Noni

You’ll be able to tell when some noni is in your fruit salad!

  • Noni is a species of exotic tropical fruit that is native to northern Australia, Southeast Asia,  and a number of the Pacific islands.
  • ‘Noni’ is also known as ‘Indian mulberry’, ‘hog apple’, ‘great morinda’, ‘koonjerung’, ‘canary wood’, ‘beach mulberry’, ‘tokoonja’ and ‘cheese fruit’.
  • The scientific name of the tree that produces noni is Morinda citrifolia and it is from the family Rubiaceae, the family of madder and coffee.
  • Noni skin changes from green, to a pale yellow, then a creamy white colour when ripe, and is made up of many polygon shapes; while the flesh is also similar in colour.
  • The irregular shape of the noni fruit ranges from 4 to 18 centimetres (1.6 to 7 inches) in length; and it contains many seeds, which can be roasted and eaten.
Noni, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Fruit, Culinary, Food, Vegetation, Ripe, Exotic
Noni
Image courtesy of Keith Roper/Flickr
  • Noni is edible both raw and cooked, often eaten with salt or cooked in curry, and it is commonly made into juice; while jams and pickles can also be made from the fruit.
  • Generally, noni emits a strong, undesirable smell, comparable to that of smelly cheese or even vomit; and the unripe fruit is commonly cooked as a vegetable.
  • Typically noni has a flavour resembling sour pineapple possibly with some sweetness, though it can be bitter and unpleasant; and the fruit has been historically used in times of famine.
  • Various illnesses including asthma, arthritis and cardiovascular issues have all be treated with noni, by using traditional medicine methods.
  • Noni has significant quantities of potassium and vitamin C, particularly in its juice, and has other vitamins and minerals.
Bibliography:
Morinda citrifolia, 2016, Australian Native Plants Society (Australia), http://anpsa.org.au/m-cit.html
Morinda citrifolia, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morinda_citrifolia
Morinda citrifolia – Noni: Life Sustaining Plant, 2016, Top Tropicals, https://toptropicals.com/html/toptropicals/plant_wk/noni.htm
Noni, 2016, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/noni

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Jackfruit

Jackfruits have a little bit of everything.

  • Jackfruits are a variety of bulky exotic fruit, most likely originating in the rainforests of southwestern parts of India, and later introduced to a number of tropical areas of southeast Asia.
  • The scientific name of the tree that produces jackfruit is Artocarpus heterophyllus and it is from the family Moraceae, the family of figs and mulberries.
  • Jackfruits’ are also known as ‘jakfruits’, ‘jack trees’, ‘jaka’, ‘jaca’, ‘jaks’, ‘jacks’ and ‘nangka’; and Bangladesh has named it its national fruit.
  • At dimensions of up to 91 centimetres (36 inch) by 50 centimetres (20 inches), and weighing 4.5 to 50 kilograms (10 to 110 pounds), jackfruits are known as the largest fruit produced by a tree.
  • Jackfruits are quite sweet and fruity, with a mixed taste of bananas, apples, and pineapples when ripe, and the taste is somewhat like meat when unripe and cooked.
Jackfruit, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Fruit, Vegetation, Hanging, Yellow, Exotic, Culinary, Food
Some Jackfruit
Image courtesy of Lee Wu/Flickr
  • From 100 to 500 individual jackfruits are produced annually by a single tree, and the ripe fruit tends to have an unpleasant odour, and releases latex sap when cut.
  • Jackfruits are a versatile fruit and can be eaten fresh or cooked; canned, dried or candied; used as a fruit or vegetable; added to dishes like curries; or made into jam, condiments, pickles, ice-cream, noodles, alcoholic beverages, and flour; while the seeds can be eaten like tree nuts.
  • Jackfruits have a yellow to green skin colour when ripe and are bumpy in texture; and the yellow flesh grows in segments, each containing a seed, while each fruit can contain from 100 to 500 seeds.
  • While in years past, India has been one of the top producers of jackfruit in the world, in many areas the fruit has gone to waste or has been underutilised, due to public perception; effort of preparation of the fruit due to the latex; and lack of demand.
  • Jackfruits consist of a wide variety of nutrients, and are high in vitamin C, magnesium, copper, potassium and manganese.
Bibliography:
Kuzoian A, We Tried Jackfruit — the Huge Tree Fruit that Supposedly Tastes Like Pulled Pork, 2015, Business Insider Australia, http://www.businessinsider.com.au/barbecue-jackfruit-pulled-pork-taco-taste-test-2015-9
Jackfruit, 1996, California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc, https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/jackfruit.html
Jackfruit, 2006, Northern Territory Government, http://www.nt.gov.au/d/Content/File/p/Fruit/FF7_jackfruit.pdf
Jackfruit, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackfruit
Jackfruit, n.d, Purdue University, https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jackfruit_ars.html/
Suchitra M, The Jackfruit Will Definitely Become the Most Sought-After Fruit in the Coming Years in India, 2015, Down to Earth, http://www.downtoearth.org.in/interviews/-the-jackfruit-will-definitely-become-the-most-sought-after-fruit-in-the-coming-years-in-india–50450

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Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg

Would you choose the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg for a night of accommodation?

  • The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is a mostly deserted salt mine found underneath Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth largest city.
  • The tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg are naturally patterned with colourful swirls and stripes.
  • The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg can be found at a depth of 200 metres (650 feet) below ground.
  • The walls and ceilings of the tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg have patterns mainly ranging from red, orange, yellow, cream and white in colour; and sometimes blue colours are also evident.
  • Generally the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is off-limits to the public; however a permit from the government can be obtained to gain access.
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Part of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg
Image assumed Public Domain/Retrieved from the Daily Mail
  • The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is risky to journey through, due to the potential of tunnels caving in and gas leaks from hydrogen sulphide, methane and carbon dioxide.
  • The tunnels of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg are large, some reaching greater than 6.4 kilometres (4 miles) in length.
  • The atmosphere of the Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is filled with immensely dry salty air, causing significant thirst for any visitors that may venture into its depths.
  • The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg is rich in the mineral of carnallite, containing magnesium and potassium, that is often used as an ingredient in plant fertiliser.
  • The Salt Mine of Yekaterinburg became more well known in 2014, after photographer Mikhail Mishainik revealed its beauty via his photographs.
Bibliography:
A Psychedelic Salt Mine in Yekaterinburg, 2014, Amusing Planet, http://www.amusingplanet.com/2014/06/a-psychedelic-salt-mine-in-yekaterinburg.html
Malm S, Inside the Psychedelic Salt Mine: Abandoned Russian Tunnels where Mind-Bending Patterns Naturally Cover Every Surface, 2014, Daily Mail Australia, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2552245/The-psychedelic-salt-Abandoned-Russian-tunnels-mind-bending-patterns-naturally-cover-surface.html
Psychedelic Salt Mines of Yekaterinburg, 2014, Weird Russia, http://weirdrussia.com/2014/06/20/psychedelic-salt-mines-of-yekaterinburg/

 

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Salak

The salak will surely snake its way into your fruit basket.

  • Salaks are a species of exotic fruit with over 30 varieties, and is native to Indonesia in Southeast Asia.
  • ‘Salak’ is also known as ‘sala’, ‘snake fruit’, ‘yingan’, ‘salacca fruit’, and ‘snakeskin fruit’; and it grows on a specific type of palm tree.
  • The scientific name of the plant salaks grow on is Salacca zalacca and it is from the family Arecaceae, the family of palm trees.
  • Salaks are of a fig-like shape and are roughly 5 to 7 centimetres (2 to 2.7 inches) in length, and the fruit usually contains one to three seeds.
  • Salaks are a mixture of sweet, sour and acidic flavours, comparable to pineapples and apples, and is often quite juicy.
Salak, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Fruit, Food, Culinary, Brown, Cut, Open
Salak
Image courtesy of Jayson Emery/Flickr
  • The skin of salaks is a brown colour resembling snake skin, hence its alternate names; and the skin can have small spines.
  • Salak flesh is typically divided in three segments and is cream coloured with a texture that can be firm, spongy or crispy, or sometimes dry and crumbly.
  • Salaks typically bunch on the palm tree, towards the base of the trunk, in groups of ten to forty individual fruits.
  • It is traditional for salaks to be eaten fresh just as they are, or in fruit salad, but they can also be pickled, sugared, canned or made into wine.
  • Salaks are high in iron and are a good source of vitamin C, and they contain many other vitamins and minerals.
Bibliography:
Bali Salak, n.d, Fruitipedia, http://www.fruitipedia.com/bali_salak%20Salaca%20edulis.htm
Nuwer R, Meet the Salak, the Ubiquitous Indonesian Fruit You’ve Never Head Of, 2012, Smithsonian, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/meet-the-salak-the-ubiquitous-indonesian-fruit-youve-never-heard-of-115942678/?no-ist
Salak, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salak
Salak – An Exotic Indonesian Fruit, n.d, Blue Karma Resort, http://bluekarmaresort.com/salak-an-exotic-indonesian-fruit/

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Leopard Lily

Leopard lilies are on the prowl.

  • A leopard lily is a species of perennial flowering plant, native to China, Japan and India in central Asia.
  • ‘Leopard lilies’ are also known as ‘blackberry lilies’ and ‘leopard flowers’, and the plants have green sword-like leaves, that grow in a fan formation.
  • The scientific name of the leopard lily is Iris domestica and it is from the family Iridaceae, the family of irises, though it was formerly known as Belamcanda chinensis.
  • The height of a leopard lily plant can reach from 60 to 90 centimetres (2 to 3 feet) and a clump can spread out to 22 to 60 centimetres (0.75 to 2 feet) in diameter.
  • Leopard lilies have showy flowers that are coloured yellow, orange or red, or often a combination of those colours, and they have red or dark orange spots.
Leopard Lily, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Vegetation, Flower, Orange, Droop, Pretty, Green
Leopard Lily
Image courtesy of Odonata98/Flickr
  • The seeds that form after a leopard lily blooms, have the appearance of blackberries, as the glossy black seeds grow together in a cluster.
  • Leopard lilies grow best in conditions where there is full sun, and soil that is well drained.
  • Leopard lily plants grow from rhizomes, and these have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat asthma, malaria and swelling, among other health issues.
  • Leopard lilies bloom in the summer months, and the flowers are around 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter, with six petals.
  • Leopard lilies are commonly used for ornamental purposes in the garden, and the seed stems and flowers are sometimes used decoratively as dried or fresh cut flowers.
Bibliography:
Iris Domestica, 2014, Some Magnetic Island Plants, http://www.somemagneticislandplants.com.au/index.php/plants/518-iris-domestica
Iris Domestica, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_domestica
Iris Domestica, n.d, Missouri Botanical Garden, http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=b690

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Petronas Towers

They don’t get twins taller than the Petronas Towers.

  • The Petronas Towers are a set of two, very tall, identical skyscrapers found in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a design that resembles Islamic religious geometric patterns.
  • The ‘Petronas Towers’ are also called ‘Petronas Twin Towers’, and ‘Menara Berkembar Petronas’ and ‘Menara Patronas’ in Malay; and the towers were designed by architect César Pelli, an Argentine American.
  • At 451.9 metres (1483 feet) in height, the Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings on earth from 1996 to 2004, and as of 2015, they were still the tallest twin towers in the world.
  • The construction of the Petronas Towers began on 1 March 1993 after a year of planning, and the spires were added exactly three years later, in 1996, with the buildings being completed in 1998; and the towers were officially opened six years after construction, in August 1999, by Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s Prime Minister at the time.
  • Two different construction consortiums were contracted to build the Petronas Towers to meet set deadlines and therefore, budgets, with Tower 1 headed by the Hazama Corporation from Japan and Tower 2 by the Samsung C&T Corporation from South Korea.
Petronas Towers, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Skyskraper, Malaysia, Tall, Twin Towers, Night
The Petronas Towers
Image courtesy of Rusticus/Flickr
  • The two construction companies building the Petronas Towers, competed against each other to complete their tower the fastest, with Tower 2 becoming the first to be completed, and as a result, the first to become the tallest tower in the world.
  • The Petronas Towers feature a two-story skybridge that was constructed separately, that connects the twin towers at levels 41 and 42, and it is the most elevated of its kind on earth.
  • It is believed that when one of the Petronas Towers reached a substantial height, it was discovered that the tower had been built slanted 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) from the vertical, meaning all subsequent floors had to be built slanted inwards to remedy this.
  • The Petronas Towers cost a total of roughly 1.6 billion USD to construct; and each tower has 88 floors above ground and five below, and 40 lifts per tower.
  • During the foundation stage of construction of the Petronas Towers, 13,200 cubic metres (466,154 cubic feet) of concrete was poured in 54 hours, without a break, and up until that time, it was the largest concrete pour of its kind in Malaysia.
Bibliography:
About, 2015, Petronas Twin Towers, http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/about#history
Petronas Towers, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petronas_Towers
Petronas Twin Towers, 2016, Encyclopaedia Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/topic/Petronas-Twin-Towers

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