Europe

7 Amazing Circular Geological Oddities

The man made hole is so large that helicopters and small aircraft can not fly near it without the very real fear of being sucked in!

Spot Cool Stuff has been thinking of cool spots lately. Big geologic spots, that is. Circles on the face of the planet of the sort that would make some one browsing around on Google Earth (or traveling in a spaceship) stop and ask What the heck is that circular thing?

Here’s an overview (literally!) of seven of our favorite such spots. They span six countries on four continents:

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The Building That Sings When It Rains

The sound of rain falling is music to the ears of the residents of one particular building in Dresden, Germany.

Their building is one of those that form five funky courtyards collectively known as the Kunsthofpassage, located in the city’s Äußere Neustadt (Outer New Town) neighborhood. Each courtyard is designed by local artists working on a theme. And in one of the courtyards there’s a colorful building with a series of metallic funnels attached to the facade. When it rains, water is channeled down the front of the building in a way that creates melodic notes as it goes. It sounds almost like this cool piece of architecture is singing!

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The World’s Tallest Climbing Wall

The real challenge is the overhang, which curved 11 meters out from the base.

For the ultimate wave challenge surfers head to Hawaii. For ultimate mountains hikers head to Nepal. And for the ultimate rock climbing wall? For that one must go to the north of Holland.

It is there, in the city of Groningen, that daring climbers take on The Excalibur at the Bjoeks Klimcentrum.

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A Tale of Two Hotel Room Halves

Inside the Au Vieux Panier Hotel in Marseille, France there’s a guest room that, if it doesn’t have the world’s most unusual design, certainly has the most schizophrenic.

The room, referred to as The Panic Room, is half bone white — white bed sheets, white carpet, white walls, white furniture. The other half of the room is entirely decorated in bright graffiti — graffitied bed sheets, graffitied carpet, graffitied walls, graffitied furniture.

The dividing line between the two halves, it is as stark as can be, bisecting the room’s mirror, dresser and even the bed!

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Infographic: 10 Places To See Before They’re Gone

Spot Cool Stuff has a love of vintage travel guidebooks, the older the better. In one our finds, a guidebook to Afghanistan written in the late 1800s, the authors described the Buddha statues around of the town of Bamiyan as an over-crowded tourist trap. Contrast that with the whole of the last three decades, during which absolutely nowhere in Afghanistan could remotely qualify as an “over-crowded tourist trap.” That, sadly, includes the Bamiyan Buddha statues—they were mostly destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

The point being: Things change. A place that’s uninviting now might become completely pleasant in the future. A great travel destination now could not be so much later.

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Badeschiff: Berlin’s Floating Pool

Swimming in Berlin’s Spree River is not something most people will want to do. But swimming in a pool that is in the Spree River—now that’s cool!

And that’s exactly the experience the Badeschiff offers.

The German word translates to “bathing ship,” which is as good a short description as any. The Badeschiff was fashioned from an old river barge cargo container filled with 400,000 liters (about 100,00 gallons) of chlorinated fresh water. The whole thing literally floats in the river, tied to a dock in the same way one might moor a houseboat.

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3 Cool & Affordable Places To Stay In Barcelona

If you’re shying away from booking a cheap hotel in Barcelona because you’re concerned about landing in a travel nightmare, worry no more. The following three hotels, hostels and apartments in Spain’s capital of fun are quite classy. They’re also quite affordable.

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The Hill of Crosses

The Kryziu Kalnas (“The Hill of Crosses”) in northern Lithuania might be the world’s most spontaneous unusual man-made attraction. No one owns it. No one runs it. No one even knows how it came to be.

What is known is this: For as long as anyone can remember, there’s been a 10-meter high mount of earth near the town of Šiauliai that’s been covered in crosses.

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