Knight Frank, YouTube
Knight Frank, YouTube

Live Out Your James Bond Dreams on an $85 Million Private Island in the Bahamas

Knight Frank, YouTube
Knight Frank, YouTube

If you’ve got $85 million to spare, you don’t need to book a vacation to the Bahamas—just buy an island there. A private island called Little Pipe Cay is currently up for sale, as Travel + Leisure alerted us, and it’s a doozy.

Located 270 miles southeast of Miami, it comes complete with five different fully furnished houses with ocean views and private beaches. There are a total of nine bedrooms and nine bathrooms across each, and a village for operations staff to live in.

You can see the incredible aerial view in this flyover promo video from the real estate agency, Knight Frank.

For sea-loving types, there is a barn that is stocked with unspecified “boats and water sports equipment,” according to the listing, and “a number of suitable surrounding locations to moor a super yacht.” (Which is good, because the only way to get to the island other than by boat is by sea plane.) If the crystal-clear ocean doesn’t tempt you, it also has a swimming pool and spa.

The Exumas, an archipelago that contains 365 cays (low, sandy islands), according to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, is "a playground for the rich and famous, boasting numerous private homes, luxury resorts and beachside condos.” Locations in the archipelago have served as film sets for Pirates of the Caribbean movies, James Bond films, and an episode of The Bachelor.

Peruse the listing for yourself from Knight Frank, and prepare to feel some real estate envy.

An aerial view of a mansion on the beach on a private island

A view of the ocean from a covered porch

A swimming pool near the ocean

An aerial view of a beach with a sea plane parked offshore

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

All images courtesy Knight Frank

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What Happens When You Flush an Airplane Toilet?
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iStock

For millions of people, summer means an opportunity to hop on a plane and experience new and exciting sights, cultures, and food. It also means getting packed into a giant commercial aircraft and then wondering if you can make it to your next layover without submitting to the anxiety of using the onboard bathroom.

Roughly the size of an apartment pantry, these narrow facilities barely accommodate your outstretched knees; turbulence can make expelling waste a harrowing nightmare. Once you’ve successfully managed to complete the task and flush, what happens next?

Unlike our home toilets, planes can’t rely on water tanks to create passive suction to draw waste from the bowl. In addition to the expense of hauling hundreds of gallons of water, it’s impractical to leave standing water in an environment that shakes its contents like a snow globe. Originally, planes used an electronic pump system that moved waste along with a deodorizing liquid called Anotec. That method worked, but carrying the Anotec was undesirable for the same reasons as storing water: It raised fuel costs and added weight to the aircraft that could have been allocated for passengers. (Not surprisingly, airlines prefer to transport paying customers over blobs of poop.)

Beginning in the 1980s, planes used a pneumatic vacuum to suck liquids and solids down and away from the fixture. Once you hit the flush button, a valve at the bottom of the toilet opens, allowing the vacuum to siphon the contents out. (A nonstick coating similar to Teflon reduces the odds of any residue.) It travels to a storage tank near the back of the plane at high speeds, ready for ground crews to drain it once the airplane lands. The tank is then flushed out using a disinfectant.

If you’re also curious about timing your bathroom visit to avoid people waiting in line while you void, flight attendants say the best time to go is right after the captain turns off the seat belt sign and before drink service begins.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Don’t Fall For This Trick Used by Hotel Booking Sites
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iStock

Hotel booking sites can be useful tools when comparing prices, locations, and amenities, but some services use deceptive tactics to get you to click “book.”

A new report spotted by Travel + Leisure determined that those “one room left” alerts you sometimes see while perusing hotels can’t always be trusted. Led by the UK-based Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the eight-month investigation concluded that many sites use “pressure selling” to create a false sense of urgency in hopes that customers will book a room more quickly than usual. Similar notices about how many people are looking at a particular room or how long a deal will last are some of the other tactics travel booking websites employed.

The CMA also found that some discount claims had either expired or weren’t relevant to the customer’s search criteria, and hidden fees—like the much-maligned "resort fees"—are sometimes tacked on at the end of the booking process. (To be fair, many hotels are also guilty of this practice.)

The report didn’t drop any company names, but the consumer agency said it warned the sites that legal action would be taken if their concerns weren't addressed. The companies could be breaking consumer protection law, the CMA notes.

“Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them,” Andrea Coscelli, the CMA's chief executive, said in a statement. “Holidaymakers must feel sure they’re getting the deal they expected … It’s also important that no one feels pressured by misleading statements into making a booking.”

Still, booking sites remain a convenient option, so if you decide to use one, just take your time and be cognizant that some of the claims you're seeing may not be entirely truthful.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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