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Uncommon architectural designs and crazy buildings show that people who are into art, design, and style have a reputation for being a little bit weird and funky. But thank goodness for their creative minds, otherwise, we’d be living in a boring world. Architects come up with the most unusual designs for buildings and homes.

The designs they come up with either leave us in awe or scratching our heads. Sometimes, we get the notion that architects just want to stun people. Sometimes, we think they forget to consider the usefulness of the space and the comfort of the individuals who are supposed to live or use the structures. Would you rather have a magnificent building that doesn’t make any sense or a run-of-the-mill space that serves its actual purpose? Before you answer that question, let’s first take a special compilation of buildings with jaw-dropping designs and architecture.

When you want a big house but you also want it to be cozy

This house looks like the architect tried to design a small and cozy home but at the same time large enough to accommodate his ever-growing family. This is exactly how we imagine the Weasley house from Harry Potter if all the children were to get married and have their own families.

Image courtesy of malgoya/Reddit

We’re doubtful of the house’s structural integrity. Will it be able to support the weight? We’re scared that anytime now, it might topple over. But it looks beautiful, though. We’d certainly want our picture taken with this house in the background.

From the apartment to the highway in 5 seconds

If you ask people how long it would take to get from the office or home to the highway, most people would answer at least 20 or 30 minutes. But not this person. He can get from his office to the highway in record time.

Image courtesy of savvyf*ck/Reddit

Why? Because their offices are literally above the highway. Imagine the incessant noise of the vehicles passing through. Would you be able to get efficient work done there? We think not. Whoever thought of this was seriously unwell or not thinking straight.

This is messing with our brains

Ironically, this is a medical center for the brain that happens to be successful in messing with the mind. This is the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, Nevada. It looks like something out of a cartoon show, but this is a real building.

Image courtesy of bmomtami/Reddit

People who have been to the building say that it’s quite cool, so we checked for photos of the interior online. It’s undeniably unique. But, won’t it make you feel dizzy just being inside the building? Won’t it trigger your anxiety?

Where’s the door?

This house has us thinking that the owner must hate having visitors over. We can’t even see the door. How do you go in, and how do you go out? Is it a trap? Were the homeowners trying to be unique because they needed to be left alone?

Image courtesy of ImmortalSavage21/Reddit

This building, if it’s auditioned, can easily pass for the set of Christopher Nolan’s, Inception. It would blend right in with the rest of the props and surroundings. It’s confusing, it’s on the wrong side, and it’s difficult to get into.

North Korea’s skyscraper

North Korea is known for having extremely interesting architecture. But, there are not as many well-known skyscrapers there as there are in other parts of the globe. However, they do have one skyscraper that remains unoccupied today called the Ryugyong Hotel.

Image courtesy of lisino/Reddit

It looks more like a nuclear warhead than a building. Yes, it has a unique architectural design, and the construction began in 1987 only to have been stopped in 1992 after the country suffered an economic crisis due to the dissipation of the Soviet Union.

Would you like to live in an inverted pyramid?

When the word ‘pyramid’ is mentioned, people instantly think of the ancient structures in Egypt or the glass pyramid of the ‘Louvre’ in Paris. Well, there’s another pyramid that would like to be just as memorable as the ones we have just mentioned.

Image courtesy of earthmoonsun/Reddit

This is the inverted pyramid house in Spain, and this weird architectural creation is still at design stage. It is part of the Solo Houses project and is said to offer stunning views of the surrounding forests and the pool. Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable living in such a house? We love the pool though.

Something smells fishy

Sometimes, you shouldn’t take things too literally, but the designer of this bizarre building must not have gotten the memo. This building is the Department of Fisheries in Hyderabad, India. For lack of better design, they just built it to look like a fish.

Image courtesy of GreenPlasticChair/Reddit

Or perhaps people kept getting lost, and they wanted to make it easier on everyone. “Hey, where is the Department of Fisheries? It’s the building that looks like a fish. You can’t miss it.” Well, they definitely don’t like boring buildings over there.

The National Carpet Museum

If India has a Department of Fisheries that looks like a fish, Azerbaijan is not to be left behind. No sir! They also have the National Carpet Museum which was made to look like a rolled carpet. Now, this is a building we want to visit.

Image courtesy of abaganoush/Reddit

Located in the nation’s capital, Baku, it also looks like a roll or log cake. We’d love to see the architecture inside, as well as their collection of what we think is some of the most beautiful carpets in the world.

Catty kindergarten

If this were our school when we were in kindergarten, we would never pretend to be sick because we wouldn’t want to miss a single day of school. This cool building is in Germany, and is dedicated to Tomi Ungerer, a local author and artist of many well-known books.

Image courtesy of lisino/Reddit

Located in Karlsruhe, the building was created in 2011 with the mission of stimulating the children’s imaginations with its design. We can’t deny the creative approach they took when they built this school, and we only wish more schools were like this.

Life in a pancake

If you wanted to live in a stack of pancakes when you were younger, we’re here to tell you that now, you can live out your childhood dreams when you go to Guizhou, China to live in this building. If there’s one thing we love about this, it’s the airy balconies.

Image courtesy of Looks_pretty_cool/Reddit

However, we can’t shake off the feeling that it might start to tumble to the ground anytime. We can’t help but think that the foundation is not strong enough, and might give way anytime now, although it looks good from the angle the picture was taken.

Wafer buildings in Singapore

We have seen this building in person, and it does look cool from afar. It’s as if giant children were playing with their wafers and decided to build a community with them. However, we can’t shake the feeling that the delivery people have plenty of problems finding the correct address.

Image courtesy of terchon/Reddit

This architectural monster won the Building of the Year at the World Architectural Festival in 2015, and was labeled as a “trailblazer”. The project, which is residential, was completed in 2013 and was created by the famous architect, Ole Scheeren.

Is this a building or a portal?

This building looks like a portal to another dimension because of the huge hole in the middle which Superman, or perhaps another superhero, uses to escape reality. And perhaps when they come out on the other side, they will be in another world or time.

Image courtesy of earthmoonsun/Reddit

This is called the Tower of the Sun and is located in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan doesn’t have a shortage of unusual buildings, and this is just one of them. We’d love to visit the country one day to discover all of its architectural treasures.

Living in a pineapple

We know of a famous character who lives in a pineapple, Spongebob, and he lives in a pineapple under the sea. This pineapple-like structure is something different than his dwelling because it’s above water and it’s not in Bikini Bottom.

Image courtesy of passeko/Reddit

It’s in Montpellier, France, and is called, Arbre Blanc. A creation from architect, Sou Fujimoto, it looks like the dream of a Parkour enthusiast. Look at all the balconies resembling dive decks. You can certainly mingle with your neighbors if you worried about social distancing.

A holy dove building in Java, Indonesia

Although this looks like a chicken, this structure is supposed to be a pigeon, according to its architect. People have resorted to calling it Geraja Ayam or “Chicken Church,” and has become one of the most visited tourist spots in Central Java.

Image courtesy of NeonRhyn0/Reddit

Although the exterior looks complete, the interior is empty, and construction has been halted since 2000 due to lack of funds. Daniel Alamsjah was the creator of the “Chicken Church,” and he envisioned it as a prayer house where people of different religions could come together and pray.

The largest hotel in the world

This building isn’t exactly an architectural marvel because the shape and the design is pretty much common, but we are floored by its massive size. It’s reported to be the biggest hotel in the world with more than 10,000 rooms.

Image courtesy of malgoya/Reddit

Located in Saudi Arabia, it has four helipads to cater to the super-rich who would like to avoid traffic and go to the hotel via their own helicopters. It sure is nice to be among the mega-wealthy. Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly what comes to mind when tourism is mentioned, but we read somewhere that this hotel is more for those who are attending the Haaj in Mecca.

Can you live in half of a house?

The problem when you share a townhouse with someone else is that when one party decides to sell, and the other does not, there’s going to be a huge problem. That’s exactly what happened here. One-half of the owners decided to sell, and the other half decided they would rather not.

Image courtesy of malgoya/Reddit

So, the people who decided to stay kept just half of the townhouse. It looks unique, but is it even practical to live in such a place? Do they only get half of a bathroom, half of a kitchen, and half bedroom? We’re curious.

The Pixelated Tower

When you talk about buildings with interesting architecture, you should include Bangkok, Thailand. The City of Angels has the MahaNakhon Tower, which was built in 2016 and used to be the biggest building in the city. In English, it’s called the Metropolis Tower.

Image courtesy of savvyf***/Reddit

It may not look outstanding during the daytime, but wait until the sun sets, and it will actually blow your mind. If you ask us, it’s way more beautiful than other skyscrapers in the Western world. We love it! It even has its own blue sky beam.

The Three Huge Men building

This building, we think, is a take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. This is something we’d like to call, “The Three Huge Men” building. It looks unique, but the only thing we’d like to know is how much natural light it allows in.

Image courtesy of Creepy_Green_Light_/Reddit

From the look of things, it seems that most of the windows are covered by the three guys, but the design makes it super easy to identify. “Hey, where are you guys staying? We’re staying in the building with the smiling old guy.”

We’d like to get a place here

This is a cool building in the Netherlands which we’d love to live in. Not only is it a place where you can relax and forget about your problems, but it also comes with a huge open market. You don’t have to go very far if you’d like to shop.

Image courtesy of malgoya/Reddit

There’s only one catch though, the things they sell come at a high price, and we’re pretty sure the rent is also out of this world. That’s the price you have to pay for living in such a stylish and modern building.

What’s up with these animal buildings?

Sometimes, designers and architects want to come up with something new that’s never been done before, and they end up sacrificing practicality for style. A case in point is those animal buildings. Yeah, they’re cute, but are they utilizing the space well?

Image courtesy of FoxFoxington/Reddit

Well, there’s another addition to that – this crab building in China. This could be a seafood restaurant, but it could also be a place where the Institute of Marine Biology has an office. Maybe this is the new piece of real estate acquired by Mr. Krabs.

The gargantuan frame

This is aptly called, The Frame, in Dubai, and this is a building in which we have actually seen with our own eyes. When you’re casually driving by it, it looks amazing no doubt. The building was made of steel, glass, aluminum, and reinforced concrete.

Image courtesy of lovesliterati/Reddit

It was built in a specific location which allows visitors to see the landmarks of modern Dubai on one side, and the landmarks of old Dubai on the other. It’s actually a clever idea, and being on it, it is almost like seeing two different perspectives of the city through your own eyes.

Fit for a superhero or a supervillain

This looks like a proper hideout for a superhero or a supervillain, and they are not even being discrete about it. It could also belong to the set of Star Wars. There is only one issue with this kind of “home,” however.

Image courtesy of logatwork/Reddit

What if the elevator breaks down? You’d have to take the stairs up and down, but at least you’ll be participating in strenuous exercise, which you probably didn’t expect. Well, at least, if you are a superhero living in this house, the extra exercise wouldn’t hurt.

The little roundhouse

When looking at this house, we feel like we’ve been transported to the land of the Teletubbies. It’s curvy and interesting, to say the least. This is called the Spaceship House in La Selva Beach, Santa Cruz, California. It was built in 1972 and has over 700 square feet of space.

Image courtesy of hereforthenow/Reddit

What makes this structure unique is it actually doesn’t have any corners, but the downside is that the house also doesn’t have any closets. It was built by landscape architect, Mary Gordon. The views of the Pacific Ocean, however, make up for the lack of closets.

Old and new side by side

If there’s one thing Dubrovnik is famous for, it’s the Old City Walls. The walls run approximately 1,940 meters in length, and it encircles most of the old city. It also was featured in HBO’s hit show, Game of Thrones.

Image courtesy of matej1313/Reddit

We’re not sure if they didn’t have enough space over there, but it sure looks like they needed to build a very modern basketball and football court right in front of it. Aside from the structural concerns, it kinda gives us sore eyes too. It ruins the aesthetics of the old roofs.

We’d like to live in a marshmallow

This is what we had in mind when we envisioned ourselves living in a marshmallow as children. Does it feel soft too? Are the walls fluffy? We don’t always say this, but we’d love to touch the walls of this house.

Image courtesy of smokinpeteria/Reddit

If this house is listed on Airbnb, you might be interested to know that this it’s in Austria, so you can book it whenever you’re in town. We think this house would look even more interesting in the Winter when snow is falling all around it.

The tired pyramid

What does a pyramid do when it’s tired? It rests and instead of standing upright with the pointy end on top, it’s going to recline with its pointy end on the side. This is a good example of a tired pyramid. He can’t take any more of the work.

Image courtesy of Imipolex42/Reddit

This is the famous Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco. Not only does it look like a really tired pyramid, but it also looks like the back of an old television. This hotel has been featured in various Hollywood movies such as Time After Time.

Look Ma, I can touch the car

We don’t know what’s up over there in China when it comes to architecture, but they seem to have a penchant for placing residential buildings right next to roads and highways. Don’t believe us? Look at this apartment in Chongqing.

Image courtesy of biwook/Reddit

It’s next to a helicoidal street, and if you reach through the window, we’re pretty sure you can touch the cars passing by. That’s how close they are. Can you even sleep with all the noise of the honking cars?

We’d love to shop there

This is an interesting shop which we definitely want to visit when we are in Tokyo. We love the expression on its face, and it’s beckoning shoppers to go through its doors to see the wonders behind its eyes. We also wonder what they sell here.

Image courtesy of DrFetusRN/Reddit

The contents inside should be just as quirky and unique as the building itself. We like how prepared the guy is outside. He brought his own umbrella in case there were occasional sneezes while he was standing directly underneath the building’s nose.

When you have too many windows in your inventory

Don’t get us wrong, we love windows. They are vital for ventilation, and they let in as much natural light to a space as possible. However, we think you could all agree with us when we say that this house has one too many windows.

Image courtesy of mike_pants/Reddit

Perhaps the builder had too many in his inventory and couldn’t find any other way to dispose of it than to try and be creative. Are the residents exposing themselves to pedestrians and neighbors too much? Boy, they’re gonna need plenty of curtains.

How does this building remain standing?

We only have one question about this structure and that’s, how is it still standing today? The base doesn’t look strong enough to support the entire structure because it’s too small and fragile. This structure is located in Krasnosilka, Ukraine.

Image courtesy of Dvisionvoid/Reddit

It used to be a potato sorting station that had been abandoned for a few years. It reminds us of the house in the cartoon, Howl’s Moving Castle. The only difference is this structure has been there for several years, and it hasn’t moved an inch.

A house in the desert

When thinking about houses in the desert, most people have the impression that they are made of adobe, and these houses are not only beautiful but also unique. The architect of this house wanted to be different, and we can say he definitely accomplished that.

image courtesy of Yoda_Holmes/Reddit

This ‘container’ house is painted white, so it’s hard to miss because it also looks like a blossoming flower. The higher containers, however, don’t seem very practical for living. Is the sole purpose just to provide shade to the lower ‘containers’?

Choo Choo train  

Japan has always been known for its advanced technology, and it also has some of the most amazing buildings in the world. If you want to be impressed with a rich culture and history, technology, and modern skyscrapers, you can never go wrong with Japan.

Image courtesy of Longrua1231/Reddit

This building, you may have already guessed, is a train station. It is the Moka Train Station that was built in the shape of a locomotive. It looks insanely amazing, and we’re sure that little children would enjoy visiting it too.

Well, this is freakin’ cute

Well, we have one word for this building, cute! The look on those sheep’s faces makes it seem as if they have an insider secret they would rather not share with the public. Notice how the ram is eyeing the other. What’s up with these two?

Image courtesy of Athena5000/Reddit

Located in Waikato, New Zealand, the world’s biggest corrugated iron sheep and ram was placed on the market in 2016 by its owners and creators, Nancy and John Drake. It houses a wool and craft store. It was an instant hit with the public when it opened in 1994.

A cave with modern amenities

One of the things that draw thousands of people to Cappadocia, aside from the hot air balloons during sunrise, are the famous cave hotels. The region is abundant with valleys, caves, rock formations, and skylines that promise tourists an experience unlike any other.

Image courtesy of malgoya/Reddit

This ancient cave hotel comes with modern amenities, and there are plenty of them to choose from if you ever venture to Turkey. You can feel like a real caveman while taking a bath in your modern shower and eating your breakfast buffet.

Circular housing in the Netherlands

Not only do people from the Netherlands have a better quality of life, they also get to enjoy some of the most creative and stylish houses. Just look at this awesome structure below. The Dutch sure know how to make their homes interesting.

Image courtesy of tanmaypendse63/Reddit

The roads may be long and narrow, but we love the fact that you have the option to either drive or go in and out of the place by boat. After all, more than 25% of the Netherlands’ territory is underwater.

The world’s oldest astrological clock

This isn’t a building with a bizarre design, and we don’t have any questions as to the practical use of the space, but we included this structure in our list because architecturally, it looks amazing. This astrological clock is located in Prague.

Image courtesy of savvyf***/Reddit

It’s been in operation for more than 600 years and is still working well. This amazing creation has so much history, and people from all over the world travel to Prague just to see it with their own eyes. This is a clock we wouldn’t mind waking up to.

Shell’s 1930s gas station

This looks like the love child of a Shell gas station and a McDonald’s that nobody dreamed of. If someone told us this was what old Shell gas stations looked like, we wouldn’t believe them until we saw it with our own eyes.

Image courtesy of DrFetusRN/Reddit

The designers must have wanted it to stand out, while at the same time, wanting people from afar to see it right away. It doesn’t even need a sign because you’d know it’s a Shell station instantly. “Shell I take you on a tour of the station?”

The roof house

Those who are familiar with Russian folklore and Baba Yaga would agree with us if we said that this home reminds us of her house, but without the chicken legs because they upgraded them to cold hard steel.  Modernized, eh?

Image courtesy of lisino/Reddit

This is the PAN treetop cabin in Norway, which you can rent for your next holiday vacation. It’s just two hours away from the nation’s capital, Oslo. There’s only one thing we don’t like about it. We can’t imagine lugging heavy luggage up those stairs.

The gutted mackerel airport

Nowadays, if you want people to notice your buildings, you have to be willing to take a risk and think outside of the box when it comes to design. Average buildings and skyscrapers with traditional shapes just don’t cut it anymore.

Image courtesy of savvyf***/Reddit

When the Shenzhen International Airport in China was built, the designer thought it would be a great idea to build it in the shape of a gutted and flattened mackerel with its head missing, but a futuristic mackerel nonetheless.

The wavy building

If you are on the hunt to see unusual buildings, you should go to Japan like we said before. This is the newest Louis Vuitton store in the Land of the Rising Sun. Designed by Japanese studio, Jun Aoki & Associates, it’s located in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district.

Image courtesy of biwook/Reddit

The seven-story store is wrapped in an undulating pearlescent material, making it look like it’s moving. It looks cool, and other people have resorted to calling it the ‘jellyfish building.’ The building also looks like it still has its protective plastic shrink wrap on.  

Living in a monolith

When people think of homes, they think of cozy places where there’s enough room for everyone and perhaps, um, doors, windows, and maybe even a view. This house has none of that. It doesn’t even have the usual shape of a home.

Image courtesy of FoxFoxington/Reddit

It’s just a black monolith with no features at all. We imagine the feeling of living there is just like being cooped up in a prison, voluntarily. This monolith is located in Saijo, Hiroshima, Japan, and was designed by the Suppose Design Office.

The IKEA house

We’d like to call this the ‘IKEA’ house because of the size and the distinct color. This modernistic home is located in Venice Beach, California. It’s warm and cozy and even has a balcony that’s perfect for a California property.

Image courtesy of abaganoush/Reddit

The house looks as if it was painted by a child, and then later made into a real home. The only letdown for this property is the lack of a proper lawn. A nice lawn could significantly increase its value. We love it!

#43 Make sure you have enough land for your house

Before you even start building your dream home, you must at least make sure that you have ample land for everything you want to achieve. Do you want a lawn? Do you want a pool? How many rooms would you like your house to have?

Image courtesy of biwook/Reddit

This house, located in Barie, Cameroon, looks like it was created from no building plan at all. We assumed it was just built on a whim. It stands precariously on a small plot of land, and from the looks of it, it’s not structurally sound. We wouldn’t step in there.

The famous Walden 7

One of the best things anyone can do when traveling is visit buildings that hold some kind of history and significance. This structure, called Walden 7, is a social housing building designed by Spanish architect, Ricardo Bofil, and is located in Barcelona, Spain.

Image courtesy of earthmoonsun/Reddit

The structure looks like a freaky maze, and we even checked the interior of the courtyard spaces, and they’re quite amazing too. We’d love to see this with our own eyes and wander through its halls. Hopefully, we won’t get lost.

A must-visit when in Bangkok

This is the famous aerial view of the Pavilion of the Enlightened, located in Bangkok, Thailand. There are more than a hundred magnificently restored buildings on the property that includes attractions such as, temples, a floating market, and many more sights.

Image courtesy of westernmail/Reddit

It was built to symbolize the story of 500 monks from different backgrounds who achieved nirvana and is a cross between a museum, a theme park, and an architectural site. Its shape and design do remind us of a Romanesco broccoli, in all honesty.

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The mountain table-top town of Amadiya

Iraq is beautiful and Amadiya the town that never expands or shrinks, is a shining example of its beauty. And you know what? Amadiya is a town that never expands or shrinks.

You can travel through roads that take you past immense and immaculate mountain ranges without an army patrol in sight. And also – it’s very friendly and safe.


Where is Amadiya?

Amadiya is in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan is a region of northern Iraq, close to the Turkish border. You can enter the Kurdistan region from Turkey and Iran and also by flying into Erbil or Sulimaniyeh airports. The town is also sometimes spelt Amadiye, Amedi and Amadiyeh. The nearest other town is Sulav, a small mountain village. Google Maps will kind of give you an inkling.

Approach view to the town

So, it is a Kurdish and Assyrian mountain village in northern Iraq – Kurdistan region. It sits proudly on a mountaintop and dates back to the year 3000 BC. It sits an astonishingly close to 10 miles from the Turkish border. The village has been rumoured to have been part of the Persian Empire and was a semi-autonomous region for a period lasting from 1376 to 1843.

Buildings perched by the cliff edge of the mountain table-top town. This peculiar city boundary makes expansion impossible

These days Amadiya is governed by the Kurdish government but ultimately controlled by Iraq, from the capital city of Baghdad. Christians and Muslims live in harmony inside this marvellous lofty village. The current population of Amadiya is rumoured to be around 4,000.

Getting to Amadiya

I’ll not lie to you – backpacking in Iraq is not the easiest thing you’ll ever do if you are used to booking things online. You can’t just go on the internet and book an online train ticket direct to Amadiya! Buses are infrequent, hard to spot and few and far between. Therefore getting to this mountain village leaves you with three main options:

One of the Taxis that commute to Amadiya

1. Know someone local to take you (a great option to have). 2. Hitch-hike (safer than you’d think). 3. Taxi (ouch – but you’ll probably have to!).

However, hitchhiking is not always safe. Bear that in mind somehow. So, on getting to Amadiya, get a taxi. You should ideally base in the town of Dohuk.

Dohuk to Amadiya by Shared Taxi

This is actually very easy. In Dohuk, head to a street called Cinema Street, on the other side of the road, if you look down you will see a car park with buses and taxis. This is the “Garaj” as they call it. From this “Garaj” in Dohuk you can get a shared taxi all the way to Amadiya.

Taxis will leave when they are full and make sure you have some Iraqi Dinars to pay. If you are rich and really cannot wait, you can pay more and just take the taxi with the driver as the only other person inside.

A typical Garaj from where taxis are boarded to the town

Driving from Dohuk to Amadiya

The drive from Dohuk to Amadiya is sensational. Iraq’s mountains are beautiful. You will be on a very smooth road through the valleys. Views are beautiful out on either side, showing the mountains and the villages.

One of the approach roads

The journey from Dohuk to Amadiya takes around one and a half hours depending on traffic. It’s not all twists and turns and it’s probably about 70 kilometres of road. Road signs state 60 km between Dohuk and Sulav, while the Lonely Planet offers 65 km. Another local map says 90 km…it’s hard to know!

Your taxi should drop you off nicely in downtown Amadiya – it’s not a big place so you won’t be lost.

Downtown Amadiya

Downtown Amadiya

In the grand scheme of things, Amadiya is a fairly average town. It has all the usual amenities – a shop – a police station – a youth club – a sports shop – restaurants and a main street. However, it’s on top of a mountain and that is why it’s magical!

There are also a few statues and a large Kurdistan flag flying from a roundabout in the village centre. Wandering around at your leisure is a good idea to get a feel for the village.

Amedi Mosque and Minaret

Approach to the mosque with the minaret visible

The central focus of the actual town is of course the Mosque/Masjid. As tourists sometimes flock here, there is a sign written in English inside the Mosque. The Amedi Mosque is hard to miss due to its towering Minaret – the highest point in the village.

The Minaret at the Mosque in Amadiya – towers over the town.

If you do become unsure, just ask locals for “Masjid” and they’ll know you mean Mosque. The Mosque is mostly green in colour. You can walk inside the Mosque grounds with no problem. If you want to enter the actual Mosque – wear a hajib for females and no shorts/skirts etc. Plus shoes must be taken off.

Bahdinan Gate/The Eastern Gate

This is the real reason why you’re here. The Bahdinan Gate is the only significant reminder of the ancient fortress city which once existed here. Modern housing blocks have taken over and the old walls have crumbled.

The ancient Bahdinan Gate

Head on your way down the streets of Amadiya until you find the Bahdinan Gate. It’s on the Sulav side of the town towards Dohuk, but it’s a good idea to carry a photo of the Gate (the Kurdistan tourist map has one, as did the Lonely Planet copy we had with us). This will make it easier to find the beloved Amadiya, the town that never expands or shrinks.

Most locals will stop and help you with no problem. A lot of them will also be happy and shocked to see foreigners in their town.

Once you get to the Gate, it’s basically a pathway down to an arch, you head in through the arch for excellent views and you’ll be on the path around the walls of what was once a fortress.

All in all, the ancient mountaintop village of Amadiya will always be a really cool day out. And because of its perch on a mountaintop, Amadiya is indeed the town that never expands or shrinks.

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Geoscientists discovered a continent that had been hiding in plain sight for almost 375 years.

Historically, there’s been speculation about whether a continent known as Zealandia or Te Riu-a-Māui in the Māori language exists.

According to TN News, Zealandia is 1.89 million square miles in size. It was part of a supercontinent called Gondwana, which included most of Western Antarctica and Eastern Australia, over 500 million years ago.

It was first said to be first discovered in 1642 by Dutch businessman and sailor Abel Tasman, who was desperate to uncover the “Great Southern Continent”.

Despite failing to find the new land, he met the local Māori, who were initially displeased by his arrival. However, they went on to provide valuable information about the surrounding land, including the existence of a large landmass to the east.

It wasn’t until 2017 that geologists discovered the continent had been hiding in plain sight all along. Thereafter it became easy to see how true it was to hold that scientists discovered a continent missing for 375 Years

Scientists agreed on the existence of Zealandia, which started to “pull away” from Gondwana for reasons scientists are still trying to understand.

Most of the newfound continent is underwater and has been used as an example by geologists at the Zealand Crown Research Institute GNS Science on how something “very obvious” can take a while to uncover.

“[It’s] a process which we don’t completely understand yet, Zealandia started to be pulled away,” Tulloch explained.

His colleague Nick Mortimer, who led the study, joked that it was “kind of cool” before explaining: “If you think about it, every continent on the planet has different countries on it, [but] there are only three territories on Zealandia.”

The world is full of puzzling phenomena that scientists discover. They raise the endless curiousity of those interested in following these striking events of nature about a world we dwell in but is yet to fully know and understand.

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A Chukudu operator in Kivu

Large, wooden, two-wheeled vehicles powered only by the people who push them are unique to DRC.

Handmade wooden wheels of Congo, keep the country Running is the story of Chukudu. Capable of moving large loads for a cheap price, chukudu drivers say the vehicles enable them to earn a living.

Handmade Wooden Vehicle, the Pride of DRC, Keeps Country Running

Chukudus are wooden, two-wheeled vehicles powered only by the people who push them. The vehicles are a common sight in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in Democratic Republic of Congo. Vendors say they prefer to ship goods via chukudus instead of other vehicles because chukudus don’t require costly fuel.

GOMA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO — Amid the trucks carrying loads of rice and oil and the muscular workers who unload them in the commercial area of the Birere slum, another kind of vehicle, unique to this part of the world, darts in and out of the chaos.

Chukudus, the large, wooden, two-wheeled scooters with handlebars and an angled frame, are favored here for carrying heavy loads. A small chukudu can hold hundreds of pounds. When the chukudu is empty, a driver rests one knee on the base and pushes the vehicle along with the other foot. When full, the driver stands behind the load, using one foot against the back tire as a brake.

Most chukudus are about six and a half feet long and can carry about 1,000 pounds.

“The chukudu is essential for us,” says Moise Kaduha, one of Goma’s most famous chukudeurs, or chukudu drivers. “But the thing that makes me most proud is that it is a product of our own making.”

Kaduha won the first-ever chukudu race organized by the United Nations mission here in 2006. Now, he works in the maintenance department at the UN compound and drives a chukudu that is painted blue and white, the UN’s colors.  He’s also the vice president of an association of chukudeurs.

Africa’s many regions each boast their own unique modes of transport, but it’s the chukudu that rules here. Local people say these motorless vehicles have been used in what is now eastern Democratic Republic of Congo since the mid-1900s.

According to the Association de Chukudeurs de Goma, more than 1,300 chukudus are registered to circulate in Goma. They play a key role in boosting the region’s perilous economy. Even young boys can transport hundreds of pounds at a time to earn money. Plus, their sturdy structure works well on Goma’s roads, which are covered with hardened lava from the eruptions of nearby volcanoes.

It takes about three days to build a chukudu, says Samson Mbabazi, 30, a chukudu maker. Mbabazi uses scrap tires and wood from a nearby forest.

It takes about three days to build a chukudu, says Samson Mbabazi, 30, a chukudu maker. He uses hard wood from the nearby Kibati foresta wooded area near Mount Nyiragongo. He buys scrap tires for about 10,000 Congolese francs ($10.23). Springs connect the wooden steering handle to the angled body.

The most common size is about six and a half feet long and can about 1,000 pounds, Mbabazi says.

But the vehicles also create dangerous situations on the road. As the number of chukudus in Goma rises, officials say the wooden vehicles are causing an increasing number of traffic accidents.

“We are yet to have statistics, but it is true,” says Rachidi Fikirini, a senior traffic police commissioner for the city, adding that he receives regular complaints and cases of chukudus causing accidents.

Mbabazi, the chukudu maker, says his father taught him to make the vehicles.

Jean Kazadi, a resident of Goma, says chukudeurs cause havoc on the roads, even in pedestrian areas.

“This creates quite a mess and gives rise to major incidents, such as accidents,” he says.

For now, no formal rules have been proposed to regulate chukudus in traffic. But as the region’s cheapest means of transport for large loads, the vehicles are here to stay.

Freddy Nirenganye, known locally as Rasta, says he earns at least 7,000 francs ($7.07) per load, and typically moves several loads per day. The work is tiring, he says, and he often breaks to spend some of his earnings on a glass of milk to restore his energy.

Nirenganye, 25, has been a chukudeur since 2010. He hopes to buy his own chukudu one day, but says his earnings are too meager to make that happen. New chukudus go for about $100.

Medi Sonny, a local shopkeeper, says he relies on chukudu transport to carry goods to and from his store at low rates. That is why it is the handmade wooden wheels of Congo, which keep their country running

“When I hire a moto taxi to carry my goods imported from Uganda through La Grande Barrière, I pay 5 dollars while a chukudeur charges me 2,000 francs,” he says, describing the $2 charge he incurs to moves products across the DRC-Rwanda border. “Of course, the chukudu is the cheapest means of transport.”

In DRC, where a liter of gas can cost up to $2, chukudus are lifesavers, says Ebenezer Dawa Ya Buyana, a local jewelry and clothing saleswoman.

“Those sturdy wooden scooters are human-powered contraptions and do not require fuel to operate,” she says.

Most Congolese seem to agree that Chukudu the handmade wooden wheels of Congo, keep their country running. Along one of Goma’s most-traveled roads, in the center of a roundabout, is a giant golden statue, not of a person, but of a chukudu.

By Ley Uwera. Ndayaho Sylvestre, GPJ, translated this article from French.

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