As 2016 draws to a close, we're shining a spotlight on the top 25 most popular Inhabitots stories of the year. Your favorite posts of the past twelve months have included heartwarming human interest stories across the globe to a new version of the world map that will turn everything you learned about geography on its head. Design stories like making a bespoke LEGO minifigure head featuring your very own face, to bringing children's imaginary friends to life in grandiose tangible form are just a few of the topics that have resonated with you. Not to mention, a sound system for babies in utero that a mom-to-be can insert into her vagina. Click through our gallery for an entertaining and captivating walk down memory lane.
But first, our most popular story of 2016 garnered a whopping 2.6 million Facebook "likes" and highlighted the life-changing humanitarian work of Theresa Kachindamoto, the senior chief in the Dedza District of Central Malawi. Kachindamoto annulled over 850 child marriages and sent the girls back to school to receive an education. She is a true hero. Read more about her story here.
This new world perspective was wildly popular. The award-winning AuthaGraph World Map by Hajime Narukawa more accurately represents the distances between continents and displays the true size of countries and continents.
3. Dad & His Kids Spend a Year Painting Over 1,000 Rocks to Hide Them Around Town for a Massive Game of “I Spy”
Good, old-fashioned fun is still in style — as evidenced by how much the story of a dad painting rocks with his children, and hiding them around the city for others to find resonated with readers.
4. Baltimore Elementary School Deals with Conflict by Sending Kids to the Mindful Moment Room Instead of the Principal’s Office
Three cheers for progress and change! We all loved the idea of sending school children to the “Mindful Moment” room to reflect on their behavior in a calming environment, instead of punishing them by sending them to the principal’s office.
You were as enchanted as we were by this DIY project by 14 year-old Ellie Yeater of Williamstown, WV. The teen spent her summer renovating a retro camper, transforming it into an enviable glamper.
Before tragically losing his battle with cancer, 17 year-old Nick Konkler used the time he had left on earth to invent an ingenious ‘lily pad’ seat that attaches to the bottom of an IV pole so sick children may more easily navigate hospital hallways.
This story received major “buzz.” 11 year-old Mikaila Ulmer scored one for herself and for countless honey bees when Whole Foods gave her a million dollar contract to sell her BeeSweet lemonade in their stores. Ulmer’s ultimate goal in addition to making her super unique recipe for lemonade is to save the honey bees.
In an effort to protect girls and secure a brighter future for them, the Tanzanian parliament passed a law making it illegal (and punishable by up to 30 years in prison) for a man to marry or impregnate a primary-school or second-school age girl.
Big props to this resourceful and talented mom who built and very cleverly decorated a tiny home for her family of four and their Great Dane!
10. Children’s Drawings of Their Imaginary Friends are Brought to Life at The V & A Museum of Childhood in London
Dreams came true in a tangible form when the V & A Museum of Childhood in London brought children’s drawings of their imaginary friends to fruition — in grandiose style.
11. Johnson & Johnson Must Pay $72 Million After Woman’s Death from Ovarian Cancer is Linked to Long Term Use of Their Baby Powder
In a grim warning to baby powder users, we reported that a Missouri state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer from using the company’s baby powder.
What could be more whimsical and amusing than a gigantic topiary frolicking feline popping up in various lush gardens across England?
Is there anything cardboard can’t become? One mom used the versatile material to fashion this wow-worthy, vibrant play kitchen for her tot.
We all momentarily revisited our childhood with one glance at this cuddly and endearing Falkor plush. Want.
Some of the best things come in small packages, as evidenced by the magical and majestic diminutive worlds nestled inside these ring boxes.
LEGO fan or not, who could resist having their very own 3D printed LEGO head to participate as a minifigure in endless worlds of tiny brick fun?
We were all transfixed by young, talented artist, Dušan Krtolica’s ability to draw wildlife with such attention to detail and accuracy.
File this under “What will they think of next?” Think of it like baby’s first boombox… that just happens to be located in your vagina.
19. Book Features the Story of Autistic 6 Year-Old Iris Grace, Who Paints Extraordinary Masterpieces to ‘Unlock Her Silent World’
At her young age, her art has already been compared to Monet — and now there’s a book that highlights the beautiful story behind Iris Grace’s paintings.
This story allowed us to witness the extraordinary things kids can accomplish when given freedom, independence, open-ended materials, and our good faith and confidence in their abilities.
Necessity is the mother of invention. One mom took that to heart when she created the Upsee Harness: an amazing innovation that gives disabled children the ability to walk in tandem with a parent.
We love dessert. We love playtime. Put the two together and you’ll see why this talented and funny Italian pastry chef won us over by creating miniature worlds by coupling tiny toys and sweet treats.
“Wow!” Was all we could muster while beholding these magical photographs that give us a glimpse into the gorgeous, storybook small world of insects — and a newfound appreciation for their delicate beauty.
Who else wants to skip the gym membership and kill two birds with one stone (so to speak) by pedaling this exercise bike to wash your family’s laundry?
Looking at all of these treehouses in all of their splendor across the world made us want to book a flight to go stay in the treetops with our feathered friends.