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Offbeat Traveler: Odd hot air balloons

In 1783, a sheep, rooster and duck became the world's first hot air balloon passengers, sent up by brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier in Versailles, France. The world of hot air ballooning has come a long way since then. Nowadays, thousands of balloons -- most carrying people -- take flight each year at festivals worldwide. Paying homage to hot air ballooning's odd early years, here are unusual balloons from recent festivals around the world. -- Jason La, Los Angeles Times
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