Panta Petrović: the Serbian cave hermit that gets Covid vaccine and urged others to follow

Panta Petrović has been living in a cave on the forested Stara Planina mountain for almost 20 years, away from modern civilization and in the company of both domestic and wild animals, including a 200-kilogram boar named Mara. The man recently made international headlines after Agence France Press reported that even he had gotten a Covid-19 vaccine, even though he hardly interacts with other people. Almost twenty years ago, Panta made social distancing a lifestyle choice when he moved into a tiny Serbian mountain cave to avoid society. Last year,…

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Devil’s Pulpit: a strange rock with a sinister reputation lurks within the crimson waters of this Scottish glen

The real name of the gorge in Scotland is Finnich Glen. The name Devil’s Pulpit comes from a rock formation that looks similar to that of a church pulpit, even if the red coloured water seemed more satanic than saintly, to early visitors. Originally, the name “the Devil’s Pulpit” referred only to the rock that sometimes pokes above the rushing stream, and some say it is where the Devil stood to address his followers, with the crimson current swirling at his feet. Others say Druids held secret meetings there, hidden…

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The remains of Buchanan Castle in Scotland

The eerie remains of Buchanan Castle are located west of the village of Drymen in Stirlingshire, central Scotland. Interestingly, although it bears the name of the Buchanan Clan, none of the Buchanans ever lived there. And in fact it is not even related with them, except that the original castle on the site (Buchanan Auld House) was the ancestral seat of Clan Buchanan for several centuries. Historically, the old house and surrounding lands had been the property of the Clan Buchanan but passed to the Clan Graham in the late…

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The War Rubble of Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach, about five miles North of Liverpool, is basically a stark reminder of World War II. What remains of the city before the conflict that destroyed the world in the middle of the 20th century is literally strewn across these two miles of coastline: from pebble-sized remnants of bricks eroded by the adjacent Irish Sea, to graves, or large keystones of major civic buildings. Historically, Liverpool was one of the most heavily hit British cities by the German Luftwaffe, the Nazi air force. It was the second most bombed…

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Medb’s Cairn: the grave of a mythological Irish queen?

Perched atop the monolithic Irish hill Knocknarea west of Sligo town, lies Medb’s Cairn, in Irish Miosgán Médhbh, a 5,000 year old burial mound, even though no one is quite sure whose it is. It is about 55 metres wide and 10 metres high, making it the largest cairn in Ireland outside the Brú na Bóinne complex in Meath. It is believed to date to around 3000 BCE, and it is a protected National Monument. In recent years, archaeologists have warned that the ancient cairn is being eroded by hikers…

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The forgotten Benbulben Barite Mines – Ireland

In a beautiful and remote area of Ireland are the remains of Benbulben Barite Mine. The once industrious mine was used to unearth barite ore, a naturally occurring mineral used in cement as an aggregate, or ground down and used as a filler or extender. It’s an agent in the sugar refining process, a white pigment in paint and paper, and used as a weighting agent in oil and gas exploration mining, among many other industrial-type things. Due its chemical stability it can be used to give added value to…

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Grave of W. B. Yeats at St. Columba’s Church, Drumcliffe, Ireland

In the churchyard of St. Columba’s Church, a few miles north of Sligo town, Ireland, William Butler Yeats lies under a remarkably plain gravestone bearing his name, birth and death dates, as well as the last three lines of one of his poems: “cast a cold eye on life, on death, horseman, pass by.” He was one of Ireland’s most celebrated poets, and explained the plans for his final resting place the best way he knew how, through poetry. The final verse of “Under Ben Bulben” details the way he…

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The Hartest Stone

If stones could talk – what stories could they tell? Hartest is a small village south of Bury, Suffolk, England, located in a deep dale. At its North end lies its silent stone sentry, a limestone boulder with an interesting past. And, of course, there are different versions of its story. Just as the Treaty of Utrecht brought Britain the Rock of Gibraltar, it is also said, in at least one story, to have brought it this more humble roughly one metre cube rock, dragged to its present spot in…

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South Stack Lighthouse: one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses

South Stack is one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses. It is located about 2-3 miles west of Holyhead, on a tiny islet just off Holy Island on the North West tip of Anglesey. It has been a warning beacon for passing ships since it’s construction over 200 years ago, cautioning them of the deadly rocks below. The lighthouse helps guide shipping in the busy channel into the Mersey and is a waymark for local seafarers, but also for coastal traffic crossing the Irish Sea too and from the…

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Osteria Senz’Oste: the utopistic restaurant without waiters or chefs in Veneto, Italy

Italy is known as a gourmet country with a variety of foodie destination, and you can enjoy lots of different dining experiences, some conventional and others more unique and unusual. If you have decided a vacation in Veneto region and you are planning on enjoying some culinary experiences in the area, then you should visit the so-called Osteria senz’Oste. Its name literally means, “restaurant without hosts” and they aren’t kidding. This restaurant offers a very unique dining experience, as it does not have any chefs or waiters present. To get…

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Leshy: the Slavic God of the forest

Leshy, literally He-of-the-forest is a tutelary deity of the forests in Slavic mythology. He was depicted a tall, elderly man with a face covered with branches, while in other source his appearance was similar to a typical looking man (mostly he wore a forest ranger uniform and carried a gun or thick staff). According to some sources, though he often has the appearance of a man, his eyebrows, eyelashes, and right ear are missing, his head is somewhat pointed, and he lacks a hat and belt. In his native forest…

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Ajdovska Deklica: an unmistakable facial pareidolia in the Julian Alps and her fantastic story

Ajd literally means “heaten ” in Slovenian, but it also denotes a sort of supernatural quality. This rock formation, known as “Ajdovska Deklica” but traditionally known to English speakers as the “Heathen Maiden” that resembles a human face can be seen in the northern face of Mount Prisojnik near Kranjska Gora, in the Julian Alps in northwestern Slovenia. When you arrive at the top of the Vršič Pass, park your car and take some time to admire the high mountain peaks that look at the valley below: they are the…

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Casa Hamilton, the charm of abandonment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

The island of Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands. It is famous for its active volcano, Mount Teide, which is considered the third-largest in the world. But here there is also a place that combines a sense of abandonment and breathtaking views: it is the Elevador de aguas de Gordejuela, better known as Casa Hamilton, a pumping station where hydraulic pumps once transported the abundant waters of the Gordejuela springs to hills and banana plantations, located in the extraordinary area by Los Realejos. This set of ruins, which…

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Shadows From the Walls of Death – the book that can (literally) kill you

When people speak of “potentially-deadly books”, they usually refer to the radical or controversial ideas they contain, but in thw case of “Shadows from the Walls of Death: Facts and Inferences Prefacing a Book of Specimens of Arsenical Wall Papers”, the potential for lethalness is quite literal. The “lethal” book was published in 1874 by Dr. Robert M. Kedzie, a Union surgeon during the American Civil War and later professor of chemistry at Michigan State Agricultural college (now MSU). Of its 100 or so pages, 86 are “just” samples of…

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The last flight: the tragic story of the worst aviation accident in Slovenian history

A piece of white marble on a grave is actually a rich symbol. White stone, that symbolizes purity and innocence, by origin from Pohorje Mountain above Maribor, Slovenia, indicates the homeland. In the symbolism of stone are embedded gestures of young victims of the worst aviation accident in Slovenian history. Sergej Ničevski was a passenger on Adria Arways flight from Ljubljana Airport Brnik to Ajaccio, city in Corsica. On the morning of December 1, 1981, the plane flew with 173 passengers and seven crew members on board. This was Adria’s…

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Constantin Poroineanu and the legend of the crying lovers

At the end of the 19th century, Constantin Poroineanu went abroad to complete his studies. He was in Paris, when he met a beautiful girl at a student’s ball. He fell in love with her and, even though he was married and had a son back at home, they ended up having an affair. However his father did not approve this and forced him to leave the beautiful French girl and return home in Caracal, Romania, to his family. Here Constantin continued his life and affairs in agriculture and politics…

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John Wimble: a lifetime at sea…

At the age of 12 John boarded a ship for the first time. And that’s when the sea became his home. John Wimble was born in 1797 in Maidstone, Kent, England. His first voyage at sea was probably at age 12 or 13 and, by 1823, aged 26, he had gained sufficient skill and experience to meet the criteria laid down by the Honourable East India Company for captains of ships contracted to carry goods to and from India. At the time, he was in charge of an “extra” ship…

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Hellhound on my trail: the lost guitar of Robert Johnson

Most people have heard the story, in one form or another, of the legendary Delta Blues guitar player who went by the name of Robert Johnson. According to the legend, on a dark October night sometime in the late 1920’s, he traveled to the intersection of Highway 8 and Highway 1 in Rosedale, Mississippi and struck a deal with the Devil himself. As story goes, when Johnson arrived at the crossroads the Devil was sitting on a log by the side of the road, accompanied by a hairless dog, described…

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Pontiac “Ghost Car”: the first transparent car made in America

Visitors to the 1939 New York World’s Fair Highways and Horizons exhibit by General Motors were dazzled by the display of a one-of-a-kind 1939 Pontiac Deluxe Six Plexiglas car. This specially fabricated see through vehicle was constructed of acrylic plastic (quite an advancement at the time) which made visible the many parts that created the vehicle. Unveiled in the same year, the “Ghost Car” was the first completely transparent car made in America, and eight decades later, photos of it are still a wonder to see. Designed to showcase everything…

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Who is the genius behind japanese new transparent public toilets?

Apparently, a number of people are apprehensive about using public toilet as it is, so making them completely transparent would just boost their anxiety, right? Well, apparently, in Japan is the exact opposite. Despite japanese public toilets generally have a higher standard of hygiene that other public restrooms around the world, also in this country some people dread the thought of having to walk into a dark, probably smelly and possibly unsafe facility to do their physiological needs. But what would happens if you could see how clean or safe…

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The world’s cheapest electric car that costs $930 and can be mailed to your door

If you’ve been dreaming of an electric car, but can’t yet afford to buy a Tesla, you can start low. Really low. Changli is the world’s cheapest electric car, it cost $930 ($1,200 with larger batteries), it can be ordered online and delivered to your door. Designed and produced by Chinese manufacturer Changzhou Xili Car Industry, Changli, or “Changli ” is a tiny electric vehicle that has been getting a lot of attention online after being promoted as “the world’s most affordable electric car”. Calling this thing a car is…

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Edivo Vina Winery: dive for a drink at Croatia’s first and only underwater winery!

If you love wine and wandering around French vineyards or visiting California Wine Country isn’t adventurous enough for you, a trip to Croatia’s Pelješac peninsula might need to be your solution! Edivo Vina is first and only underwater winery, and if you want your very own hand-selected, barnacle-encrusted, underwater-aged bottle of vino, you’re going to have to dive for it! The unique winery, located in Drače on the Pelješac Peninsula about an hour north of Dubrovnik, is the brainchild of Edi Bajurin, who combined his two favorite hobbies to create…

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Francesc Canals i Ambrós: the Saint of Poblenou

Francesc Canals i Ambrós was born in Barcelona in 1877. He was a very kind young boy who always helped everyone and was consequently very beloved by neighbors and acquaintances. When he was 14 years old, he went to work in the popular Barcelonese store “El Siglo” and quickly earned his reputation as a good person by distributing his salary to the neediest several times. However, this was not the only thing that made him popular: people believed that Francesc had also some paranormal abilities such as guessing the time…

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Hands of madness: Italino and his grave at Staglieno Monumental Cemetery

Among the Italian cemeteries, the Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, is one of the most fascinating, full of mysteries and secrets, with its statues that follow one another and those tombstones that tell ancient stories. Coming to the highest part of the Monumental Cemetery, you might come across a particular statue, different from all the others. Is that of a child of about 5 years old, running carefree behind his circle, while two hands of madness are about to grab him from behind and seal his fate. It was the year 1925,…

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Chocolate rain falls in Switzerland

Residents of an industrial area of Olten, a town in north-western Switzerland, just few days ago, have been reporting chocolate powder raining from the sky. Well, if chocolate was ever going to fall from the sky anywhere in the world, it had to be just in Switzerland, the European country well-known for making probably the best chocolate in the world! Reports of chocolate powder falling from the sky in the town of Olten started showing up online a few days ago, accompanied by photos of cars covered in brown. People…

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The unsolved mystery of Draga Mitrićević’s death

Draga Mitrićević was a daughter of a well-to-do entrepreneur and Privy Councilor. She was educated abroad and spoke several languages and the vast family fortune and reputation was further strengthened by close connection to the Royal Court through Draga’s marriage with the young officer who served as royal household administrator. It seems a perfect story…until she found out about her husband’s infidelity. She made a scandal confronting him in public and throwing out all of his personal possessions into the street and, with heart broken, she moved to her own…

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The miniature Rolls Royce that costs as much as a real car

Probably you can’t afford to shell out $330,000 for a brand new Rolls Royce Cullinan, but you can still get a 1:8 replica complete with the SUV’s iconic accessories and details for “just” $27,000! Car miniatures don’t usually cost as much as an ordinary vehicle, but this isn’t an ordinary miniature: It consists of more than 1,000 individual parts carefully put together by hand by Rolls Royce experts in about 450 hours. And, interestingly, that’s more than half the time it takes the luxury car company to build an actual…

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August Kelnarič, the boy trapped in the pain of death at Pobrežje Cemetery

In Pobrežje Cemetery, Maribor, Slovenia, there is a sculpture on a tomb that represents a young man. Shovel in his right hand, and the circumference of the well underneath the figure are symbols of here buried August Kelnarič’s profession, that was fatal for him. Digging wells, when this was still allowed in Maribor, sometimes resulted in a tragic end. In 1900, in Cankarjeva Street in Pobrežje, two men were fatally buried alive while digging a well. Nine years later, in the same street another digger died. In 1929, not far…

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The albumen of St. John: a curious Italian tradition

John the Baptist is the most depicted saint in art of all centuries. His night has always been considered magical and prodigious, probably because it immediately follows the summer solstice (June 22), when the sun reaches its peak on the horizon and gives strength and vigor to all creatures. The night of St. John is also called the second New Year, very similar to the first for the magical conception and the rituals connected to it, first of all the bonfires. The difference lies in the contents: if the New…

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China: woman sends to her faithless boyfiend 1,000 Kilos of onions because “It’s his turn to cry”

Chinese media recently reported the bizarre case of a heartbroken young woman who took revenge on her faithless boyfriend by sending a ton of onions to his doorstep so he could cry as much as she did over his treason. Maybe you didn’t know that, for most young Chinese couples, May 20 is a very special day, the equivalent of the western Valentine’s Day, but for a heartbroken woman who recently caught her boyfriend with another, the day could become really terrible! Reportedly, Miss Zhao, a young woman from Zibo,…

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