In this new 6-minute film, cave, adventure, and travel photographer Ryan Deboodt takes us on a breathtaking aerial tour of the world’s largest cave, Hang Son Doong, located in central Vietnam. Deboodt brought a drone and an array of cameras to help capture the cave system, the largest chamber of which is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) long, 200 meters (660 ft) high and 150 meters (490 ft) wide. Despite its enormity, the cave was only discovered in 1991 by a local man, and it wasn’t even studied by scientists until about five years ago. One of the most disorienting thing about watching Deboodt’s film was my brain not comprehending the scale of what I was looking at. It’s only once you notice the ant-like people walking through some of the shots that you realize just how massive this place is. You can see more of Deboodt’s cave photography on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)
Just a quick note that two of our favorite toys ever featured here on Colossal are now available in the Colossal Shop! Clemens Habicht’s amazing 1,000 Colors Puzzle just arrived from Australia, and Dan Abramson’s hilarious Yoga Joes have been successfully produced after a successful Kickstarter boost. We have tons of other quirky new things too numerous to mention, see more here.
Illustrator and street artist Diogo Machado (aka Add Fuel) transformed this plain looking electrical box on the streets of Lisbon into a surprising illusion by making it look like a cracked exterior is revealing a blue tile interior. The piece is an extension of Fuel’s ongoing Street Ceramic work, where modern interpretations of tile patterns are installed onto building facades. You can see more views of this piece on StreetArtNews.
Two new species of peacock spiders have been discovered in southeast Queensland, Australia—one appearing with vivid reds and blues while the other’s details exist in stark black and white. Peacock spiders, named after their bright patterns and dancelike courtship, measure in at just under 0.3 inches. Madeline Girard, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, discovered the two species while in the field, nicknaming the brightly colored spider “Sparklemuffin” and the other “Skeletorus” after its bonelike pattern.
Jürgen Otto, an entomologist who specializes in photographing the arachnids said Skeletorus, officially named Maratus sceletus, is completely different than any peacock spider previously discovered. “Despite the large number of species we have discovered just in the last few years, I can’t help feeling that we may have just scratched the surface of this most exciting group of spiders, and that nature has quite a few more surprises in store,” Otto told Live Science. You can read more in depth about these colorful arachnids in Live Science’s article here. (via My Modern Met)
For most of us, a sketchbook is a playground of ideas, random thoughts, and plenty of mistakes. For Milan-based artist Marco Mazzoni it’s a place where new artworks are born, realized to perfection from margin to margin. In his colored pencil drawings Mazzoni tends to focus on dense arrays of intertwined flora and fauna, as well as depictions of female herbalists from 16th—18th Century, Sardinia—portraits that can be viewed as equally beautiful or unsettling.
Driven by an obsession of how people record and recall memories, MCAD student Kirsten Camara designed the Analog Memory Desk, what could be the ultimate sketching surface. The desk has a built-in mechanism for scrolling 1,100 yards of butcher paper on rolls embedded in its legs, a sort of tablecloth of memory that records months or even years of random ideas, doodles, and coffee rings. The desk isn’t available for purchase, instead Camara released detailed blueprints through a Creative Commons license so you can build your own. (via Design Milk)
These animal-filled porcelain bowls were meticulously crafted by hand and designed by Hella Jongerius for a commission by Nymphenburg, a Bavarian porcelain manufacture since the mid-18th century. The series was produced as a celebration of the animal collection found in their archives, and incorporates 3D creatures within the simple glazed bowls.
The ceramics display animals that look as if they have been temporarily and calmly placed upon the delicate bowls—curious foxes, birds, and miniature hippos happily plopped into their fragile environments. The displays are also hand painted with floral decorative patterns originally found on Nymphenburg’s cups and saucers, adding subtle detail to the glossed ceramic works. (via Jongeriuslab)