Lake Toyoni: Japan’s Naturally Heart-Shaped Lake

Nestled in a remote area of Hokkaido island, surrounded by lush forest on all sides and untouched by human civilization, Lake Toyoni (豊似湖) is a hidden gem among Japan’s many tourism attractions. It is a freshwater lake at about 260 m elevation in Erimo town located in the southeastern distriction of Tomakomai city. Up until a few years ago, it was virtually unknown to most Japanese, but a popular television commercial featuring an aerial view of the heart-shaped natural wonder turned it into a popular tourist spot virtually overnight. Of…

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Tunguska Event: the mystery that puzzled scientists for almost 100 years

A huge mysterious blast rocked eastern Siberia on this day, June 30, 1908, leaving millions of trees lying on the ground, mostly pointing in the same direction, over an area of many kilometres. The reports describe a fireball in the sky, like a second sun, and a series of explosions “with a frightful sound,” followed by shaking of the ground as “the earth seemed to get opened wide, and everything would fall in the abyss.” The indigenous Evenks and Yakuts believed a god or shaman sent the fireball to destroy…

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Akureyri Heart-Shaped Traffic Lights

All we know that Icelandic winters can be very cold. With six months of darkness and icy storms that close roads and bridges, much of the country becomes inaccessible from October to April. This is the reason which led many residents to vacation through the winter months and financial instability can often make these much-needed breaks impossible, as was the case during the Icelandic financial crash of 2008. Despite the economic insecurity and hardships of winter, the northern city of Akureyri was determined not to lose a positive spirit, and…

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