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In the news, Russia is most often referred to for its politics, its bots, and its supposed electoral manipulation. However, it is also a land of invention and stark beauty that sets itself apart from the rest of the world, for better or for worse.
With its unique culture, and a population of 144 million people, many of whom live in extreme conditions, Russian people have developed a unique sense of humor.
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Let's take a look at some remarkably odd but fascinating videos, images, and bits of news that came straight out of Mother Russia, and simply couldn't have come from anywhere else.
1. A normal Autumn's day in Russia
Autumn in Russia from r/ANormalDayInRussia
As Reddit user, Wess1 put it, "after this comes the Nuclear winter." You wouldn't get this site — the contrast of such natural beauty with the S-400 SAMs — almost anywhere else.
2. Russia's version of Banksy
AdBlock is real in Russia from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Banksy is known for his anti-advertisement sentiment. Russia's own version got right to the point by literally spraypainting an AdBlock sign onto a physical advertising board.
3. Coexisting with bears
Russian watch dog. from r/ANormalDayInRussia
As this incredibly calm guard dog shows, for many in Russia, co-existing with bears is just a normal part of life.
Just another day in Russia... from r/Unexpected
And how about a bear calmly riding shotgun on a motorbike? While it's certainly not something that's commonplace, it just couldn't have happened anywhere else.
4. Watch out for those wolves on the highway
Then there are the packs of wolves you have to watch out for on Russian highways — don't worry, the traffic officer manages to get in his car just in time.
5. A very clever Russian car prank
Russian car prank from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Seeing as there's so much snow in Russia, people can get pretty inventive with their pranks, as this person, using only a pair of shoes and some apple juice, shows here.
6. How did they not make the polar bear angry?
The Russian scientists want to know who wrote "T-34" (Soviet medium tank) on the side of a polar bear. from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Russian scientists were baffled when they found this polar bear with the letters "T-34", the name of a tank, spraypainted on its side. Whoever did this has some serious balls of steel.
7. In Russia, the snowball throws you
Speaking of balls, in 2016 in Siberia, a freakish snowstorm — even by Siberia's standards — hit the area. The result? Huge ice balls up to 1 meter wide.
8. The Russian cat smuggler
Fat cat from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Ever thought cats were a bit smug? Maybe cat owners are too, seeing as this one was showing off about his cat smuggling antics on social media when he was caught.
9. "It's time for your weekly tank practice, son!"
Shooting from tank with dad. from r/ANormalDayInRussia
We're pretty sure this wouldn't be allowed where we live.
10. Russia's version of Disneyland allows you to shoot guns
*Russian anthem starts playing from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Patriot Park is a theme park in Kubinka, Russia which has a military theme. The park, which officially opened in 2016, includes interactive exhibits that allow parkgoers to try out military equipment.
11. A touching tribute to lab mice
Lab mouse statue from r/ANormalDayInRussia
This statue in Russia pays tribute to all of the lab mice that have been used in experiments for the furthering of scientific progress.
12. Russians tested a jet engine train in the 1960s
Russians seriously considered using a jet engine-powered train as a form of public transport in the 60s. That's until they realized the ease with which any issue on the track would cause a catastrophic derailment.
13. The Russian version of the Tesla Cybertruck is already on the road
Somewhere in Russia from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Shortly after Elon Musk announced the Tesla Cybertruck to the world by smashing through its window with a steel ball, this incredible creation was caught on video in Russia.
14. The Russian batmobile
This impressive Russian Batmobile has a 500 hp engine, a body-mounted laser, and was sold for $850,000 at auction in Russia.
15. Incredible 4x4s going upriver
Russian Trucks are unstoppable. from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Nothing is stopping these 4x4s from getting upstream.
Ahh yes comrades from r/SovietMemes
This Russian version of Optimus Prime looks a lot more street smart than the original.
17. Virtually the best milk possible with Russia's VR cows
RusMoloko dairy farm near Moscow, in Russia, fits its cows with VR headsets. Impressively, the headsets were specifically made for dairy cows, so as to help them relax and produce more milk.
18. We all know that Lada is best
Lada is best from r/ANormalDayInRussia
Why change something that was just so right from the very beginning? Don't fix it if it ain't broke, right? Lada was always perfect.
Some countries are so unique they have a whole subreddit dedicated to that uniqueness. Russia is one such country. It's definitely earned that honor.