How "Disgusting" Became Luxury

Bird droppings, snail slime, excreted coffee beans—there's no substance so vile that it can't be a must-have product. The Independent explores a world of very gross profits.

News of it has only just reached the West, but bird poo facials have been big in Japan for several years. It's not just any old bird poo: the pricey stuff is the excrement of nightingales from the island of Kyushu; it is said to have an enzyme that breaks down all the dead skin on the user's epidermis. Just ask Victoria Beckham, whose dewy complexion is reportedly down to the songbird's guano—dried, mixed with rice bran and faeces and applied as a face mask in selected high-end spas.

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Why Lil Dicky made this star-studded Earth Day music video

"Earth" features about 30 of the biggest names in entertainment.

Culture & Religion
  • Lil Dicky is a rapper and comedian who released his debut album in 2015.
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After death, you’re aware that you’ve died, say scientists

Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.

Credit: Petr Kratochvil. PublicDomainPictures.net.
Surprising Science

Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?

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Behold, the face of a Neolithic dog

He was a very good boy.

Image source: Historic Environment Scotland
Surprising Science
  • A forensic artist in Scotland has made a hyper realistic model of an ancient dog.
  • It was based on the skull of a dog dug up in Orkney, Scotland, which lived and died 4,000 years ago.
  • The model gives us a glimpse of some of the first dogs humans befriended.
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