The purple paradise

Updated: Jul 19, 2020, 07:13 IST | Agencies |

A pair of South Korean islands is drawing attention after a Rs 25 crore facelift

An aerial view of the Purple Islands
An aerial view of the Purple Islands

Have you started making plans about where you would like to travel when the pandemic is a distant memory? You must add South Korea's Purple Islands to your itinerary.

A dog in a lavender field at Purple Islands. Pic/@sudarchoi, Instagram
A dog in a lavender field at Purple Islands. Pic/@sudarchoi, Instagram

As the name suggests, everything on the islands, including the rich flora and fauna, is purple in colour. Before 2015, the islands had just 120 residents. Most of them were over the age of 60. They had convenience stores and elementary schools nearby. In order to brighten the islands' prospects, the South Jeolla provincial government, as well as Sinan County, decided to roll out the purple-coloured theme.

Pics/@misspurplehk, Instagram
Pics/@misspurplehk, Instagram

They invested around R25 crore to attract visitors to the islands. Many residents from both the islands (previously known as Banwol Island and Parkji Island) were involved in the revitalisation project. They even started dressing in purple, in order to match theme.

Pic/@khy_0131, Instagram
Pic/@khy_0131, Instagram

Apart from growing 40,000 lavender plants, thousands of empress trees, as well as other purple plants, they also painted all residential buildings, roadside attractions and even roads purple. Walking and hiking trails were built around the islands to enable one to take in the scenic views.

Both the purple islands are connected by a large wooden bridge (purple in colour, of course). According to Sinan County officials, the revitalisation project has been successful, as the islands get about 5,000 visitors every weekend.

5,000
Number of tourists who visit the islands on weekends

Robot, the salesman

A convenience store in Japan will use a robot to test out retail automation

Pic/CGTN, Facebook
Pic/CGTN, Facebook

A Robot vaguely resembling a kangaroo will begin stacking sandwiches, drinks and ready-to-eat meals on shelves in August at FamilyMart, a Japanese convenience store chain. Its maker hopes that if the test goes well, it will lead to a wave of retail automation.

Susumu Tachi
Susumu Tachi

FamilyMart plans to use these robot workers, called Telexistence, at 20 stores in and around Tokyo by 2022. The idea was first proposed by professor Susumu Tachi, four decades ago.

Philandering during a pandemic

Representation picture
Representation picture

A new study found that couples might be self-sabotaging their relationships. Psychologists Kristina Coop Gordon and Erica A Mitchell, co-authored Infidelity in the Time of COVID-19. According to their paper, now more than ever before, couples are engaging in risqué, extramarital affairs through dating apps.

A pouty trout

Pics/@raff_nasir, Twitter
Pics/@raff_nasir, Twitter

A picture of a fish with luscious, human-like lips, reportedly caught in Malaysia, went viral on Twitter after a user uploaded it with the caption "her lips are hotter than mine." Users started comparing the critter's lips to celebrities who are known for their juicy lips. "Angelina Jolie is shaking," said one. The fish is a triggerfish, known to inhabit tropical seas around the globe.

Fly like a Kung Fu movie star would

If you are a fan of Wuxia films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or House of Flying Daggers, you've probably fantasised about soaring like their protagonists, fighting rivals and defying gravity. A tourist attraction in China's Fujian province lets fans do just that while wearing elaborate costumes, using elastic wires and harnesses.

Canon, Nikon, Epson: three sons not brands

Canon, Nikon, Epson: three sons not brands

A man from Belgaum, Ravi Hongal, decided to name his three sons after iconic camera brands—Canon, Nikon and Epson. This is not the first time Hongal has done something to honour his love for his profession. The photographer previously spent around R71 lakh on a villa shaped like a camera.

Can't hug a friend? Hug a tree instead

Representation pic
Representation pic

Israel's Nature and Parks Authority is asking people to hug trees to overcome the sense of detachment social distancing has caused. "We recommend to people around the world to go out to nature, take a deep breath, hug a tree, express your love and get love," said Orit Steinfeld, the marketing director.

The beatboxing monk

Pic/@yochanting, Instagram
Pic/@yochanting, Instagram

A Zen Buddhist monk has been getting a lot of attention because of his unique music, which combines beatboxing with Buddhist chants. Before being ordained as a monk in 2015, Yogetsu Akasaka travelled the world, making a living out of his beatboxing skills. After Akasaka followed in his father's footsteps and became a monk, the 37-year-old realised that he missed his music. He decided to blend his calling with his beatboxing talent.

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