Categories
Architecture & Design Travel

Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken

There is a bizarre-looking church in the Indonesian jungle that’s shaped like a giant chicken.

Located in the forests of Magelang, Central Java (here it is on Google Maps, Gereja Ayam or “Chicken Church” was built in 1992 by Daniel Alamsjah.

He foresaw the structure in the late 80s when he received a spiritual message from God telling him to construct a prayer house for all religions in the shape of a dove. However, given the small beak and fluffy feathers, it appears to look more like a chicken.

Closed temporarily in 2000 for renovation — the second-floor walls have since been repainted with scenes from Indonesian mythology — the church has since been reopened as a tourist attraction but still offers a religious tour.

You can learn more about the church on its official tourism website.

Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
Spooky Indonesian church shaped like a chicken
Categories
Animals Nature Travel

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands

James Mollison of TOPIC ventured into one of Tokyo’s animal cafes where you can sip your coffee with your animal of choice (cats, dogs, and rabbits). But this coffee shop was a little different.

Tokyo’s Pakuchi Bar is apparently one of eight owl cafes in the big city. The owner, Tomo Nanaka, owns 30 of them which she allows in public on the weekends and on special holidays. Even more, she’s named them after musicians and bands.

Below are some of my favorite. From left to right: Kurt Cobain, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, and The Cure.

These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Kurt Cobain, a northern white-faced owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
The Chemical Brothers, a black-banded owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Beck, a snowy owl
These owls in a Tokyo cafe are named after musicians and bands
Cure, a western screech owl

There’s a video too.

(All images via James Mollison)

Categories
Architecture & Design Technology Travel

The musical road in the Netherlands that sings Frisian national anthem

There’s a road in the Netherlands that starts to sing the Frisian Folk Song when cars hit the right speed of 60 kph/40 mph limit.

The musical road resides in the village of Jelsum in the north part of Holland.

The structure of the strategically laid “rumble strips” was built in 2018 to celebrate the unique language and culture of the Friesland region. But the special ‘singing road’ also served as a warning to slow down speedy drivers.

However, the musical experience struck a chord (literally) with the locals who grew tired of hearing the notes 24 hours a day.

According to Dutch News, the €80,000 custom-built pavement markers were finally removed for driving (see what I did there) ‘psychological torture’.

Categories
Nature Science Travel

How Australia’s Lake Hillier gets its pink color

Lake Hillier in the Recherche Archipelago of Western Australia is known for its pink color.

The lake’s solid bubble-gum color continues to be debated but scientists indicate that the pink body of water is the result of the intermixing of Halobacteria and a salt-tolerant algae species called Dunaliella Salina.

The Halobacteria is known to produce red pigments which when mixed with salt-tolerant Dunaliella Salina, creates a stunning strawberry milkshake color.

Australia's Lake Hillier pink color
via twitter
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
via twitter
How Australia's Lake Hillier gets its pink color
via twitter

Unlike other pink lakes that morph into colors, Lake Hillier retains its pink hue all year round. It’s also safe to swim in.

When viewed from above, the contrast between the pink and dark blue ocean is also striking. You can learn more about the bubblegum lake here.

Categories
Nature Science Travel

Everything you need to know about Yosemite’s stunning ‘firefall’ phenomenon

In what looks like a scene from a fantasy movie, the ‘firefall’ phenomenon in Yosemite is spewing lava-like water again.

Called Horsetail Fall, the fiery waterfall makes an annual appearance for two weeks around February. The fiery orange glow of the waterfall emerges from the illumination of the setting sun over the 1500 foot flowing water.

Yosemite’s stunning ‘fireball’ phenomenon
via twitter

The tight window around catching the Firefall natural phenomenon in Yosemite

The Yosemite Firefall phenomenon is a summer tradition that dates back to 1872.

People would gather at the eastern edge of El Capitan Yosemite to watch ember from the bonfires get pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a man-made fiery waterfall.

As travel blogger James Kaiser notes on his blog:

For decades those words ushered in one of Yosemite National Park’s most famous spectacles: The Yosemite Firefall. Each evening in the summer, a roaring bonfire was built at the edge of Glacier Point , which towers 3,200 feet above Yosemite Valley. By sundown hundreds of spectators had gathered in Curry Village below. At 9pm sharp, a master of ceremonies in Curry Village shouted out, “Let the Fire Fall!” and the bonfire’s glowing embers were pushed over the edge of Glacier Point, creating a glittering “Waterfall of Fire.”

The National Park Service ended the Yosemite Firefall in 1968. But then nature magically took over to recreate the scene.

Today, the scientific miracle of intermixing chemicals including barium, aluminum and strontium mix together with the sunlight at dusk.

Writes Kaiser on the Yosemite Firefall website:

Then in 1973, within months of the 100-year anniversary of the first Yosemite Firefall, photographer Galen Rowell took the first known photo of the “Natural Firefall” at Horsetail Fall. That single photo ushered in an exciting new chapter in the history of the Firefall, and within a few decades the Natural Firefall had become as famous as the Manmade Firefall.

The firefall phenomenon only lasts about 10 minutes so you’ll need to be patient to catch it just as you would a solar eclipse. If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite, check out some of the best lodging sites here.

Video via Calia Domenico/tw

Categories
Travel

A navigational nightmare: Watch a time-lapse of Port of Amsterdam

The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the 4th busiest port by metric tons of cargo in Europe.

As you can see in the time-lapse of traffic patterns, navigation looks nearly impossible to control on a daily basis. So we did some digging to find out if this sort of nautical chaos was normal.

As one Twitter user noted, this time-lapse was taken during the Sail Amsterdam event which occurs every five years. This would make sense given all the fleet of tall ships and masted sails rolling about.

It’s also worth mentioning that David Bowie recorded a song in the port’s name.

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sings

Of the dreams that he brings from the wide open sea
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who sleeps
While the river bank weeps to the old willow tree

In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who dies
Full of beer, full of cries in a drunken town fight
In the port of Amsterdam there’s a sailor who’s born
On a hot muggy morn by the dawn’s early light

David Bowie, Port of Amsterdam