Coast Capture Air: the UK Company that sells bottled fresh air for over $100 a bottle

A UK company has sparked some controversy online for selling glass bottles filled literally with the “freshest coastal air” for up to $105 per bottle. Yes. That’s true. Coast Capture Air started bottling fresh air and selling it as a souvenir and a talking point about the importance of clean air in the modern era, but then people from polluted areas of the world reportedly started buying these bottles for practical purposes, inhaling the clean coastal air every day. They told the company that it helped counter the harmful effects…

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Dasht-e Lut desert: the hottest place on earth?

Iran’s Dasht-e Lut desert, also known simply as Lut Desert, is only the 25th largest desert in the world, but it holds another record: the highest and surface temperature ever recorded with 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, the area is a barren land about 51,800…

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Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse: a peat bog in southern Sweden that provides a cozy and photogenic home for decaying cars.

Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse near Ryd in Småland is an unusual but charming attraction. The swampy forest is literally an old car graveyard, filled with the wrecks of historical vehicles which found their last parking space there decades ago. Bilkyrkogården Kyrkö Mosse is the final resting place for an estimated around 150 car wrecks in various stages of disassembly, partially sunk into the swampy forest ground, some covered with moss, others are covered with pine needles or overgrown by shrubs. There are old VW Beetle, Ford Taunus, Opel Kadett, Volvo PV,…

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How the Pussy Willow got its name

Spring gets nearer, and a symbol of the season is the Pussy Willow. Salix discolor is its botanical name, and its fuzzy buds that emerge in spring are excellent for floral arrangements or stunning in a bunch by themselves. You can leave a bunch of pussy willow branches in water and they will form roots. You can then transplant these cuttings into your garden, they will grow into a new shrubs and you can take cuttings off them for many more years. But why is it that the pussy willow…

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Ming the Clam: the 507-year-old clam that explained climate change

It wasn’t just any clam. Ming the Clam was 507 years old. For his whole life, he lived on the bottom of the Norwegian Sea and, while on earth the years passed, the world, inevitably, changed. Great empires rose and fell again into the dust, the Industrial Revolution transformed human society, and two world wars claimed millions of lives. In 2006, a team of British scientists was engaged in a mission of assessment off the coast of Iceland, within a study to discover the effects of climate change. Ming was…

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Escamol: the ants caviar of Mexico

Escamol is an ancient dish made with the edible larvae and pupae of two species of ants, known for its nutty, buttery flavor and It has been consumed in Mexico since the time of the Aztecs. Commonly known as “Mexican caviar” because of its similarity to the popular fish eggs, escamol consists larvae and pupae of ants belonging to the Liometopum apiculatum and L. occidentale, two species native to some semi-arid areas of Mexico and the southern United States. Its origins can be traced back hundreds of years, back to…

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The “Ice volcano” that becomes a very nice attraction in Kazakhstan

Probably the steppes of Kazakhstan’s Almaty region are not the most inviting place to visit, especially in winter time, but there is one unusual phenomenon that has been attracting a lot of tourists in the area.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, four hours away from the Kazakh capital city of Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana, looks like a miniature volcano, however, instead of hot lava, it…

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Perro Caliente: you might not even see the hot dog beneath this pile of potato chips, sauce, and quail eggs!

In Colombia, fast-food restaurants and street-food vendors invent all kinds of sauces and dressings to keep their customers coming back for more. And, curious fact, their creativity to come up with all those unusual sauces is really amazing, and it’s what people, tourists or not, love the most. For those accustomed to seeing their regular hot dogs adorned with a simple strip of ketchup, mustard, or mayonnaise, perro caliente might destabilize also most expert eaters. First, you notice the layer of crumbled potato chips. Then there’s the criss-crossing drizzles of…

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Ice Cream Loti (Singapore Ice Cream Sandwich): take the name of this street food literally!

Rainbow Bread? Yes. Rainbow Bread. With ice cream? With ice cream. Admit it, you want this. It’s been pretty well established by now that ice cream is a tricky food to eat, especially in hot (very hot) summer days. And, in most of world, options are pretty limited: cup or cone. But travel around the world and you’ll discover that other cultures have mastered the art of ice-cream-eating. In Singapore, for istance. Outside schools and on street corners with high foot traffic, it is common to see vendors that sell…

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The macabre forgotten profession of Sin-Eaters

The “Sin-Eater” is a profession that survived until the last century: in short, grieving family members of a recently deceased would pay these characters to rid their departed loved ones from all the sins they had accumulated during their lives, and the sin-eaters would then perform an eerie ritual that supposedly allowed the dead to enter Heaven. Documents dating back to 1680 define “funeral in traditional style” as those involving the intervention of these characters, and as soon as the rumor of a death spread, especially if sudden or accidental,…

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Did you know that you can buy this electric Mini Pickup Truck for just $5,500?

If you’re looking for the cheapest electric pickup truck money can buy, you should definitely check out this bargain on Chinese marketplace Alibaba: an all-electric mini pickup truck for just $5,500 (on February 2021). Manufactured in China under the obscure brand “R&Z” this pretty little electric truck sits on 12-inch wheels, has a maximum payload of 500 kilograms and featured a 1.6m long bed. Of course not the most impressive features for a pickup truck, but keep in mind that this costs a fraction of the price of any electric…

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King Frost, a Russian winter legend

The legends concerning Father (or King) Frost are inspired by ancient traditions about this mythical figure that in ancient times appeared in the tales of almost all of Europe. According to one of the most popular version, that come from Russia, once upon a time there lived an old man and his wife. She had one daughter of her own, and he had one of his own, and the old woman took a dislike to her step-daughter. Whatever her own daughter did, she praised her for everything and stroked her…

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February 3, 1959: the day the music died

Don McLean is a refined American singer-songwriter born in 1945, who has never been a star of the first magnitude of the Star System but has always had the esteem of affectionate and lovers of quality music. He is known for the 1972 No. 1 hit “American Pie”, a rather long composition with an obscure and complex text, which seems to narrate the history of Rock and Roll in such a way that many have found all sorts of historical, political and even religious references in it. In the chorus,…

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Anno Distillers: world’s strongest Gin that comes with a beaker and very specific mixing instructions

UK-based Anno Distillers recently launched what it calls the “world’s strongest gin”, a spirit so strong that it comes with a small beaker for precise dosing, as well as clear mixing instructions. With a 95% ABV, it is definitely not meant to be enjoyed straight up, not unless you want to feel what it’s like to set your mouth on fire. Instead, its creators recommend it served as a “light G&T,” using only 5ml of spirit, tonic water and a slice of grapefruit as garnish. To help you with those…

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Would you eat these unbelievably cute fish-shaped dumplings?

Dumplings come in all shapes and sizes, but have you ever seen any dumplings cuter than those made by Taipei-based self-taught cook Minmin Chang? The Taiwanese woman took social media by storm recently after posting photos of her adorable fish-shaped dumplings, along with detailed instructions on how to make your own. Filled with a mixture of minced pork, shrimp, water chestnut, garlic and cilantro, these realistic-looking dumplings are made by hand using simple tools like a straw, a chopstick, and a pair of scissors. But first, the food artist prepares…

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Indlovu, the premium Gin made from distilled elephant dung

It’s hard to believe that elephant dung could be the main ingredient of a booze, but that’s absolutely true: South African gin Indlovu is made with botanicals harvested from the pachyderm poop. Paula and Les Ansley, both former professors in different fields of biology, decided to moved from the UK to South Africa after retiring, and they found a way to contribute to conservation efforts in the region to support the local community. Neither of them had any idea that elephant dung would play such a big part in their…

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Waterbuurt – Amsterdam’s Floating Neighborhood

Waterbuurt, Dutch for “water quarter”, is a state of the art residential development in Amsterdam, which consists of nearly 100 individual floating homes moored on Lake Eimer, in Ijburg district. The floating homes are no ordinary houseboats, but real floating houses, that float adjacent to jetties and are moored to steel pilons and they only move vertically with the changing tide. Designed by Dutch architect Marlies Rohmer, the houses have a “no-nonsense, basic design” but are comfortable at the same time. They were built at a shipyard about 65 km…

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Chả rươi: Vietnam’s popular worm omelette

Chả rươi, or simply “sand worm omelet”, is a seasonal Vietnamese dish made with (unsightly) sea worms that some say give the dish a caviar-like taste. Every year, in late fall, street food stalls in northern Vietnam, particularly in Hanoi, serve a very special dish that looks very ordinary at first glance, but that actually contains a very peculiar ingredient… Actually, Chả rươi looks like a well-done egg dish mixed with various herbs, but owes its meaty texture and seafood taste to the ingredient that gives the delicatecy its name:…

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The Broomway – Britain’s deadliest footpath that has claimed over 100 lives

It is rumored that the Broomway, a 600-year-old footpath connecting the coast of Essex to Foulness Island, in the UK, 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”. It begins as a rickety causeway at Wakering Stairs and, at high tide, abruptly disappears into the sea. When the tide is out, the path descends into an impossibly sticky tidal mud. Known locally as the Black Grounds, it is the sort you really don’t want…

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Zipper Fastener Ship: the boat shaped like giant zip that looks like It’s opening the water

Japanese designer Yasuhiro Suzuki has created a unique boat shaped like a giant zipper puller that looks like it’s opening up the water when sailing. Unveiled as part of the Designart Tokyo 2020 event, the zipper puller boat, officially known as Zipper Fastener Ship, is the brainchild of Japanese designer who claims it was the result of a simple observation. He was looking down from the window of an airplane and saw a ship sailing through Tokyo Bay. The movement of the water as the boat passed created the illusion…

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Stargazy Pie, an English pastry dish with fish heads sticking out of it

When it comes to unusual and unappetizing-looking holiday dishes, there are few treats out there that can compete with the Stargazy Pie, a pie with fish heads protruding through its crust appearing to be gazing skyward. England is home to a variety of pies, from classics like apple pie and pork pie, to less known treats like steak and ale pie, or pot pie. But none of these pastry treats can compete with the popular Stargazy Pie, when it comes to wow factor. No matter how elaborate your pie design…

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Okuda San Miguel, the spanish artist that turned an old lighthouse into a vibrantly colored work of art

Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel turned a regular lighthouse in northern Spain’s Cantabria region into an eye-catching work of art. Literally inspired by the “natural wealth of the region by representing local fauna and, with its textures, the cultural diversity of a modern and open Cantabria, which is connected to the world,” he turned the Faro de Ajo lighthouse into a technicolor work, featuring more than 70 vibrant hues. His signature style comprises vibrant geometric patterns that integrate animals, skulls, and religious iconography. He started work on the 16-meter-tall lighthouse…

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Hiroto Kiritani: the japanese man who has been living almost exclusively on coupons for 36 years

We all love coupons and vouchers, but can you imagine living almost exclusively on them for almost four decades? Well…a Japanese man claims to have been doing it for the last 36 years, adding that he hasn’t spent a yen of his own money during that time! This is the story of Hiroto Kiritani, a minor celebrity in his home country, Japan. His ability to live comfortably on coupons without spending any money unless he really has to is incredible, and he has been invited on numerous television shows and…

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Gummatapura: the Indian village that ends Diwali with massive cow dung battle

The small Indian village of Gummatapura is famous all over the world for its unique way of ending the annual Diwali celebrations: a massive cow dung battle called “Gorehabba”. If Spain has La Tomatina, a famous battle with tomatoes, and Italy has the traditional Battle of Oranges during popular Ivrea’s Carnival, India has Gorehabba, a cow dung battle to end the important Diwali festivities. Diwali is literally the Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Diwali, which for some also coincides with harvest…

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Le Mort Homme: a memorial to the soldiers who died in the bloody battles to control Verdun in World War I

In World War I, the battle of Verdun was a really brutal battle that lasted from February 21 to December 18, 1916. Each meters around the French city was fought over by hundreds of thousands of French and German soldiers, and more from the farthest reaches of the European empires. There was 302 days of bloodshed, and historians still argue over how many actually died, with some estimates claimed near a million, from both sides. Even after the battle, technically won by the French, the story of Verdun wasn’t over:…

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17# The curious story of Zwarte Piet

Before elves and reindeer, St. Nicholas had a much more eerie assistant, such a Black Peter and, interestingly, the physical opposite of St. Nicholas himself! Tall and gaunt with a dark beard and hair, Black Peter was associated with the punitive side of Christmas. Traditionally St. Nicholas would hand out presents to good children, while it fell to Black Peter to dole out coal, and sometimes knocks on the head, to children who misbehaved. The story of Black Peter (or Zwarte Piet in Dutch), began in Holland in the 15th…

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The fish dish that killed a King…

England’s King Henry I died aged 66 on this day, December 1, 1135 after eating what was described at the time as “a surfeit of lampreys”. Of course, his death must have been unpleasant, but nothing like as terrific as the process that his body went through. Lampreys are an eel-like fish whose mouth has a circular suction pad. They don’t have a jaw, but the adults have teeth and they seem they are horror movies creatures. Henry enjoyed them as a meal, even though his physicians warned against eating…

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Grace Darling, the Lighthouse Heroine

Maybe not everyone knows her, but It would be wrong to describe Grace Darling as an unsung heroine: songs have been composed about her right up to 2017, but also books have been written, a choir has been named after her, and more than 200 years after she was born on this day, November 24, 1815, a website dedicated to her is still thriving. Grace was born in the town of Bamburgh in the North-Eastern English county of Northumberland. Her father, William, was the main keeper of the Longstone lighthouse…

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Nell Gwyn: the temptress who enchanted a king

In history, King Charles II consorted with a long line of mistresses and had 13 children by them. Nell Gwyn, who died on this day, November 14, 1687, is the most popular and became a sort of legend, the only royal mistress in English history to be warmly regarded by the people. Charles was married in 1662 to Portugal’s Catherine of Braganza, however her pregnancies all ended in miscarriages, causing the King to look elsewhere for a supplier of children. As a result, Catherine was ostracised at Court, her retinue…

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Stamford bull run: a custom demised after 700 years of cruelty

If you are lucky enough to own a castle you want to enjoy the fine views on your lands from your windows. And that, according to legend, is just what William Plantagenet de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey (1166-1240), was doing one day at the turn of the 12th century. As story goes, looking over the meadow stretched before him outside the town of Stamford he saw two bulls fighting over a cow. Local butchers then came with their dogs to part the animals, enraging them further and causing one…

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