The Horrifying Bat Flower
This flower is an incredibly unusual looking species, with its black bat-shaped flower. The flowers themselves can grown up to twelve inches across and the ‘whiskers’ that you can see are known to grow up to thirty inches. So why does it look like the Predator? Of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Because Mother Nature is just as likely to scare us as to entrance.
Altogether the bat flower is one of the spookier plants you will come across – something Morticia Adams might like to have in her conservatory. There is certainly something of the triffid about them too, but the fact is that the wild variety of this plant species can be found in the Yunnan Province of China. It is also found in Thailand and Burma.
The Eternal Inferno - Italy’s (Perhaps the World’s) Smallest Volcano
More accurately resembling an eternal campfire, Monte Busca Volcano has been a source of permanent flames for hundreds of years. Referred to as Inferno by the locals of Monte Busca; a place where fire finds its home in the smallest volcano in Italy and, most likely, the world. A wondrous geologic oddity where emissions of gaseous hydrocarbon, a natural gas vent, come into contact with the oxygen from the air keeping it constantly alight, giving rise to a phenomena called “burning fountains”. These ever-present flames even served the troops during World War II as a source of heat for cooking and other ignition needs and are a fascinating spectacle not to be missed.
"One mile from Portico is a place called Inferno by local inhabitants, where the earth is dark and rough and where there is a 4-foot large hole in which a fire flame steadily rises from the ground; it burns the fresh wood placed on it and can only be extinguished by throwing woollen cloths on it. Near this hole you can find many gold, silver and metal coins.”
Leandro Alberti, 1588
Strange Face Found on Iceberg
In this incredible photograph by reddit user strummingmusic, we see what looks to be the profile of a large face on the left side of the iceberg. The psychological phenomenon is known as pareidolia, seeing human faces in inanimate objects.
The photograph was taken in Antarctica in Collins Bay. In the comments section, strummingmusic says he works on a ship called the Barque Europa as a tour guide. He gives lectures, takes people on hikes and guided tours, and captures interesting moments like these. Very cool photograph.
Lake Natron in northern Tanzania turns animals into statues. The lake can reach a temperature of up to 50 degrees Celsius and its alkalinity levels vary between pH 9 and 10.5. Only some extremophiles, like the Alkaline tilapia, live there. All other creatures that mistakenly ‘crash’ into the most caustic lake on Earth, are turned into calcified versions of themselves.
Photographer Nick Brandt visited there and took these eerie images of birds turned into statues after ‘crashing’ into the lake. Birds turned to stone.
Read more: http://bit.ly/1bpCGEk via NewScientist
The Uniface Mask
Tired of spending hours putting makeup on everyday? Have a feature on your face such as your nose, eyes, or mouth that you don’t like? Forget plastic surgery. Get the Uniface Mask. Each mask is specifically designed to fit the dimensions of your face. The website states:
"I put make up on everyday, but I never feel satisfied with my face. Uniface newly developed a ‘Bionic-skin’ face mask and ‘Cell-blending’ glue. Simply by one spray, you can have all the beautiful facial features. Perfection is only one step away, Uniface."
Sound a bit strange? Even stranger is the fact that the whole website and product are fake — the product does not exist. Zhuoying (Joy) Li, a design and technology graduate of Parsons The New School for Design in New York, created and markets the mask as a tool to “…ironically communicate how media has manipulated women’s desire to have the same extreme facial features.” Li’s website features gloriously detailed product descriptions, a user’s guide and maintenance instructions for the mask on the highly professional and completely real-looking website.
For women interested in obtaining the mask, the website requires them to take measurements of their face and submit them with their initial inquiry about buying the mask. I am not sure of the motives behind this. If a woman really wants to purchase something like this, it’s not so funny. They are not only being fooled, but are now labeled as a naive follower of the media. The website is a must see just for the amazing amount of work and thought put into this strange deception.
A Plane Waiting for a Train
Its quite a sight to see but this situation actually exists. Gisborne Airport located in Gisborne, New Zealand has a working railroad that cuts straight through the middle of the airport’s runway. No matter how incredible it may seem, airplanes periodically have to wait for a train to pass in order for them to take off.
The Algaculture Symbiosis Suit
Science fiction costume? Actually this could be our future for sustenance. Even a possible solution to world hunger. As strange and cumbersome as this contraption looks, it actually feeds you algae. It’s a symbiosis suit, designed by artists Michael Burton and Michiko Nitta, that grows food while wearers go about their daily business. A self-sustaining source of food.
A series of tubes, placed in front of the mouth, capture carbon dioxide and feed it to a constantly-growing population of suit-embedded algae. But algae needs sunlight to grow, so the wearer must sit by a window or go outside long enough to meet the algae’s needs.
The suit debuted last year outside the Victoria and Albert Museum. There, an opera singer wore the Algaculture Symbiosis Suit, sang to the crowd and generated enough new algae populations during her performance that audience members were treated to a post-show snack.
Gagging yet? Well most people actually eat algae on a regular basis without knowing it. Foods such as sushi, ice cream and mayonnaise are all derivatives of algae.
"Algaculture designs a new symbiotic relationship between humans and algae. It proposes a future where humans will be enhanced with algae living inside new bodily organs, allowing us to be semi-photosynthetic [and]…entering into a mutually beneficial relationship with the algae," the designers state.
If you want to see the Algaculture Symbiosis Suit in action, check out the video of the opera singer wearing the suit. The future is looking stranger and stranger.