X

Sweden Opens Fist Klingon Tourist Center in Our Part of the Galaxy

Star Trek Fans looking to brush up on their Klingon lore need not travel to distant worlds or even watch countless hours of their favorite sci-fi series. All they need to do is head to Stockholm, Sweden, where the first Klingon tourist center in Alpha Quadrant recently opened its gates to visitors.

Called “Visit Qo’noS” and hosted by Turteatern, an avant-garde theatre based in the Swedish capital, the world’s first Klingon tourist center is a place where fans of the ruthless alien race can learn about its history, take a virtual tour of their capital, First City, sample staples of Klingon cuisine like Gagh and blood wine, train in the deadly martial art Mok’bara, learn their fascinating language and even interact with actual Klingons.

Read More »

This Tree in Germany Has Been Helping People Find Love for Over a Century

The Bridegroom’s Oak, a 500-year-old tree just outside of Eutin, in Germany, has its own postal address and actually receives around 40 letters every day. They are sent by love seekers from all around the world, in the hope that someone will read them and write back.

With so many dating apps and services available nowadays, sending letters to a tree in Germany hardly sounds like the most effective way to find love, but for true romantics, there’s really no comparison. There’s just something undeniably charming about sending a letter and allowing fate to work its magic, so the Bridegroom’s Oak remains very popular even in this digital age.

Read More »

The Loneliest Tree on Earth – A Fascinating Tale of Survival

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, a Sitka Spruce growing on New Zealand’s southernmost subarctic island, is the loneliest and most remote tree on Earth. Not only is it the only tree on Campbell Island, but the nearest other tree can be found over 200 kilometers away, on the Auckland Islands.

Located about 700 km south of Bluff, Campbell Island is one of the harshest places in the world. With strong winds blowing almost all year round, less than 600 hours of sunshine and only 40 days per year without rain, it’s not exactly an ideal place to live, which is probably why, except for occasional visits by research scientists, it has remained deserted for over half a century. Trees aren’t supposed to be growing here either, a fact made evident by the wind-tolerant shrubs and grasses covering the island, which only makes the thriving “loneliest tree on Earth” so much more impressive.

Read More »

Gas Station Toilet Makes You Feel Like a King While You’re Using It

Let’s be honest, finding clean and decent-smelling gas station toilets is hard enough, but one that makes you feel like royalty? Normally, I would say such a place doesn’t exist, but I recently saw these photos of a unique toilet in Quezon, the Philippines.

To be honest, I kind of already knew that gas station toilets in the Philippines can be quite different than what most of us are used, after writing about this Shell Gas Station toilet in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, which featured wood furniture, a bookshelf and even a phone next to the toilet bowl. But I didn’t know the island nation actually had a public toilet fit for a king until seeing some photos of a Petron gas station toilet in Quezon.

Read More »

No Men Allowed on ‘SuperShe Island’, a Women-Only Resort Off the Coast of Finland

Hardcore feminists searching for a vacationing spot where they don’t have to interact with men at all need look no further than SuperShe Island, a women-only island resort off the coast of Finland.

SuperShe Island is the brainchild of American entrepreneur Kristina Roth, who decided to invest in a women-only resort after realizing that being around men was distracting to other women. While vacationing at the Ashram in Calabasas, Calif., and the nearby Ranch Malibu, Roth noticed that women would focus more on the men than themselves, so she started contemplating the idea of a women-only resort where visitors could relax without any male distractions.

Read More »

Unique Russian Cafe Lets Patrons Decorate the Walls with Plasticine

The Didu Cafe in Moscow, is one of the most interesting-looking cafes in the world. Its walls are covered with over 140,000 colorful plasticine figurines made by visitors over the years. It’s also home to the largest plasticine Mona Lisa on Earth.

The founder of Didu Cafe wanted to give patrons a chance to leave their mark on this place in a semi-permanent way, but also give them something to do while waiting for their food and drinks. Plasticine was the perfect solution. It’s easy to work with, colorful and ends up looking good, or at least funny, even in the hands of someone with no artistic talents. So he placed boxes of plasticine on all the tables and started inviting guests to create small artworks out of it and decorate the walls and ceiling of the cafe with them. Today, Didu is home to over 140,000 plasticine artworks, from abstract designs and childish figurines, to popular symbols and even profane messages.

Read More »

America’s Smallest and Loneliest Town Has a Population of Exactly 1

Welcome to Monowi, Nebraska, population 1. According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Monowi is the only incorporated town in the country with only one resident.

As the only person living in Monowi, 84-year-old Elsie Eiler, is the town’s mayor, clerk, treasurer, librarian, bartender, among other functions. Every year she hangs a sign in the tavern advertising mayoral elections and then votes for herself. Federal law also requires her to produce a municipal road plan annually to secure state funding, and pay $500 in taxes to keep the water and electricity turned on. She also does the required paperwork to keep Monowi’s incorporated status and prevent it from becoming a ghost town.

Read More »

Japanese Ex-Programmer Opens “Open Source Restaurant” Where Patrons Can Work for Their Food

An unusual restaurant in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo offers meals in exchange for 50 minutes of labor. This unique “open-source” eatery, called Mirai Shokudo, is the brainchild of former engineer Sekai Kobayashi, 33, who wanted to create a place for hungry people who otherwise couldn’t afford to eat out.

There is no permanent staff other than Kobayashi at the restaurant, which seats 12 at a counter. Customers can either pay for their meals or work one of two daily shifts to earn their meal. The lunch shift consists of serving orders, clearing tables, and other such tasks, while the evening shift, which starts after closing, consists mainly of cleaning. The shift can be exchanged for either a free meal or can be “paid forward” in the form of a voucher that is left at the front door for a hungry but broke patron. First-time customers must eat at the restaurant once before working a shift to familiarize themselves with the setting. So far over 500 people have opted to work for their meals.

Read More »

Kihnu – The Estonian Island Where Women Are in Charge

There is a piece of Estonian land where men are a very rare sight. The island of Kihnu, located in the Baltic Sea, seven miles off the country’s west coast, is a domain ruled by women. This quaint place of pastoral tranquility and just 400 inhabitants is one of the world’s last matriarchal societies.

It’s not that the women of Kihnu have anything against men; it’s just that they have no choice but hold the social and administrative reins. That’s because the male population is away for months on end, providing for the small community by fishing. This leaves the ladies responsible for running things and they have been doing so for centuries – raising the kids, working in the fields, and handling matters of governance.

Read More »

Mystery Surrounding Ancient City Build Atop Coral Reefs Leaves Scientists Baffled

In a remote region of the western Pacific, just north of the equator, lies the ruins of the ancient and enigmatic city of Nan Madol. The magnificent ruin, built in a lagoon on the east side of Micronesian island Pohnpei, consists of 92 artificial islets constructed on coral reefs which are linked by a network of canals, giving it the nickname Venice of the Pacific.

Nan Madol is an engineering wonder, with massive basalt walls reaching 16 meters high in some places. Carbon dating indicates the structures are around 900 years old, but the islets themselves date even further back to the 8th and 9th centuries AD. The basalt stones originated on the opposite side of Pohnpei from a volcanic plug, where magma had hardened within the vent of an active volcano. What has modern archeologists mystified is how these massive stones were moved from one side of Pohnpei to the other using what primitive technology would have been available at the time. Furthermore, once the basalt had been successfully transported, it would have then been hoisted to heights of 16 meters. The effort required to build the megalithic structures would have rivaled that of the Egyptian pyramids, with a total area of 75 hectares, and an estimated total weight of 750,000 metric tons.

Read More »

World’s First Holiday Resort for Plus-Sized Tourists Features Reinforced Beds, Extra-Wide Chairs

Known as a sanctuary for plus-sized people looking to have a good time without feeling embarrassed about their weight, The Resort is believed to be the world’s first and only vacationing retreat for the obese.

Hidden away on the island of Eleuthera, in the heart of the Caribbean, The Resort opened its gates two years ago, and has since become popular among overweight tourists looking for an exotic and judgement-free holiday destination. The entire complex was built from the ground up with obese people in mind. The doorways are wider than usual, the extra-strong beds are reinforced with  two bars of steel to support hundreds of pounds, and the chairs and loungers are a meter wide and made of a particularly strong wood. Even the toilets are custom made to support heavier frames.

Read More »

Snow-White Beach in Australia Is Made Up of Billions of Cockle Shells

Australia’s Shark Bay World Heritage Area is home to Shell Beach, one of only two places around the world where beach sand is completely replaced by sea shells.

Imagine billions of white cockle shells stretching out as far as the eye can see, and you get a pretty good idea of how amazing Shell Beach looks. Located on the western edge of the Australian continent, this unique tourist attraction stretches for a whopping 70 km, which makes it look like an endless sea of shells meeting the ocean. And if you’re thinking that the shells only make up a superficial layer, we’ll have you know that in some places, they reach 10 meters deep.

Read More »

The Literary Man – A Library-Style Hotel with a Collection of Over 50,000 Books

If you ever decide to visit the medieval village of Obidos, in Portugal, you needn’t bother bringing a book to pass the time. Just book a stay at The Literary Man hotel and you can choose from its collection of over 50,000 books.

Established in 2015, The Literary Man has already become famous as the world’s best hotel for book lovers. It features a constantly growing collection of literary works, most of which are written in English. Books can be found virtually everywhere inside The Literary Man, lining the walls of its massive lounge, on the bed stands of its 30 bedrooms, at the in-house gin bar, and even in its old wine cellar. The over 50,000 literary works cover a variety of genres, from novels and poetry to cookbooks.

Read More »

Meet China’s One and Only “Spider Woman”

Luo Dengping has become famous as the only woman in a group of “spider men” who climb vertical cliffs of up to 100 meters high, without ropes or safety equipment of any kind, for the entertainment of tourists in China’s Guizhou Province.

Men of the Miao people, in Southwest China, have been free-climbing steep cliffs for centuries. They originally developed this skill as part of a burial custom, to lift coffins of relatives up the cliffs and place them in small caves or just hang them on the cliffside, like the Tana Toraja tribe, in Indonesia. This practice fell into obscurity, but the Miao spider men continued climbing the perfectly vertical cliffs of Ziyun, in order to collect rare medicinal plants said to cure asthma and rheumatism. However, as Western medicine started taking precedence over traditional Chinese medicine, spider men found themselves struggling to support their families. Today, only a few members of the Miao people still practice this ancient tradition, and one of them is a woman.

Read More »

“Asia’s Cleanest Village” Sets Example for the World

From discarded plastic bottles and wrappers to the cow dung littering the streets of major cities like Delhi, trash is a big problem in India, but not in the small village of Mawlynnong. People here have zero tolerance for garbage and spend a lot of their time making sure every square inch of their village is spotless.

Mawlynnong first made news headlines in 2003, when a journalist from Discover Magazine dubbed it “Asia’s cleanest village”. After hearing about this place where everyone, from young children to the elderly, was dedicated to maintaining a state of complete cleanliness, he decided to investigate, and was so impressed by what he witnessed during his stay that he deemed Mawlynnong worthy of the title of cleanest village in all of Asia. His article drew a lot of attention to the community of around 600 people in the Indian state of Meghalaya, and people from all over the world started traveling there to see this example of cleanliness for themselves.

Read More »