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Coconut Tree Grubs in Iquitos

Coconut Tree Grubs in Iquitos

In the heart of the Amazon jungle in Peru, locals harvest coconut tree grubs and sell them in the market skewered and charred over an open flame. These protein-rich grubs taste like crisp rolls of charred chicken skin if they are cooked properly. If not. they taste like pus bags filled with rotted digested wood. 960 1280

  

Hákarl in Iceland

Hákarl in Iceland

Really, the worst tasting foods are the fermented, spoiled ones like Hákarl. Made from the Greenland shark, the meat is poisonous when fresh, so in order to eat it, Icelanders let it spoil in the ground for months and then out in the elements for a few more to dry. It’s a revolting dish to many first timers; eating it without gagging is what separates the men from the boys. While the smell of the putrefied shark itself could make the faint-hearted ill, the taste is ultimately sweet, nutty and faintly fishy … if you like ammoniated wax. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Coral Worms in Samoa

Coral Worms in Samoa

Palolo are tiny, little worms that live in the coral reefs deep off the coast of Samoa in the trenches of the Pacific. They come out of the coral every few years when the atmospheric conditions are right and the locals scoop them off the surface and eat them plain, sautéed or as a spread on bread. It tastes like liver fermented in salt water, but that doesn’t do the bright blue color very much justice. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Fermented Skate in Korea

Fermented Skate in Korea

Both adored and despised in South Korea, fermented skate, or hongeo, has the distinct odor of hospital-floor cleaner mixed with glue solvent.  Mostly served “raw,” the pungent fish is seeing a resurgence in popularity. Be prepared to smell like an outhouse after leaving a restaurant that serves the delicacy -- it’s the price you pay, but it’s worth it. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Giant Sea Squirt in Santiago Chile

Giant Sea Squirt in Santiago Chile

Found off the coast of Chile, these giant sea squirts called pyura are the size of basketballs. They're sliced open with a serrated sword to reveal the little throbbing corpuscles that live inside the spongy, rock-like carapace. They taste of pure iodine dipped in fish oil, but with a squirt of lemon they are transformed into deliciousness. Culinary alchemy at its finest. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Horse-Rib-and-Rectum Sausage in Kazakhstan

Horse-Rib-and-Rectum Sausage in Kazakhstan

People in Kazakhstan eat every conceivable part of the horse, from the fat cap under the mane to the rectum. They don’t waste any part of the animal. One of the best things I tried at Almaty’s Green Bazaar was kazy, a horse sausage made from whole pieces of rib meat seasoned with garlic and salt, torn from the bone and stuffed into natural casings from the horse’s lowermost end, dried to cure and then smoked, resulting in a beautiful mix of meat and melt-in-your-mouth fat. Strange for some I guess, but delicious and very normal in Central Asia. 960 1280

Tito_Herrera  

Sea Cucumber in Alaska

Sea Cucumber in Alaska

The waters off of Sitka, AK, are ripe with exotic sea creatures such as octopus, sea cucumbers and abalone. Sea cucumber, when cooked correctly, is extraordinary. All it needs is a few minutes in a wok with a little soy sauce seasoning. The squishy creatures taste like lettuce-y sea vegetables with a bit of crunch, but mostly yielding a buttery texture. The trick is splitting them open, scraping the innards out, and then using a spatula to peel the “meat” off the rock-hard exoskeleton. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Tarantulas in Cambodia

Tarantulas in Cambodia

We are pre-conditioned in this country to think of tarantulas as scary and poisonous, belonging on Halloween decorations not dinner plates. But they taste great, reminding me of sweet and delicate crabs when they’re fresh. After digging them out of the ground, the tarantulas need to be defanged, washed and then scorched to remove the hair. In Cambodia, they’re deep fried, then wok sautéed with sugar, salt, chilies and garlic. They are superb when they're treated like lobster or crab, taken from their lair to the dinner table as quickly as possible. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Giraffe Weevils in Madagascar

Giraffe Weevils in Madagascar

Try these bugs blindfolded and you’d never know you were eating a beetle that looks like a Dr. Seuss creature. Sautéed in a bit of salty water and butter, they are tender morsels that taste like shrimp. This is the kind of bizarre food that would stop you in your tracks if placed in your hand. And they only live in this one place in the world. 960 1280

Andrew Zimmern  

Ensete in Ethiopia

Ensete in Ethiopia

Ensete is 1 of 2 species of vinifera in a special part of the “false banana” family. It’s also the name of the bread made with the pounded root ball of the same plant although it’s properly called kocho. The bread is made with a fermented paste of the root ball that’s buried underground for months to get its groove on. It’s treasured in Ethiopia as a super food, but it’s an acquired taste to say the least. 960 1280

  

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I Am a Rock

I Am a Rock

Alcatraz Island lies out in the bay a mile and a half off the San Francisco shoreline. For many years, that was enough to keep prisoners like Al Capone on the rock and tourists off it. More than an infamous lockup, Alcatraz was also the first U.S. fort on the West Coast and the site of a 19-month occupation by Native Americans to reclaim disused federal land. Now you can buy a Property of Alcatraz T-shirt and take a selfie in Machine Gun Kelley’s cell.  960 1280

ROBYN BECK  

Torch of Freedom

Torch of Freedom

Once upon a time, newcomers to America would huddle en masse under the gaze of the great green colossus on Liberty Island before entering the country. Times have changed, but the Statue of Liberty is still a go-to American symbol of freedom and inclusion. Employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the lofty lady of the harbor since 1933.  960 1280

  

Port of Entry

Port of Entry

From 1892 to 1954, some 12 million immigrants set upon a path to citizenship that led them to Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The Great Hall remained largely vacant until 1990 when it was reopened to the public as the country’s largest museum devoted to our history as an immigrant nation.  960 1280

  

Our House

Our House

You don’t have to win 270 Electoral College votes to get into the White House, you just have to ask your Congressman for a pass. Free, self-guided tours of the East Wing run five days a week and include permanent exhibits and a short film. Requests must be submitted at least 21 days in advance and sorry, you can’t use the bowling alley. 960 1280

  

Steel Rainbow Connection

Steel Rainbow Connection

Like a giant staple holding the country together at the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Gateway Arch is the nation’s tallest and most silvery monument and embodies Thomas Jefferson's vision of the westward expansion of the United States. Yes, you can go up in it.  960 1280

  

Kentucky Underground

Kentucky Underground

The Bluegrass State is famous for its coal mines, but Mammoth Cave National Park takes subterranean pride to new depths. Located in the Green River Valley, Mammoth Cave is the world’s largest known cave system, with more than 400 miles of explored chambers and labyrinths. To paraphrase an early guide, it is a grand and gloomy grotto.    960 1280

Zack Frank  

Private Islands

Private Islands

Head 70 miles away from Key West by boat or seaplane and you’ll come upon Dry Tortugas National Park, a 100-square-mile paradise composed of seven small islands and the majestic 19th-century Fort Jefferson. Yes, this tropical paradise belongs to you. Even more majestic are the eerie blue waters and jutting coral reefs that make for ideal snorkeling territory. Above water, you can enjoy the innumerable species of birds that inhabit the park, as well as the turtles for which it is named.   960 1280

Lorraine Boogich  

Take a Bath

Take a Bath

In the middle of Arkansas, the town of Hot Springs, well, sprang up around what is now Hot Springs National Park, an area known for thousands of years as the “Valley of the Vapors” for its medicinal steaming waters. Since 1921, it’s been a national park nicknamed "The American Spa.” Architecture buffs flock to Bathhouse Row to appreciate the collection of ornate, preserved bathhouses.  960 1280

  

Swamp People

Swamp People

Admit it, you’ve always wanted to wear gumboots and race an airboat through the Florida Everglades National Park. Spend your days deep in sawgrass, clocking manatee, dolphin and alligators. Watch in awe as a giant heron struggles to take flight in a mangrove swamp. Or maybe you just want to hang out at the historic Nike Hercules missile base. Whatever you want to do, you can do it in the Everglades.  960 1280

Terry J Alcorn  

Let's Go to the Mall

Let's Go to the Mall

The Great Emancipator sits in contemplation some 19 feet above you. It’s a sight every American should see in their lifetime. The Lincoln Memorial on the western end of the National Mall in Washington is, unsurprisingly, the most visited site in a space rich with monuments, museums and historical points of interest. It has also been the backdrop for historical events, most notably MLK’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech. For an added layer of historical context, visit the Memorial at night.  960 1280

ChangCheng  

American Virgin

American Virgin

No one needs an excuse to visit the Virgin Islands, but if one did, one could do worse than the Virgin Islands National Park. Comprising roughly 60% of the island of St. John, plus another 5,650 acres of submerged territory, the park protects and preserves countless species of tropical and migratory birds, fish and other marine and plant life. Who needs a yacht when you’ve got leatherback turtles?    960 1280

  

cheetah
Cheetah

Cheetah

Here are a few photos of some of the animals I saw in South Africa. This teenage, male cheetah is on the lookout for some dinner. If you're lucky, you may even be able to see them hunt. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus

I took this photo while this hippopotamus was charging the boat. The hippo is the most dangerous animal in Africa. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Warthog

Warthog

A member of the pig family, warthogs are spotted all over the African savannas, including the Serengeti. They live in ground burrows, where they are always ready to burst out. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Giraffe

Giraffe

These famous animals can grow up to 20 feet tall and weigh over 1 ton. Male giraffes use their necks as weapons. You can see an old battle scar on this giraffe’s neck. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Chacma Baboon

Chacma Baboon

Found throughout South Africa, this Chacma Baboon decided to hitch a ride with us. He stayed on the hood of the car for a mile or 2. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Zebra

Zebra

The stripes of a zebra are different for each animal, just like human fingerprints. These two were playfully fighting with one another. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Agama Lizard

Agama Lizard

This is a Southern Rock Agama, a colorful lizard you can find along the rocks off Cape Point. They eat insects, and can be found in many sizes, from 12.5 to 30 centimeters in length. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

African Penguin

African Penguin

Yes, there are penguins living in South Africa. The hotter these guys get, the pinker their eyes get. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Always thought of as scavengers, hyenas actually kill most of their food. Hyenas are nocturnal animals, and they've have an eerie-sounding howl. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Kudu

Kudu

A type of large antelope, male Kudus will fight each other with their long, spiral horns. Kudu is a popular dish served at many South African restaurants. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

African Elephant

African Elephant

It’s the largest land-based animal in the world. Males can weigh over 10,000 pounds. African elephants will sometimes knock over trees to release aggression. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Leatherback Turtle

Leatherback Turtle

That’s me, Matthew Karsten, taking a photo with a leatherback turtle, the largest turtle in the world. They can grow up to 6-7 feet long, and lay over 100 eggs on the beach usually at night. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Samango Monkey

Samango Monkey

I found this monkey watching us eating a picnic lunch along the beach at Cape Vidal. You have to watch out for them, or they'll run away with your food. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Black Rhinoceros

Black Rhinoceros

This particular type of rhinoceros is very rare. There are only 2000 to 3000 left in the world. They are poached for their horns, commonly used in Chinese medicine and in Middle-Eastern art. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

African Lion

African Lion

Males lions frequently fight with each other for hunting territory, which is how this guy lost an eye. When they’re not hunting, lions will sleep over 20 hours a day. 960 1280

Matthew Karsten  

Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, maldives, hotel, resort, luxury, asia, four seasons
Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru

One of two Four Seasons properties in the Maldives, Landaa Giraavaru occupies an entire 18-acre island, complete with pristine white sand beaches and traditional over water huts. 960 1280

Andrew Shiva [CC BY-SA 3.0 or Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons  

Filitheyo Island Resort

Filitheyo Island Resort

Located on the North Nilandhe Atoll, Filitheyo Island Resort offers over 100 villas, beautiful surroundings and pristine waters. 960 1280

GARDEL Bertrand/Getty Images  

W Retreat & Spa

W Retreat & Spa

Whether you're soaking in your oversize plunge pool or catching a glimpse of the Maldives’ famous yellow fin tuna through the glass-bottom floors, the W Retreat & Spa offers all the amenities you could ever ask for. 960 1280

DOELAN Yann/Getty Images  

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

As its name implies, the Taj Exotica offers its guests a day in Paradise. Set on over 50 acres, this award-winning private resort is the perfect place to catch your breath and escape from reality. 960 1280
Soneva Fushi

Soneva Fushi

Like a page out of Robinson Crusoe, Soneva Fushi is located on a no-shoes-required, remote island in the Maldives that is filled with intrigue, discovery and tropical excitement. 960 1280

Martin Westlake/Getty Images  

PER AQUUM Resort Niyama

PER AQUUM Resort Niyama

Just 40 minutes by seaplane from the capital city of Malé sits the PER AQUUM Resort Niyama, an overwater paradise fit not just for honeymooners, but for families too. Niyama also plays home to Subsix, the world's first underwater nightclub. 960 1280

Rubina A. Khan/Getty Images  

One&Only Reethi Rah

One&Only Reethi Rah

Located on one of the largest islands in the Maldives’s North Male Atoll, One&Only Reethi Rah has 130 private villas, some set on the Indian Ocean or a serene lagoon, and others secluded in lush jungle surroundings. 960 1280

DOELAN Yann/Getty Images  

Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Stay at the cozy Four Seasons' Maldives at Kuda Huraa, a relaxed island retreat, with over-the-lagoon bungalows and beachside, thatched-roof cottages. 960 1280

Marka/Getty Images  

Cocoa Island by COMO

Cocoa Island by COMO

Cocoa Island by COMO is composed of 33 thatched-roof bungalows that perch like tropical birds on the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. 960 1280
Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort

Olhuveli Beach & Spa Resort

Wanderlusters seeking paradise will be plenty pleased by this luxury resort in the Maldives, where powdery white sand gives way to astonishingly clear water and thatched-roof bungalows perch like tropical birds above the surf. 960 1280
Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit Thani Maldives

The Dusit Thani, a Thai luxury hotel, has expanded into the Maldives, so now you can get a big taste of Thailand amid the islands of the Indian Ocean. 960 1280
PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi

Just about everything is over the azure Indian Ocean waters at the PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi resort in the Maldives, save for a few beach bungalows and the windowed underwater LIME spa. 960 1280
Velassaru Maldives

Velassaru Maldives

Velassaru is on a private coral island, a 25-minute speedboat ride from the Maldive’s Malé airport. However, with 5 restaurants, 2 bars, a spa, and amazing amenities, you definitely won't be roughing it. 960 1280

shan.shihan/Getty Images  

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