Detroit has garnered a lot of media attention as of late, and not necessarily for good reasons. Here’s another look at the Motor City and its highly segregated interior. The red dots are Caucasian, the blue is African-American, and the orange is Hispanic.
From Germany to the plains of South Dakota, here are some more of the biggest parties the planet has to offer:
The biggest beer drinking festival in the world, Oktoberfest is held in Munich, Germany from late September to the first weekend in October. While currently garnering approximately five million visitors per year, Oktoberfest originated in 1810 in celebration of Crown Prince Ludwig’s wedding to the Princess of Bavaria. In its early days, some of the festivities included horse racing and tree climbing among others. However, the festivities soon evolved into the euphoric beer appreciation festival for which it is known today, kicked off with a gun salute followed by the tapping of the keg.
The Burning Man festival is held annually at the end of August in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The yearly event initially began as a bonfire ritual in 1986, when a few friends decided to burn a nine-foot wooden effigy. Over time, the ritual grew in size and scope: many marched en masse to Black Rock Desert and the effigy grew to a whopping 40 feet tall. Nowadays, the party is a week-long celebration where, alongside the ritual burning, there is free-flow of clothing-optional liberal behavior and epiphanies. The principles include: extreme inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy.
The Hadaka Matsuri
Translated as the Naked Festival, the Hadaka Matsuri is a festival that occurs every winter in Japan. The festival involves thousands of men draped in loincloths and engaging in a giant water fight. The aim? To catch one of the ‘shingi’ (wooden sticks) dropped among the crowds that are said to bring one year of good luck.
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
Though not much of a party, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is a celebration held by and for over half a million motorcycle enthusiasts in Sturgis, South Dakota. The event began in 1938 by the Jackpine Gypsies motorcycle club and involved a single race. Now, though, the event has grown to encompass races, stunts, ramp jumps and even head-on collisions with automobiles.
The Hindu Festival of Colors, Holi, is one of the biggest parties in the world. The festival takes place in honor of a young boy who escaped, without injury, from the clutches of a demoness named Holika after she lit him on fire. The festival also marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated with bonfires, throwing colored powder and water on everyone and often involves marijuana-laced beverages.
The Full Moon Party, Thailand
The Full Moon Party is an all-night beach party that occurs in Haad Rin on the island of Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand. It takes place on the night before or after every full moon. The first of its kind took place in 1985, and was an improvised wooden disco that comprised approximately 30 people. Nowadays it attracts about 30,000 revelers with beachside bars open all night for the festivities.
Arguably the largest party in the world, there ain’t no party like a carnivale party. From its humble beginnings during Lent in 1723, the party is now a household name, complete with costumes, parades and scantily clad girls and boys. And, naturally, quite a bit of booze. The most spectacular display occurs in Rio de Janerio.
St. Patrick’s Day
Originating in Ireland and celebrated the world-over, St Patty’s day is one of the biggest drinking parties in the world. The holiday originated in Ireland in celebration of Saint Patrick, one of the most commonly recognized patron saints of Ireland. The day consists of church services, parades, processions and green attire, but the religious sentiments are often eclipsed by the copious consumption of alcohol and food.
Worldwide Pillow Fight Day
The biggest pillow fight party occurred on March 22nd, 2008, in 25 cities across the world including Boston, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, Shanghai and Sydney. Organized via social media, email, texting and word of mouth, the international flash mob proved to be quite a success. But as expected, the mess created didn’t go down too well with officials.
The Love Parade
The Love Parade began as a political demonstration in 1989, promoting peace through music, and evolved into one of the biggest dance parties in the world. Millions of people are drawn to the huge outdoor party, jiving to trance, house and electronica music.
Submerged in the Red Sea or in a treehouse, there are many places in the world where you can enjoy a sandwich. Here are the rest of the world’s most bizarre restaurants:
Mars 2112, USA
New York City’s Mars 2112 is where the aliens phone home. Themed like the Martian planet, the family-friendly restaurant boasts a Mars Today magazine, Mars TV, and a centerpiece of a three-story crystal tree to complete the restaurant’s intergalactic transformation.
Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant, Kenya
As the name suggests, Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant in Mombasa, Kenya, is located within a naturally formed coral cave dating between 120,000 and 180,000 years old. The restaurant comprises a series of interlinking chambers below the ground and its roof opens itself to the sky.
The Haunted House Restaurant, USA
Located in Oklahoma City, the Haunted House Restaurant derives its name from a murder, death and suicide that occurred on the premise. A retired car dealer was shot there in 1963, followed by his ex-wife’s death and his stepdaughter’s suicide (after being acquitted of his murder). Eventually, the building turned into a restaurant and some speculate that the house still hosts the ghosts of the deceased, who are sometimes heard whispering.
Treehouse Restaurant, Costa Rica
Aptly named, the Treehouse Restaurant is located amidst the branches of a giant tree in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica. And the roof? No shingles—just a beautiful tropical canopy.
El Diablo Restaurant, Canary Islands
The El Diablo Restaurant in the Canary Islands offers diners meals cooked in a unique kitchen: a volcanic hole in the ground. Built by architects Eduardo Caceres and Jesus Soto, the kitchen is made from nine layers of basalt rocks with a giant grill is laid across the opening of the volcano that rests six feet below. The underlying lava – or, as the El Diablo chefs call it, the cooking temperature – is 400 degrees Celsius.
Red Sea Star Restaurant, Bar and Observatory, Red Sea
Submerged below the Red Sea, the Red Sea Star Restaurant, Bar and Observatory is the first underwater restaurant in the world. The lucky patrons of this bar may immerse themselves with incredible views of colorful coral gardens and marine creatures outside.
Sugarloaf Kiosk’s bar isn’t as crazy as the effort you have to make to get there. Located in Rio de Janeiro, the mountain-top bar is only accessible via two ways: a 75-passenger cable car ride or a steep 1, 296 foot climb to reach the summit.
Floyd’s Pelican Bar, Jamaica
Not the most stable looking establishment, Floyd’s Pelican is a small shack located off the south coast of Jamaica in Parottee Bay. Patrons can often hitch a local boat ride to get to the bar and often stand knee-deep in the water.
Zulunkhuni River Lodge, Malawi
A five-hour trek or a five-hour ferry ride will get you to the bizarre but beautiful Zulunkhuni River Lodge in Lake Malawi, Malawi. The lodge consists of four thatched huts next to a bar and restaurant, which are built into a rock cave near a waterfall. Though there is no electricity, you can stock up on the famous vodka-filled watermelons, which are chilled in a kerosene icebox.
This space-inspired bar is located in Bangalore, India is replete with intergalactic décor for patrons. The staff serves the goods in spacesuits, and space tags like Fuel Tank (bar) and Humanoid Disposal (toilets) are used. Even better, laser-light shows serve as nightly entertainment, and tables even have rocket fins attached.
The Baobab Tree Bar, South Africa
As the name suggests, this South African bar is built inside the hollow trunk of a huge 6,000-year-old baobab tree. Kitschy!
Tokyo’s best and brightest architects have an impressive vision of the future of housing:
From Domus Web: “The building is based on a thin, split-level steel frame and represents a fully realized version of a home without stairs. As a result, every horizontal plane becomes a generic surface. Without a specifically defined function, they can be used as a desk, shelf, bed, chair, etc., extolling the Japanese custom of sitting and sleeping on the floor in a manner that is so pervasive and clear that, while requiring no lengthy description, gives free reign to the imagination.”
Casa Pocho is a bar in Spain where being rude is not an option but rather a necessity. Co-owned by Bernard Mariusz and Michal Lotocki, the bar offers free beer and tapas to customers who insult its bartenders. Barring severe rude words, the customers are allowed to spew milder insults including jerk and idiot. The inspiration behind it? In the midst of a recession, people need to let off some steam.
The Clinic, Singapore
As the name suggests, this bar in Singapore is inspired by a hospital. Its 15,000 square feet is filled with pill-shaped rooms replete with hospital paraphernalia including syringes, drips, test tubes and IV bags, all of which you can drink from. It is, however, pricey.
Route 36, Bolivia
La Paz, Bolivia is home to an illegal cocaine bar called Route 36. As you can imagine, the bar sells cocaine lined on empty black CD cases alongside alcohol. Naturally, the bar operates in secret and constantly changes location in fear of complaints from nearby residents, so little is known to those who aren’t in the know. As a result, the bar only accessible through word of mouth and is popular with drug tourists.
Alux Lounge, Mexico
Alux Lounge is a cavern bar located in Mexico. While in the cave, you can admire the stalagmites and stalactites of the varying cavernous crevices and enjoy drinks, dinner and dancing.
Cova d’en Xoroi, Minorca
Aptly named, the Cave Bar is literally perched on the edge of a cliff in Cala n’Porter, Minorca. Needless to say, the views are amazing.
No architectural superlative list would be complete without including the enigmatic design and construction of the Egyptian Pyramids. Considered on of the Seven Wonders of the World, some estimate that up to 100,000 laborers constructed the edifices but there is no concrete evidence on how. Some absurd theories posit alien involvement, but the general hypothesis is that the construction process involved using ramps built of mud, brick, and rubble to drag the blocks.
Great Wall of China, China
Much like the Pyramids, the Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive architectural feats in history. Built some 2000 plus years ago and stretching approximately 4000 miles, the Chinese erected the wall to protect its northern borders from invasion. Considered the largest structure built by man, construction began in the 5th century BC and continued well into the 16th century. Historians estimate that a whopping 300,000 soldiers and 500,000 people participated in the construction.
Chand Baori, India
The Chand Baori is a well located in the Indian State of Rajasthan and was built in the 10th century as a solution to the dry region’s water supply issues. This architectural marvel extends 100 feet below the earth’s surface, has 3,500 steps and 13 levels that descend into a deep V. According to local legend, ghosts were responsible for its construction.
Sacsayhuaman is a large stone fort located in Cusco, Peru – the former capital of the Incan Empire. The complex is constructed of large, polished dry stone walls, with boulders cut and fitted together tightly without the use of mortar. The largest of the boulders weighs an estimated 120 tons and some speculate that it was carried from a quarry miles away. Many postulate that laborers fulfilling their obligations to the state bore the most burden of the site’s construction—an arduous task that involved cutting stones in the quarries and dragging them by rope to the construction area. Astounded by the workmanship, Spanish conquerors attributed it to demons.
One of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, Lalibela houses 11 monolithic churches carved from red volcanic rock. Believed to have been built in the 12th and 13th centuries, the church roofs rest at ground level and connect themselves to one another via a maze of underground tunnels.
Ever want to eat sushi from a body? Or maybe dine while dangling 150 feet in the air? Well, you can if you go to some of these absolutely bizarre restaurants:
Nyotaimori is a Japanese restaurant that serves sushi and sashimi on the naked body of a woman. The name literally means the “female body plate,” hence the bizarre practice inside this establishment. Employees serve the food on a body made of food and place that on an operating table for the diners’ delight. Patrons can cut open the body—which will begin to bleed. But fear not, everything within her is completely edible.
Marton Theme Restaurant, Taiwan
The famous “toilet restaurant” in Taiwan serves people – you guessed it – out of a toilet bowl. Located in Kaohsiung, the dining establishment is covered in bathroom décor: toilet seats serve as chairs, toilet seat shaped plates and bowls house the meals, bathtubs become tables, and so on. Some of the food is even in the shape of poo, though judging by its popularity we doubt it tastes like it.
Dinner in the Sky, Belgium
Revelers in Belgium can enjoy dinner in Brussels while dangling 150 feet in the air. Taking 22 diners at a time, the specially designed tables and chairs are crane-lifted into the air, where you can enjoy the scenery while attempting to not drop your fork.
D.S. Music Restaurant, Taiwan
Located in Taipei, the D.S. Music Restaurant’s name is rather misleading. Instead of music you can expect syringes, medicine and IV drips hanging from the ceiling of this hospital-themed dining establishment. Once inside the restaurant, diners order ‘medicine’ from a menu, which is served from a drip at the table and the drinks are served from IV-like contraptions. Dresses like nurses, the wait staff asks trivia questions, and if you get them right you’re rewarded they squirt a tasty drink in your mouth with a syringe. It only gets stranger from there. Once you’re done eating, a female staff member in a deranged ballerina costume dances on your table.
Vampire Café, Tokyo
Ginza, Tokyo houses the Gothic paradise of Vampire Café. Staying true to its name, the café is decorated with bloody references like red velvet walls, red blood-celled floors, red thrones for seating and red aperitif garnished with tiny skulls for drinking. Coffins are scattered along the premise with flickering candles sitting on top while Baroque music emanates throughout the dining establishment, thus completing the ambiance. Thankfully Dracula’s food isn’t on the menu, which can best be described as a mix of Italian, French and Japanese cuisine.
The human being is a curious creature and its mind is even curiouser. Here are the seven craziest mental diseases that can plague the mind:
Autophagia is a mental disease in which the sufferer is compelled to inflict pain on themselves. The twisted part is that the pain comes in the form of biting and/or devouring portions of their body. The disease may be caused by severe sexual anxiety sometimes combined with schizophrenia or psychosis.
Amputee Identity Disorder
This is a neurological and psychological disorder in which a person feels they would be happier living life as an amputee. The disorder is usually accompanied by the desire to amputate a healthy limb in order to achieve their goals.
Yes, being a shopaholic is actually a mental disease scientifically known as Oniomania. The disease refers to a person’s compulsive desire to shop, which is characterized by a vicious circle of negative emotions that lead the sufferer to purchase something.
Cotard’s Syndrome – also known as Walking Corpse, nihilistic or negation delusion – is a rare neuropsychiatric disorder. The disorder is characterized by a person holding the delusional belief that he or she is dead or does not exist and can include delusions of immortality.
Clinical lycanthropy is a rare psychiatric syndrome characterized by the delusion that the individual can or has transformed into an animal. Those affected by the disorder often start behaving like animals – crying, grumbling or creeping – as well.
The extremely bizarre Paris Syndrome is a condition exclusive to Japanese tourists. In fact, around a dozen suffer from it while visiting the city of lights every year. The syndrome essentially is a very severe form of “culture shock” that polite Japanese tourists face when confronted by “rude” French culture.
Diogenes is a syndrome named after the famous ancient Greek philosopher who lived in a wine barrel and promoted ideas of nihilism and animalism. It describes a disorder characterized by extreme self-neglect, reclusive tendencies, and compulsive hoarding. It is found mainly in old people and is associated with senility.
Despite being four times larger and brighter than the Orion Nebula, the Milky Way’s Carina Nebula is far less popular. That is truly remarkable, given that it houses two of the most massive and luminous stars in the Milky Way.
A perennial favorite, California’s Yosemite National Park provides 1,200 square miles of natural marvels. Replete with granite cliffs for rock climbers, Yosemite’s stunning waterfalls, giant sequoia groves and scenery make it one of the most visited national parks in America. While there is never a bad time to visit, a trip in late May when the snowcapped mountains have begun to melt renders the waterfall even more awe-inspiring.
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Located in Guatemala, Tikal National Park is a World Heritage Site featuring the spectacular ruins of a Mayan settlement dating back to 250 AD. The picturesque surroundings include an amazing jungle canopy and wildlife juxtaposed by ancient architecture and temples.
Kakadu National Park, Australia
Nestled within the top end of Australia’s Northern Territory, Kakadu National Park encompasses everything natural about Australia. With a sweeping spread of over 3.2 million acres, the World Heritage listed site is filled with stone plateaus, rainforests, flood plains, billabongs and beaches.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
A gem found in Tanzania, the Serengeti National Park is a seemingly boundless plain most famous for the millions of animals like wildebeest, gazelles and zebras that migrate there in droves.
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Situated in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, Corcovado National Park boasts a combination of lush rainforest foliage and coastal beach beauty. Home to exotic flora and fauna, its rainforests are populated by poison arrow frogs, jaguars, tapirs, sloths, snakes, monkeys and caimans, all of which make it one of the most expansive conservation areas in Central America.
Gunung Mulu National Park, Malaysia
One can discover the beauty of the Gunung Mulu National Park in Malaysia’s Borneo Jungle. It is home to the most expansive and impressive limestone cave system in the world as well as over 8,000 species of plants. Unfortunately, it can be quite cumbersome to get there; those adventurous souls who want to explore its enchanting beauty can do so only by air or, sometimes, riverboat.
The extremely witty and much-loved British Prime Minister Winston Churchill tops the list with his verbal spat with Lady Astor. The conservative dame forever admonished Churchill for his cigars and alcohol habits, and Churchill was not one to take the insults lying down. Of their famous squabbles, the most memorable is when Astor commented, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.” Churchill’s riposte? “Madame, if you were my wife, I’d drink it.”
His advocation of non-violence doesn’t mean Gandhi wasn’t lethal with his wit. One such incident was when Gandhi traveled to London and a reporter asked him what he thought of Western civilization. Gandhi replied with this scathing remark: “I think it would be a good idea.”
During a debate, the popular but not so attractive Abraham Lincoln was accused of being two-faced. Lincoln’s rebuttal proved more self-effacing than insulting, but people still felt the sting around the room. He retorted: “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”
In the 1920s, the prolific Yankee batsman Babe Ruth was having such a great run that he soon scored a $80,000 salary. But when the financial crisis hit home in the early 1930s, Yankees officials asked Ruth to slash his pay by $5000—a request Ruth declined. At a later press conference an intrepid reporter commented that Ruth had a higher salary than current President Hoover and received a cutting remark: “Maybe so,” Ruth retaliated, “but I had a better year than he did.”
When unconcerned with being diplomatically correct, politicians spew the best insults of all time. Such was the case between the 18th century political rivals, John Montagu and John Wilkes. During one of their verbal sparring matches, Montagu spat at Wilkes and said, “Upon my soul, Wilkes, I don’t know whether you’ll die upon the gallows, or of syphilis.” Wilkes retorted, “That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles, or your mistress.”
German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens has a penchant and pride for turning real human bodies into statues with a technique called “plastination.” By using a volunteer’s dead body and injecting a liquid plastic solution into it to harden and preserve the cadavers entirely, von Hagens creates “timeless” art. However, the controversial nature of his work means that much like a mad scientist, he must work out of a secret lab. Von Hagens’ first displayed his sculptures at a 1995 exhibition in Japan.
Flesh Dress, Jana Sterbak
Move over, Lady Gaga; Canadian Jana Sterbak is the true originator of the meat dress. Displayed lovingly in the National Gallery of Canada, the artwork caused immense controversy, as people couldn’t believe real “art” could be the submission of food scraps to a gallery.
The Fountain, Marcel Duchamp
In 1917, Dadaist king Marcel Duchamp used an ordinary urinal and called it art. To the chagrin of the masses, Duchamp’s ‘artwork’ was displayed in New York and sparked debate about what actually constitutes art.
Egg Art, Henk Hofstra
In the name of art, Dutch artist Henk Hofstra covered one of the Netherlands’ largest city squares with several large eggs. The installation art remained throughout Zaailand for six months in 2008, with each egg measuring 100 feet wide. Unsurprisingly, no one is sure what Henk’s statement actually was.
Face of Iron Man
A Taiwanese man pees in his toilet bowl and finds blood in his urine. Same man realizes it resembles the face of Iron Man and enters it into an art competition. The artwork beats out 600 other entries to win the top art prize. True story.
Many regard the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain as one of the world’s most amazing modern architectural feats. The contemporary art museum was designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry and built by Ferrovial. Gehry left his architectural signature via the building’s circular shapes that he designed to showcase the museum’s pieces in a unique way.
The Bird’s Nest, China
Built in China, the Bird’s Nest stadium served as the host for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics. Designed primarily by architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the marvel boasts a bowl-shaped composite of a red concrete seating area and an outer steel frame that encloses it.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Arguably the most incredible modern architectural feat, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building as it soars over 2,500 feet in the sky. Designed by Adrian Smith and engineered by Bill Baker, the multi-billion dollar structure officially opened in 2010 and features the world’s longest-traveling elevator and five million square feet of floor space. Fun fact: Tom Cruise hung out of its side in the latest Mission Impossible.
Lotus Temple, India
1986 marked the year that construction on India’s famous Lotus Temple was completed. As the name suggests, the temple was inspired by—and resembles—the lotus flower. Composed of 27 freestanding marble “petals,” the building has nine entrances that open onto a central hall. A truly sweeping sight, the vast temple covers 26 acres of land and also has nine surrounding ponds and gardens.
California Academy of Sciences, USA
An amazing example of sustainable architecture, the California Academy of Sciences is considered to be the “greenest museum on the planet.” Located in San Francisco, the building’s roof blends in seamlessly with the landscape.
From the Sun’s superhuman strength to leaving a permanent mark on the Moon, six fascinating facts about space:
The Sun’s Staggering Strength
Despite its serene appearance when viewed from Earth, the energy produced from the Sun is so strong that every second its core releases the equivalent of 100 billion nuclear bombs.
The Skies: A Visual History Textbook
The next time you’re cloud watching, ponder this: by studying the skies, you are essentially staring into history. Why? The light you presently enjoy travels from distant stars and galaxies takes hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of years to reach us.
While Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun, its temperatures can reach a biting -280 degrees Fahrenheit as Mercury lacks the atmospheric pressure necessary to trap heat. Venus, on the other hand, has a thick atmosphere to trap heat and is markedly hotter than Mercury, despite being farther away from the sun.
A Permanent Foot On The Moon
If you are ever lucky or wealthy enough to gallivant to the moon, you can expect your presence to remain much longer than anticipated. As there is no air or wind on the moon, your footprints are likely to last forever (barring a meteoric collision, of course).
A Treasure Hunter’s Dream: The Diamond Star
In 2004, astronomers discovered a star made entirely of diamonds. The crystallized white dwarf measures over 2,400 miles across and is composed of 10 billion trillion trillion carats. Unfortunately for treasure hunters, though, it is also 50 light years from Earth.
Grow By Leaving The Planet
If you consider yourself “vertically challenged,” you should consider becoming an astronaut. The path toward realizing said career is a long one, but since the lack of gravity in space allows for the elongation of the spine, you would grow two inches while floating in the Milky Way.
Dating back to 3500 to 2500 BC, the Megalithic Temples of Malta are some of the oldest structures in the world. As the name suggests, they are a group of stone temples older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Excellently preserved, they were rediscovered and restored in the 19th century by European and native Maltese archaeologists. While not much is known about who built them, evidence from inside the temples – livestock sacrifices – suggest that local farmers constructed the stony structures. There are several temples scattered around, many of which appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, the most important one of them all is the two-temple complex at Ggantija.
Knap of Howar, Scotland
The Knap of Howar is located on the Scottish island of Papa Westray and is home to a Neolithic farmstead dating back to 3500 BC. Made up of two adjacent rounded rectangular thick-walled buildings with very low doorways facing, the farmstead is believed to be the oldest preserved stone house in northern Europe.
Newgrange is nestled in eastern Ireland and many believe the structure to be a religious site with 5,000 year old roots. While the edifice’s purpose is shrouded in mystery, many speculate that its functions were largely religious given the way the rising sun floods the interiors during the winter solstice.
Hulbjerg Jættestue, Denmark
Dating back to 3000BC, the difficult to pronounce Hulbjerg Jættestue is a burial spot in Denmark. Upon its discovery, forty corpses were found inside, one of which showed early examples of dentistry.
Monte d’Accoddi, Italy
Monte d’Accoddi is an archaeological site in Sardinia, Italy that archaeologists believe were erected between 2700 and 2000 BC. Discovered in 1954, many presumed Monte d’Accoddi featured an altar, temple or step pyramid.