When the ashes from a December 2014 eruption of a submarine volcano created a 400-foot (120-meter) island in the South Pacific Kingdom of Tonga experts predicted it would last a few months at most. However, over three years later, the land mass, situated between the uninhabited Polynesian islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai, is showing no signs of dissipating. Now, NASA scientists believe it may be around for as long as 30 years!
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The modern-day version of the hula hoop, introduced by the Wham-O toy company in 1958, has inspired fans to set numerous world records. These include the longest hula hooping marathon (74 hours and 54 minutes), the most number of hoops spun simultaneously (200), and the most number of rotations completed in a minute (243). Those unable to outdo serious hula hoopers in technical skills have turned to setting records using novelty hoops. The most recent feat, which involved spinning a massive ring, falls in that category.
Though pigs may never fly, a two-year-old hog in Franschhoek, South Africa is proving they sure can paint! Meet Pigcasso, the world’s first known pig artist whose masterpieces are selling thousands of dollars to benefit Farm Sanctuary S.A., Africa’s only registered shelter for rescued farm animals.
Since 2012, Canada’s WestJet Airlines has been delighting unsuspecting customers with well-deserved Christmas cheer. The gifts, usually restricted to the passengers of two or three late night flights, have ranged from iPods to fulfilling even the most exorbitant gift requests.
As is the case each year, cities worldwide welcomed the New Year with dazzling fireworks shows. In case you missed them, here are a few of the thousands of spectacular displays that lit up the skies around the globe at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 2017.
For most Americans, the holiday season begins around Thanksgiving. However, for Kathy Rombeiro and her dad, Edmundo, it starts in September, when they begin the laborious process of converting their Novato, California home into a winter wonderland. By the first Sunday of December, the ordinary suburban home is transformed into a magical “Christmas House,” complete with over 200,000 lights, fake snow, model trains, countless decorations and figurines, and even a real-life Santa Claus (Edmundo) on a sleigh.
Milan-based sushi chef Yujia Hu is making headlines with his innovative “shoe-shi” creations. The intricate works of art that resemble popular sneakers are made using strands of black seaweed called nori, sashimi, rice, and any other edible ingredients needed to recreate the streetwear it is being modeled after.
A week before the December 2 season-opening race of the 2017 FIA Formula E Championship, Techeetah team driver Jean-Éric Vergne got behind the wheel for an unusual challenge. The French driver, who placed fifth at the 2016 FIA championship, tested his driving skills against the world’s fastest land animal – the cheetah. And, unlike the Michael Phelps race against a shark earlier this year, this one did not rely on a CGI animated replica.