Norwegians fundraise to re-erect phallic rock formation

Concerned citizens are hoping to raise enough money to repair the phallic Trollpikken rock formation in southern Norway after suspected vandals apparently sliced off the head. Police are seeking tips on who chopped the tip. From The Guardian:

By Sunday more than 500 people had donated nearly 90,000 Norwegian kroner (£8,400) to fix the formation which is in Eigersund, south of Stavanger.

Kjetil Bentsen, an activist, told the public broadcaster NRK that he was convinced the Trollpikken would be rebuilt with donated money.

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Japan's "Weird Hotel," staffed by robots, in a Japanese theme-park

The Henn Na Hotel ("weird hotel") is staffed by robots: the Japanese-speaking check-in clerk is a vicious robot dinosaur, while the English-speaking one is humanoid; a robot arm stores and retrieves personal items from the guest lockers, and a chatbot serves as concierge. Read the rest

Cinematic Japanese tourism ad draws on martial arts traditions

Diamond Route Japan went all in on this gorgeous series of tourism ads. Their living samurai spirit ad taps into the romantic view of Japan depicted in their renowned epic period films. Read the rest

1922 house and furnishings made entirely from varnished paper

Having successfully invented the paperclip-bending machine, engineer Elis F. Stenman set out to build a new summer home for himself in Rockport, Mass in 1922, entirely from paper. Read the rest

Typical English village mystified by its cult status among Chinese tourists

Kidlington is a village of 13,723 people in Oxfordshire where nothing much happens. Read the rest

China's elites appear to be exfiltrating billions while on holidays

China has a massive "tourism deficit" -- the difference between the money that tourists spend in China and the money that Chinese people spend abroad: $206B from June 2015-June 2016, up from $77B in 2013. The missing money is hard to explain, since China doesn't export that many tourists. Read the rest

Hilarious and sophomoric collection of crass tourist photos (NSFW)

More here. (via Neatorama)

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King Arthur's grave was a hoax invented by cash-strapped 12th C monks

Since the 12th century -- and up to this very day -- tourists venture to Somerset's Glastonbury Abbey to see the grave of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, allegedly buried in the churchyard by 12th century monks who discovered their skeletons in an underground tree-trunk. Read the rest

Body-painted models disappear into the Wonders of the World

Trina Merry (previously) has created "Lost in Wonder," a series of trompe l'oeil photos in which painted models are posed against many of the world's great wonders, vanishing into the background. Read the rest

Book and Bed: Tokyo's coffin hotel/bookstore

If you're in Ikebukuro and need a cozy, bookish bed for the night, try Book and Bed, a "designed hostel" that hides coffin-hotel-style bunks among bookshelves lined with handsome volumes and rolling ladders. The books aren't for sale, but you're welcome to read them in your bunk. Read the rest

See this magical tilt-shift, time-lapse, 4K view of Niagara Falls

"Nano Niagara Falls" by Joerg Daiber. (LittleBigWorld)

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Tiny lipstick sculptures of tourist attractions

UK artist Hedley Wiggan carved lipsticks into iconic tourist attractions for the International Lipstick Colours of the Year exhibit at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5. Wiggan usually makes his micro-sculptures out of pencil lead, like the examples below of The Beatles and a witch.

"International Lipstick Colours of the Year" (Heathrow Airport via Weird Universe)

See more of Hedley Wiggan's artwork here.

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Malaysia blames quake on naked selfie tourists, some of whom now can't go home

The tourists' naked selfies angered the ancestral spirits of Borneo, said the official, and we are inclined to agree.

Faded, clown-themed motel that backs onto a plague pit

Tonopoah, NV's Clown Motel is a relic of the Gold Rush town's faded glory years, and it is filled with clowns. Hundreds of clowns stare from every corner, the walls are hung with clown-portraits, and there is a "historic miners' cemetery" out the motel's back door, wherein rest the mouldering corpses of the victims of a mysterious epidemic that is only known as "Tonopah plague." Redditors who've stayed at the Clown Motel have taken to this thread to one-up one-another with tales of the establishment's freaky weirdness. Norwegiancoconut dropped a link to this gallery of photos from a previous stay.

America's scariest motel is haunted... by hundreds of clowns Read the rest

Japanese arcade recreates gritty walled city of Kowloon

Kawasaki's Warehouse arcade, near Yokohama, is a fantastically detailed, gritty recreation of the old walled city of Kowloon, near Hong Kong. The Tokyo Times photos depict a place that's like a fevered Gibson dream, and note that there's an accompanying, spooky soundscape. This is going on my must-see list for our next Japan trip. Read the rest

Exaggeration postcards: sight-gags-by-mail

Retronaut rounds up a series of "exaggeration postcards" from 1907-1967, representing a golden era of visual-comedy-by-mail. Hard to characterize the Texas Jackalope card as an "exaggeration," though -- it's more of an out-and-out lie (albeit a beautiful one).

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Beautiful, illustrated vintage Wisconsin postcard

Phil Are Go has done the world the kind service of posting a hi-rez scan of a gorgeous, vintage souvenir of Wisconsin postcard, lavishly and wonderfully illustrated with everything the state has to offer.

Wisconsin, your post card is here. Read the rest

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