(TMU) — Those of us who have been stuck at home can easily be forgiven for daydreaming about where our next vacation might take place once coronavirus lockdown measures are eased up and we can travel abroad freely.
After all, we can only get so immersed in Netflix, YouTube, books, and video games without actually taking the plunge into a new and exciting place.
And if it’s the incredible that you crave, there may be no better place to stay then at the amazing bubble hotels in Iceland.
These secluded retreats deep in the forests offer an entirely private glass bubble under the stunning and starry night skies of Reykholt, Southern Iceland.
Bubble hotels in Iceland💚 pic.twitter.com/ed485frJqs
— Kristin-Lisa👑 (@KristinLisaCar1) April 3, 2020
While enjoying your stay in these amazing bubbles, not only will you be able to practice the most luxurious social distancing possible, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the aurora borealis or northern lights shimmering and dancing across the sky at certain times of the year.
As the website explains, guests will be able to “enjoy the aurora and stars in the winter and the midnight sun and nature in summer.”
“Some childhood dreams stay with us for our whole lives,” explains Robert Robertsson, the director of the Bubble project based in Reykjavik, Iceland. “Sleeping under the stars or watching the aurora borealis dance is one of those lifelong dreams. To fulfill these dreams, the Bubble concept was born.”
The Aurora Bubble Hotel is a clear, inflatable plastic “bedroom” located in Iceland—patrons can view the aurora borealis as they lie in bed. pic.twitter.com/hizuGNG8gf
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) March 22, 2018
“In the winter we have the aurora or the stars, but in the summer you are going to be in the proximity to nature, wonderful birds, butterflies and great midnight-sun scenery,” Robertson added. “Forget the city, forget work and enjoy watching the aurora borealis dance for you. We can of course not guarantee you will see the lights, but if they show up you will have a magical night.”
For those of us who’ve been cooped-up with our significant other in a cluttered apartment-turned-co-working-space, the bubble may provide an ideal way to recharge a couple’s batteries. The bubble is perfectly suitable for two adults sharing a bed and offers a wonderful escape from our typically hectic lives.
Bubble hotel in Iceland👌 Would you stay here? pic.twitter.com/pYb5bYi5Pr
— Adrenaline Rush (@TraveIbIog) March 1, 2020
Robertsson told Thrillist that he was inspired to create these minimalist “5-million star hotels” while helping to provide custom tours to tourists seeking to maximize their exposure to the aurora borealis.
“It actually all started while I was helping travelers … designing their northern lights trips here in Iceland,” said Robertsson. “One evening I got a call from one of my customers who was participating in one of the traditional northern lights tours. They had driven to a mountain, as they often do, and they had been waiting and waiting out in the freezing cold weather.
“The customers asked me on the phone, with a somewhat freezing voice, ‘Robert, Robert this is so crazy. I’m freezing to dead here. (He probably did not wear good outdoor clothes.) Don’t you know of some hotel around here where I can just lay in my warm bed and have a glass roof so I can watch the northern lights’?”
Are you visiting Iceland this year?
Spend a night under the northern lights in this amazing Bubble Hotel in Iceland!https://t.co/Um7inUS3hX#iceland #icelandtips #icelandtravel #prrequest #journourrequest #bloggers #travel #mystopover #visitreykjavik #reykjavikloves pic.twitter.com/ukRjDl6wAW
— bubbleiceland (@bubbleiceland) February 23, 2020
Luckily, Robertsson’s bubble accommodations are also well-heated and located near a building with a shared bathroom and kitchen.
“This experience will take you out of your busy life and reconnect you to the nature and environment,” the company website explains. “Modern life is pushing you from next things and then again to the next thing – and you never really enjoy the stillness of a place.”
@bubbleiceland is nicknamed as the 5 million stars Hotel in #Iceland and we can see why !
Being nestled in a private globe and watching million stars from there must be amazing.
Plan your #LuxuryVacation with #PlatinumSignatureExperiences for the most unique Destinations.#Travel pic.twitter.com/KQGezkDghV
— PSExperiences (@PSExperiences1) March 19, 2020
“At our glamping location situated in a forest close to Reykholt on the Golden Circle you will get a moment to lay back, rethink and begin your new journey.”
So while we’re stuck at home juggling work tasks, chores, or simple time-killers, why not plan the glamping trip of a lifetime?
Aurora dancing at our South Coast location!https://t.co/46o2M0IrS6
— bubbleiceland (@bubbleiceland) March 24, 2020
South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash
What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?
It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.
The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.
The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.
“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”
The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.
Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.
Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.
Heat Wave Kills Over 1 BILLION Sea Creatures on Canada West Coast, Experts Say
Researchers in Canada are reporting that over 1 billion marine animals on Canada’s Pacific coast are likely to have died in last week’s record-shattering heat wave, showing how ecosystems not accustomed to such high temperatures are especially vulnerable to changing conditions.
The deadly “heat dome” that settled over British Columbia and the U.S. Pacific Northwest for five days is believed to have killed at least 500 people in Canada, and pushed temperatures to extreme temperatures of 104F (40C), sparking wildfires that are burning across the Canadian province.
Multiple experts are now saying that the heat wave also took a horrifying toll on marine life, leaving “postapocalyptic” scenes in its wake.
Marine biologist Christopher Harley of the University of British Columbia knew, when he saw the harrowing weather forecasts, that when the tide dropped the sweltering conditions would absolutely fry the mussels, barnacles and sea stars that were exposed.
When the heatwave actually struck, he was devastated by the stench of decay and the vast death toll sustained by the local ecosystem.
“The shore doesn’t usually crunch when you walk on it,” he told The Guardian. “But there were so many empty mussel shells lying everywhere that you just couldn’t avoid stepping on dead animals while walking around.”
Mussels and barnacles can typical deal with harsh temperatures as high as 113F for a few hours – but any more than that is simply not survivable.
Harley told the New York Times that the loss of mussels likely reaches into the hundreds of millions.
However, when factoring in the death of other marine animals that once lived on the shore and resided on the mussel beds – such as hermit crabs and their crustacean relatives, worms, sea cucumbers and other creatures – the number could quite easily exceed one billion.
“It just feels like one of those postapocalyptic movies,” Harley said.
Harley’s colleagues have also reported on dead sea anemones, rock fish and oysters in the region.
In neighboring Alberta, a massive number of fish also washed up on the shores, likely due to the heat wave.
Fortunately, mussels are able to regenerate over about two years. Starfish and clams, however, live for decades and reproduce much more slowly.
The domino effect of such a vast loss of marine life could be felt on other animals in the ecosystem such as sea ducks, a migratory bird that feeds on mussels in the winter before migrating to the Arctic.
The horrific loss shows that the pace of warming climate conditions is likely outstripping the ability of creatures simply to survive – a prospect that makes Harley feel saddened, but he is still trying to find hope.
“A lot of species are not going to be able to keep up with the pace of change,” he said. “Ecosystems are going to change in ways that are really difficult to predict. We don’t know where the tipping points are.”
“Eye of Fire” Blaze In Gulf of Mexico Literally Shows the Ocean Caught on Fire
A massive ring of fire exploded onto the surface of the Gulf of Mexico on Friday, creating apocalyptic imagery that enveloped social media with unbelievable imagery of the “eye of fire.”
The harrowing “fire in the sea” came following a gas leak in an underwater pipeline near a drilling platform that was owned by Mexican state-owned oil company PEMEX.
The blaze, which resembled a lava flow from a volcano took some five hours to fully contain, and was extinguished by 10:45 a.m., reports USA Today.
In footage from the scene, a hellish orange glow can be seen beneath the churning ocean as boats sprayed streams of water in hopes to put out the blaze.
One video, which seems to depict footage out of a disaster movie, has accumulated over 21 million views at the time of this writing.
User Dave Anthony said: “Never in your life forget the time humans caught the ocean on fire and then tried to put it out by spraying water on it.”
While journalist Christopher Bouzy tweeted: “I am not sure how spraying water on a fire that is literally in the ocean is going to help put it out. I need someone to make it make sense for me.”
Company workers resorted to using nitrogen to subdue the blaze.
Fortunately, there were no injuries resulting from the disaster – although it is too early to gauge the impact on the local environment.