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30 Country Flags Reimagined As Anime Characters For 2020 Tokyo Olympics

By now, you’ve probably already heard that Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics. To celebrate this upcoming event, a handful of Japanese artists decided to team up and reimagine some of the participating countries as badass warriors.

The artists took inspiration from each countries’ flags and history while giving all of them a unique twist. From Japan itself to South Africa, check out the countries reimagined as anime warriors in the gallery below!

More info: | Twitter

#1 Philippines

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#2 Mexico

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#3 UK

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#4 Vietnam

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#5 South Korea

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#6 Japan

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#7 China

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#8 South Africa

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#9 Sweden

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#10 Malaysia

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#11 Italy

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#12 Finland

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#13 Canada

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#14 Belgium

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#15 Spain

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#16 France

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#17 Switzerland

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#18 Germany

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#19 Argentina

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#20 Norway

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#21 Singapore

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#22 Thailand

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#23 Brazil

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#24 India

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#25 Indonesia

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#26 Netherlands

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#27 Venesuela

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#28 Denmark

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#29 Russia

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#30 USA

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Continue reading 30 Country Flags Reimagined As Anime Characters For 2020 Tokyo Olympics


Photographer Shoots A Stunning Photograph That Took Ages To Plan

They say timing is everything in photography. Despite us being able to control many of the conditions for the ideal shot, the factors we can’t control are often the ones that give the shot its unique look, thus leading to the term “perfect timing”.

However, “perfect timing” also often entails “perfect planning” especially in professional photography. Sure, there is the occasional accidental perfectly timed shot, but many of the world’s best pictures are taken because a lot of care and planning went into it.

For example, take Joshua Cripps’ recent “Ring Of Fire” eclipse shot in the Dubai Desert which has been going viral ever since its posting some weeks ago. It is an absolutely spectacular photograph that required a precise time in a particular location under specific climate conditions, all according to Josh’s unique vision.

Bored Panda reached out to Joshua Cripps, the photographer behind the famous Ring of Fire eclipse photo, for an interview to explain how he pulled it off. Joshua Cripps is a former engineer who 12 years ago fell in love with photography and has been doing nature photoshoots ever since.

‘Perfect Timing’ often means ‘Perfect Planning’, which is definitely the case with the ‘Ring Of Fire’

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

A photograph of the solar eclipse in the Dubai Desert has recently been going viral. The man behind the photograph, Joshua Cripps, was going to a photography conference when he got a tip from a friend about an upcoming solar eclipse, which Cripps just couldn’t miss:

“To be honest, it happened almost by chance,” explained Cripps. “I was already planning a trip on board the Nomad Cruise—a conference at sea for digital nomads—which started in Athens and ended in Dubai in early December 2019.”

Cripps continued: “A friend of mine runs the PhotoPills app that helps photographers plan shots and so he always knows when and where the next eclipses, meteor showers, Milky Way, and all that stuff will be, so he told me, ‘You know, there’s going to be an annular eclipse right near Dubai the day after Christmas.’ It was then I decided to stick around in the United Arab Emirates to photograph the eclipse.”

The stunning photo of a farmer with his camel lit by the annual solar eclipse in Dubai is going viral

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

This is when the planning started. And, oh boy, was there a lot of it. Everything from the timing and positioning to the overall composition and organization of the models had to be meticulously planned to a T:

“The distance and elevation were driven by two separate things,” elaborated Cripps. “The 6.15 degree angle was dictated simply by the sun and moon position at the time of eclipse. From where I was standing when the eclipse was at maximum totality, it would be 6.15 degrees into the sky—the information I got from the PhotoPills app.”

“For the shooting distance, that was dictated entirely by my vision of the shot,” he continued. “I knew I wanted the eclipse to encircle the man and the camel. A man and a camel standing next to each other are a little less than 3 meters across. So I needed the sun to appear to be about 3 meters wide in the photo.”

Joshua Cripps, the man behind the photo, explains that it needed crazy amounts of planning

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Before you go asking the question of what kind of mathematical wizardry Cripps employed, he explained a basic mental-math method: “There’s a calculation for this called the rule of 100: take the size you want the sun to appear and multiply it by 100, and that gives you the shooting distance. So, to get a 3-meter sun, I needed to stand 300 meters (roughly 1,000 feet) away from the camel.”

Besides that, Cripps had to decide on the subject of the photograph. It had to be something representative of the sands, things like Arabian horses or oryxes. He eventually settled on a farmer with his camel.

Also, it didn’t help that Joshua had a very specific vision for the shot. The composition he sought for was to be a camel and a man standing on a sand dune encircled by the eclipse. The man and camel had to turn out as silhouettes, all the while still reflecting a little bit of flare around the outlines.

The timing, positioning, angles, composition & models had to be carefully planned to a T

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

We asked Cripps why this specific location of all places? He said this: “The idea to head out into the desert specifically was driven by the eclipse itself. Even though the path of totality went through several countries, there were several reasons why it was shot in the Dubai Desert.”

He continued: “First, the eclipse would happen just after sunrise, so the sun’s angle during the eclipse would be low in the sky. Meaning it would be easier to put something into the frame with the eclipse. Shooting it somewhere like Indonesia would mean the sun would be about 66° up into the sky during the eclipse. Very tough to put something in the frame when you’re shooting up at such a steep angle!”

“Second, dry weather. Shooting in the desert meant a better chance for clear skies than shooting somewhere tropical like the Philippines.”

“Last, interesting subjects. After doing a bit of research, I came up with a list of things I thought would make for a striking subject—something that is both representative of the region as well as something that would look aesthetic in the photo. That list included mosques, Bedouins, sand dunes, and animals.”

After weeks of planning, Cripps had ~23 minutes to take the perfect shot & made over 130 attempts

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Pulling this off was a challenging feat, for a lack of better words. The most challenging, however, was the planning itself: “The planning part was by far the most challenging—specifically for a photo like this, the trick was measuring the distance and angle between me and the camel. My measurement of the height of the dune where I put the camel had about a 10% uncertainty, and in fact the dune was taller than I calculated.”

He continued: “This meant the moment of totality wasn’t visible behind the camel from my location. Normally, you can easily fix this by backing up a little bit but in this case, it wasn’t possible because of a geometry issue with another dune behind the camel. So, yeah, I’d say the planning is the hardest. Either that or the anticipation of waiting to see if I made the plan correctly or if I screwed everything up.”

Cripps also had to wait several weeks for the eclipse, which he used for planning

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Lastly, there’s the technical aspect. After all, using a phone camera would certainly render different results, especially if the eye of the beholder is also the eye of the photographer. Here are the specs of Cripp’s shot as stated by Nikon USA:

“Nikon Z 7 in DX crop mode, with the AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens attached using the Mount Adapter FTZ. Focal length at 500mm (750mm equivalent in DX mode), f/8, 1/100 second, ISO 200, manual exposure, Matrix metering. A 10-stop ND (neutral density) filter was on the lens. Final image was cropped square on the computer.”

You can imagine the amount of shuffling needed to get the perfect alignment, as seen by the footprints

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Finally, we asked Cripps if he could share some of his plans for future shots. He had this to say: “I love shooting the full moon, and I try to do that every month using the same process: figure out something cool to put the moon behind and create a plan to pull it off. So I’ll be shooting that all year. There’s another annular solar eclipse in June which I’m thinking about, although the timing isn’t great for me for other reasons. And lastly, there’s a total solar eclipse in South America in December which I’m planning to shoot. But the idea I have for that one, well, that’s my little secret.” Definitely something to look forward to!

It’s always a better idea to explain your vision in a sand drawing…

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

The eclipse wasn’t the only thing he took photos of, so here are some desert shots for you to enjoy…

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

Image credits: Joshua Cripps

What are some of your perfectly timed moments in photography? Let us know in the comments below!

Continue reading Photographer Shoots A Stunning Photograph That Took Ages To Plan

30 Photos Showing How Terrifying The Recent Volcanic Eruption In The Philippines Looks

Looks like Mother Nature has been truly relentless in recent months. As if the Australian bushfires weren’t enough, the Philippines have also been hit by a natural disaster. On the 12th of January, the Taal Volcano, located on the island of Luzon, erupted, launching a cloud of ash and steam miles into the air. This prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to escalate the Alert Level from 2 to 4.

The towns of Balete, San Nicolas and Talisay in Batangas, as well as smaller towns on the shores of Taal Lake, were evacuated in fears of an explosive eruption that might occur within days. A recently issued situation report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that around 459,300 people are within the 14 km danger zone.

Words can hardly describe what Filipinos are currently going through, however, people managed to capture some terrifying photos of the recently erupted Taal volcano – check them out below.


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Continue reading 30 Photos Showing How Terrifying The Recent Volcanic Eruption In The Philippines Looks

25 Amazing People’s Choice Photos From The Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Contest 2019

Back in the middle of October, Yongqing Bao was announced the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) for his amazing photograph of a Tibetan fox engaging with a Himalayan marmot, titled “The Moment”. And now, almost two months later, The Natural History Museum has chosen 25 more incredible wildlife photos from the WPY 2019 shortlist for the LUMIX People’s Choice award.

As before, the photos showcase the complex relationships between both humans, and the animals themselves. And, clearly, no animal is too big or too small for these photographers – they’ve captured all sorts of animals, ranging from tiny mice to giant humpback whales. See the incredible photos in the gallery below and don’t forget to cast your own vote – you can do so hereuntil Tuesday, February 4th, 2020.

#1 “The Surrogate Mother”, Martin Buzora, Canada

Image source: Martin Buzora

Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild.

#2 “Station Squabble”, Sam Rowley, UK

Image source: Sam Rowley

Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways.

#3 “Winter’s Tale”, Valeriy Maleev, Russia

Image source: Valeriy Maleev

Valeriy encountered this Pallas’s cat while it was out hunting in the Mongolian grasslands – it was -42°C (-44°F) on that frosty day, but the fairy tale scene cancelled out the cold. Pallas’s cats are no bigger than a domestic cat and they stalk small rodents, birds and occasionally insects.

#4 “Mother Knows Best”, Marion Vollborn, Germany

Image source: Marion Vollborn

While on a bear watching trip to the Nakina River in British Columbia, Canada Marion spotted a grizzly bear and her young cub approach a tree. The mother bear started to rub against the tree trunk and was followed shortly by the cub, imitating its mother.

#5 “Tender Play”, Steve Levi, USA

Image source: Steve Levi

It was early March and Steve spotted this mother polar bear and her two cubs after 10 days of looking. They had recently left their birthing den in Wapusk National Park, Canada, to begin the long journey to the sea ice so their mother could feed. After a nap the cubs were in a playful mood.

#6 “Trustful”, Ingo Arndt, Germany

Image source: Ingo Arndt

For over two years Ingo has followed the pumas of Torres del Paine National Park, in Patagonia, Chile. This female was so used to his presence that one day she fell asleep nearby. On wakening, she glanced at him in a familiar way, and he was able to capture this portrait of a completely relaxed puma.

#7 “Inquisitive”, Audun Rikardsen, Norway

Image source: Audun Rikardsen

From a hide on the coast of northern Norway, it took Audun three years of planning to capture this majestic bird of prey in its coastal environment. After some time, the golden eagle became curious of the camera and seemed to like being in the spotlight.

#8 “What A Poser”, Clement Mwangi, Kenya

Image source: Clement Mwangi

In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Clement spent time observing this beautiful leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. Clement is mindful to remember to take pleasure in life’s simple moments – being all too aware that sometimes, as a wildlife photographer, you can miss the exceptional while looking for the unusual.

#9 “The Unwelcome Visitor”, Salvador Colvée Nebot, Spain

Image source: Salvador Colvée Nebot

Over several months, Salvador watched different species of bird use the dead flower spike of this agave in Valencia, Spain as a perch before descending to a small pond to drink. A pair of common kestrels were frequent visitors though each time they came magpies would hassle them.

#10 “Training Session”, Stefan Christmann, Germany

Image source: Stefan Christmann

When Stefan came across this penguin couple in Atka Bay, Antarctica, seemingly with an egg, he was surprised as it was too early in the season for egg-laying. Upon closer inspection he discovered the egg was a snowball! Perhaps the diligent couple were practicing egg transfer in preparation for when their real egg arrived. This is possibly the first time it has ever been witnessed and documented.

#11 “Teamwork”, Jake Davis, USA

Image source: Jake Davis

Jake was on a boat off the coast of Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada where he watched humpback whales bubble-net feeding. Here the lead whale dives to locate the fish, once the fish are located, the rest of the pod swim in decreasing circles while blowing bubbles which create a net, trapping the fish.

#12 “Matching Outfits”, Michel Zoghzoghi, Lebanon

Image source: Michel Zoghzoghi

Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched mesmerized as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own.

#13 “A Suitable Gift”, Marco Valentini, Italy

Image source: Marco Valentini

Marco was in Hortobágyi National Park, Hungary when he spotted these kestrels displaying typical courtship behaviour. Here the female has just received an offering of a young green lizard from her suitor and in this touching moment she tenderly took hold of his claw.

#14 “Spot The Reindeer”, Francis De Andres, Spain

Image source: Francis De Andres

The conditions for photographing at the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard are extreme, but wildlife has adapted to the environment and its freezing temperatures. Francis found this composition of white arctic reindeer, which were observing him, both curious and charming.

#15 “Dressed For Dawn”, Csaba Tökölyi, Hungary

Image source: Csaba Tökölyi

Csaba had been in a hide all night photographing nocturnal species and their activities, but as the golden light of dawn reflected on the surface of the water, an egret in wonderful breeding plumage stopped close by. The elongated scapular feathers covered the bird as if it was wearing a gown.

#16 “The Humpback Calf”, Wayne Osborn, Australia

Image source: Wayne Osborn

Wayne spotted this male humpback calf and its mother while diving off the Vava’u Island group in the Kingdom of Tonga. The calf kept a curious eye on Wayne as it twisted and turned before returning to its mother periodically to suckle. She was relaxed and motionless 20 metres (65 feet) below.

#17 “Family Get-Together”, Michael Schober, Austria

Image source: Michael Schober

Marmots have become accustomed to the presence of humans in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria and allow people to observe and photograph them at close range. This behaviour is beneficial for the marmots, as human company deters predators such as golden eagles.

#18 “Beak To Beak”, Claudio Contreras Koob, Mexico

Image source: Claudio Contreras Koob

Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in the state of Yucatán is home to Mexico’s largest flock of Caribbean flamingos. This chick is less than five days old – it will stay in its nest less than a week before it joins a crèche of other youngsters who wander around the colony searching for food.

#19 “Big Ears”, Valeriy Maleev, Russia

Image source: Valeriy Maleev

Valeriy was on a summer expedition to the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert when he happened upon a long-eared jerboa. As blood moves through the ears of these usually nocturnal animals, excess heat dissipates across the skin and so the jerboa is able to stay cool.

#20 “Captive”, Marcus Westberg, Sweden

Image source: Marcus Westberg

A giant panda sits in its cage in a breeding centre in Shaanxi, China. With a growing wild population and no realistic plan of how to breed and raise pandas for rerelease into the wild rather than a life in captivity – not to mention lack of habitat being the largest barrier to the continued spread of the wild population – it is unclear how such centres will benefit the species.

#21 “Ocean´s Signature”, Angel Fitor, Spain

Image source: Angel Fitor

Angel took this image in the waters off of Alicante, Spain. Immersed in a strong current, an otherwise slightly undulating salp chain twists and turns forming whimsical shapes. Salps move by contracting, which pumps water through their gelatinous bodies.

#22 “Bon Appétit”, Lucas Bustamante, Ecuador

Image source: Lucas Bustamante

Night hikes through the Ecuadorian jungle are one of Lucas’ favourite activities. With a keen interest in herpetology, he was overjoyed to spot this labiated rainfrog which are abundant in the region. It had just caught a baby tarantula and its comical expression said ‘caught in the act!’

#23 “A Pulsing Sea”, David Doubilet, USA

Image source: David Doubilet

A school of red tooth triggerfish form a cloud of silhouettes above a river of convict blennies flowing over the coral in Verde Island Passage, Philippines. The Passage, a strait that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world.

#24 “Meeting Place”, Yaz Loukhal, France

Image source: Yaz Loukhal

After a rough journey by sea to the remote Snow Hill Island off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, Yaz flew by helicopter and then trekked through thick snow to reach the emperor penguin colony. His efforts were rewarded with this incredible view of the whole colony.

#25 “Losing The Fight”, Aaron Gekoski, UK

Image source: Aaron Gekoski

Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok – and many other locations – for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue – twice a day, every day – with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more.

Continue reading 25 Amazing People’s Choice Photos From The Wildlife Photographer Of The Year Contest 2019

15 Restaurants That Take Dining To The Next Level

With all the fast food joints stacking on every corner, fine dining is becoming somewhat obsolete. But thanks to some innovative entrepreneurs there still are some corners left around the world where eating food is not just a quick pit stop for fuel, but is rather a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Bored Panda has compiled a list of 15 of these places, where food is taken extra seriously. From the mountain top dining to sharing a meal with giraffes, there are plenty of restaurants below that deserve a place on your bucket list.

h/t: boredpanda

#1 Dine In The Cave, Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Puglia, Italy


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#2 Perfect Location To View The Northern Lights – Northern Lights Bar In Ion Hotel, Iceland


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#3 Dine Surrounded By Stunning Mountain Setting, Aiguille Du Midi Restaurant 3842m, Chamonix, France


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#4 Share Breakfast With A Giraffe, Giraffe Manor, Langata, Kenya


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#5 Dine Five Metres Below The Surface, Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Alif Dhaal Atoll, Maldives


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#6 “A Place To Drink, A Place To Meet, A Place To Rest Your Hairy Feet.” The Green Dragon Pub In Hobbiton (New Zealand) Is A Perfect Place For A Real LOTR Fan


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#7 Dine Surrounded By Snow And Ice, The Snowcastle Of Kemi, Kemi, Finland


Image source: Kemin LumiLinna – The SnowCastle of Kemi

#8 Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant In Kenya Set In An Ancient Cave And Illuminated Entirely By Candlelight


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#9 Impressive Steampunk Design, Truth Coffee, Cape Town, South Africa


Image source: Shanna Jones

#10 Dine With Breathtaking Views Of Indian Ocean, The Rock, Michamvi Pingue, Zanzibar


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#11 Dine In The Water In This Amazing Restaurant In Bora Bora


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#12 Dinner In The Middle Of A Waterfall, Labassin Waterfall Restaurant, Villa Escudero Resort, Philippines


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#13 Enjoy Your Alien Coffee At This Bizarre Bar, Hr Giger Museum Bar, Gruyères, Switzerland


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#14 Dine While Watching Old Sci-fi Movie Clips Shown On The Big Screen, Sci-fi Dine-in Theater Restaurant, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, FL, USA


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#15 Your Meal Is Grilled Over A Volcano, El Diablo, Lanzarote, Spain


Image source: Mariola Gómez Encinas

Continue reading 15 Restaurants That Take Dining To The Next Level

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