Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman goes big – so big, that it’s practically impossible to miss his artistic statements. His latest work is a 46 feet tall and 55 feet long inflatable rubber duck, which today arrived to Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour and will stay there till June 9. Boldly called the Rubber Duck, this floating sculpture is described by Florentijn as a “very positive artistic statement that immediately connects people to their childhood”. Continue reading World’s Largest Rubber Duck Comes to Hong Kong
National Geographic photographer Joe McNally snapped a shot that some call “the mother of all rooftopping photos.” Standing atop the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Joe shared this amazing photo on Instagram from about 820 meters high!
Photographer Jill Peters presents a unique phenomenon of “burneshas” – Albanian women, who swear themselves, or are sworn into virginity by their families and assume the roles of men for the rest of their lives. What used to be a commonplace tradition back in the 15th century, is still around in the some rural areas in Northern Albania. Jill explains:
“The freedom to vote, drive, conduct business, earn money, drink, smoke, swear, own a gun or wear pants was traditionally the exclusive province of men. Young girls were commonly forced into arranged marriages, often with much older men in distant villages. As an alternative, becoming a Sworn Virgin, or ‘burnesha” elevated a woman to the status of a man and granted her all the rights and privileges of the male population. In order to manifest the transition such a woman cut her hair, donned male clothing and sometimes even changed her name. Male gestures and swaggers were practiced until they became second nature. Most importantly of all, she took a vow of celibacy to remain chaste for life. She became a “he”. This practice continues today but as modernization inches toward the small villages, this archaic tradition is increasingly seen as obsolete. Only a few aging Sworn Virgins remain.”
Jill also learned that burrneshas are well respected within their communities: “they possess an indescribable amount of strength and pride, and value their family honor above all else. Their absolute transition is wholly accepted, posited and taken without question by the people among whom they live. But most surprising, is they have very few regrets for the great deal they have sacrificed.
Located in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, there’s a secret underwater river called Cenote Angelita (Spanish for Little Angel) that can be found after a 10 to 15 minute drive south of Tulum. It is arguably the most unique formation of this kind: a thin layer of hydrogen sulfate separates the saltwater from the fresh water above it, allowing scuba divers to swim along this underwater creation, which looks a lot like a regular river would on the ground. There are even fallen trees and leaves on both sides of the “shores”, making this seascape look all the more surreal!
Cenotes are actually deep natural pits, or sinkholes, characteristic of Mexico, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath.
“From the surface, you look down and all you can see is deep blue water. <…> At about 18m/60ft you begin to see what looks like a strange wispy bottom appearing below with a few ghostly, bare limbed tree trunks and branches sticking out. As it becomes clearer you begin to feel the first effects of narcosis at the same time as you see an expanse of wispy fog below. At the top of the cloud you stop and look around, everything appears surreal and a spooky feeling takes over amplified by the effects of the nitrogen in your brain,” describe Maya Diving, offering scuba diving trips to Angelita. Well, have you packed your equipment yet?
Be it climbing up as high as a 380-meter crane or a 22-storey building – two young Russians have got it all, and more, on their cameras. Vitaly Raskalov and Alexander Remnov call themselves skywalkers, and take incredible, vertigo-inducing pictures of each other on top of the highest buildings in Moscow and some other cities in Russia.
Armed with no special protective equipment but a camera, these thrill-seekers plank on top of the Russian Academy of Sciences or enjoy a nocturnal panorama from a turret in the Kiev railway station just for a good shot. It’s hard to imagine what these guys feel, when their pictures are enough to make one dizzy.
Posting in his blog, Vitaly was extremely happy about conquering the tower of the Moscow State University, which is generally protected with security cameras and special entry codes:
“For three years, I thought that it is impossible to get here, but as they say – everything is possible, the main thing is to want it bad enough.”
Beautiful, but don’t take this as an encouragement!