Facts + figures
Words: Anna Whitehouse
Kiss and don’t smell
For those looking to explore their romantic side, South Korea’s ‘kiss apple’, a pocket-size natural apple that can be munched before kissing has just hit the shelves. “We want young people to eat many apples and came up with the idea of portable apples for your bags,” said Hwang Hye-sung, a researcher at South Korea’s Rural Development Administration, who called it a “do- it-yourself bad breath treatment.”
Indian businessman Kashi Samaddar spent around €400,000 becoming the fastest person to visit 194 countries (that’s every one on earth, by most measures) starting in The Netherlands in 2002, and finishing in Kosovo six years, ten months and seven days later. “In Nauru, my flight was cancelled eight times and I had to overstay for one-and-a-half months,” he told a UK newspaper.
12 spiritual clubs
Spiritual nightclubs are apparently on the rise in Russia, according to Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin. Instead of vodka and heavy beats, young revellers at the 12 new clubs across the country “have the opportunity for serious dialogue, reading, unhurried conversation, and a cup of tea.” He also assured youngsters that some of these religious watering holes will stay open until 5am.
What a croc
1 fake ‘gator
Kansas police officers were called out by a concerned family to investigate a large alligator that was sat in a nearby garden. The officers attempted to shoot the reptile before it attacked anyone, but to the surprise of all those involved, the bullets bounced off its skin. The owner of the faux croc, which is made of concrete, argued that it was purely ornamental and meant to keep children away from his pond.
It’s not an obvious spot for a vineyard, but Argentinean winemaker Santiago Bernasconi has set up shop in Patagonia. Known for its rugged mountains and glaciers, the 2,718-acre area will be planted with Chardonnay and Merlot grapes. “It makes you feel like you are the last boundary in the winemaking world,” said Bernasconi, not unreasonably.
Swiss daredevil Yves Rossy – dubbed ‘Jetman’ – claims to have recently ‘flown’ across the Grand Canyon in a custom-made, winged jet pack. Rossy was allegedly launched from a helicopter at 2,438m, before flying over the rim of the canyon and parachuting to the floor minutes later. “Thank you Mother Nature and the Hualapai Tribe for making my lifelong dreams come true,” he said.
For Pete’s sake
1 friendly moose
Pete, a popular, semi-tame moose who lives on a Vermont elk-hunting farm was spared the death sentence following a recent amendment to the hunting laws in the area. The Pete-friendly legislation says that all animals on the farm must be hunted and killed within three years, except for Pete, who has become a local celebrity, pulling in a stream of tourists.
Novice skater Khoo Swee Chiow from Singapore decided to embark on a 6,088km skate through South East Asia, starting in Vietnam and rolling up in his home town. The 93-day journey bagged the 43-year-old a rightful spot in the Guinness World Records for longest trip on rollerblades.
Looking to explore a new way to get their message across, Taiwanese girls Karren and Jinyu have taken up the art of ‘planking’ (lying face down in random places). Known as the Pujie Girls, which translates to ‘falling on the street’, the pair ‘plank’ to draw attention to issues including stray dogs. “It’s not really that difficult and I don’t mind getting dirty,” said Karren, who wears a manga-inspired outfit and red backpack while ‘planking’.