Top 10 Amazing Cities You Will Never Visit

For thousands of years cities have been the manifestation of humankind’s artistry, imagination, and instinct to succeed. They embody our strong social desires and longing to create grand masterpieces. London, Constantinople, Paris, New York, Ancient Rome, and Tokyo have been just a few of the dazzling trophies mankind has built. But there have been many cases in which someone’s vision for a better, more efficient, or more fantastic city collapsed into a heap of broken dreams. These are ten cities that were never built, ten cities you will never visit.

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Just a couple of months ago it was reported that China’s planned city of Dongtan would not become a reality. It was highly publicized and anticipated since it was to be the first mega eco-city of its kind.

Slated to be twice the size of Manhattan, the site was an island near Shanghai and was to change the way humans interacted with their environment. The exodus of individuals from the countryside to cities in China, therefore creating more environmental waste, spurred a movement for more environment-friendly projects, and Dongtan was by far the most ambitious one.

The self-sustaining city would have produced its own energy from solar, wind, and bio-fuel power, and recycled city waste. Public transportation would have been powered by clean technologies such as hydrogen fuel cells, and a vast network of foot and bicycle paths would have substantially cut down on vehicle emissions. In addition, organic farming methods were to be used inside the city limits.

It was to be a green model for the entire world, but, like most projects of this scale, resistance and problems arose. Many considered it a pipe dream which was never really plausible, while others claimed China’s rapidly developing cities would negate any benefits Dongtan presented. When Shanghai’s mayor (the project’s biggest supporter) was arrested for property-related fraud in 2006, the plan fell into further disarray with permits lapsing and enthusiasm waning.

Eventually, the global recession all but sank the undertaking and the innovative ideas planned will have to be put on hold.

Fuller Triton

Buckminster Fuller was a brilliant visionary, scientist, environmentalist, and philosopher who, in the 1960s, developed a bold design. It was dubbed Triton City and was intended to be a floating utopia for up to 5,000 residents. His giant, floating city was designed to encourage people to share resources and conserve energy.

Fuller was initially commissioned by a wealthy Japanese patron to design a floating city for Tokyo Bay. He died in 1966, but astoundingly enough, the United States Department of Urban Development commissioned Fuller for further design and analysis. His designs called for the city to: be resistant to tsunamis, provide the most possible outside living, desalinate the very water that it would float in for consumption, give privacy to each residence, and incorporate a tetrahedronal shape which provides the most surface area with the least amount of volume. Everything from education to entertainment to recreation would be a part of the city. Fuller also claimed that the low operating costs would result in a high standard of living.

HUD eventually sent the plans to the U.S. Navy where they were dissected and analyzed even further. The city of Baltimore, upon hearing of the project, became interested and petitioned to have Triton City moored off of its shores in Chesapeake Bay. However, as municipal and federal administrations changed, the project languished and was never brought to light. Today, there are derivatives of Triton City, such as the artificial island Kansai and its airport in Osaka, Japan, but they pale in comparison to the scope of Triton City.

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Originally designed by one of the most famous and respected architects in history, Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1932, Broadacre was meant to be a “New Town” utopia. It did not fit into its own category because it had many characteristics of a conventional city of the time as well as incorporating the principles of an agricultural nation which Thomas Jefferson championed. In essence, he wanted to abandon the crowded, machine-age, industrial city, but avoid a rural community.

Just like Jefferson believed every citizen should have their own “vine and fig tree”, Wright planned the city so that each denizen would grow their own food on their one acre plot of land. In what was a controversial characteristic, citizens of all social classes would intermingle much more than in any other city or town of the day. Wright also despised centralization so it was essential that the city be sprawling and widespread, which severely differentiated itself from a city. In Broadacre, homes, factories, offices, and municipal buildings would all be separated by large expanses of parks planted with lawns and trees. Cleanliness was paramount and there was to be only light industry and all utility wiring would be buried underground.

Opponents of Wright’s city were vociferous however. Because he believed that the automobile was “the advance agent of decentralization” he envisioned extremely little mass transportation which many city planners vehemently disagreed with. Wright’s vision never was realized, and the closest thing we have today are the sprawling suburban communities that blanket much of our planet.


These are not cities by definition, but anyone who has been to a Disney resort knows that they are basically self-sufficient cities in their own right. Considering the amount of real estate the conglomerate already owns and operates it’s amazing how many other things they planned that never came to fruition. It’s also interesting to realize what we could have had from the world’s largest entertainment company since most of these would have been great places to visit:

Mythia: A Greek and Roman myths and legends-inspired park planned to be built near Disneyland.
WestCOT: A West Coast EPCOT Center planned for California.
Disneyland East: A large park to be built on the site of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, NY.
Port Disney: An American version of Tokyo DisneySea planned for California.
Disney’s Asian, Venetian, Persian, and Mediterranean resorts to be built near Disney World.
Disney America: A patriotic theme park that was to be built in Virginia.
Discovery Bay: A land inspired by Jules Verne‘s various works. Some ideas were later incorporated into Disneyland Paris.
Beastly Kingdom: A mythical beings land planned near Animal Kingdom in Florida.

Dark Kingdom (Shadowlands): A park near Disney Word that would have showcased all of Disney’s villain characters and be the antithesis of the Magic Kingdom. Maleficent’s Castle would have been in the center of the park.

Sci-Fi City: Planned for Tokyo Disneyland, this would have been an immense park with an endless amount of science fiction rides and attractions. If built it would have been the most extensive and impressive “tomorrowland” ever created.

Disney’s Snow Crown: A Disney-themed ski resort situated at the Mineral King glacial valley in northern California which was ultimately prevented by preservationists.

These are the biggest resorts and parks that were conceived by Disney but never built. There are hundreds more attractions, rides, restaurants, etc. whose ideas were put to paper but never became reality for a multitude of reasons.

Garden City Concept By Howard

Sir Ebenezer Howard was the father of the garden city movement, which is a suburban town near a large, metropolitan city that is designed to not be reliant upon its bigger neighbor. Garden cities were intended to provide a pleasant environment with open public land while at the same time contain industry and agriculture. He succeeded in spearheading the building of many garden cities, beginning in the United Kingdom, to mixed results. But his vision of the slumless, smokeless cities model has gone unbuilt.

His design is very interesting, and if one is to peruse his self-drawn diagram, the aesthetics appear quite pleasing. A number of characteristics are notable. The entire design resembles a big wheel, with the Central City being the hub with six smaller, surrounding garden cities. Each city is surrounded by a circular canal, and one large circular canal, the Inter Municipal Canal, connects each of the six outer cities. Continuing with the canal theme, independent straight canals cut through all six cities and run directly into the Central City. Roads also ran along these straight waterways. Running inside the outer towns would be the Inter Municipal Railway. Inside the Railway, Howard planned for such things as farms, an insane asylum, reservoirs, an agricultural college, industrial homes, cemeteries, and a “home for waifs”.

The overall design was to relieve the huddled crowdedness and dirtiness of big cities but still have the feeling of connectivity. Since it would have been such a daunting project, and there wasn’t quite enough support for Howard’s plan, these connected cities never materialized.


While this is a city that you can visit, you will never see its original plan fulfilled. Nat Mendelsohn was a developer who had a dream of developing a city that would rival Los Angeles in terms of grandeur. He ambitiously began building on a 320 square kilometer piece of land in the middle of California’s Mojave Desert complete with a huge park and artificial lake. If one were to look at a satellite picture of the city it may seem like Mendelsohn had at least come close to realizing his dream. However, if you are to look closer you would notice something conspicuously missing – houses.

Although hundreds of streets, complete with cul-de-sacs, crisscross in one continuous, gigantic grid, the network is just one, prodigious ghost town. But at least ghost towns have structures; these streets are lined with absolutely nothing, not even a telephone pole. It kind of looks like an intricate crop circle mysteriously made in the middle of the desert or threadbare hiking paths run amok twisting through the dirt and sand.

Mendelsohn had the same idea as many real estate developers of the time. He would buy a vast amount of land, divide it into thousands of home plots, then sell them to families who longed for a piece of property to call their own. The gamble did not pay off for him however, because 50 years later decaying streets still lie there empty. One reason is that dust storms are a common occurrence in the area, but he mainly overestimated demand.

The city is not empty though. It has a population of roughly 14,000 people comprising a small town. The entire town, however, only takes up a small corner on the outskirts of the boundless, barren grid. Although it’s a town with services, it will never be a large city the likes of Los Angeles that Nat Mendelsohn conceptualized.


The Minnesota Experimental City (MXC) was the brainchild of a private partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Federal Government in the 1960s and would be intentionally open to observation and evaluation by urban studies experts. Like its name suggests, the city would be a combination of experimental ideas never before tried on such a large scale.

The city would accommodate about 250,000 people, and it would focus on open spaces such as parks, farms, and wilderness. Only one sixth of the area would be paved and the city would be partially covered by a geodesic dome (designed by Buckminster Fuller). This design is extraordinarily strong, is hurricane and tornado proof, and is widely used today. The city would be car-free, with cars parked at the edge and people-movers whisking people into the center of the city. A futuristic and highly advanced automated highway system, in which magnetic, driverless cars were used, would connect people to the outside world.

Perhaps the most drastic and controversial departure from conventional cities was that there would be no schools. Instead, the practice of lifelong learning would be practiced. Lifelong learning states that everyone is a teacher as well as a student and that education takes place through social interactions, observations, and joining groups and clubs among other things.

Budgetary problems as well as logistics quashed the city’s groundbreaking.

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Welthauptstadt Germania (World Capital Germania) was to be the jewel of the Third Reich. Adolph Hitler, unmatched in his hubris, was convinced that Germany would become the center of Europe, and perhaps the world, and had begun to plan his capital city, which was a rebuilt Berlin, even before World War II began. His goal was to exceed the quality and splendor of other world capitals such as London, Paris, and Washington D.C.

Plans for this grandiose city included a stadium that could house 400,000 spectators, a Chancellery with a lavish hall twice as long as the one at the Palace of Versailles, the Triumphal Arch (based on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris but much, much larger), and a giant open square to be surrounded by large government buildings. The centerpiece of the new city would be the Volkshalle, or People’s Hall, which would include a humongous domed building designed by Hitler himself and chief architect Albert Speer. If this domed building was built it would still today be the largest enclosed space in the world, being sixteen times larger than the dome at St. Peter’s.

Even though the War began before construction could begin and put a halt to commencing building, all the necessary land was acquired and engineering plans were developed. Hitler’s plan was to win the war, finish construction on Welthauptstadt, hold an extravagant World’s Fair there in 1950, then retire. Needless to say, the crushing of the Nazi regime and Third Reich at the hands of Allied forces put an end to the future of the great city.

One humorous aspect of the planning of Welthauptstadt is that the marshy-like ground of Berlin never could have supported the monstrous structures Hitler wanted as the showpieces of his city.


A planned city across the bay from Anchorage, Alaska, the name was a reversal on “Seward’s Folly” which was the name bestowed on the transaction that Secretary of State William Seward made when he purchased Alaska from Russia. It was to be a city unlike any in the world.

First and foremost, it was to have a colossal, glass dome covering it which made it completely climate controlled. The city would have amenities for 400,000 citizens including a sports arena, mall, schools, and petroleum center. Transportation would be quite innovative and included moving sidewalks and an aerial cable car line that would shuttle people around the city and to nearby Anchorage. Skylights and large windows would give people the sense of openness but would not compromise the climate-controlling properties of the dome. Cars would be nonexistent inside because it was a city “for people, not cars”, and all energy used in the city would be provided mostly by natural gas. Later, plans called for a subway under the bay that would also lead to Anchorage.

Failure to make lease payments on the land, and the impracticality of it all, ensured that Seward’s Success would, in the end, not be such a success.


No, this was not an insincere idea concocted by someone just to garner attention. Back in the 50s it was the dream of one man who doggedly fought to make it an actuality. It was to be a resort city completely centered around the culture of drinking, where alcohol would be embraced, loved, and revered.

Mel Johnson loved to drink. As a young man he traveled the world to see the great drinking cities: Dublin, New York, Havana, Rio, Barcelona, New Orleans, and Paris. But the drinking culture of these cities just wasn’t enough for him; he wanted something more. He was a very intelligent man who dropped out of Harvard University and served in the armed forces, but after World War II he had his epiphany and set out to create BoozeTown.

His city would be comprised of dozens upon dozens of bars and nightclubs, all with different themes. He was meticulous in his planning and fleshed out every detail. Street names would allude to alcohol, such as Gin Lane, Bourbon Boulevard, and 21st Amendment Ave; there would be a moving sidewalk and an electric trolley system which would help escort staggering drunks home (or to another bar); much of the alcohol would be brewed or distilled inside the town which would produce revenue; every bar and liquor store would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week; drinks would be allowed everywhere, even banks and places of worship; the city would have its own currency, BoozeBucks; there would be a police force, the Party Police, but instead of harassing drinkers they would be there to assist them; the BoozeTown Bugle would keep citizens abreast of the current news; and no children would be allowed inside. There would be a big daycare just outside city limits for visitors. Johnson figured that the permanent populace would consist of “retirees, artists, and goof-offs”, people who wouldn’t be responsible for children in the first place. He believed that famous artists, writers, and actors would in time flock to the city to live. In the middle of the city would be a towering building shaped like a martini glass in which Johnson would have his home and headquarters.

He scouted out areas for BoozeTown, such as somewhere in Middle America, northern Nevada, and an island off of the western coast of Mexico. Johnson had money from the death of his wealthy father but he needed much more capital and held numerous, lavish fundraisers in order to raise it. He printed up a plethora of trinkets such as maps, postcards, and matchbooks with BoozeTown’s logo on them to help persuade investors. At times, he believed he had enough money and set various opening dates for his city. However, very few people were actually serious about ponying up the money Johnson needed. This, added to the fact that he was acting increasingly more erratic and eccentric, and that the press was vilifying him, basically ended his dream of BoozeTown. In 1960 he gave up on the dream and was later committed to a hospital and diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He died just a few years later.

You can almost picture yourself driving down an open stretch of road in the middle of nowhere then, suddenly, seeing a titanic martini glass pop up on the horizon beckoning you to come experience BoozeTown, “Where It’s Always Happy Hour”.

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10 Unusual Japanese Fashions and Subcultures

Japanese fashion usually brings to mind kimono, yukata, or the sailor school uniforms. And for many people around the world who are interested in fashion, the lesser known styles and subcultures of Japan are becoming more widely recognized. The fashions on this list were worn at different times in Japan during the twentieth century and today. With some groups of Japanese teenagers these styles were extremely popular. They were viewed as creative and influential to fashion by some, and looked on with confusion and amusement by others.


Suke means female, and Ban means boss. Sukeban were known for forming all girl gangs, and then committing acts of violence and shoplifting. Sukeban gangs first began to appear in the 60s. They were inspired by the gangs of boys known as Bancho, who hoped to one day join the yakuza. There was quite a range in size for the Sukeban groups, but the largest was known as the Kanto Women Delinquent Alliance, which included 20,000 girls. Rival groups would often get into fights. The Sukeban girls followed strict rules within their own groups, and breaking them would result in lynching. Getting burned with a cigarette was considered only a mild punishment. Sukeban were always seen in their sailor uniforms. They would wear pleated skirts that went down to their feet, and would custom embroider their uniforms.

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The Takenokozoku were some of the first to form Harajuku into one of the best known places to view Japanese street fashion. The style was popular in the late 70’s and early 80s, and consisted of neon colored accessories such as beads, whistles, bows, and nametags. A store called Takenoko inspired the clothes worn by the Takenokozoku, which were influence by traditional Japanese fashion. Their outfits were loose and baggy, and usually hot pink or bright blue or purple. They wore robes with kanji characters, and slippers that were comfortable for dancing. Large groups of Takenokozoku would choreograph dances in the streets of Harajuku, playing the current popular music on their boom boxes.


Motorcycle gangs became popular in Japan in the early 60s, and became known as Speed Tribes (Bosozoku). In the 70s, girl motorcycle gangs began to appear. At the time, it was estimated by police that at least 26,000 Japanese citizens were involved in a biker gang. By the 80s, the number of male biker groups began to decrease. However, more and more girl biker groups began to pop up. Yanki, heavily influenced by both the Bosozoku and the Sukeban, often wore sarashi (white cloth wrapped around the chest), an embroidered tokko fukku robe, and a gauze mask. The Bosozoku also owned customized scooters.


The word Gal has been used since the 80s in Japan to describe a girl who likes trendy clothing. Ko Gal was first used in the 90s by the media to describe an eighth grader who made $4000 a month for paid dating with middle aged men. Ko comes from the Japanese word for child, kodomo. Ko Gals tried to look as young as possible, by wearing the cutest accessories they could find. They wore their school uniforms with the skirts shortened, tanned their skin, and bleached their hair. And of course, the famous loose socks. Some girls would use sock glue to keep their loose socks from slipping. Although some Ko Gals of Shibuya did take part in enjo kosai (paid dating), it was not quite as popular as the media made it out to be. As the style spread from Tokyo to around Japan, Kogal movies, magazines, and TV programs became popular. Kogals were never seen without their phones, and they were some of the first avid young technology users in Japan. Ko Gal fashions has evolved into some of Japan’s present styles, such as Hime (princess) Gal. Hime Gal involves wearing expensive brand name clothing, usually of the pink and frilly variety.


Although Ko Gals had tan skin, Ganguro girls took tanning to a new extreme. They would tan their skin every week, and then apply foundation meant for black women. Ganguro literally means “Black Face.” Besides tanned skin, the Ganguro look included platforms shoes, mini dresses, bleached hair, black ink used for eyeliner, blue contacts, and white concealer used for lipstick. A Gal magazine called Egg featured Buriteri, one of the most well known Ganguro, on its cover. The look was popular with groups of teenagers in Shibuya, however, they were often harassed, or viewed by the general public with disgust. By the end of 2001, the trend had died down and tanning salons began to close.


The Manba style, which is still seen today, shares many similarities with Gonguro. The name comes from the word Yamanba, the name of an ugly witch in a Japanese folktale (Yamanba was a term the media used for the Gonguro). Because of the dangers of tanning, they often use dark skin foundation instead. Groups of Manba participate in Para Para dancing, or quick synchronized movements to techno music. Groups of Manba form Gal circles, the most popular one being Angeleek. Boys who spent their time in the same clubs as Manba adopted their own similar style. They became known as Center Guys (after Shibuya’s Center Street). Manba clothes and accessories vary, but are always trendy and garishly bright. Manba makeup consists of white lips and large white circle around the eyes. Colorful decals are placed around the face, and rainbow hair extensions are also popular.


Kigurumin was a short lived (2003 to 2004) and strange fashion phenomenon. Girls who spent their time hanging out in Shibuya and wanted something comfortable to wear began sporting cheap animal costumes bought in party sections of stores. Along with a Pikachu, Hamtaro, or Winnie the Pooh costume, Kigurumin would carry animal purses, cute accessories, and wear manba makeup.

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Nagomu was an indie record label created in 1983. The label gained a large fan base. The name for fans, Nagomu Gals, first appeared in the magazine Takarajima. Nagomu Gals favored vintage clothing. They often wore long sleeved t-shirts, thick soled rubber shoes, and knee socks. The term Nagomu Gal was not exactly positive, as they were sometimes viewed as annoying fan girls. In 1989 the Nagomu label was shut down.

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Lolita is one of the most popular new Japanese subcultures, and has begun to appear in countries across the world. There are numerous Lolita brands, such as Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Metamorphose, and Angelic Pretty. Lolita fashion began becoming popular in the late 90s, and like the Nagomu style, it has been influenced by music. Gothic record labels in Japan lead to visual kei music, which helped inspire Gothic Lolita clothing. Visual kei refers to bands which wear extremely elaborate makeup and costumes. Lolita is also inspired by the clothing of the Rococo period. The name came from Mana (from the visual kei band Malice Mizer) who called the theme of his clothing line Elegant Gothic Lolita. The popular magazine Gothic and Lolita Bible came out in 2001. There are several different types of Lolita. Gothic Lolita involves primarily black frilled clothing. Sweet Lolita uses pastels, and lots of lace and bows. For punk Lolita, plaids and chains are combined with the frills. Wa Lolita incorporates traditional Japanese clothing, such as kimono, into the look. Accessories that are popular for Lolita include bonnets and headdresses, rocking horse shoes, parasols, petticoats, and frilled knee socks.


Decora is a Japanese street style popular today. In 1997, the magazine FRUiTS was created to display photographs of Japanese street fashion. Aki Kobayashi, the cover model of the first issue, wrote columns for FRUiTS about her style and how she created her own accessories. Soon, girls began making their own eccentric accessories. The style became known as Decora, and its followers traded and sold their accessories in Harajuku. Although each Decora outfit is unique, they all have the similarities of being extremely bright, decorative (hence the name), and cute. Decora girls wear an insane amount of plastic accessories and barrettes, neon skirts, colorful socks, and cute character products.

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Community Post: 10 Celebrity Mascots For Popular Travel Destinations

1. Cancun, Mexico – Ke$ha

Her life is basically one never-ending college spring break, after all.

2. New York City, New York – Leighton Meester

Nothing says Manhattan quite like Blair Waldorf’s headband.

3. London, England – Emma Watson

Both the city and the Harry Potter star are classic and timeless.

4. Amsterdam, Netherlands – Miley Cyrus

These two are a match made in heaven. La da de da de, indeed.

5. Lake Como, Italy – George Clooney

Obvious? Yes. Perfect? Yes.

6. Barbados – Rihanna

Her Instagram feed of this year’s carnival was basically one big promotion for the island.

7. Athens, Greece – Lindsay Lohan

The only thing that has crumbled more than Greece’s economy in the past few years is Lindsay’s career.

8. Disneyland, Orlando, Florida – Taylor Swift

No matter how old each get, they’ll always appeal to those who are young at heart.

9. Washington, D.C. – Kerry Washington

I mean… have you seen Scandal? Kerry pretty much owns Washington, even if it’s only fictional.

10. Paris, France – Gwenyth Paltrow

Chic, posh, and fashionable? Check. A touch of snobbiness? Check.

11. The Universe – Beyonce

Oh, the universe isn’t a feasible travel destination yet? Well, when it is, Beyonce already has dibs.

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17 Unusual Fast-Food Items From Around The World

1. Baby Ruth Chocodilla — Taco Bell, Guatemala


2. Rice Congee — KFC, China

It’s made with pork and thousand-year-old egg. YOLO.

3. Coconut Shrimp Pizza — Pizza Hut, South Korea

More like PARTY TIME pizza.

4. Chili Cheese Nuggets — Burger King, Czech Republic

Ho. Ly. Crud. This looks like the best drunk food to never touch American soil.

5. Dry Pork & Seaweed Doughnut — Dunkin’ Donuts, China

For those of you looking to cut back on sugar.

6. Tom Yum Crunch Chicken — KFC, Malaysia

Anything tom yum is OK in my book! (Entitled Anything Tom Yum Is OK.)

7. Green Tea Blizzards — Dairy Queen, Thailand

It’s not an ice cream party until the antioxidants show up.

8. BigSpicy Paneer Wrap — McDonald’s, India

Paneer is a soft cheese crafted by angels in the high heavens so I’m pretty sure eating this wrap may lead to otherworldly experiences.

9. Frosty Coffee Jelly — Wendy’s, Philippines

It’s a Frosty, a coffee, AND a home to bits of strange gelatinous substance: a true trifecta of fun.

10. Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream — Baskin’ Robbins, Malaysia

OMG. This is all I want in an ice cream/life ever.

11. Cheese & Marmite Sarnie — Starbucks, U.K.

Marmite is weird but I guess feeling pain while you’re eating reminds you you’re still alive?

12. Wasabi Cheese and Seaweed Cheese Doughnuts — Dunkin’ Donuts, Singapore

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Oh, you didn’t get the memo? Chocolate and sprinkles are for the weak.

13. Ebi Filet-O — McDonald’s, Japan

Basically Filet-O-Fish but with shrimp. Cool.

14. Star Pops Pizza with Mini-Hot Dogs and Mustard — Pizza Hut, Philippines

Not sure if this is heaven or hell, but hey, why not.

15. Spinach & Parmesan Nuggets — McDonald’s, Italy

Sort of looks like vom filling but I’ll bet these lil’ boogers are damn good.

16. Spicy Bean Burger — Burger King, Europe & Asia

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Because vegetarians like to get edgy too, you know.

17. Bacon Groovy Pizza — Domino’s, France

Lol @ “Bacon Groovy.” It’s made with light crème fraîche, roasted chicken, onions, bacon, and barbecue sauce. OK, well, I guess that is kinda groovy.

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Community Post: 23 Reasons That Turkey Is The World’s Melting Pot

You may have heard someone at some point mention how cool Istanbul is, or how great the beaches are in Turkey.

Jeremy Bender

And while that’s totally true, Turkey is so much more than just that. It’s a real melting pot for all surrounding cultures. For example…

1. Greeks, Turks, and Arabs all claim the gooey deliciousness of baklava as their own invention.

But really, who wouldn’t want to claim this godly food?

2. Greeks and Turks will also fight over who invented yogurt…

3. And Turkish coffee…

Coffee was originally an Ethiopian drink. The Turks changed the serving method, and then popularized it through South Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

4. And doner? Obviously Turkish.

No matter how much Greeks may call it gyro doesn’t change what it is.

5. And of course you can find kebabs everywhere.

Kebabs are the food of choice in much of Turkey, but was originally an Arab food.

And beyond just food, there’s all the history, like…

6. Abraham was born in Turkey. Obviously he knew what was up, and there’s a huge mosque complex dedicated to him

Jeremy Bender

7. Early Christians knew what was up too, and built their first cathedral in Turkey.

Fun fact! This church was set up and used by the first disciples.

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8. Even the Virgin Mary thought Turkey was pretty fine, and she spent her last days there near the shore.

Every year, thousands of elderly European tourists imitate Mary and flock to Turkey’s shores.

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9. There’s also the Greco-Persian smorgasburg that is the tomb at Mount Nemrut.

Jeremy Bender

10. Actually, Turkey has got tombs covered, like these Pontic ones in Amasya.

Fun fact! Amasya was also the legendary home of the Amazons – those terrifying warrior women.

11. The Byzantines absolutely adored Turkey and built wicked monasteries throughout it.

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12. Speaking of monasteries, there is also the Syrian Orthodox Deyrulzafaran Monastery outside Mardin.

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13. In fact, Mardin itself is just pretty incredible looking thanks to Arab and Kurdish influence.

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14. Of course, the Greeks and Romans also influenced places like Ephesus.

Fun fact! Ephesus was also the location of The Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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15. And the Hittites also dug Turkey… Literally. They built underground cities at Cappadocia.

Fun fact! During times of Roman persecution, early Christians used to hide in these underground cities.

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16. The former city of Harran is a treasure cove of lost civilizations – from Babylonian to Crusader.

Jeremy Bender

17. The Armenians were also all about eastern Turkey. They even had their former capital, Ani, there.

18. Kars must be the coolest damn city in the world, since the Turks, Russians, Georgians and Armenians all fought for it.

Jeremy Bender

19. Rumi, an Afghan Sufi mystic, lived, worked, and died in Turkey.

Fun fact! Pilgrims of all faiths from around the world continue to visit his tomb in Konya, as his message was one of love and inclusion to all.

Jeremy Bender

And, of course, there’s always Istanbul.

20. The Hagia Sofia always looked good, regardless if it were a Byzantine church, Ottoman mosque, or Turkish museum.

Jeremy Bender

21. Even after Rome fell, the Italians still didn’t have enough of Turkey, as the Genoese built the Galata Tower.

Jeremy Bender

22. And the Grand Bazaar takes shopping to another level.

23. And to honor their whole past, Ataturks mausoleum in Ankara features elements of all of Turkey’s past inhabitants.

Jeremy Bender

Of course, you could have always just looked at a map to get the gist of all this. Turkey even kind of looks like a bridge.

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What It’s Like When A Harry Potter Fan Makes The Journey To London

1. You book the plane ticket, and it’s official: You’re heading to London!

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2. But what that really means is: You’re heading straight into the heart of the wizarding world.

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3. There are so many big decisions to make. Do you bring the DVDs with you on the flight, or just the books? And which ones?


If you’ve got Amazon Prime, you can rent any of the books for free on your Kindle, which will lighten your carry-on considerably.

4. The flight can’t go fast enough, and the fact that you need a plane to fly to London makes you feel like such a Muggle.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Though you’ll admit that it is kinda magical that you’re sitting in a chair 30,000 feet above the ground as it whisks you to London. It’s not Floo powder, but it’s still impressive.

5. You land in London, and you’re ready to see EVERYTHING.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


6. You’re walking near Covent Garden, and there’s Knockturn Alley. It’s eerily quiet.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

It’s hidden here, in a tiny alleyway called Goodwin’s Court. The walkway is narrow, and there are big gas lamps on the street. There’s no way you’d come here at night.

7. And across the street: The real-life Diagon Alley. There are bookstores and antique shops all over!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

It’s right across the street and called St. Martin’s Lane. Walking through the shops, it’s easy to tell how much this street inspired Diagon Alley.

8. Nothing can get you down — not even the Muggle sights that are way too close to such magical locations.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Honestly, who thought it was OK to put a Chipotle at the entrance to Diagon Alley?

9. You wander the streets looking for magical places. You tap every brick. Surely there must be some secret entrances here somewhere.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

10. And the signs are everywhere that the wizarding world is all around you. You turn a corner and, hey, it’s the Durmstrang ship!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

They must be playing a Quidditch match in town this weekend.

11. You hop on the Muggle Underground — it’s what Arthur Weasley would’ve wanted — looking for more.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


12. There are a few Harry Potter walking tours, so you take one. Two hours later, you’re ready to rewatch every film in the series.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

I took a tour called the Muggle Tour. It cost £12 (about $19), and my guide knew the movies inside and out. The one downside of the tour: The little kids always got to answer the Harry Potter trivia questions. No fair!

13. But soon, you start to get disappointed by ordinary, non-magical sites.

Scott Barbour / Getty Images

This is 10 Downing St., where the Prime Minister lives. David Cameron is no Cornelius Fudge, you realize.

14. And what’s with this money? Pounds and pence? Things would be so much easier if the Brits just used galleons, you think.


15. You crave even more, so you buy a ticket to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio tour, about an hour’s journey outside London.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Take the tube to Euston, and then take the train to Watford Junction. It’s £5 round trip, and direct trains take about 20 minutes. From Watford Junction, there’s a double-decker bus outside the station that goes straight to the studio — it’s £2 round trip, and takes 15 minutes.

Or if you want something really simple: There’s a direct bus from London that costs £29 round trip.

And then you’ve got to buy your ticket to the tour itself. That’ll cost you another £29 (about $46.50).

16. Inside, it’s all there. The doors open, and you’re in the Great Hall.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Everything on the tour is a set from a Potter film. This is the entrance to the real Great Hall that was used during the movies, and it’s amazing.

17. The tables are already set. Can’t we just stay and eat? The house-elves are probably cooking anyway!

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18. But there’s no food, so you keep walking. Look, there’s the Gryffindor‎ common room!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

19. There’s the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

20. Look at the Hogwarts portraits!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Why aren’t they moving? You tap someone else on the shoulder just to make sure that the portraits are standing still for everyone else too.

21. There’s a spot for you to practice your wand skills. You’re waiting in line behind an 8-year-old in a Ravenclaw scarf, and you’re just as excited as he is.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

22. After a few minutes, a strange thing starts to happen: You start to feel a sense of the history of this world.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


It seems strange to say — you are aware, after all, that Hogwarts is a place that only exists in the mind of each and every person who reads the books or watches the movies — but still, there’s a history here. You look at the Daily Prophet headlines and remember the moments that have come before.

23. Everything here — that pair of Omnoculars, the Knight Bus parked outside — they’re all a part of this world that you know and love.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


24. The walk continues. You step outside, and they’re selling butterbeer! Real butterbeer!

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

And you’re not just disappointed that Butterbeer is served cold here — you’re devastated.

Then you find out that the Butterbeer stand also sells Starbucks. GET OUT OF OUR MAGICAL WORLD, BRANDS.

25. You walk past Privet Drive. No one is looking at Privet Drive, because who wants to waste time there when there’s magic everywhere else?

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26. You keep walking, and you stumble into Diagon Alley. It looks so different from the one in London.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

27. There are broomsticks floating in shop windows, and gag gifts at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. It’s wonderful.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

28. And then you walk into this room, and it takes your breath away. It’s the thing you’ve been waiting for all along: Hogwarts.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

29. The room is huge, and even still, you’re looking at Hogwarts in miniature. But it’s there, every tower and bridge and doorway. You start to realize how massive this place is.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

30. There’s music playing in the background — the Harry Potter soundtrack, naturally — and you’ve got goosebumps. It’s so big, and so grand. You walk around it, and stare up at it. It’s incredible.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


31. You start looking around the room, and you feel a sense of timelessness to this place.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

You see people of all ages and races, people from every spot on the globe, and you realize that Harry’s world means something to each of them too. Many of the people on the tour weren’t even alive when the first book came out, and this story matters just as much to them. That’s the real magic of Harry Potter.

32. Then after three hours of history and magic and possibility and wonder… you step into a gift shop.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

It’s a bit of a downer. The cheapest thing here is — go figure — the books themselves, which cost about £9. That fake snitch? £12.

33. Some of the merchandise is really, REALLY tacky, and you’re a little embarrassed that it’s here at such a special place.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed


34. There is Slytherin merchandise for sale, too. You can’t understand why it’s here. Who self-identifies as a Slytherin? Who is proud enough to walk around in Slytherin colors?

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

35. But you’re still in awe of this place. And you realize: Your journey into the wizarding world is just beginning.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

36. So you head back to London, and take the tube to King’s Cross. You go upstairs, into the main train station. You’re not quite sure where to look, but then there it is, right there en route to Platforms 9 and 10.

Dan Oshinsky / BuzzFeed

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11 Romantic Destinations With No Cell Service

1. Lake Placid, N.Y.


Request the “Check-In To Check-Out Package” at the Lake Placid Lodge and leave all your electronics at the door. Spend two nights in-front of a fireplace in a cozy cabin and during the day go hiking in the mountains and swimming in the lake.


Escape to the remote California desert and stay at the Off-grid itHouse, which runs on solar power. Check out abandoned Pioneertown, which was built in the 1940s as a backdrop for Old West movies.


In Western Maine, rent a romantic cabin in the woods, overlooking a stream. Explore the area by hiking in the beautiful mountains, walking through misty lupine meadows, and canoeing on serene lakes.

4. Canyonlands National Park, Utah


Let go by riding rapids on the Colorado River through 2,000 foot cliffs. Contact Cataract Canyon to arrange a trip through Canyonlands National Park.

5. Chinati and Cienega Mountains, Texas


Stay at Cibolo Creek Ranch, which is located on 30,000 acres that spread across the Chinati and Cienega mountains. Situated in the remote Big Bend, this place offers amazing star watching at night. During the day, find buffalo, elk, and antelope, and walk through adobe forts.

6. Little Palm Island, Fla.


Access this remote island in the Florida Keys by boat or seaplane and then dive into a national marine sanctuary overflowing with diverse sea life and beautiful coral reefs. Sleep at the elegant Little Palm Island Resort and Spa, which features romantic bungalows.


Rent a rustic log cabin built in 1923 that is surrounded by the beautiful Chequamegon National Forest. Explore the gorgeous woods by foot, mountain bike, snowshoes, or cross-country skis.

8. Grand Canyon National Park, Ariz.


Stay at the El Tovar Hotel, which was built in the park in 1905 and has hosted notable guests Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein. During the day, hike the rim of the canyon and at night witness awe-inspiring stargazing.


Treebones Resort offers campsites, yurts, and even a treehouse nest for couples to get cozy in. Visit the California coast’s beautiful beaches and cascading cliffs.

10. Wrangell and St. Elias Mountains, Alaska


Stay at the Ultima Thule Lodge in the middle of the 18,000 foot Wrangell and St. Elias mountain ranges. In this remote area, powder ski on the mountains or go down rapids on the glacier-fed Chitina River.

11. Na Pali Coast State Park, Hawaii


Hike or take a boat into this isolated valley on Kauai. During the day explore the lush mountains and at night camp beside the beach.

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Community Post: 19 Movie Landscapes You Can Totally Visit

1. King’s Landing from Game of Thrones


The entire Croatian city of Dubrovnik was used as the set for King’s Landing. You can even take a walking tour of all the filming locations around the city.

2. Shawshank Prison from The Shawshank Redemption

Columbia Pictures


Shawshank Prison isn’t real, but the Ohio State Reformatory is. Not only was this site used for Shawshank, but it is now also out of use and haunted! You can take either Shawshank or ghost tours.

3. The Entirety of Hobbiton from The Lord of the Rings

New Line Cinema


The entirety of Hobbiton was built in Matamata, New Zealand. You can still take a complete tour through the set.

4. The Very Large Array from Contact


The Very Large Array is simply the Very Large Array. If you like Contact, or satellite dishes, you can always check them out in Socorro, New Mexico.

5. Quick Stop Groceries from Clerks

Buena Vista Pictures


There’s not much to do here besides buy food or pretend to be either Jay or Silent Bob. There’s even a Yelp page. So if you’re ever swinging by Leonardo, New Jersey…

6. The mental institution from 12 Monkeys

Universal Pictures

Alicia Dauksis / Shutterstock


Although set in Baltimore, the mental hospital from 12 Monkeys was actually Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. Now a museum, it is apparently haunted and offers ghost tours through the fall.

7. Klendathu from Starship Troopers

Sony Pictures

Sascha Burkard / Shutterstock


Klendathu, the bug home world, was beautifully out of this world. If you have any desire to reenact Starship Troopers, you can always visit the shooting location at Hell’s Half Acre in the Wyoming Badlands.

8. The Devil’s Tower from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Columbia Pictures


The Devil’s Tower is another amazingly out of this world landmark located in Wyoming. It gained particular fame for its use as an alien landing site in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

9. The Cuban satellite dish from Goldeneye


The Cuban satellite in Goldeneye is actually the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Fun fact, this was also used as a shooting location in Contact and The X-Files.

10. Yavin 4 from Star Wars: A New Hope

20th Century Fox

Dr. Alan Lipkin / Shutterstock


Anyone looking to get a real life Star Wars fill can check out Tikal National Park in Guatemala. It has the dual honor of being a Mayan UNESCO site and being the location of Yavin 4.

11. Also Luke Skywalker’s home in Star Wars: A New Hope

20th Century Fox


Luke Skywalker’s family home on Tatooine, though alien looking, is actually the Hotel Sidi Driss in Matmata, Tunisia.

12. Deckard’s Apartment from Blade Runner

Warner Brothers


Blade Runner broke ground by presenting the future as a dark and dystopian place. But Deckard’s apartment is actually the Ennis House, a mansion built by Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles that’s up for sale.

13. The stairs from The Exorcist

Warner Brothers


Remember those creepy stairs in The Exorcist? Well you can totally visit them in Georgetown! In fact, you can visit pretty much anywhere in that film.

14. The island from Jurassic Park

Sarah Fields Photography / Shutterstock


Now you can finally visit Jurassic Park!… Kind of. Although the sets are gone, who doesn’t want an excuse to go to Kauai, Hawaii? Also, there are Jurassic Park-themed helicopter tours.

15. Dead City from Skyfall

Columbia Pictures


Dead City, the hideout of Silva, from Skyfall is actually the completely visitable Japanese ghost city of Hashima Island. Although scenes actually taking place on the island were shot in a studio, the views of the island were completely real.

16. The scenes of Rome from Gladiator


Amazingly, the shots of Rome from Gladiator were never filmed in Rome, but instead in the ruins of Fort Ricasoli, Malta. Extensive CGI was then used to make the ruins seem like ancient Rome. Of course, you could also see the actual ruins at Rome.

17. The beach from The Beach


The island paradise from The Beach is a totally reachable destination. The filming took place almost entirely on Ko Phi Phi Leh Island in Thailand.

18. The summer palace from Anna and the King

20th Century Fox


A replica summer palace was built in Langkawi, Malaysia, for the film Anna and the King. Sadly it was affected by the 2004 tsunami, and now sits mostly dilapidated. Still, you can visit!

19. The apartment building from Rosemary’s Baby

Paramount Pictures

Stocksnapper / Shutterstock


Rosemary’s Baby is widely considered a horror film classic. The haunting apartment block was actually The Dakota in New York City.

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