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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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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The Sluagh: Celtic spirits of the unforgiven dead

Celtic folklore has given us some of the darkest and most frightening stories in history including three-headed monsters, headless horsemen, famine-spreaders, and a variety of creepy spirits. One of the most fascinating are probably the Sluagh na marbh (host of the dead), or “Fairy Host”, spirits of the unforgiven or restless dead who soared the skies at night searching for humans to pick off, and especially the dying. Some believed them to be Fallen Angels, while others thought them the spirits of unbaptized children who had returned to earth to…

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Piscatawaytown Burial Ground and the witch of Edison

New Jersey is steeped in urban legends and stories of the supernatural. There everybody has heard of the Jersey Devil, a creature with the head of a goat, the body of a deer, giant horns and wings. It is said that he was the 13th child of Mother Leeds back in 1735 and was born a demon through a curse. There have been a number of sightings of the Devil since then, one of them even being reported by the brother of Napoleon, Joseph Bonaparte. But there is a legend…

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Sloot Motor: the motorcycle that tuns on swamp gas

Gijs Schalkx, a Dutch inventor and engineering student, modified his motorcycle to run on methane harvested from roadside bogs and ponds. Rightly named “Sloot Motor”, because sloot means ‘ditch’ in Dutch, ingenious vehicle features a modified Honda GX160 motorcycle engine, with a hole into the airbox, through which it receives the methane. The genial inventor than hooks a balloon filled with methane to the hole, which acts as the fuel tank. Of course the engine starts with gasoline but, once it starts, it uses the methane to keep going. However,…

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The river that turns On and Off: the spring that breaths!

Just east of Afton town, at the foot of a rocky mountain in Wyoming, lies one of the world’s most mysterious natural wonders: an Intermittent Spring (otherwise known as the Periodic Spring) that intermittently stops and starts flowing again around every 15 minutes. Only a few rhythmic springs exist in the world (another being the famed Gihon Spring in Jerusalem), and Intermittent Spring in Swift Creek canyon is the largest of them all. As its name suggests, this peculiar spring flows intermittently. Here you’ll see a large quantity of water…

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The “ballsiest” soup in the Philippines: Soup No. 5

We are in the Philippines. Here Soup Number Five is well-known, as are its purported aphrodisiac and healing properties. Originally served by roadside eateries, some men even believe that eating it will give them the virility of a bull: Cebuanos know it as “lanciao” and is believed to give the physical attributes of the animal to anyone willing to take a sip. Or, at least, increase their libido even if, nutrition-wise, a serving of Soup no. 5 gives less zinc (the mineral which increases libido) when cooked. According to others,…

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The month of September: holidays, curiosities and folklore

There are flowers enough in the summertime, More flowers than I can remember— But none with the purple, gold, and red That dye the flowers of September! —Mary Howitt (1799-1888) September, in Old England, was called Haervest-monath, literally Harvest Month, as a time to gather up the rest of the harvest and prepare for the winter months. The Anglo-Saxons called it Gerst monath (Barley month), because it was their time when they harvested barley to be made into their favourite drink – barley brew. September’s name comes from the Latin…

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The grave of ‘The Great Lafayette’ and his beloved dog in Edinburgh’s Piershill Cemetery

We are in Piershill Cemetery, located on Portobello Road between Edinburgh, Scotland, and Portobello Beach. The graveyard is known for its Jewish burial grounds, located to the south, and its pet cemetery, located to the right of the entrance, but also for the grave of Sigmund Neuberger, a popular illusionist and magician better know as The Great Lafayette. The unbelievable and tragic story of how one of the world’s most renowned illusionists and his pampered dog came to buried together in Piershill Cemetery is almost too incredible to be true.…

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Camp Bonifas: the world’s most dangerous golf course that can literally kill you

Playing golf in South Korea can prove to be very dangerous. But what’s the worst thing that can happen? Well, you could get blown up to smithereens, for one. The “deadly golf course” is pretty small at 192 yards, and it is flanked by military style bunkers on the right, while, on the left side, separated by an 5,5-meters high security fence topped by concertina wire, lie buried countless unexploded mines. And even a small mistake could cause a huge, fatal explosion. A nearby sign warns players with a hardly…

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Grave of Midnight Mary: the final resting place of a New Haven urban legend

In life, she was known by the name Mary E. Hart, but today most people in New Haven, Connecticut, now know her simply as Midnight Mary. She was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, and her tombstone can be found at the back of the cemetery, on the path that parallels the iron wrought fence that separates the graveyard from Winthrop Avenue. As story goes, at 48 years old, Mary dropped to the floor one day at midnight. Believing her dead, her family had her buried at Evergreen Cemetery. However, one night…

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August 22 – Pecan Torte Day

Pecan Torte, Pecan Pie, and Pecan cakes are all very similar treats, and all of them are incredibly common to find being served in the deep south in the USA. Their delicious flavor is very appreciated, and best enjoyed with a rich topping of whipped heavy cream! But what is the difference between a cake and a torte? Tortes are invariably denser and are naturally creamier. They’re also commonly multi-layered to take advantage of rich creamy toppings like that mentioned above. They are typically prepared without baking powder or soda,…

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Hoshizuna-no-Hama: Japan’s amazing star sand beach

Hoshizuna-no-Hama, literally translate as “Sand in the Shape of a Star”, is a small but charming Japanese beach famous for its star-shaped tiny grains of sand. Located on Irimote, the second-largest island in Okinawa prefecture, it doesn’t look too different than the hundreds of other beaches in the Japanese archipelago, at least at first glance, but a closer inspection reveals that many of the sand grains have a very curious shape: a five or six-tipped star. Actually the stars are not grains of sand, but microscopic, now empty exoskeletons of…

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The Well of Barhout: Yemen’s mysterious Well of Hell

In the arid wastes of eastern Yemen lies a fascinating natural wonder called the Well of Barhout. Shrouded in mystery and folklore, this “million and millions” years old large hole in the ground said to be God’s most hated spot on Earth. Those who live near the hole believe anything that comes close to the “Hell Pit” will be sucked in without escape. According to a Yemeni legend, “extinct tongues fizz on cold nights” there, a reference to what might be lurking inside the hole. Located in the eponymous valley,…

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Celebrated International left-handers day on August 13!

International Left-Handers Day is today, August 13! It was started by the Left-Handers Club on 13th August 1992, when they launched International Left-Handers Day, an annual event when left-handers everywhere could celebrate their sinistrality and increased public awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed. According to other sources, the day was first observed in 1976 Campbell, founder of Lefthanders International, Inc. But, in any case, this event is now celebrated worldwide, and in the U.K. alone there have been more than 20 regional events to mark the day…

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Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky?

Ready for Friday the 13th? Well, depending on where you are, August 13, 2021, is considered a lucky (or unlucky) day. But why exactly is this day often associated with good or bad luck? What is the meaning of Friday the 13th and how did this superstition even begin? Friday the 13th occurs one to three times each year. For example, 2015 had a Friday the 13th in February, March, and November, while 2017 through 2020 had two Friday the 13ths each, and the years 2021 and 2022 will both…

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Quintessential Grilled Cheese: the world’s most expensive sandwich

Priced at an outstanding $214, Quintessential Grilled Cheese has held the the record for the world’s most expensive commercially-available sandwich for over seven years. And you could say that New York-based restaurant Serendipity 3 is specialized in setting food-related Guinness records. It currently holds several world records, including most expensive dessert, most expensive hot dog, largest wedding cake and largest cup of hot chocolate. But also the record for world’s most expensive sandwich, which happens to be just a humble grilled cheese treat. Named Quintessential Grilled Cheese, it is deceptively…

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Bobbie, the wonder dog who walked 2,500 miles to home

In August 1923, Frank and Elizabeth Brazier, with their daughters Leona and Nova, were visiting relatives in Wolcott, Indiana from their home in Silverton, Oregon. While filling up gas at a station in Wolcott, their two-year-old dog Bobbie was attacked by three other dogs and ran away. The family waited for Bobbie to return, but he did not. Despite they placed ads on newspapers, after a week of intense searching the Brazier family gave up hope and eventually, heartbroken, they continued their trip before returning home to Oregon, expecting never…

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Here is Brazil’s Unique “Coca Cola Lake”!

Have you ever dreamed of swimming in a lake of Coca Cola? Well, in Brazil you can actually do! The Mata Estrela, a great Atlantic rainforest reserve located in Formosa Bay in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, nestles an interesting Lake. Its name is Araraquara, but soon it started being called “Coca-Cola” due to the colour of the water that is similar to the popular soft drink. The water has the same dark hue, but very different ingredients and no carbonation. Instead of caramel, the water of this…

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Charlotte M. Sitton: the “The Crying Woman” of Adelaida Cemetery, California

Located west of Paso Robles, California, Adelaida is now over-ridden with wineries, but still rich in history and the strange. Originally, a mixture of mercury mines, farms, and ranches, it was first settled in 1859 by James Lynch, a sheep rancher. Pioneers flocked to the area due a perfect weather that seemed to make everything grow, and the population eventually reached a size of seven hundred scattered throughout the area amongst hills and valleys. The old trail to Mission San Miguel was opened in 1797 and used predominantly in the…

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Cono de Arita: Argentina’s mysterious natural pyramid

Near the south border of Salar de Arizaro, the sixth largest salt flat on earth and the second largest in Argentina, 70 km from the village of Tolar Grande, lies one of the world’s most mysterious natural formations, an almost perfect cone, it rises unexpectedly in the middle of the salt pan. This is Cono de Arita, so perfectly shaped that it appears man-made, that looms majestically 122 meters above the Salar. Its name comes from the Aymara language where Arita means “sharp”. In fact, all through the early twentieth…

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The mysteriously ruins of El Salvador Beach

One of the last things you would expect to find washed up on a tropical beach is a concrete abandoned villa, and yet that’s exactly the kind of bizarre discovery that beachgoers at the picturesque La Puntilla Beach in Costa del Sol, El Salvador, are treated on these days. It’s unclear how the building ended up there, but it seems to have been there a while, as it is covered up with what appears like recent graffiti. One of the most popular theories is that the villa was the victim…

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Erdstalls Tunnels: Central Europe’s last great mystery

Across Europe, there are hundreds of underground tunnels that, apparently, lead to nowhere and about which any historic records have ever been found. They are mostly located in the southern German state of Bavaria and the nearby Austria, where they are known by the German name “Erdstall”, which literally means “place under the earth”. Locally, they are also called by various names such as “Schrazelloch”, or “goblin hole”, but also “Alraunenhöhle”, meaning “mandrake cave”, which reflects the various theories and legends associated with the mysterious tunnels. Some believed that they…

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The mystery of Lady Dai, one of the world’s most preserved mummies

Despite her quite macabre appearance, Lady Dai is considered to be one of the world’s best preserved mummies. If others tend to crumble at the slightest movement, she is so well-kept that doctors were even able to perform an autopsy more than 2,100 years after her death, probably the most complete medical profile ever compiled on an ancient individual! But not only, as they were able to reconstruct her death, as well as her life, even determining her blood type, Type A. Despite her face looks swollen and deformed, her…

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The Golden Boy: world’s most expensive burger that costs 5.000€

The Golden Boy, a delicacy made with 100 percent Wagyu A5, Beluga caviar, king crab, white truffle, among other premium ingredients, has broken the record for world’s most expensive burger, with a price of about 5,000 euros ($6,000). The burger was created by Robbert Jan de Veen, owner of Dutch restaurant De Daltons, who came up with the idea while sitting in his restaurant pretending to get some work done. It seems that, as he browsed the internet to pass the time, he stumbled over the previous record for the…

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Sivas and the mysterious grave in the road

One of the last thing you expect to see in the middle of a regular urban paved street is a grave complete with a large tombstone. But that’s exactly what you’ll see when driving through Sivas, in central Turkey. Yeni Mahalle Hamzaoğlu is one of the several streets that traverse the relatively new Şarkışla district but, at one point, motorists need to make sure that they don’t drive straight into a grave located right in the road. It’s been there for several years now, but only recently gained national attention,…

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Big Wind: the most powerful firetruck ever built

What to you get if you combine an old Soviet tank with two Soviet jet engines and a lot of water? The Big Wind, a fire truck capable of stopping oil well fires all by itself! It was February 1991, near the end of the Gulf War, when the retreating Iraqi army set over 700 Kuwaiti oil wells on fire, thus creating the desert into an almost apocalyptic landscape. Up to six million barrels of oil burned every day for 30 weeks, sending flames as high as 90 meters into…

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Gnomesville: an unusual roadside community of thousands of garden gnomes

In the Ferguson Valley of country Western Australia there lives a thriving community of gnomes, in a gnome village called Gnomesville. And no. I’m not joking. Garden gnomes are a classic symbol of kitschy yard decorations around the world, but most people are content to have just a couple of the little creatures living in their yards. But Gnomesville, a collection of thousands of the weird little statuettes set up on a roundabout, is definitely something different. The community of silent gnomes actually began as a whimsical protest some 20…

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