A Blast From The Past: Episode 26

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From the archives of Amusing Planet.

World’s Highest Tennis Court at Burj Al Arab

The world’s highest tennis court stands atop the fourth highest hotel in the world, Burj al-Arab at Dubai. The tennis court is circular in shape and when no session is at play, it doubles as a helipad. The exact height of the tennis court is not known, but the hotel is 321 m (1,053 feet) tall and the court is located very near the top. My guess is, it’s close to 1,000 feet.

In 2005, when Roger Federer and Andre Agassi were at Dubai for a tournament, they were invited to play a few rounds at the Burj’s helipad-converted-tennis court.

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Bamboo Trains of Cambodia

For years, travellers in Cambodia had to deal with one of the world's worst train networks. Trains run infrequently in between the villages, break-downs and derailments are common, and the trains themselves travel at little more than walking pace. So people in the north west of the country, near Cambodia's second city of Battambang, have taken matters into their own hands. They have created their own rail service using pieces of bamboo and abandoned barbell like train wheels. The locals call the vehicles "Norries", but overseas visitors know them as "bamboo trains".

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The Door to Hell - Burning Gas Crater in Darvaza, Turkmenistan

The Darvaza gas crater or “The Door to Hell” is a 60 meters wide and 20 meters deep hole in the heart of the hot, expansive Karakum desert in Turkmenistan, that has been on on fire for the last 38 years. But the hole is not of a natural origin. The large crater is a result of a Soviet gas exploration accident that occurred in 1971.

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Living Statues At La Rambla Street, Barcelona

Walking down Barcelona's main street one encounters numerous street performers posing as ‘human statues’. These street artists feature as imaginative as they can, from celebrities and mythological beings to imaginary characters. They prop themselves up on little boxes, wave at tourists and put up little shows for a tip. If you happen to visit La Rambla, bring all your loose change and put it aside especially, but be careful of your belongings as the street has become the prime target for pick pocketing.

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Falkirk Wheel: Rotating Boat Lift in Scotland

There are two ways to transport a boat between water at two different elevations. One method is to employ locks, often found on river and canal waterways. The other method is to physically lift the boat from one waterway and place it on to another. Boat lifts are not very common, and the Falkirk Wheel, near the town of Falkirk, is the only rotating boat lift of its kind in the world, and is regarded as an engineering landmark for Scotland.

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Orda Cave: World's Longest Underwater Gypsum Cave in Russia

Located near Orda village in Perm region, Ural, Orda Cave is the biggest underwater gypsum crystal cave in the world and second in Eurasia in terms of volumes of its galleries that stretch up to five kilometers.

Over a period of six months, famous underwater photographer, journalist and dive-instructor Victor Lyagushkin led the team of cave divers and took stunning images of the cave at less than zero degree temperature.

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The Transparent Pontiac

For its upcoming auction at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan in late July, RM Auctions will offer a most unusual Pontiac – a transparent display car that General Motors built for the 1940s World’s Fair. GM developed two transparent cars for the New York World’s Fair of 1939-1940, one of which was a Deluxe seven-window touring sedan and the other of which was a Torpedo five-window touring sedan.

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Massive Tree House in Crosville, Tennessee: The Largest in The World

A Crossville, TN (US) minister named Horace Burgess owns the largest tree house in the world. It rises 97 feet into the sky, the support provided by a live, 80-foot-tall white oak 12 feet in diameter at its base. Six other trees brace the tower-like fortress. It has some 80+ rooms and dozens of porches, overlooks, nooks and stairways. Built from scrap wood, the site stands in a rural area, but is attracting people from all over the country.

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