X

China’s Mosquito-Free Village, an Unsolved Mystery

Surrounded by lush vegetation and dotted with ponds and pools of water, the Chinese village of Ding Wuling should be teeming with mosquitoes, especially during the summertime. However, the tiny bloodsuckers allegedly haven’t been seen here in almost a century.

Located in the hills of China’s Fujian province, 700 meters above sea level, the village of Ding Wuling is home to the hakka minority, a people with a very rich history and culture evidenced by the unique architecture of their stone houses. But in recent years, the culture and architecture of this picturesque village have been overshadowed by a mystery enhanced by national media – the absence of mosquitoes. Despite being virtually covered by a lush canopy and surrounded by vegetation, the village has reportedly been mosquito-free for several decades.

Read More »

“Covidiots” Celebrate Quarantine End by Jumping in Lake “as Toxic as Household Bleach”

Hundreds of people, including families with children, were branded “covidiots” after being spotted breaking social distancing rules on the shores of a toxic lake formed on the site of an old chalk quarry, and even jumping in the dangerous water.

The old quarry at Chinnor, in Oxfordshire, has become known as the “Chinnor Riviera” or the “Blue Lagoon”, after its deceptively turquoise water became a hot spot among local teens but also families with young kids, especially after the end of the Covid-19 quarantine. Last weekend, locals alerted police forces in the area about the presence of hundreds of people on the private property, a closed chalk quarry. Despite its alluring color, the flooded quarry contains highly alkaline substances, is highly toxic and can cause serious health issues.

Read More »

Vietnam Takes On Dubai With the World’s First 24K-Gold-Plated Hotel Exterior and Interior

Globetrotters looking for the world’s most exclusive accommodations will soon be able to add a new line on their list of must-visit  locations – a Hanoi 6-star hotel with a 24K-gold-plated exterior and interior.

After over a decade of development, the Hanoi Golden Lake hotel will be completed by the end of this year. The exterior is already almost one hundreds percent completed, with just the final details left to be added, and the building is already attracting attention because of its unusual decor. This 6-star hotel is completely covered in Japanese-imported ceramic tiles infused with real 24K gold, and according to developers, patrons can expect more shiny gold decor on the inside as well.

Read More »

Chinese Scenic Spot Unveils World’s Scariest Super-Swing

Yunyang Longgang Scenic Spot in Chongqing, China, has become home to what is being referred to as the world’s scariest swing, which can catapult thrill-seekers over the edge of a nearly 700m-tall cliff, at speeds of up to 130km per hour.

The newly-unveiled super swing consists of a 100-meter-tall arch tower from which the swing’s metal cables are attached, and a 108-meter-tall launch tower which allows the swing to achieve mind-numbing speeds. With a swing diameter of up to 91.5 meters, the Yunyang Longgang Cliff Swing is said to offer a more thrilling experience than the famous Nevis Swing in Queenstown, New Zealand, or the Glenwood Canyon Cliff Swing in the United States. The new super-swing is currently undergoing additional safety inspections and is expected to open at the end of next month.

Read More »

The Mesmerizing Salt Pools of Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis, one of Egypt’s most remote settlements, is also a popular tourist destination thanks in no small part to the stunningly beautiful salt pools with their azure water that people can float in.

Salt is both a blessing and a curse in Siwa. Years ago, people started realizing that there is money to be made in the salt trade, and salt mining operations created the salt lakes that the oasis is now famous for. Bottled salt and salt-rock souvenirs such as lamps are also very popular among the tourists that visit this wonderful places, but it’s the natural salt pools that get the most attentions, especially since photo-sharing sites like Instagram became so popular. To be fair, they really are a perfect place to have your picture taken, whether you’re a simple tourist or an Instagram influencer.

Read More »

Thai Restaurant Relies on Hunky Deliverymen to Fight Covid-19 Crisis

Restaurants have been among the most hard-hit businesses by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but one venue in Bangkok, Thailand has come up with an ingenious way to stay afloat in these troubled times – using hunky models as food deliverymen.

76 Garage, a restaurant in Bangkok’s Lat Phrao District, was known for its attractive and friendly staff long before the new coronavirus turned the whole world upside down, but now the owners of this popular eatery are actively relying on their reputation for having attractive male staff to boost their revenues. Last month, 76 Garage launched an ingenious promotional offer, which allows anyone in a 5-kilometer radius to have their food delivered by a muscular hunk if they order costs 300 baht ($9.5) or more. Not only do customers get some eye-candy with their food, but they can also have their picture taken with the friendly deliverymen, if they so desire.

Read More »

The Silent People – A Creepy Art Installation Freaking People Out on Google Maps

An eerie art installation located in a barren field in the Finnish countryside recently went viral after someone accidentally stumbled upon it while searching on Google Maps.

With quarantine and isolation measures still in place in many countries around the world, people are spending a lot of time online looking for cool places to visit once they can travel again. Many a re using free tools like Google Maps and end going deeper down the rabbit hole than they originally anticipated. That’s probably how some people recently discovered The Silent People, a creepy-looking art installation that left them scratching their heads about why anyone would fill a field with hundreds of scarecrows and dress them as real people.

Read More »

Vietnamese Man Uses Two Creeping Plants to Turn 5-Storey Building Into a Vertical Garden

Located deep in Hanoi’s Dong Da district is one of the Vietnamese capital’s most unique landmarks – a 5-storey apartment buildings completely covered by a living, creeping, green curtain.

The so-called “living building” of Hanoi is the work of Prof. Dr. Hoang Nhu Tang – former lecturer at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering and resident of this unique edifice. It all started 30 years ago, in 1990, back when this was one of the tallest constructions in the area, which basically meant that it had almost no shelter from the scorching sun during the summer. That made it very uncomfortable to live in in the hot season, so Hoang Nhu Tang decided to plant two creeper plants known for their ability to both filter sunlight and also regulate the temperature in building they grow on. His idea worked, and three decades later, the plants still fulfill their intended purpose, while also attracting curios sightseers from all over the city and beyond.

Read More »

Macabre Doll-Covered Building in Mexico Goes Viral on Google Maps

Avenida Iztacalco 9 in Mexico City was one of the most searched addresses on Google Maps this week, after photos of a creepy, doll-covered house located there went viral on social media.

It all started with a short TikTok video shared by user Fernando Mata, who runs a segment called “Weird Things on Google Maps”, where he gradually zooms in on strange things found on the popular platform. In episode three of his series, he featured Avenida Iztacalco 9, an address in Mexico City where a creepy-looking building is supposedly located. With dozens of old and dismembered dolls hanging on its facade and on the fence around the building, it’s not hard to understand why warnings like “Do not search for Avenida Iztacalco 9 on Google Maps before going to bed!” went viral on Twitter and Facebook.

Read More »

Grandparents Create Real-Life Totoro Station for Their Grandchildren, It Becomes Viral Tourist Attraction

An agricultural field is one of the last places you would expect to find a tourist attraction for fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s anime, but this one farm in Japan’s Miyazaki Prefecture is actually home to a popular Totoro Bus Station.

If you’ve ever watched Miyazaki’s “My Neighbour Totoro” anime, you’re probably familiar with the simple yet iconic bust stop scene where Totoro appears next to the main character of the animated film as she waits for the bus in the rain. There are actually several real-life Totoro bus station across Asia, from the one in Saikai City, Nagasaki, to one in Taiwan’s Taichung area, but the most popular one these days seems to be the one created by an elderly couple in the middle of a field in Takaharu, as a present for their grandchildren.

Read More »

Indian Couple Buy Land Next to Tiger Reserve And Simply Let Nature Take Over

For the last two decades, Indian wildlife photographer and conservationist Aditya Singh and his wife have been buying land adjacent the famous Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, and simply letting the forest grow back as a refuge for big cats and other wildlife.

In 1998, Aditya Singh left his comfortable job with Indian civil services in Delhi and moved to a remote part of Rajasthan, in the vicinity of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, to be closer to nature. He took up photography and together with his wife, artist Poonam Singh, opened a tourist resort to earn a living. They had been able to buy a piece of land, because farmers were eager to sell due to the danger of tigers from the nearby reserve venturing onto their properties. Over the year, the couple bought up more land, but instead of planting crops, they just let nature slowly reclaim it. Over the last 20 years, their 35 acres of land has transformed into a green forest patch where lions from the tiger reserve as well as wild boars and other animals come all year round.

Read More »

How the World’s Largest Signature Is Used by NASA to Analyze Satellite Imagery

In the late 1990’s, when a Texas farmer decided to clear up some new grazing land for his cattle by leaving up just enough trees to spell his name in giant letters, he probably never imagined that his signature would one day be used by NASA to evaluate the quality of their satellite cameras.

Jimmie Luecke was a young Texas state trooper who left the highway patrol in 1980 to try his luck in the oil business. He was lucky enough to do so during the chalk oil boom, became a millionaire, and invested most of his profits in land outside the town of Smithville. He started raising cattle on it, and by the late 1990’s his heard had gotten so large that he needed to clear up some more of his land of trees for grazing. Only he didn’t just settle for bulldozing all the trees, he decided to write his name in the process, thus creating the world’s largest signature.

Read More »

Horsetail Falls – The Yosemite Waterfall That Turns Into a Natural Firefall in February

A temporary waterfall in Yosemite National Park has become a popular tourist attraction in the mouth of February, because under the right conditions sunlight makes the water flowing down the rock face look like fire, hence its nickname, Yosemite Firefall.

Every year, from December to April, water from melting mountain snow flows toward the eastern edge of El Capitan, forming the temporary Horsetail Falls. The waterfall itself is quite a sight to behold, but it becomes truly breathtaking for a few days (7 -10) in February, when, under the right conditions, it turns into a firefall, with the water looking like flowing lava and swirling flames. The Yosemite Firefall is considered one of the most amazing spectacles one can behold in Yosemite National Park.

Read More »

Festival of Exploding Hammers Ushers in Lent with a Bang

Every February, on the day before Lent, the small Mexican town of San Juan de la Vega honors its namesake saint with a loud tradition that has come to be known as the Festival of Exploding Hammers.

The origins of this bombastic festival are shrouded in mystery. According to one local story, Juan de la Vega, a wealthy miner and rancher, was aided by San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) to recover gold stolen by bandits and residents came up with the exploding hammers to loudly commemorate their victory over the outlaws. Another story claims that “San Juanito” the patron saint of the town, was an outlaw himself, a sort of Mexican Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and that the today’s celebration is a reenactment of the fight between San Juanito and the local dons. Whatever the real origin may be, the explosive tradition is so popular in San Juan de la Vega that locals will risk life and limb to keep it going.

Read More »

Small Italian Town Lights Up World’s Largest Christmas Tree

For nearly three decades, Gubbio, a small medieval town at the foot of Mount Ingino in Italy’s Umbria region, has held the Guinness Record for the world’s largest Christmas tree.

In 1981, the 750-meter Christmas tree spread over the slope of Mount Ingino was lit up for the first time. Every year since, on the 7th of December (the Eve of the Immaculate Conception), the over 700 giant lights that make up the tree are turned on, and they remain active throughout the holiday season, until the day of Epiphany, on 6th January. Created in honor of the local Patron Saint Ubaldo, the Christmas tree of Mount Ingino was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘world’s largest Christmas Tree’ in the year 1991. Since then, no one has even come close to challenging its record.

Read More »