Peasant Art Building – one of the strangest buildings in China

A small town in Guangxi, China, is home to one of the strangest-looking buildings in all of country, a 10-storey behemoth that combine an assortment of architectural styles from all over the world. In recent years, Xinxu Town, a small settlement close to Beiliu City, has become popular for a strange building that towers over the dozens of predominantly commercial buildings in the area. Not only it is much taller than most other structures, but it also doesn’t adhere to any particular architectural style! Most of its several spire-like towers…

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Mozartkugel: a Salzburg Original!

In Austria practically everyone knows this sweet temptation in the form of a chocolate praline simply known as Mozart, basically behind every display windows of souvenir shops and not only. Invented more than 125 years ago, Mozartkugel is a little, spherical chocolate filled with a marzipan centre with pistachio and a finest nougat. Interestingly, to make the balls completely round, confectioners place the bonbon on a wooden stick and dip it in the final layer of chocolate, filling the hole left by the stick with chocolate as well. Still today,…

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Neversink Mountains, Witch’s Hat Pavilion and ruins of its glorious past

Neversink Mountain sits north of the city of Reading, Pennsylvania. Despite now the site of hiking trails is open to the public, it was once the site of a complex of exclusive hotels, multiple resorts and tourist attractions, and was originally inhabited by the Lenni Lenape, indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands, who lived in the United States and Canada. The name “Neversink” in fact derives from the Lenape word “navasink”, meaning literally “at the promontory”. Today, the mountain sits in solitude, and contains only the relics and ruins of its glorious past.…

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The insane, inconclusive truth behind Rat Kings, the grotesque tangled Super-Rodents

Recently, as of September 2017, a monstrous mess of a creature seems to be back in the popular consciousness, the so-called “Rat King”, literally “rats that get tied together by their tails”. And it didn’t pass quietly, thanks to a flock of science-writers all adopting the same question: “rat kings are real?” Historically, a Rattenkönig, later translated into English as rat king, and into French as roi des rats, is a collection of rats whose tails are intertwined and bound together. This alleged phenomenon is particularly associated with Germany but…

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Shabla Lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse on the balkan peninsular

We are along the Black Sea coast, where there is a place that enjoys keen interests from tourists even in winter. This is Shabla Municipality, in the northernmost section of the Bulgarian coastline, a territory that have become the winter getaway of dozens of endangered bird species, including the entire world population of the Red-breasted Goose. During the cold months, when seaside resorts shut down, Shabla Municipality welcomes coaches with foreign tourists armed with cameras, binoculars and every kind of equipment. However, before heading to the wetlands, they make a…

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Second Monday of October – Canadian Thanksgiving

Since 1957, Canadian Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated on the second Monday of October. Basically, it is a chance for people to give thanks for fortunes in the past year, including a good harvest. It is a holiday that shares many similarities with its American equivalent but with a number of things that set it apart, including that it happens a full month and a half before American Thanksgiving. Here we will explain what people do on Canadian Thanksgiving, as well as the ways that it differs from U.S. Thanksgiving.…

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The Old Fairy Bridge of the Isle of Man (and how to find it)

Locals of the Isle of Man are well acquainted with the folklore around the so-called Fairy Bridge on the A5 between Ballasalla and Newtown. Local superstitions state that those who do not greet the bridge’s fey inhabitants with something like “Hello, fairies!” as they pass over it may fall prey to their malicious, mischievous whims. From the 1950s, it was reportedly the custom to advise a visitor of the myth on the journey south from Douglas or north from the airport. Also motorcycle racers and spectators at the annual TT…

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Pierogi: a taste of Poland

Anyone who has ever visited Poland, had a Polish friend or even known someone whose relatives were Polish has heard of pierogi. Pierogi are one of the most popular Polish dishes, and virtually everyone worldwide treats the word as a synonym of Polish cuisine. And that’s true. If they were traditionally considered a peasant food, they eventually gained popularity and spread throughout all social classes—including nobles in Europe. And we can easily see why, as traditional pierogi are delicious. They’re made of unleavened dough, boiled, and then baked and fried…

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White deer in myths and legends

What does it mean if you see a white deer in the woods? The deer is one of the most silent and elusive of woodland creatures in its native habitat. However, they have adapted also in our industrialised and heavily farmed landscape. Interestingly Great Britain have more deer now than at any time in the last ten thousand years, to the point where they can be a serious pest. Britain’s native deer species, the red and the roe, have been joined more recently by fallow, probably a Norman introduction, sika,…

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October 6: Canadian Beer Day

Did somebody say beer? Beer is a drink that has been enjoyed for thousands of years and, in historical times, it was often much safer to drink than water! Believe it or not, still today, quite a large amount of the world population prefers beer over water anyway. Canadian Beer Day is all about celebrating the beverage and the Canadian beer industry, and It’s no secret that a cold beer can be the perfect complement to any day. Beer lovers are sure to find interesting events across Canada on this…

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Wicklow Head Lighthouse – Ireland

Wicklow Head, Ceann Chill Mhantáin in Irish, is a headland near the southeast edge of the town of Wicklow, approximately 3 kilometres from the centre of the town and one and a half hours drive to Dublin. Geographically, it is the easternmost point on the Irish mainland. Wicklow Head Lighthouse, has overlooked its scenic coastline, since 1781. It was the one of two lighthouses built on the headland on that year, and it originally had an eight-sided lantern for the light on top of it. The twin lighthouses were originally…

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Buried under a boulder: the grave of Meg Shelton, the Woodplumpton Witch

In the old Lancashire village of Woodplumpton near Preston, England, is the church of St. Annes, originally 11th Century but rebuilt in 1639 and 1900, with its structure that stands to this day. Interestingly, among the variety of gravestones in its burial ground, lies the very distinctive sight of a large boulder partially embedded in the ground. In front of it, a small sign reads: “The Witch’s Grave. Beneath this stone lies the remains of Meg Shelton alleged witch of Woodplumpton, buried in 1705.” When one mentions Lancashire and witches…

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Túró Rudi: Hungary’s favorite chocolate bar

We are in Hungary. If you’re roaming the aisles of a local grocery store in search of one of the country’s most popular chocolate bars, look no further than the refrigerated dairy section. What apparently is the thing that most Hungarians living abroad miss the most, the snack known as Túró Rudi is basically a curd-filled treat. Túró is literally translated as “cottage cheese”, but the term misleads those who expect a classic curds sitting in tangy whey water, as the Hungarian version is more similar to quark or fromage…

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The Protest Pig: a rare breed designed to be a living (and breathing) flag

Husum Red Pied, Rotbuntes Husumer in German, is a rare domestic pig breed popularly known as “the Danish Protest Pig” (German: Husumer Protestschwein and Danish: Husum protestsvin or danske protestsvin), because its whole reason for being was to imitate the country flag at a time when its actual flag could not be raised. Its story can be traced back to the mid 19th century when Denmark and Prussia went to war over control of the southern Jutland Peninsula, which today is part of the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. At that…

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October 1st: International Coffee Day

Coffee in the morning, coffee in a reunion with old friends, going for coffee with your new date…basically, most of us drink coffee morning, day and night with friends, colleagues, family members and lovers. Whether you favour espresso, americanos, lattes or cappuccinos, iced, decaf or instant, Coffee Day, celebrated on this day, October 1, is the day to savour and appreciate it. International Coffee Day is an occasion that is used to promote and celebrate coffee as a beverage, with events now occurring in places across the world. The first…

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The Month of October: holidays, folklore and traditions

“October glows on every cheek, October shines in every eye, While up the hill and down the dale Her crimson banners fly.” Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863–1953) In October, fall (or autumn, if you prefer…but what’s the difference?) comes into its full swing. This month’s name stems from Latin octo, “eight”, because this was simply the eighth month of the early Roman calendar. When the Romans converted to a 12-month calendar, the name October remain despite that fact that it’s still today the 10th month. The early Roman calendar, thought to…

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Ubang: the village where men and women speak different languages

Some say women are from Venus and men are from Mars, and nowhere is that more real than in Ubang, a Nigerian rural community where men and women have their own separate languages! It’s hard to believe that men and women who grow up together in the same community can end up speaking different languages, but in the case of Ubang’s residents, it’s absolutely true. It’s not exactly clear how many words in the men’s and women’s languages are different, but there are enough examples to make sentences sound different…

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Michaelmas: the day the Devil spit on blackberries!

Michaelmas Day is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, celebrated on this day, 29 September. Traditionally St. Michael is the patron saint of the sea and maritime lands, of ships and boatmen, but also of horses and horsemen. He was the Angel who hurled Lucifer, the devil, down from Heaven for his treachery. It is one of the Quarter Days, the days that marked the four major divisions of the year (Lady Day on 25th March, Midsummer on 24th June, Michaelmas on 29th September, and Christmas on 25th December).…

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Valentia Lighthouse at Cromwell Point

Built on the site of a 17th century fort known as ‘Fleetwood’ Fort, one of two built on Valentia Island around this time, Valentia Island Lighthouse at Cromwell Point, Ireland, has stood against sea and invader for hundreds of years. A standing stone, dating back to the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC) still marks the site at Cromwell Point where it was built and, still today, this gleaming white lighthouse on beautiful island looks out across some of the most spectacular sights along the Wild Atlantic Way. The outline of the…

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Matthew Hassal, Isle of Man Vampire

The Isle of Man is an ancient land steeped in old superstition, including dark wraiths, fairies and even vampires. Located on the outskirts of Castletown is Malew Churchyard, a regular graveyard with gravestones dating back centuries, but with also a curious gravesite. The burial plot is cornered by four iron stakes driven deep into the ground, draped with heavy chains, while a huge slate slab covers the grave. But It remains a mystery as to exactly why the chains were placed here back in the 1850s, and they still exist…

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Al Naslaa: Saudi Arabia’s mysterious rock formation

There are many natural occurrences that might puzzle a traveler. One of them is Al Naslaa, a 4,000-year-old geological mystery, located in Tayma oasis, Saudi Arabia, a strange rock formation perfectly split down the middle with the precision of a laser beam. It is made up of two large sandstone boulders supported by a natural pedestal that appears much too small for its purpose. But what really draws people’s attention is the perfect split between the two boulders. The almost flawless split has inspired lots of speculation, and some suggesting…

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Gaet’ale Pond: the Earth’s saltiest natural body of water that belches toxic gas.

The Afar Depression in northern Ethiopia is one of the most tectonically active regions in the world. Shaped by volcanic activity, the floor of the depression is largely composed of lava, and the area is riddled with charming natural formations that literally bake in the scorching sun. One of these is Gaet’ale Pond, the largest of a series of small bodies of water, located near the Dallol crater in Danakil Depression, one of the hottest inhabited locations on Earth. But, despite its balmy temperature, it is certainly not the place…

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Lángos, the beloved Hungarian Street Food

We are in Hungary. Whether you’re at the market, at the train station, on the beach or just walking down a commercial street, sooner or later you will smell the greasy invitation of the lángos, the ubiquitous local deep-fried flat bread. You might even encounter it in neighboring countries in Central and Eastern Europe like Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Serbia, or Romania, despite It’s part of what Hungarians broadly consider “Hungaricum”: those things made special by being uniquely Hungarian. Either way, some assume that it appeared in the Hungarian kitchens…

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Nikiszowiec: Katowice’s old mining district

Katowice is a city of more than 300,000 inhabitants, at the centre of one of Europe’s principal coal-mining and iron-making regions. In the nineteenth century it was part of the Prussian province of Silesia, but from 1922 was incorporated into Poland. Nikiszowiec is a part of an administrative district Janów-Nikiszowiec of the city. Initially it was coal miners’ settlement of Giesche mine built on the land of Giszowiec manor between 1908–1918 on the mining metallurgical concern initiative Georg von Giesches Erben, a Silesian mining corporation that originated in the early…

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September 22: Happy National White Chocolate Day!

When most people think of chocolate, they think of the classic brown color of milk or dark chocolate. However, during the process of making, there’s a point when two options are available: the rich dark of traditional chocolate, or the path of white chocolate. White Chocolate Day is the perfect opportunity to learn about the origins of this delicious treat. And It seems that this day has been created so that we can celebrate it, and for eat it as much as we want without feeling guilty! Sounds fantastic, right?…

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The owl of Cwm Cowlyd and the oldest animals in the world

In Welsh folklore the Owl of Cwm Cowlyd lived in the woods that once surrounded Llyn Cowlyd, the deepest lake in northern Wales, that lies in the Snowdonia National Park. Even if today the woods are gone, the legends live on in two tales that feature a search for the oldest and wisest animals in the world. In the first the owl is said to be among the oldest animals in the world, while in the second the owl is really the oldest. The first story is “Culhwch and Olwen”,…

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Mittie Manning’s Tomb: one of Mississippi’s most unique tombs

Holly Springs is a small town that’s big on history, and boasts several homes from the past, as well as the historic Hill Crest Cemetery. Deemed literally “one of the finest historic cemeteries in north Mississippi”, it was established in 1845, but some graves date back to 1838, suggesting that the grounds served as a burial ground prior to its official creation. One of the most popular graves in the cemetery is that of Mittie Manning, the daughter of Van and Mary Manning. The Mannings were a regular family living…

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September 19th: Ahoy, maties! It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Ahoy there ye lily livered blaggards! Today It is the Talk Like A Pirate Day, and that means it’s time for pillaging and drinking rum! Pirates have been all the rage in recent years and out of that particular fascination came a completely insane and idea: that there should be a day dedicated to keeping the piratical language alive and, more importantly, the tradition of all things related to pirates. So Talk Like a Pirate Day was invented, and now it’s time to celebrate with all of the pirate talk…

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Meet the Bull Sharks of Carbrook Golf Course!

You’ve probably heard of crocodile-infested golf course ponds before, but there is a golf course in Australia that is home to an even greater threat that makes water hazards truly dangerous: sharks. The 14th tee at the Carbrook Golf Club in Brisbane is a tricky one, as it’s close to a 21 hectare, 14-meter deep lagoon that happens to be the home of a dozen full-grown bull sharks. They’ve been around since the late 1990s and, even though they are notorious for its aggressiveness especially against humans, the bull sharks…

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Lobster Ice Cream: disgusting or delicious?

In an era of limitless ice cream flavors, including charcoal black ice cream, gorgonzola ice cream, and unicorn ice cream, “Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium” is a must: the seaside institution, located in Bar Harbor, an island town that is home to beautiful Acadia National Park, Maine, has been serving vanilla scoops churned with real lobster meat since 1988. And, at the time, putting real seafood in ice cream was nothing short of extreme. According to company lore, the owners invented the flavor either to prove to a patron that…

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