Category: Science

The Good of the Hive: Artist Matthew Willey Travels the World to Paint 50,000 Bees 

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In an effort to raise awareness about the plight of the humble honey bee, New York-based artist Matt Willey founded the Good of the Hive Initiative, an ambitious project to personally paint 50,000 bees in murals around the world. The number itself isn’t arbitrary, it takes about that many bees to sustain a healthy beehive. So far Willey has completed 7 murals including a large piece at the Burt’s Bees headquarters, and he keeps meticulous notes about the number of bees in each piece which he shares on his website.

For more info you can read an interview with the artist at the Center for Humans and Nature website, and follow his progress on Instagram. And for more bee-centric murals, also check out London-based artist Louis Masai Michel’s similar Save the Bees project. (thnx, Laura!)

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Blue Rivers of Bioluminescent Shrimp Trickle Down Oceanside Rocks in Okayama, Japan 

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Photographed off the coast of Okayama, Japan, The Weeping Stones is a photo series by the creative duo Trevor Williams and Jonathan Galione of Tdub Photo that captures the eerie blue light emitted by a native species of bioluminescent shrimp. More commonly referred to as sea fireflies, these rare creatures live in the sand in shallow sea water, floating somewhere between the extremes of high and low tide. At just 3 mm in length the shrimp are extremely small light sources, but when grouped together they take on abstract patterns that light up the water around them.

In order to group such a large number of sea fireflies, or Vargula Hilgendorfiitogether Williams and Galione had to collect the creatures by luring them with raw bacon into jars and repositioning their tiny bodies on the rocks. Photographing and placing the bioluminescent shrimp next to the shore ensured that the photographers did not harm them, and allowed them to quickly return the animals back to the water below.

This fall, Tdub Photo hopes to shoot more bioluminescent images by focusing on glowing mushrooms. You can see an earlier project the duo created with bioluminescent shrimp on their website, and see more of their travels over on their Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel)

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A Purple Cuttlefish with Comically Giant Googly Eyes Spotted on the Ocean Floor 

Nope, it’s not a rare Pokemon or even a plastic toy. Behold the Rossia pacifica or stubby squid, an altogether ridiculous looking relative to the cuttlefish that was recently spotted by the E/V Nautilus off the coast of California at a depth of 900 meters (2,950 feet). Researchers in the video can be heard discussing how creature’s giant eyes almost look painted on, giving it the appearance of a discarded children’s toy. “This species spends life on the seafloor, activating a sticky mucus jacket and burrowing into the sediment to camouflage, leaving their eyes poking out to spot prey like shrimp and small fish,” says the Nautilus team in a Youtube comment. (via Gizmodo)

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Time-lapse Pairs Blooming Flowers with Crawling Insects 

Umwelt is a short film by Japanese artist Yoshiyuki Katayama that depicts an elegant series of flowers blooming in slow motion. Unlike other time-lapse videos we’ve seen in this genre, each flower is accompanied by an insect or spider that crawls across each flower at the precise moment it blooms. The timing is incredible considering the insects stay in view while the flower comes to life, there must be some sort of clever editing? Katayama also created a small website that gives a bit of information about each insect and flowering pairing. A vertically oriented version of Umwelt recently won 3rd prize at the 2nd Vertical Film Festival in Australia.

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New Camera Allows You to Zoom in to the Surface of the Moon. Way In. 

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In a great example of just how powerful consumer cameras have become, watch as this Nikon P900 zooms into the night sky, transporting you from a parking lot in Quebec to the surface of the moon. According to DL Cade at PetaPixel, the built-in optical zoom maxes out at 83x but the camera is capable of continuing with digital zoom. “The P900 features 166x ‘Dynamic Fine Zoom,’ putting the final equivalent focal length at a mind-numbing 4000mm.” I don’t even know that that means exactly but it sounds like a whole lotta zoom. Video by Daniel Pelletier. (via Sploid, PetaPixel)

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Aerial View of a Hawaiian Volcano Reveals a Giant Smiley Face 

Last week while flying above the Pu’u O’o crater in Hawaii, filmmaker Mick Kalber of Tropical Visions Video and pilot Colin Burkhardt were met with a cheerful surprise: the raging hot volcanic interior had cracked in the form of two lava eyes and a long crooked mouth. The once-in-a-lifetime view was caught on film and is one of many video clips Kalber frequently shares online and in his own volcano documentaries. (via Laughing Squid)

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