World

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A banyan tree, native to India and part of the mulberry family, is an enormous tree with many uses and a vast history. Young plants put forth roots, which form secondary trunks to support the expansive limbs. These trunks send out more roots until they crowd out the host tree. The leaves of the banyan tree are large, leathery, and used as animal fodder. The tree produces figs which are popular with birds and monkeys, and also produces flowers that attract wasps for pollination. (Source)

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The Swiss company Algordanza will take the cremations of your loved ones and make them into diamonds. The company filters carbon out of cremains and creates a diamond with the extracted material. According to their website, the starting cost is approximately $4,461 USD. (Source)

Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica

Workmen hacking and burning their way through the dense jungle of Costa Rica to clear an area for banana plantations in the 1930s stumbled upon some incredible objects: dozens of stone balls, many of which were perfectly spherical. 

They varied in size from as small as a tennis ball to an astonishing 8 feet in diameter and weighing 16 tons! Although the great stone balls are clearly man-made, it is unknown who made them, for what purpose and, most puzzling, how they achieved such spherical precision.

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.
—  Don Miguel Ruiz
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Francys Arsentiev was the first woman to make it to the summit of Mount Everst without the aid of bottled oxygen. Sadly, she never made it down alive. On 24 May, 1998, she became separated from husband, Sergei Arsentiev, while they were descending Mount Everest. What happened next is shady, but what is known is that another climbing group discovered her seemingly lifeless body. It appeared as though she had fallen and had become victim to the elements. She was semi-conscious and couldn’t move on her own. “Don’t leave me here to die” she begged them. They attempted to carry her but when they became too fatigued, they left her alone on the mountain. When her husband, Sergei, noticed she was missing, he went back in an attempt to find her. It was the last time he was seen alive. His body wasn’t found until the following year - he had fallen and died while attempting to rescue his wife. Francys was last seen alive by another two climbers, Ian Woodall and Cathy O'Dowd, the following day. They knew they couldn’t successfully carry her down Mount Everest, so they left her to die where they found her after comforting her for a while. Riddled with guilt for leaving her to die, they returned eight years later to find her body and enshrine it in an an American flag, which can be seen above.

The Punt Gun could discharge over a pound of shot at a time that could kill as many as 50 birds. This depleted stocks of wild waterfowl and by the 1860s most US states had banned the practice.