The world’s most bizzare spa treatments

I’m not not usually a spa kind of girl. I like the occasional de-stressing massage, pore-clearing facial or special occasion mani-pedi, but mud baths, seaweed wraps, and caviar scrubs just aren’t for me. Neither are some of the bizarre and ridiculous spa treatments Forbes Traveler has rounded up from across the globe.

A few actually don’t sound that unusual. A wine and honey wrap is supposed to help you sweat out toxins, a goat yogurt facial will help clear your skin, and the cactus puree used in a massage will help reduce the appearance of cellulite. But a few others sound so off-the-wall you have to wonder who would be foolish enough to try them out.

A “cedar enzyme bath” may be a clever name, but really all you’re doing is sitting in a big tub full of sawdust. Why not save yourself a hundred bucks and head down to the gristmill? And, seriously – heated golf-ball massage? I highly doubt there are any magical healing properties contained in a set of microwaved balls.

Treatments involving animals seem equally wrong. I have a fish phobia so I wouldn’t climb into a pool and let hundreds of tiny fish nibble the dead skin off my toes. And can someone please explain to me exactly what the benefits of a “snake massage” are?

And then, for the most absurd of First World problems, there are holistic treatments. Feeling out of whack with the lunar cycle? Try a lunar treatment, which promises to help your body align with the moon. “Virtual dolphin therapy” is equally suspect. As clients watch images of dolphins on tv and listen to sonar sounds in their headphones, hey can hold a sound wave pillow for internal healing.

As the article points out “Now, though it’s considered a luxury in Japan, spreading dehydrated nightingale droppings on your cheeks doesn’t exactly scream ‘beneficial’, but geishas have been looking up at the skies for centuries, and spa owners have taken note.” Wait….so geishas have been looking up at the skies and …what…getting pooped on? No, I think I’ll skip that particular treatment, thank you very much.

I’ve no doubt that certain natural elements can help alleviate pain, relieve stress and improve skin, but that doesn’t mean that all such products should be incorporated into spa treatments. A little common sense should be used when drawing the line between beneficial and, well, birdshit.

Photo of the Day (3.5.09)

This picture, taken in Aruba by danner00 really caught my eye. I clicked on the large version of the picture and stared at the birds a while and marveled at how sharp he captured them. I’m still not sure what kind of birds they are, though. Anyone?

And are they considering a cactus landing? That can’t be comfortable.

Are you a Flickr user who’d like to share a travel related picture or two for our consideration? Submit it to Gadling’s Flickr group right now! We just might use it for our Photo of the Day!

The world’s craziest houses

They say that “home is where the heart is,” but I have to wonder when I look at the at the “Gravity-Defying Homes” gallery over at design site PointClickHome. Perhaps the expression is better written as “home is where the crazy is?” Point Click Home’s gallery features a slideshow of some of the most surreal and interesting houses from around the world, including strange structures in Russia, The Netherlands, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada, among others.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from this bunch. I think the Russian gangster house wins the award for the poorest planning – it’s probably because the owner was incarcerated before he was able to finish it (no joke). Meanwhile, the Dutch seem to be quite adept at building whimsical houses, offering an assortment of homes in the shape of cacti and cubes. And I have to hand it to the American houses – the “mushroom house” and “pod house” are certainly the most trippy.

While I can’t imagine these bizarre buildings are practical to live in, they certainly make for some great voyeurism. Check out the gallery below to see them all. And if you still haven’t gotten your fill, take a look at Justin’s post last year for some more examples.


[via Josh Spear]