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Sounds from Dangerous Places: Chernobyl

I've devoted many a post to the way the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone -- that 25km swath evacuated around the Ukrainian nuclear reactor that failed in 1986 -- looked. It's a wonderland of creepy decay, its buildings full of personal effects because the people who lived there were given so little time to evacuate. I've never thought about how the place might sound, though. Acoustic artist Peter Cusack went there to find out, and it turns out that it sounds amazing there -- like a lush Eden full of life. That's because it is: when the humans left town, the animals moved in. The Exclusion Zone has become one of the great animal habitats of Europe, and as far as anyone can tell, none of them have three heads. They are thriving, as Cusack's recordings "Chernobyl Dawn" and "Chernobyl Frogs" give testament to. You can listen to them here. They're really quite relaxing -- if a little eerie.

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What Koalas and Humans Have in Common
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There's something strange about koala fingerprints. Read more bizarre koala facts here.

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Don't Have Space For a Christmas Tree? Decorate a Pineapple Instead
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Christmas trees aren't for everyone. Some people can't fit a fir inside their cramped abodes, while others are turned off by the expense, or by the idea of bugs hitchhiking their way inside. Fake trees are always an option, but a new trend sweeping Instagram—pineapples as mini-Christmas "trees"—might convince you to forego the forest vibe for a more tropical aesthetic.

As Thrillist reports, the pineapple-as-Christmas-tree idea appears to have originated on Pinterest before it, uh, ripened into a social media sensation. Transforming a pineapple into a Halloween “pumpkin” requires carving and tea lights, but to make the fruit festive for Christmas all one needs are lights, ornaments, swaths of garland, and any other tiny tchotchkes that remind you of the holidays. The final result is a tabletop decoration that's equal parts Blue Hawaii and Miracle on 34th Street.

In need of some decorating inspiration? Check out a variety of “Christmas tree” pineapples below.

[h/t Thrillist]

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