Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ranking Around...Strange Hotels

The most unusual and amazing hotels in the world! You'll find everything: hotels on trees, icy ones, diving ones ... and much more!

10. Das Park Hotel (Germany)
Das Park Hotel is located in Essen, Germany, and is a very special hotel: sleep inside a "pipe", on the other hand, is an experience to do at least once in life, spending an adventurous vacation in touch with nature. In addition, each customer pays depending on what feels is fair pay!

jumbo_545x3009.Jumbo Stay (Sweden)
If you love travelling by plane, you won't surely renounce to spend at least one night in this fantastic hotel: Jumbo Stay is located in Stockholm, Sweden, and it is structured right inside of an airplane!

8.V8 Hotel (Germany)
Fans of cars and engines? This is the hotel of your dreams ! It's called V8 Hotel, and is located in Stuttgart, Germany. If you have ever wanted to sleep aboard the car you've always dreamed of, inside this place you can do it!


7. Icehotel (Lapland)
You'd better bundle up if you are willing to visit the amazing Icehotel, built in the village of  Jukkasjarvi, in Swedish Lapland, which initially allowed artists to stay while presenting their own masterpieces. It was the first ice hotel in the world and is rebuilt every year with blocks of ice taken from the nearby River Torne.


6. Giraffe Manor (Kenya)
Here is the first hotel in the world where you can stay all day with  semi-habituated  giraffes! Every morning they use to put their heads through the windows at breakfast, creating an unforgettable memory for guests of all ages. This is located in Kenya: a  sensational idea! 


Tree House Point, Fall City, Washington
 photo from sfgate
5. Treehouse Point (Washington)
Found in Fall City, 30 minutes from Seattle: If you have dreamed in your life to sleep suspended on a tree, this hotel is right for you! Turn off the technology, escape from everyday stress, and come enjoy the rejuvenating powers of the Pacific Northwest!
4. Cocoa Island (Maldives)
Who dreams to spend a nice holiday in the Maldives with your family?!? If you are one of these here's what you need: a resort situated on a small island, "Makunufushi", also named Cocoa Island. It's ideal for relaxing: a beautiful suite suspended on water is what you need!

3. Kakslauttanen, The Igloo Village (Arctic Circle)
The Kakslauttanen, a cottage complex located in Saariselka, in the far Northern Finland. These glass igloos are all equipped with saunas and fireplaces, and are very comfortable: what could be better than staying surrounded by the Lapps forest?


2. The Bird's Nest Treehotel (Sweden)
Unlike the previous treehotel, this one is set on a mast, but it's a ... bird's nest! Look at that wonder: who among you has dreamed at least once in their lifetime to experience the same feeling of a bird at home?!? Comfort, though, is included in the price: heated floors, toilets and all the necessary are installed, and the whole thing with lots of environmentally-friendly materials! This fantastic hotel can be found in Harads, Sweden.
1. Poseidon Undersea Resort (Fiji Islands)
I haven't proposed you underwater hotels yet, and this is truly spectacular: it's the Poseidon Undersea Resort, a boutique hotel, very expensive but also very curious. Can be found in the Fiji Islands, and inside you can admire the beautiful coral reef. Wondering the price
I'm afraid it's quite expensive: if you wanna spend a week in this paradise, you need to shell out 30,000 dollars.
Aren't these places fantastic? I hope you enjoyed this trip around strange hotels, built for put the guests like in a fairytale ! See ya next time!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Urban Legends: The Basiliscus Lake

lago-che-pietrifica 1Instantly petrified animals? Not caused by mythological snakes, but by a lake with the very atypical ability to fossilize anyone who touch it. Although scientists reassure there is an explanation.
If you find yourself in Tanzania and see a petrified animal, then you are near Lake Natron, a salt water source with the dark red color. According to many legends of the area, it seems that the Lake has the power to petrify animals that touch its water. Undoubtedly it is a very imaginative story, but doesn't coincide with reality. In fact, there are many researchers who have analyzed the chemical properties of the lake without finding any unusual behavior. Of course it must be said the percentage of salt in the water is abnormal, (causing its red colour) due to the high rate of sodium.
lago-che-pietrifica 2The Lake also contains a high amount of Natron (hydrated sodium carbonate), which, besides giving the name to the source, makes the water extremely toxic and harmful to anyone who even try to savour it. However neither soda or natron presence have the capability or the power to petrify. These can rather dry the bodies; so much so that they were used by the ancient Egyptians in mummification practices. Therefore the "petrified" animals found in or near the lake are nothing but mummified corpses. The theory has been proven also thanks to a documentary that shows the presence of actual life in the waters of the lake, location of flamingos nesting.

Random Facts About.... Unexpected Ingredients

Do you really know what the food we eat contains? Some of these food have a very "strange" composition. Check these out!
Fast Foods: Some of the most popular fast foods use cellulose in lots of products. The cellulose is pure wood pulp and the US FDA has not imposed limitations on its use in foods yet.
Soft Drinks: Lots of soft drinks contains brominated vegetable oil. This chemical is widely used in production of plastics as fire retardant and was found in 10% of American drinks.
Chewing Gums: Lanolin is an approved additive, used in chewing gums, in sunscreens and products for babies. It is an oily secretion extracted from the sheep wool.
Red Food Coloring: used in jams, cakes and ketchup, the red coloring is obtained from crushed beetles. 70.000 cochineal beetles are needed to get half a kilo of coloring.
Wendy's Chili: This particular chili contains silicon dioxide. This antioxidant agent is also known as "sand".
Beer: The golden colour is given by isinglass. This is obtained from dried fish bladder.
Bread: To soften bread dough is often used L-cysteine, found in human hair and duck feathers.
Jelly: Jelly , used in gumdrops and sweets, is mostly obtained from pigskin. The actual ingredient is collagen, boiled animal connective tissue.
Mushrooms: According to US FDA, mushrooms cans might contain 19 worms and 74 mites. All legal stuff !
Vanilla/ Raspberry/ Strawberry Aroma: Made from a dark orange substance called Castoreum.
In fact this is extracted from the anal glands of beavers !

Well, I think now you'll look at these foods in a different kind of way! ;D

Monday, April 28, 2014

Random facts about...Coffee

It is the most popular drink (after water), and is consumed almost in every corner of the planet. But there are at least 10 things you (probably) don't know.
In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn't provide enough coffee.
1. Coffee comes from a fruit. This, in fact, it's similar to a cherry.
2. In 18th century, drinking too much coffee was considered a huge social issue.
3. Coffee is more than just a drink. It can be used as a fertilizer.
4. It doesn't contain only caffeine. There are at least 1000 of chemical compounds in coffee, and 20 of these could be carcinogenic.
5. It would take around 100 cups of coffee for a lethal dose of caffeine.
6. The two most popular beverages on Earth, in order, are water and coffee (maybe this is not so surprising).
7. The word "coffee" comes from the Arabic "qahhwat al-bun," meaning "wine of the bean".
8. Coffee beans are combustible and scientists have suggested that coffee beans could replace fossil fuels as one of our main sources of energy and motor fuel.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Snooping Around....Musical Rain Building in Dresden (Germany)

Dresden Music Wall (1)Perhaps there is no more relaxing sounds of the noise of the rain that falls, and drop after drop creates a veritable musical harmony. The rain already has its own musicality, but this can be increased and used to create musical instruments really unexpected. As in the case of musical building in Dresden, Germany. In one of the ancient city neighborhoods gutters and pipes have been transformed into real  instruments that play with the rain. This is an original artistic experiment named "Countryard of Elements". The facades of buildings becomes fantastic masterpieces used to enhance the sound of rain. The project was born thanks to Annette Paul, which deals with sculpture, and designers Christopher Rossner and Andre Tempel. Using their innovative ideas, they have transformed the new student district of Dresden (Kunsthofpassage) in a spectacular symphonic orchestra. The system uses metal cones and tubes that amplify the sound with the arrival of rain, creating a truly original melody. The musical project has become one of the most original and entertaining attractions in the city. Its effectiveness is not only for musical purposes, but also decorative. The main objective of the project consists in fact in making Dresden more cheerful and livable by directing the attention of the public and tourists to music and art.
The streets of Dresden are decorated also by the choice of bright colors to paint the exterior walls of the buildings. For the musical project so blue and turquoise are the perfect shades that call immediately the water element. A wonder that impress everytime it starts raining!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Images from the World: Natural Rock Pools in Pamukkale (Turkey)

Pamukkale probably is a unique place in the world. This beautiful spot is located in the Aegean region of Turkey, in the River Menderes valley. The surreal landscape of the terraced pools of Pamukkale actually makes this one of the most interesting tourist attractions in the world.

The name Pamukkale means cotton castle, name that the Turks have given to this place due to its unusual cascades. The warm and mineralized spring water from calcareous white steps creates a one of a kind view of this area.
These thermal pools look like the white steps of a castle which surely is a unique scenery. It is believed that the unique formation of the landscape here was created by strong earthquakes that formed cracks which allowed the water to come to surface. Layers of calcium carbonate deposited into the formations that can be admired today.
Pamukkale is built on the ruins of the ancient Greco-Roman spa city of Hierapolis which means the Holy City. Consequently, this area has a special significance for locals. In the ancient city of Hierapolis visitors can still admire beautiful temples and baths.
Besides being popular for the amazing views and the unusual landscape, Pamukkale is also known for the curative properties of its waters. The warm waters are perfect for the skin, but are also effective in the cure of many diseases.Many scientific researches prove that the water has certain medicinal benefits. Studies demonstrates that these waters help in conditions such as high blood pressure, rheumatism and stroke.

Locals use to tell a legend of a young girl who apparently was so ugly that no one wanted to marry her. The legend says that this girl wanted to commit suicide, jumping off the hill. The girl fell into a natural pool of Pamukkale, which not only saved her life, but turned her into a beautiful lady. When the Lord of Denizli (a city of Turkey) saw her, he fell in love and the two married.

 What do you think about this enchanted place? I personally love it !!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Random Facts About...Chocolate!

Here there are 10 random curiosities about one of the most delicious thing in the world: chocolate!
Chocabyte 3

1.  Aztecs used cocoa bean as currency. A rabbit was worth 10 beans, while a slave 100.
2. The correlation between chocolate and pimples is only a legend. This link has never been scientifically proven.
3.  A chocolate flake provides an adult of enough energy for a 46 meters walk. To make a round-the-world walk it takes 870.000
4. The Ivory Coast is the world's largest producer of cocoa. It produces 1.51 millions of cocoa beans per year, a third of the global demand.
5.  The world's largest chocolate bar weighed 5827 Kg, pretty much like a big elephant. It was produced in Derbyshire (UK) in 2011.
6.  Switzerland consumes chocolate more than any other country. On average a Swiss eats 13 Kg of chocolate per year.
7.  The most sold chocolate bar is Snicker: every year the revenues amounted to 2 billion dollars. Snicker's industries produces 15 millions bars per day, using 99 tons of peanuts.
8.  According to US FDA, every 100 grams of chocolate, traces of mouse fur could be found. Are also allowed up to 60 insects scraps.
9.  An Harvard research demonstrates people eating chocolate three times a month lives one year more than people who doesn't.
10.  Chocolate contains Theobromine, which can cause heart failure and epileptic crisis. For a man the lethal amount is about 10 Kg. An M&M could kill a robin!

And here below the video about that delicious chocolate bar made in Derbyshire:


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Video: How animals see the world

This video answers a question that you have asked yourself at least once in your life: how animals see the world?

Ranking around...Poisonous Animals

Have you ever wondered what are the 10 most deadliest animals in the world? Here is the answer! Start to tremble!

Balloonfish10. Puffer fish

Let's start with the puffer fish, which surely many of you have considered harmless until now . This fish is actually very venomous, and in fact is included in our rank . There are 185 species, both salt and freshwater. It lives in the waters of Mexico, the Philippines, Japan and China. It is considered a real exotic delicacy, but if prepared without the right precautions may lead to poisoning and death, because it contains large amounts of Tetrodotoxin, a deadly poison.

rana-dal-dardo-velenoso9. Poison Dart Frog

Actually the blue ones are the most toxic: bright colors are used to ward off predators. These are amphibians that live from 3 to 15 years, just 2.5 cm large: they launch poisonous darts (that's why the name), whose venom is deadly: only one specimen have enough to kill 10 adults! Currently, medical research is trying to use this poison into medicine, and has already developed a synthetic version of one of the poison compounds, which would have good analgesic properties.

8. Taipan

And here is the most venomous snake in the world: the inland taipan! It is a great and fast Australian snake that feeds primarily on small rodents such as rats and bandicoots. Its venom is 7 times more powerful than a rattlesnake and 50 times more than that of a cobra. The amount of venom in a single bite of this snake is strong enough to kill 250,000 mice, i.e. 100 men or 2 male elephants!

stonefish7. Rockfish

After the most poisonous snake in the world, here is the most venomous fish in the world: the rockfish! This is a saltwater fish found in the Red Sea and the Indo-Pacific. It has a stocky body, large fins and a very big head and mouth. It has 12-14 thorns on the dorsal fin, able to secrete a powerful poison. Some of them may have others on the pectoral finsGenerally is 40 cm long or less. Its venom is milky, and is used only for defensive purposes: if a person touches the fish, he points out the poison from stings. And if it is not treated immediately, the bite is surely lethal!

Phoneutria nigriventer, il ragno vagante brasiliano, nella sua tipica posa di presa di posizione6. Brazilian Wandering Spider

You'll be intrigued to know the Brazilian wandering spider, which is the most venomous spider in the world, is also known as "Viagra Spider". Its scientific name is "Phoneutria", and it is a huge South American arachnid that is constantly looking for prey. It usually hides in bananas bunches, and often accidentally arrives here in Europe too! But what is the connection with Viagra? Because its bite, other than be extremely painful,  causes cardio-respiratory paralysis. And especially in men, causes a long and very unpleasant reaction!

5. Deathstalker

And now the worst Scorpion to meet: the Deathstaker, also known as Israeli yellow scorpion. The venom inside its body is a cocktail of highly dangerous neurotoxins. Although its sting, if not hitting children, people who suffers of heart disease or other debilitations, is not lethal. This specimen is found in the deserts in North Africa and the Middle East.

4. Marbled Cone Snail

It's really true that appearances deceive! This snail, seemingly harmless, is the most dangerous in the world: its venom can cause pain, inflammation, numbness, vision and breathing problems and muscle paralysis. An antidote has not been developed so far, so if you happen to see something like this get away! But don't panic, this animal usually lives in warm salt water environments.

polpo-anelli-blu3. Blue-ringed Octopus

The blue-ringed Octopus belonging to the genus of Hapalochlaena, you big just 5 inches, and its tentacles reach 7 cm. Despite their small size and relatively docile nature, they can prove a danger to humans. They can be recognized by their characteristic blue and black rings and yellowish skin. But this animal just sticks if bothered, of course, and if it is the brown patches darken dramatically, and iridescent blue rings or clumps of rings appear and push within the maculae. His salivary glands are capable of producing a highly poisonous toxin, which we already mentioned in the section of  puffer fish: the Tetrodotoxin, a substance that can kill by causing the paralysis of voluntary muscles.


cobra-reale2. King Cobra

We talked about the most venomous snake, the Taipan, and now we are talking about the largest venomous snake in the world, which has nothing to envy from taipan: it is the King cobra! With just one bite can kill an adult elephant. Located in India, China, Malaysia and the Philippines, is able to survive even at hights above 2000 meters. It's recognizable by the two scales on the back of the head, and his skin is yellow-green or brown-black.

medusa-scatola1. Box Jellyfish

Finally, we came to the most dangerous of our ranking: the Box Jellyfish! Also known as Sea Wasp, is a skilled swimmer, and is one of the most poisonous animals in the world. Located in the seas of Northern Australia and Southeast Asia, it feeds on small fish or crustaceans. Its tentacles can also be extended beyond 3 meters! Among them, there are thousands of venom cells, which altogether have enough poison to kill 60 people in less than 30 minutes!
I hope this journey discovering the perils of nature will have intrigued you. See ya soon!  

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