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A Blast From The Past: Episode 32

From the archives of Amusing Planet.

Parting of the Sea in Jindo

The Jindo county is an archipelago of 250 islands, of which Jindo Island is the third largest in Korea. Every year at the end of February and again in mid-June, extremely low tide causes a natural land pass 2.9 km long and 10–40 meters wide to appear connecting the main Jindo island and a small Modo island to the south of Jindo. The pass stays for about an hour before being submerged again. The event is celebrated by a local festival called "Jindo's Sea Way" when visitors and tourists gather to watch the phenomenon and walk the path in the middle of the sea.

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Pedestrian Roller Coaster in Germany

If you are scared of the loops and dizzy heights of a roller coaster, you can try out the new roller-coaster walkway at Duisburg that lets you take them at your own speed, on foot. Designed by Hamburg-based designer duo Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth, the walkable roller-coaster titled Tiger & Turtle - Magic Mountain is 45 meters high and consist of 249 steps. Visitors can climb on the curved sculpture and walk around, and take in the surrounding views from the spiral walkways in their own pace.

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Mass Whale Hunting in Faroe Islands

The sea of Faroe Islands in north of Europe turned red with the blood of hundreds of whales killed by the inhabitants on November 22, as a part of their annual whale hunting culture. Every year the islanders catch and slaughter pilot whales (Globicephala melaena) during the traditional whale hunt known as 'Grindadrap'. The mass hunting is non-commercial —the whale meat cannot be sold but is divided evenly between members of the local community. The hunters crowd the whales into a bay and then cut their spines leaving the animals bleed to death slowly, while the surrounding sea turns bloody red. These images of a blood-red sea can often have a shocking effect on bystanders.

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Chimborazo: The Farthest Point From the Earth’s Center

Chimborazo is an inactive volcano located in the Andes mountain range in Ecuador with a peak elevation of 6,268.2 meters. What makes Chimborazo so special, apart from being the highest location in Ecuador, is that its peak is the furthest point from the center of the Earth, and not Mount Everest as many would believe to be. This is due to Chimborazo’s location along the equatorial bulge of the planet.

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Frieke Janssens’s Controversial Photos of Smoking Kids

When smoking was banned in all public places in Belgium, photographer Frieke Janssens responded with a “surrealistic, melancholic and theatrical but especially controversial pictures of smoking kids” to visualize the contradiction of the unhealthy cigarette and the immense attraction of smoking.

Oradour-sur-Glane: The Village Massacred in WW2 and Preserved Since Then

On 10 June 1944, at around 2 PM, four days after the Allied invasion of Normandy, approximately 150 Waffen-SS soldiers entered the tranquil village of Oradour-sur-Glane in the Limosin region of south central France. For no apparent reason, Hitler's elite troops destroyed every building in this peaceful village and brutally murdered a total of 642 innocent men, women and children, a tragedy which has gone down in history as one of the worst war crimes committed by the German army in World War II.

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Princess Juliana Airport and Maho Beach

Maho Beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, is one of the most popular places for planespotting, because sitting right next to the beach is the busy Princess Juliana International Airport. Aircrafts approaching the airport comes from the direction of the sea and because they must touch down as close as possible to the beginning of runway 10 due to its short length, the aircraft on their final approach flies over the beach at minimal altitude. The thundering underbelly of a 747 passes within a few dozen yards over the heads of beach goers, and the blast from the jet engine blows sand and belongings all over the place.

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Walter Potter's Museum of Curiosities

Walter Potter was a nineteenth century English taxidermist noted for his anthropomorphic dioramas featuring stuffed animals mimicking human life, which he displayed at his museum in Bramber, Sussex, England. Amongst his scenes were a rats' den being raided by the local police rats, a village school featuring 48 little rabbits busy writing on tiny slates, while the Kittens' Tea Party displayed feline etiquette and a game of croquet. A guinea pigs' cricket match was in progress, and 20 kittens attended a wedding, wearing little morning suits or brocade dresses, with a feline vicar in white surplice.

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Rainbow Village of Taichung, Taiwan

Tucked away in one corner of the large city of Taichung, Taiwan lies a modest ‘military dependents’ village’ – a community built in the late 1940s and the 1950s to serve as provisional housing for Nationalist soldiers, but ended up becoming permanent settlements. Over the years, many military dependents' villages have suffered from urban problems such as housing dereliction, abandonment, urban decay, and urban slum. This drab place has now been transformed into a beautiful and vibrant tourist hotspot, thanks to the colorful paintings of Huang Yung-fu, an 86-year-old veteran from Taichung City. 

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Yarchen Monastery, China

Deep in the mountains of northwestern Sichuan in China, on the Tibetan plateau, there exists a town in an isolated, beautiful and clean valley that is actually an entire monastery itself – the Yarchen Monastery. Living conditions here are quite tough. Because of its high altitude (4000 meter above sea level) it’s cold and cut off from the outside. Food, water and clothes are in extremely short supply, and electric power is only available from 7pm to 10pm every day. Few people have actually heard of this place and its location is rarely marked on maps.

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