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20 Unbelievable Eco-Vacation Rentals on Airbnb

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20 Unbelievable Eco-Vacation Rentals on Airbnb

Interested in tiny house living? Before you ditch your possessions and make the move, you can give the lifestyle a spin by renting a tiny house on Airbnb. Here are 20 of my favorites:

1. Silo Studio Cottage—Lee, Massachusetts

Photo credit: Airbnb

Located on the Santarella Estate in the Tyringham Valley, this former sculpting studio is surrounded by gardens, a pond, brooks and streams, a walking path and “storybook architecture.” Want to do more exploring? Check out the nearby Appalachian Trail.

2. Little Garden House—Normandy, France

Photo credit: Airbnb

Go really old school with this lovely garden house on a renovated medieval farm in upper Normandy.

3. Quiet & Cozy Tiny House on the Bay—Olympia, Washington

Photo credit: Airbnb

Hand-built by the host Brittany, this tiny home is nestled away in a lovely rural setting overlooking the Puget Sound, but is still just minutes away from downtown Olympia so you can take in some local culture as well.

4. Aroma(n)tica Treehouse—San Salvatore Monferrato, Italy

Photo credit: Airbnb

This peaceful treehouse has cozy accommodations, stunning views and the aroma of surrounding herb and flower gardens to boot. Described as a “suspended nest,” it’s a wine lover’s paradise surrounded by top-quality wine producers and imbued with enological history.

5. Bow Top Roma Wagon—Cornwall, England

Photo credit: Airbnb

Built for a Romany by a Romany and taken to the Appleby Horse Fair, this little wagon is the real deal. I’m thinking that sleeping in this beauty would lend itself to some pretty amazing dreams and the sense that you’ve just time-traveled to another dimension.

6. Writer’s Cabin—Stockholm, Sweden

Photo credit: Airbnb

Calling all wordsmiths: How does hiding away in a writer’s cabin in Stockholm sound? Pretty nice, eh?

7. Pyramid Cabin—Rio Negro, Argentina

Photo credit: Airbnb

This warm, simply beautiful, wooden cabin is just a short walk from town and a perfect way to get off of the tourist path.

8. Hale Moana—Maui, Hawaii

Photo credit: Airbnb

Located on Maui’s north shore, this little cabin comes complete with everything you’ll need for an island vacation, including surfboards, boogie boards, beach chairs, ocean views and fruit trees.

9. Tiny House—Porta Romana, Italy

Photo credit: Airbnb

In addition to being gorgeous, hip and fun, this tiny apartment is located inside a former city gate, one of the most important monuments in Porta Romana, with origins that trace back to the Roman walls of the city.

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10. A-Frame, Rustic, Off-Grid Cabin—Gasquet, California

Photo credit: Airbnb

Feeling rustic? Don’t mind roughing it a bit? Check out this hand-built, A-frame cabin in the heart of Six Rivers National Forest. Oh yeah, and there’s an outdoor kitchen, organic garden, wood-fired sauna and custom bodywork sessions available.

11. Charming Shotgun Cottage—New Orleans, Louisiana

Photo credit: Airbnb

Why not take in the Big Easy tiny-house style? This little cottage, which has been described as a dollhouse, is close to cultural hotspot Magazine Street and has convenient access to public transportation so you can move about the city with ease.

12. Retreat in Paradise—Canarias, Spain

Photo credit: Airbnb

The reviews do all the talking for this tiny house which features gardens, a meditation room and more: “If you want to refill yourself, this is a perfect place for you!”, “...a true piece of heaven on earth!” and so on. And all for $21 per night.

13. The Rustic Modern Tiny House—Portland, Oregon

Photo credit: Airbnb

It’s rustic, it’s modern, it has stairs and a sleeping loft, it was built by its hosts and it was featured on the TV show Tiny House Nation. According to previous guests, it’s a great way to have a rustic little getaway, in the middle of a hip, happening city.

14. Post and Beam Barn—Bethlehem, Connecticut

Photo credit: Airbnb

A barn that’s been lightly converted into sleeping quarters, this one is not ideal for the winter months, but it’s beautiful, peaceful and comes with wi-fi.

15. Hand-crafted Wagon with Heart—Seattle, Washington

Photo credit: Airbnb

Who doesn’t want to stay in a Roma-style, handcrafted wagon? It is absolutely adorable, full of made-with-love details, and provides great story material to take back home.

16. Treehouse—Chiang Mai, Thailand

Photo credit: Airbnb

Part of a yoga and meditation homestay facility, this treehouse is a way to really get away from it all. As one guest writes, it offers “falling asleep to the raucous sounds of crickets, tree frogs and waking up to birdsong and the smell of trees.” And it’s only a 10-minute drive from the town center.

17. Music City's Tiny (Guest) House—Nashville, Tennessee

Photo credit: Airbnb

Home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, the famous Bluebird Cafe, the Country Music Hall of Fame and lots more, Nashville, known as Music City, USA, simply oozes music. This tiny house bills itself as the city’s tiniest, fully-equipped guest house, with a full kitchen, a full bathroom, running water, heat, air conditioning and wi-fi.

18. Treehouse at Kilauea Volcano—Volcano, Hawaii

Photo credit: Airbnb

A treehouse, on a volcano, on Hawaii’s Big Island? Now that sounds like a great getaway. Expect: lava tubes, rainforests, a steep climb to your accommodations, a gorgeous treehouse designed by TV’s Treehouse Masters, lots of hiking, exploring, lots of flowers and birds.

19. Chinese Boat—Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong

Photo credit: Airbnb

A stunning structure made from teak wood, this little boat comes complete with views of the harbor, two cats and breakfast. So if being lulled to sleep by the sway of a boat sounds good, and Hong Kong is in your travel plans, this might be just the thing.

20. Cave House—Granada, Spain

Photo credit: Airbnb

In Granada, Spain, people have been inhabiting caves since ancient times. Now you can see what it feels like to stay in a place where you can feel “the embrace of the Earth.” Yes, they’re fully equipped, yes, they are pedestrian-friendly and close to public transit, and yes, the caves even have wi-fi!

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A net-casting ogre-faced spider. CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics / CC BY-SA 3.0

Just in time for Halloween, scientists at Cornell University have published some frightening research, especially if you're an insect!

The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.

"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."

The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.

They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.

They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.

But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.

"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.

What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.

It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.

To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.

First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.

Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.

University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.

"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."

Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.

Hoy agreed.

"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.

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