These magical photos show what it’s like to be at sea at minus 28 degrees

Helsinki ice smoke

In the last few months, the consequences of climate change have hit different parts of the world with a mad vengeance. Here in Finland, that took the form of the warmest December on record leading many people to bemoan the lack of snow. As an Englishman who’s experienced many a Finnish winter, I instead wallowed in the balmy temperatures confident in the knowledge that we had three more months of sub-zero, beard-freezing hardship to come. That was demonstrated, in fine Arctic style, this week when temperatures plummeted as low as minus 28 in Helsinki. One surreal consequence of this uncannily fast freeze was an awe-inspiring phenomenon which makes the sea look as though it’s cloaked in smoke. Both beautiful and bizarre, it literally took my breath away.

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This is what happens when an artist lives in a cave for 25 years

Ra Paulette 6

“Changing the world is a tall order. Art doesn’t attempt to force change through direct action but to catalyze it by affecting the emotional basis from which change can occur.”

The wise words above come from Ra Paulette, an artist who has not only been changing the landscapes of New Mexico, but hopes to spark social change as well. Ra Paulette uses an artistic medium that most would consider to be uncommon: sandstone caves. For the past 25 years, he has used hand tools to carve the interior of sandstone caves into spectacularly beautiful works of art, working in solitude with only his dog at his side. With 14 caves under his belt, he’s now working on what he says is his magnum opus—a cave that he hopes will someday be used to “create an experience that fosters spiritual renewal and personal well being.” Ra hopes that the sense of wonder that his art instills in people can help to make the world just a little bit better by inspiring people to have a deeper appreciation of life. Take a look at a few of his works below and get inspired.

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The 37 most astounding facts about sex you’ll ever read

1. Cleopatra is credited with the invention of the vibrator. She is said to have taken insects and placed them inside a hollow sphere. The insects would become agitated and begin buzzing around, causing the sphere to vibrate.

2. The clitoris extends 9cm under the skin.

3. French bulldogs cannot reproduce naturally because they are too top heavy. Every French bulldog puppy is born of artificial insemination.

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60 of the world’s happiest facts

happyfacts

1. A group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.

2. If you fake laugh long enough you’ll start to really laugh, really, really hard.

3. The book cover to the prize winning short story collection, Spellbound, was chosen because author, Joel Willans, bought his wife’s engagement ring with poker winnings.

4. The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times throughout their career.

5. These websites exist.

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Literally the coolest diving photograph ever

No it’s not a spaceman cruising above the surface of a luminous green planet. This is a diver under the ice, silhouetted by the Northern Lights above. Photographer George Karbus went to extraordinary lengths to capture this stunning image in the bitterly cold waters of the Arctic Circle. If you ask us, it was well worth the effort.

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Why it’s totally pointless to worry about anything

You’re a miracle. The odds of you existing are infinitesimally small. According to some Harvard professors, so small that the likelihood of you being alive is basically zero. But before your wondrous existence overwhelms you, it’s good to remember your place in the universe is infinitesimally small, too. So mind-blowingly tiny in fact that your worries, in the grand scheme of things, don’t even exist. Difficult to believe? Check out the diagram below to marvel at the universe and to put your life into perspective.

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The world’s most surprised goldfish

Goldfish were domesticated by the Chinese more than a thousand years ago and were so prized only the imperial family were allowed to keep them. They frolicked in fine ornamental ponds and were fed the finest fishy food. How times have changed. Now all you need to keep then happy as Larry is a tank with bubbles, lots of bubbles.