10 Craziest Spa Treatments

Friday, January 14, 2011

10 Craziest Spa Treatments

Published on 8/7/2010 under Misc - by Gracie Murano - 95,485 views

Fish Pedicure

Fish Pedicure
An unusual spa treatment is being offered in London which exfoliates your feet using 150 fish. The Garra rufa fish have no teeth and nibble away dead skin using suction-shaped mouths leaving healthy new skin underneath untouched. The carp, which originated in Turkey, have long been used in the Far East to treat skin complaints such as eczema and psoriasis. In Japan they offer whole-body immersion fish spas and recently the craze has spread to the U.S, Europe and the UK.

Snake Massage

Snake Massage
A spa in Israel has put a unique spin on the standard massage. While some masseuses use soothing music or scented candles to supplement massages, owner Ida Barak prefers to use snakes; she believes that they have a calming effect and can alleviate joint pain. Imagine—lying facedown on a bed, strong hands rubbing oil on your back as a few snakes slither up and down your body. What could be more relaxing?


Cactus Massage

Cactus Massage
Relaxation is the point of the Hakali Massage at Apuane Spa at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita in Mexico. The treatment provides a distinctly Mexican flair using spine-free cactus paddles to massage in a blend of nopal, a prickly pear cactus, and pulque, an alcohol made from the agave plant and a relative of modern-day tequila. (Link)

Golden Facial

Golden Facial
Cleopatra apparently slept in a gold mask every night to maintain youthful looking skin. Turns out, she was right. A revolutionary –and expensive spa treatment is based on the Queen of the Nile experience. Paper-thin squares of 24-karat gold are applied on the face along with hydrating compounds. The result includes firmer, more supple skin, and not surprisingly, a noticeable dent in your wallet. (Link)

Butt Facial

Butt Facial
Facials aren't just for our faces anymore. All of our body parts need equal love, including our derriere. At Detroit-area spa Euphoria, the facials apply to this other set of cheeks — the ones you sit on. "We always try to come up with different ideas for services and I just hadn't seen it," said spa owner Lisa Johnson. "And that's an area that never gets the treatments it needs. Clients are still covered up as they have their derrieres cleansed and exfoliated. Then a masque is applied and any waxing, if needed, is done. The treatment ends with a warm paraffin treatment. The [biggest] problem with it is that people are so apprehensive. But once they get it, they're like, 'Oh my gosh, that feels so good.'" (Link)

Reiki on Horseback

Reiki on Horseback
The Japanese practice of Reiki is focused on the belief that healing energy—when passed from practitioner to client—can correct imbalances in both spirit and body. Usually the practitioner is a human, but Rockin' Heart Ranch owner (and Certified Reiki Master) Christina DiBartolo believes that horses also possess an innate healing energy. Riding on horseback—either alone or with DiBartolo, and with her guidance—ostensibly allows a client to tap into that energy, and ease everything from physical aches and pains to emotional anxiety. (Link)

Wine Bath

Wine Bath
Located in Kowakien Yunessun, the biggest, most popular spa center in Japan, reopened its doors every year for their most popular treatment. Hundreds of gallons of Beaujolais Nouveau, the most popular wine in Japan, are used during the 12 day period the wine spa welcomes its guests. For the last few years, Japanese wine lovers have had the opportunity to drink and bathe in the liquor they love so much, at the Hakone Kowakien Yunessun. The red pool is constantly fed wine through the wine-bottle-shaped spring, while a sommelier stands by to fill up the glasses of those craving some more Beaujolais Nouveau. Getting drunk is not going to make your wrinkles go away, but will definitely stop you from worrying about them for a few hours. (Link)

Gondola Massage

Gondola Massage
It should come as no surprise that the most romantic city in the world would be the home of an über-enticing spa treat. At Casanova Spa at Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy, relaxation-seekers who can't get enough of the city's sights can set sail with a Gondola Massage, performed in a private nook in one of Venice's alluring lagoons. To protect your skin, this outdoor massage is given using a special oil with SPF protection. (Link)

Snow Cave Anti Sauna

Snow Cave Anti Sauna
This anti-sauna room is the perfect place to go to cool out after a sauna section. The indoor artificial snowstorm is merely to provide ambience, but believers say that a shot of extreme cold—especially after a stint in a hot tub or sauna—can help reduce hypertension and tighten pores. Avaiable at the Butlins Ocean Spa, located in Bognor Regis, West Sussex. (Link)

Beer Facelift

Beer Facelift
First chocolate and now alcohol—I guess we're all looking for new, non-caloric ways to experience our favorite things. If you love beer, but hate the subsequent bloat, head to a Spa and experience the healing power of the yeasts for a change. The vitamins in the beer bath are said to rejuvenate your pores and relieve tension in your muscles, giving your face a fresh “glow”—quite different from the glow you get after drinking a couple of Budweisers. (Link)

10 Most Amazing Extinct Animals

10 Most Amazing Extinct Animals

Published on 8/25/2007 under Weird Science - 2,387,813 views
TAGS: extinct species

From the Quagga --half zebra, half horse-- to the Irish Deer --the largest deer that ever lived--, an impressive list with pictures of amazing animals we will never see.

Tyrannosaurus Rex (extinct 65 million years ago) [Wiki]

Tyrannosaurus rex was one of the largest land carnivores of all time, measuring up to 43.3 feet long, and 16.6 ft tall, with an estimated mass that goes up to 7 tons. Like other tyrannosaurids, Tyrannosaurus was a bipedal carnivore with a massive skull balanced by a long, heavy tail. Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, Tyrannosaurus forelimbs were small and they retained only two digits.

Fossils of T. rex have been found in North American rock formations dating to the last three million years of the Cretaceous Period at the end of the Maastrichtian stage, approximately 68.5 to 65.5 million years ago; it was among the last dinosaurs to exist prior to the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event. More than 30 specimens of T. rex have been identified, some of which are nearly complete skeletons. Some researchers have discovered soft tissue as well. The abundance of fossil material has allowed significant research into many aspects of its biology, including life history and biomechanics.

Quagga: half zebra, half horse (extinct since 1883) [Wiki]

One of Africa's most famous extinct animals, the quagga was a subspecies of the plains zebra, which was once found in great numbers in South Africa's Cape Province and the southern part of the Orange Free State. It was distinguished from other zebras by having the usual vivid marks on the front part of the body only. In the mid-section, the stripes faded and the dark, inter-stripe spaces became wider, and the hindquarters were a plain brown. The name comes from a Khoikhoi word for zebra and is onomatopoeic, being said to resemble the quagga's call.

The quagga was originally classified as an individual species, Equus quagga, in 1788. Over the next fifty years or so, many other zebras were described by naturalists and explorers. Because of the great variation in coat patterns (no two zebras are alike), taxonomists were left with a great number of described "species", and no easy way to tell which of these were true species, which were subspecies, and which were simply natural variants. Long before this confusion was sorted out, the quagga had been hunted to extinction for meat, hides, and to preserve feed for domesticated stock. The last wild quagga was probably shot in the late 1870s, and the last specimen in captivity died on August 12, 1883 at the Artis Magistra zoo in Amsterdam.

Because of the great confusion between different zebra species, particularly among the general public, the quagga had become extinct before it was realized that it appeared to be a separate species. The quagga was the first extinct creature to have its DNA studied. Recent genetic research at the Smithsonian Institution has demonstrated that the quagga was in fact not a separate species at all, but diverged from the extremely variable plains zebra.

Thylacine: the Tasmanian Tiger (extinct since 1936) [Wiki]

The Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times. Native to Australia and New Guinea, it is thought to have become extinct in the 20th century. It is commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger (due to its striped back), and also known as the Tasmanian Wolf, and colloquially the Tassie (or Tazzy) Tiger or simply the Tiger. It was the last extant member of its genus, Thylacinus, although a number of related species have been found in the fossil record dating back to the early Miocene.

The Thylacine became extinct on the Australian mainland thousands of years before European settlement of the continent, but survived on the island of Tasmania along with a number of other endemic species such as the Tasmanian Devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite being officially classified as extinct, sightings are still reported.

Steller's Sea Cow: the defenseless beast (extinct since 1768) [Wiki]

Formerly found near the Asiatic coast of the Bering Sea, it was discovered in in 1741 by the naturalist Georg Steller, who was traveling with the explorer Vitus Bering. The sea cow grew up to 7.9 meters (25.9 ft) long and weighed up to three tons, much larger than the manatee or dugong. It looked somewhat like a large seal, but had two stout forelimbs and a whale-like tail. According to Steller, "The animal never comes out on shore, but always lives in the water. Its skin is black and thick, like the bark of an old oak..., its head in proportion to the body is small..., it has no teeth, but only two flat white bones—one above, the other below". It was completely tame, according to Steller. Fossils indicate that Steller's Sea Cow was formerly widespread along the North Pacific coast, reaching south to Japan and California. Given the rapidity with which its last population was eliminated, it is likely that the arrival of humans in the area was the cause of its extinction elsewhere as well. There are still sporadic reports of sea cow-like animals from the Bering area and Greenland, so it has been suggested that small populations of the animal may have survived to the present day. This remains so far unproven.

Irish Deer: the largest deer that ever lived (extinct about 7,700 years ago) [Wiki - Photo: (c) The Field Museum, CK1T]

The Irish Elk or Giant Deer, was the largest deer that ever lived. It lived in Eurasia, from Ireland to east of Lake Baikal, during the Late Pleistocene and early Holocene. The latest known remains of the species have been carbon dated to about 5,700 BC, or about 7,700 years ago. The Giant Deer is famous for its formidable size (about 2.1 meters or 7 feet tall at the shoulders), and in particular for having the largest antlers of any known cervid (a maximum of 3.65 meters/12 feet from tip to tip and weighing up to 90 pounds).

Discussion of the cause of their extinction has still focused on the antlers (rather than on their overall body size), which may be due more to their impact on the observer than any actual property. Some have suggested hunting by man was a contributing factor in the demise of the Irish Elk as it was with many prehistoric megafauna, even assuming that the large antler size restricted the movement of males through forested regions or that it was by some other means a "maladaptation". But evidence for overhunting is equivocal, and as a continental species, it would have co-evolved with humans throughout its existence and presumably have adapted to their presence.

Caspian Tiger: the third largest (extinct since 1970) [Wiki]

The Caspian tiger or Persian tiger was the westernmost subspecies of tiger, found in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan until it apparently became extinct in the 1970s. Of all the tigers known to the world, the Caspian tiger was the third largest.

The body of this subspecies was quite stocky and elongated with strong legs, big wide paws and unusually large claws. The ears were short and small, and gave the appearance of being without hair on the tips. Around the cheeks the Caspian tiger was generously furred and the rest of its fur was long and thick. The colouration resembled that of the Bengal tiger. Male Caspian tigers were very large and weighed 169-240 kg. Females were not as large, weighing 85-135 kg. There are still occasional claims of the Caspian tiger being sighted.

Aurochs: a very large type of cattle (extinct since 1627) [Wiki]

One of Europe's most famous extinct animals, the aurochs or urus (Bos primigenius) were a very large type of cattle. Aurochs evolved in India some two million years ago, migrated into the Middle East and further into Asia, and reached Europe about 250,000 years ago.

By the 13th century A.D., the aurochs' range was restricted to Poland, Lithuania, Moldavia, Transylvania and East Prussia. The right to hunt large animals on any land was restricted to nobles and gradually to the royal household. As the population of aurochs declined, hunting ceased but the royal court still required gamekeepers to provide open fields for the aurochs to graze in. The gamekeepers were exempted from local taxes in exchange for their service and a decree made poaching an aurochs punishable by death. In 1564, the gamekeepers knew of only 38 animals, according to the royal survey. The last recorded live aurochs, a female, died in 1627 in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland. The skull was later taken by the Swedish Army and is now the property of Livrustkammaren in Stockholm.

In the 1920s two German zookeepers, the brothers Heinz and Lutz Heck, attempted to breed the aurochs back into existence (see breeding back) from the domestic cattle that were their descendants. Their plan was based on the conception that a species is not extinct as long as all its genes are still present in a living population. The result is the breed called Heck Cattle, 'Recreated Aurochs', or 'Heck Aurochs', which bears an incomplete resemblance to what is known about the physiology of the wild aurochs

Great Auk: largest of all auks (extinct since 1844) [Wiki]

The Great Auk was the only species in the genus Pinguinus, flightless giant auks from the Atlantic, to survive until recent times, but is extinct today. It was also known as garefowl, or penguin.

Standing about 75 centimetres or 30-34 inches high and weighing around 5 kg, the flightless Great Auk was the largest of the auks. It had white and glossy black feathers. In the past, the Great Auk was found in great numbers on islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Great Britain, but it was eventually hunted to extinction. Remains found in Floridan middens suggest that at least occasionally, birds ventured that far south in winter as recently as in the 14th century.

Cave Lion: one of the largest lions ever (extinct 2,000 years ago) [Wiki]

The cave lion, also known as the European or Eurasian cave lion, is an extinct subspecies of lion known from fossils and a wide variety of prehistoric art. This subspecies was one of the largest lions. An adult male, which was found in 1985 near Siegsdorf (Germany), had a shoulder height of around 1.2 m and a length of 2.1 m without a tail, which is about the same size as a very big modern lion. This male was even exceeded by other specimens of this subspecies. Therefore this cat may have been around 5-10% bigger than modern lions. It apparently went extinct about 10,000 years ago, during the Würm glaciation, though there are some indications it may have existed as recently as 2,000 years ago, in the Balkans.

Dodo: the archetype of extinct species (extinct since late 17th century) [Wiki]

The Dodo (Raphus cucullatus) was a flightless bird that lived on the island of Mauritius. Related to pigeons and doves, it stood about a meter tall (three feet), lived on fruit and nested on the ground. The dodo has been extinct since the mid-to-late 17th century. It is commonly used as the archetype of an extinct species because its extinction occurred during recorded human history, and was directly attributable to human activity. The adjective phrase "as dead as a dodo" means undoubtedly and unquestionably dead. The verb phrase "to go the way of the dodo" means to become extinct or obsolete, to fall out of common usage or practice, or to become a thing of the past.

7 Incredible Natural Phenomena you've never seen

7 Incredible Natural Phenomena you've never seen

Published on 11/16/2007 under Weird Science - 1,108,013 views

Venezuela's Everlasting Storm

The mysterious "Relámpago del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning) is a unique natural phenomenon in the world. Located on the mouth of the Catatumbo river at Lake Maracaibo (Venezuela), the phenomenon is a cloud-to-cloud lightning that forms a voltage arc more than five kilometre high during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours a night, and as many as 280 times an hour. This almost permanent storm occurs over the marshlands where the Catatumbo River feeds into Lake Maracaibo and it is considered the greatest single generator of ozone in the planet, judging from the intensity of the cloud-to-cloud discharge and great frequency.

The area sees an estimated 1,176,000 electrical discharges per year, with an intensity of up to 400,000 amperes, and visible up to 400 km away. This is the reason why the storm is also known as the Maracaibo Beacon as light has been used for navigation by ships for ages. The collision with the winds coming from the Andes Mountains causes the storms and associated lightning, a result of electrical discharges through ionised gases, specifically the methane created by the decomposition of organic matter in the marshes. Being lighter than air, the gas rises up to the clouds, feeding the storms. Some local environmentalists hope to put the area under the protection of UNESCO, as it is an exceptional phenomenon, the greatest source of its type for regenerating the planet's ozone layer.

Honduras' Rain of Fishes

The Rain of Fish is common in Honduran Folklore. It occurs in the Departamento de Yoro, between the months of May and July. Witnesses of this phenomenon state that it begins with a dark cloud in the sky followed by lightning, thunder, strong winds and heavy rain for 2 to 3 hours. Once the rain has stopped, hundreds of living fish are found on the ground. People take the fish home to cook and eat them. Since 1998 a festival known as "Festival de la Lluvia de Peces" (Rain of Fish Festival) is celebrated every year in the city of Yoro, Departamento de Yoro, Honduras.

Morocco's Climbing Goats

Goats on trees are found mostly only in Morocco. The goats climb them because they like to eat the fruit of the argan tree, which is similar to an olive. Farmers actually follow the herds of goats as they move from tree to tree. Not because it is so strange to see goats in trees and the farmers like to point and stare, but because the fruit of the tree has a nut inside, which the goats can't digest, so they spit it up or excrete it which the farmers collect. The nut contains 1-3 kernels, which can be ground to make argan oil used in cooking and cosmetics. This oil has been collected by the people of the region for hundreds of years, but like many wild and useful things these days, the argan tree is slowly disappearing due to over-harvesting for the tree's wood and overgrazing by goats.

As a result a group of people and organizations have banded together to try to save the tree. To do so one of the primary locations where the trees grow has been declared a biosphere preserve. It was also decided that by making the world aware of the oil, it's great taste and supposed anti-aging properties, would create a demand for it. However, the people who planned to market the oil could not envision people wanting to put an oil on their food or their face that was collected from goat excrement. As a result, a campaign is being led to ban grazing on the trees by goats during certain parts of the year to allow the fruit to ripen and fall off on its own. The fruit is then collected and turned into oil by oil cooperatives. So far, this arrangement seems to be working. (Photo: Remo Saviaar)

Kerala's (extraterrestrial?) Red Rain

From 25 July to 23 September 2001, red rain sporadically fell on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was coloured red, staining clothes with an appearance similar to that of blood. Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported.

It was initially suspected that the rains were coloured by fallout from a hypothetical meteor burst, but a study commissioned by the Government of India found that the rains had been coloured by airborne spores from a locally prolific terrestrial alga. Then in early 2006, the coloured rains of Kerala suddenly rose to worldwide attention after media reports of a conjecture that the coloured particles were extraterrestrial cells, proposed by Godfrey Louis and Santhosh Kumar of the Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam. The terrestrial origins of the solid material in the red rain were supported by an investigation into the isotopic ratios of nitrogen and carbon.

Brazilian's longest wave on the Earth

Twice a year, between the months of February and March, the Atlantic Ocean waters roll up the Amazon river, in Brazil, generating the longest wave on the Earth. The phenomenon, known as the Pororoca, is caused by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean wich meet the mouth of the river. This tidal bore generates waves up to 12 feet high which can last for over half an hour.

The name "Pororoca" comes from the indigenous Tupi language, where it translates into "great destructive noise". The wave can be heard about 30 minutes before its arrival, and it's so powerful that it can destroy anything, including trees, local houses and all kind of animals.

The wave has become popular with surfers. Since 1999, an annual championship has been held in São Domingos do Capim. However, surfing the Pororoca is especially dangerous, as the water contains a significant amount of debris from the margins of the river (often, entire trees). The record that we could find for surfing the longest distance on the Pororoca was set by Picuruta Salazar, a brazilian surfer who, in 2003, managed to ride the wave for 37 minutes and travel 12.5 kilometers. A surfer's dream: riding an almost never-ending wave.

Denmark's Black Sun

During spring in Denmark, at approximately one half an hour before sunset, flocks of more than a million European starlings (sturnus vulgaris) gather from all corners to join in the incredible formations shown above. This phenomenon is called Black Sun (in Denmark), and can be witnessed in early spring throughout the marshlands of western Denmark, from March through to the middle of April. The starlings migrate from the south and spend the day in the meadows gathering food, sleeping in the reeds during the night.

Idaho's Fire Rainbow

The atmospheric phenomenon known as a circumhorizon(tal) arc, or "Fire rainbow", appears when the sun is high in the sky (i.e., higher than 58° above the horizon), and its light passes through diaphanous, high-altitude cirrus clouds made up of hexagonal plate crystals. Sunlight entering the crystals' vertical side faces and leaving through their bottom faces is refracted (as through a prism) and separated into an array of visible colors. When the plate crystals in cirrus clouds are aligned optimally (i.e., with their faces parallel to the ground), the resulting display is a brilliant spectrum of colors reminiscent of a rainbow. The example shown above was captured on camera as it hung for about an hour across a several-hundred square mile area of sky above northern Idaho (near the Washington border) on 3 June 2006.
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