary businessman.

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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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