A set of iconic photos from 2017 show brightly coloured fields which, at first glance, look like meadows filled with flowers in full bloom. It takes a while to register that the images aren’t of verdant fields, but ones filled with bicycles: hundreds and thousands of two-wheelers, stacked end-to-end in what came to be called China’s bicycle graveyards.
The fields were the remains of a countrywide boom-to-bust bike share scheme. The scheme had captured the world’s imagination for its innovative use of technology involving a smart digital lock and GPS. The digital lock innovation was a game changer for China, which was once known as the “kingdom of bicycles”, before the rapid growth of its automobile industry.
But while these firms started off with healthy balance sheets, there was no regulatory framework under which these bikes might be gradually introduced and integrated into China’s existing public transport system. A sudden influx of what amounted to millions of bikes inundated China’s urban centres. The lack of regulation also allowed copycat bike share companies to spring up unchecked, so that at one point, there were more than 40 dockless bike share companies operating around the country, leading to an oversupply of shared bicycles.
The sudden growth of the industry meant that China’s biggest cities including Shanghai and Hangzhou had to create their own guidelines which were meant to ring fence its players, because by this point, bikeshare bikes were being vandalised, stolen or simply ditched. At one point, more than 3,000 of these two-wheelers were reportedly found in rivers in southern China after a clean-up operation. Bikes are still being uncovered in rivers and vegetation to this day.
The graveyards where excess bicycles and those causing a nuisance were dumped became a massive recycling problem. The digital locks were complex to recycle, with some of the bikes even came with their own micro-sized solar panels, which would charge the bike’s batteries when the two-wheelers were not being used, says Kurt Kamminer, a US-based collector of shared bikes. There were other challenges for recycling too, including the durable solid tyres that were hard to separate from the frames.
Who was Baba Vanga? Vangeliya Pandeva Gushterova (3 October 1911 – 11 August 1996), commonly known as Baba Vanga was a Bulgarian mystic. She was Blind since early childhood, Gushterova spent most of her life in the Rupite area in the Kozhuh mountains in Bulgaria. In the late 1970s and 80s she had become widely known in the Warsaw Pact Eastern Europe for her alleged abilities of clairvoyance and precognition. Zheni Kostadinova claimed in 1997 that millions of people believed she possessed paranormal abilities. Although Vanga passed away 26 years ago, many people still believe her predictions have some truth to them.
For the upcoming twelve months, Baba Vanga made six notable predictions:
There will be water shortages A shortage of water in many countries will generate political problems as governments struggle to secure access to additional supplies.
Virtual reality takeover This prediction, which suggests that people will become hopelessly glued to their computer screens, seems to have been interpreted as more to do with general computer/Internet use than genuine ‘virtual reality’ which is something that Baba Vanga would not have known about. It could also be argued that this has already come to pass, at least to some extent.
Locust swarm in India Vanga reportedly predicted that India will be subjected to soaring temperatures and a devastating swarm of locusts at some point over the next twelve months.
Aliens will arrive on Earth This one seems by far the most ‘out there’ of all her predictions and it’s something that we’ve heard before numerous times; it seems that this is highly unlikely to come to pass in 2022.
Another virus Most would interpret this as a prediction of another Covid-19 variant, however Vanga reportedly mentioned another pandemic, this time discovered in Siberia, that is caused by a frozen virus that will be released by climate change.
More catastrophes A general prediction about flooding, earthquakes and tsunamis.
(NOTE: What Next Club doesn’t vouch for the authenticity of the claims made by the mystic and is not in favour of promoting any superstition.)
During World War I, the Russians built a gigantic tank that had two huge wheels and looked like a tricycle. Known as the “Tsar tank,” this 60-ton monster required 15 men to control it and had a height of a three-story building. It was capable of bringing an entire fortress down, but it never managed to move from the place of production. Its unarmed model was tested near Moscow and weighed 50% more than what was expected. The project was abandoned because it didn’t move well along soft patches. Its center of gravity was too far aft, and its engine was not powerful enough.
Kugelpanzer, This odd-looking German tank, which carried only one man and no weapons, never actually saw action in World War II. It might not even have been real. Captured by the Soviets in Manchuria in the last days of the conflict, it was put in a museum, with no further study allowed – with many scholars believing the vehicle was some kind of Japanese-built hoax.
An umbrella weapon having a chamber from which a poisonous pellet containing ricin could be fired is called the “Bulgarian Umbrella.” It was reportedly used in the assassination of a Bulgarian dissident writer, Georgi Markow, in September 1978. The victim thought he was stung by a bee and only died four days later. Indeed, the building of this strange weapon was fascinating to the public eye, and it still finds its place in a number of publications. The entire breakdown of the poisonous umbrella could be found displayed in the German Spy Museum.
The Claw of Archimedes was an ancient anti-ship weapon developed by Archimedes to defend the sea-facing city walls of the city of Syracuse. Sources say that it was a crane-equipped weapon with a grappling hook that enabled the user to lift the attacker’s ship by the prow and drop it. Its strike often caused the victim ship to capsize or at least face severe damage. It is said that this weird defending weapon was put into use during the Second Punic War in 214 BCE. It was when the Roman Republic attacked Syracuse with 60 ships under the command of Marcus Marcellus.
Panjandrum was a massive rocket-propelled, explosive-laden cart that was designed by the British in World War II. The weapon’s structure was basically two wheels held together by a bomb that included rocket propulsion. During its final testing, the wheels disintegrated, the rockets broke free in all directions, and the generals were forced to dive into barbed wires. It was never used in the war. When activated, it spun erratically and the entire machine fell apart. One of the military dogs was chased by a rocket and was killed by it.
The French invented a “bazooka Vespa.” It was a Vespa 150 TAP scooter armed with an M20 75-millimeter recoilless rifle, also known as a light anti-armor cannon. The vehicle carrying the weapon could only reach the speed of 40 miles per hour and was intended to be used by French paratroopers. Nearly 600 such scooters were created in the 1950s. The weapon was ready to use as soon as it was received on the battleground. The Frenchmen used to ride it until they got to a suitable point. Then they dismounted to set the gun up at a perfect angle using the M1917 Browning Machine Gun tripod which came along with the scooter.
What could be more efficient than launching an airplane from something that’s already in the air? Many different variations on flying aircraft carriers have been tried, from the US airships Akron and Macon in the ’30s to the Soviet Zveno, a gigantic airplane with smaller airplanes attached to it. The Zveno saw minor success in the early days of World War II, but was retired soon after because of its vulnerability. Virtually every other attempt to launch planes from a flying plane has failed.
Designed as a way of deterring and stopping a Soviet invasion of Germany in the aftermath of World War II, Project Blue Peacock involved seeding the North German Plain with nuclear landmines. But the mines had to be kept warm to prevent spontaneous detonation, and British engineers devised a bizarre way to do it: Chickens!! Chicken coops would be set up over the mines, and the body heat from the chickens would provide the needed warmth to prevent the mines from going off and turning half of Germany into a dead zone. But the scheme had a number of problems, the least of which is that the chickens wouldn’t live long, and it was never implemented.
Amazon definitely makes online ordering easier, but once you scroll past the necessities, the inventory takes a turn for the bizarre. Amazon is the first choice for online shopping for most of us. Isn’t it? But our favorite online retailer doesn’t just carry normal and useful products. It also showcases utterly unique and little bit bizarre products as well. You’ll not believe, people actually buy these products. Scroll through this post for a laugh !!
Mini hand squirrel, Why not? These vinyl squirrel finger covers are the latest version of the sock puppets we all grew up playing with. Fit them on your fingertips, creating the illusion that your palm is the squirrel’s body.
Fake News Button Sometimes you just need to call people out. In those instances, a fake news button will get the job done. This bright red button will not only make any passerby do a double-take; it will also loudly announce the presence of fake news when it’s pressed. If only it worked over Facebook.
SubSafe Sub Sandwich Container, This Reusable Sandwich Container Keeps Your Sub Safe. Keep your oval-shaped sandwiches as fresh as possible with this plastic container that’s available in a variety of colors.
Instant underpants, What the fish? Need an extra pair of briefs? Got a bottle of water? If so, problem solved! Just add water & grow yourself a brand new pair of underpants
Donald Trump Chia Pet, Let’s not get political here. But having a ceramic plant vase in the shape of the former president’s head is definitely on the weird side. And we hate to admit it, but it’s also pretty entertaining.
Garden gloves with claws, Planning to do some digging in your garden? Apparently, these gloves are really handy in the garden when you need to do a little digging. But be prepared for weird looks you’re your neighbors.
Over the hill exerciser, Give your over the hill friend a good laugh with this fun novelty exerciser. Keep the love muscle in shape with this novelty Over the Hill Exerciser. This exercise gear is, ahem, a bit different.
Bacon-scented soap, It’s a sunny Sunday morning and you wake to the sweet smell of bacon wafting from the. bathroom? This bacon-scented version is made for pure laughs. Use this during your next hand wash to take the scent of freshly cooked bacon with you anywhere you go.
Pet urine detector UV light, This might be useful for pet owners. What do you think? he black-light flashlight reveals stains on absorbent surfaces by emitting long-wave UV light that causes dried urine salts to shine bright.
Live insects and worms, Is it me or it’s really creepy!! Didn’t know that creepy-crawlies travelled by USPS? Now you do! You can also pick up ants, worms, and ladybugs on Amazon.
Yodeling Pickle, Do you know someone who is a pickle addict? Apparently, this plastic pickle “yodels its little heart out at the push of a button. Great gift for the person who has everything except a yodeling pickle.
Girlfriend body pillow, Greatest Gag Gift for Men. Do you have a bachelor party coming up and want a variation on the standard blow-up doll novelty gift? Looking for a funny secret Santa gift for one of your co-workers? If that’s not creepy enough, it has a trademarked “arm” to snuggle into on long, lonely nights.
Pooping Pooches White Elephant Gag Gift Calendar, Forget inspirational quotes or traditional landscape imagery calendars. This calendar offers 12 months of doggies pooping in various locales. We can’t imagine that anyone would actually want this.
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