Thursday, December 29, 2011

26 Creative and Unusual Christmas Trees

Christmas Day is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ celebrated generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural holiday by millions of people around the world. But there is no Christmas without a Christmas day. Here is the collection of some of the most creative and innovative Christmas Trees from around the world.

Christmas Tree Dress
Festive and stylish dress for the holiday season.

Godzilla Christmas Tree
Memorable Christmas Tree designed to look like the famous giant monster. Back in the year 2000, this amazing Godzilla shaped Christmas Tree was displayed at the Aqua City Odaiba shopping mall in Tokyo, Japan.

Mobile Phones Christmas tree
A Christmas tree made of mobile phones stands on display in front of an electronic store in My Tho, Tien Giang province, Vietnam. The store is ringing in Christmas with the 15-foot tree made of more than 2,500 unusable mobiles. Store manager Nguyen Trai said "10 workers spent two weeks building the cellular Christmas tree".

X-Ray Christmas Tree
Nick Veasey scanned real Christmas tree using giant X-ray machine.

LEGO Christmas Tree
Christmas Tree in London was made out of 600,000 LEGO bricks.

Camera Christmas Tree
Modern Christmas Tree constructed out of cameras and camera lenses.

RAM Christmas Tree
Unusual Christmas Tree created out of computer memory sticks.

Cardboard Christmas Tree
Eco friendly Christmas tree made entirely out of recycled cardboard.

Bicycle Christmas Tree
Incredible Christmas tree made of painted bicycle wheels and parts.

Glass Tubes Christmas Tree
Beautiful Christmas tree in Italy was created out of glass tubes.

Hubcap Christmas Tree
Original Christmas tree created out of hundreds of wheel covers.

Emerald Christmas Tree
Christmas tree in Lithuania was made out of recycled plastic bottles.

Christmas Tree made of Books
Unique Christmas tree created out of 30 carved and shaped books.

Cthulhu Christmas Tree
Awesome Christmas Tree inspired by Cthulhu fictional character.

Golden Christmas Tree
Christmas tree created out of pure gold worth 1.95 million dollars.

Portal Christmas Tree
Fun and memorable Christmas tree inspired by Portal video game.

Merry Mirror
Stacked objects reflected in the mirror form unique Christmas Tree.

Upside Down Christmas Tree
The upside of this upside-down 7-foot pre-lit Christmas tree is that you’ll have more room for presents underneath! This strange tree was originally designed for specialty stores to display ornaments while using as little floor space as possible. It’s $600 and is currently sold out at Hammacher Schlemmer

Mountain Dew Christmas Tree
It’s probably too late for you to start doing this one: the awesome Mountain Dew Christmas Tree. It took about 3 months of soda drinking (approximately 400 cans of Mountain Dew) and 4 days of building.

Knitted Christmas Tree
If you’re into knitting and crafts, why not knit yourself a Christmas tree? Like this big one done by about 1,000 knitters at Eden Project

One of The World’s Most Expensive Christmas Tree
Last year, Singapore jeweler Soo Kee Jewellery created this Christmas tree with 21,798 diamonds totaling 913 carats and 3,762 crystal beads. The tree looked like (and was actually worth) a million bucks!

Pac-Man Christmas tree
This Pac-Man Christmas tree inspired in the most classic arcade game is on display in Madrid, Spain. It was made of colored LEDs and to make it even cooler, it was made in an animated version!

Nightmare Before Christmas Tree
Greg Horn (famed cover artist for Marvel, DC, etc.) crafted a Christmas tree, the likes of which only exist in the eggnog-fueled fever dreams of geeks and Nightmare Before Christmas fans. After seeing this, you're gonna want to just throw all your old holiday décor into the trash!... or not; but, you have to admit that it's pretty cool!

Underwater Christmas Tree
The divers of Manila’s Ocean Park installed a beautiful decorated underwater Christmas tree. They surprised their visitors by posing as Santa Claus and mermaids in front of the underwater evergreen, as part of the park’s Christmas show.

LED Christmas Tree
A 60ft LED Christmas ‘tree’ lighted Dublin’s skyline during the 2008 winter season. It weighted five tons and was made of 100,000 bulbs of different sizes. The elegant and energy-efficient installation was designed by Blachere Illumination. Blachere, a leading supplier in outdoor Christmas and decorative lighting, was responsible along the years for creating the famous light shows at the Eiffel Tower, the illumination on Champs Elysées, the Christmas lights of Monaco, St. Petersbourg and Toulouse. Their portfolio includes many other remarkable projects.

Chocolate Christmas Tree
Patrick Roger, meilleur ouvrier de France, created this year a ten-meter-high chocolate Christmas ‘tree’ to raise money for France’s annual Telethon. The artist and his team worked for one month on this awesome project that weighted four tons. The impressive ‘tree’ was accompanied by legendary Christmas figures such as Santa Claus and his reindeer, all made of delicious dark chocolate. Roger’s idea was to create a winter wonderland, which should please and intrigue both adults and children.

10 Most Rare flowers in the World

When spring is in full swing, there is no denying how beautiful the world looks. The trees get new leaves and with them come an array of colorful flowers. Here are the list of rare, endangered and in some cases extinct in the wild flowers. The reason most of these carry the title of rare, is because humans do not have the ability to work in perfect harmony with nature. Regardless of what drove them to become rarities, the following plants are far and few between, and having the opportunity to see one for yourself should be a celebrated occurrence.

10. Jade Vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys

The jade vine is a rare woody vine native to the tropical rainforests of the Philippines. It is a member of the pea and bean family and is closely related to kidney beans. The plant carries claw shaped flowers which grow from hanging trusses; they can reach up to three meters in length. The flower’s color can vary from blue green to mint green. The species has proven extremely difficult to propagate, and is considered an endangered species due to the destruction of its habitat and a decrease in natural pollinators.

9. Corpse Flower - Rafflesia arnoldii

This fascinating flower is found mainly in low lying tropical rainforests of Indonesia. This is one of the world’s rarest, most endangered and largest flowers and it can reach a total width of over a meter. The Rafflesia’s survival is totally dependent on a specific vine called the Tetrastigma vine. As the Rafflesia is a bodiless, stemless, leafless, rootless parasite, it requires the vine for nourishment and support. It is also a carrion plant, which means that it releases a pungent rotten flesh smell when in bloom to attract flies and carrion beetles to aid in pollination. Once in bloom, the flower will only last about a week before dying.

8. Gibraltar Campion - Silene tomentosa

This species of Campion is particularly rare and is only found on the high cliffs of Gibraltar. This plant was believed extinct by the entire scientific community outside Gibraltar in the 1980s but the Gibraltar botanical section knew there were a few specimens left. Sadly, by 1992 all traces of the plant had vanished and it was declared extinct. In 1994 a single specimen was discovered by a climber on the inaccessible cliffs and the species came back to life. It was propagated at the millennium seed bank and specimens are grown at The Almeda Gibraltar Botanic Gardens as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens in London.

7. Franklin Tree - Franklinia alatamaha

This tree is a part of the tea family but is the sole species in its genus and a very rare flowering plant. The tree is native to the Altamaha river valley in Georgia, but has been extinct in the wild since the early 19th century. In fact this beautiful tree is only known today because of the Bartram family, who were avid horticulturists and propagated the tree before its extinction in the wild. The plant, which has fragrant white blooms and leaves that turn into a bright red color in fall, is now a popular ornamental plant. All the examples of this tree today stem from one of the trees propagated by the Bartram’s.

6. Parrot’s Beak - Lotus berthelotii

This is a beautiful flower that has been classed as exceedingly rare since 1884. It is believed to be completely extinct in the wild, but a few individuals might have survived. This stunning plant is endemic to the Canary Islands and is believed to have originally been pollinated by sunbirds, which have long since become extinct in the Canary Islands. This could help to explain the scarcity of the plant. Experiments have been undertaken to find new pollinators for the flowers, in hopes that they can successfully be reintroduced to the Islands, but as of 2008, no fruit had been successfully produced. The Parrot’s beak is however cultivated in the horticulture trade, which can allow even you to own one!

5. Chocolate Cosmos - Cosmos atrosanguineus

This is a dark red to brown species of Cosmos, native to Mexico. Sadly it has been extinct in the wild for over a hundred years. The species survives today as a single non fertile clone, which was created in 1902 by vegetative propagation. The flowers which are produced by the plant are a rich deep red to brown color and grow to about 3-4 cm in diameter. The flowers have a lovely vanillin fragrance in the summer (also found in vanilla beans, some coffee beans and some cacao beans), which also makes it a wonderful ornamental plant.

4. Koki’o - Kokai cookei

This is an extremely rare tree, endemic to Hawaii. It was discovered in 1860, at which time only three specimens could be found. The tree proved difficult to propagate, and by 1950, after the last seedling died, it was deemed extinct. In 1970 a sole survivor was found, which was sadly destroyed in a fire in 1978. Luckily one of the branches of that last remaining tree was saved, and grafted into 23 trees that exist today, all of which are situated in various places in Hawaii. The Kokai is a small tree that grows to about 10-11 meters high. Their most striking feature has to be the hundreds of bright red flowers that mature trees produce annually. Sadly that is a rarity which few will be privileged to see.

3. Yellow and Purple Lady Slippers - Cypripedium calceolus

This is an extremely rare type of wild orchid found across Europe. Britain’s only example of this plant, which used to be more common and widespread, can be found on a golf course and has been under strict police protection since 1917. A single cutting can be sold for US$5000, which is shocking as the plant is very difficult to propagate. Its seeds bear no nourishment for the growing plant, so it lives in a symbiotic relationship with a specific type of fungus, which provides it with nourishment, until the adult leaves can produce enough nourishment for the plant, at which time the fungus will also live off it. There are many types of Lady slipper orchids, many of which are rare. This specific type, has dark purple to almost red brown tendrils with a bright yellow “slipper or moccasin.”

2. Ghost Orchid - Epipogium aphyllum

The Ghost orchid is a fascinating rare plant that was presumed extinct for almost 20 years, only recently did it rear its head again. The plant is so rare because it is basically impossible to propagate. It has no leaves, does not depend on photosynthesis and does not manufacture its own food. Like the Lady slipper, it needs a specific fungus in close contact with its root system, which feeds it. The Ghost orchid never grows leaves, and will therefore always depend on the fungus for its nourishment. The Ghost orchid can live underground for years, without showing any external signs and will only bloom when all conditions are optimum. This explains why some orchid enthusiasts search for years and years just to have a glimpse of this elusive flower.

1. Middlemist Red - Middlemist camellia

This is probably the rarest flowering plant in the world as there are only 2 known examples. One can be found in a garden in New Zealand and the other is situated in a greenhouse in Britain. The plant was originally brought to Britain from China by John Middlemist (after whom the plant was named) in 1804. It has since been completely wiped out in China. The plant in Britain remained barren for years and only started bearing flowers recently. The flowers are, contrary to its name, bright pink in color and look almost rose like. It is believed to be highly possible that more examples of this species has survived in people’s gardens, unbeknown to them, as it was once sold directly to the public by John Middlemist.