Imaginary Currency Leaf Insects and Other Fictional Bugs Painted by Takumi Kama 

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To avoid becoming prey, leaf insects use mimicry to blend into their surroundings. But in Takumi Kama’s imagined future, when the insect’s natural environment has been completely destroyed, these masters of camouflage will have no choice but to move in with those who took away their home.

Animals and insects are no stranger in the work of Japanese painter Takumi Kama, who recreates them in acrylics with astonishing accuracy and realism. For a recent exhibition at BAMI gallery in Kyoto, Kama came up with 2 different, imaginary leaf insects that camouflage themselves in the city. One is the Hide-mushi, which gets its name from Hideo Noguchi, who appears on the 1000 yen bill (mushi means insect). The Hide-mushi camouflages itself amongst Japanese currency and feeds on paper, which can affect its color.

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Then there is the Comi-mushi, which camouflages itself amongst comic books and comic strips. It can often be spotted in bookstores, convenience stores but have also been known to come out on days when garbage trucks pick up paper for recycling.

Kama has painted these imaginary insects with such realism that it can be hard to tell if they’re 2 or 3-dimensional. But rest assured, no currency has been defaced in the name of art. Everything from the insects to the specimen boxes have been painted on canvas. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)

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Photographs of a Microburst Rising Over Phoenix Appear Just Like a Mushroom Cloud 

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Photos by Jerry Ferguson, with help of pilot Andrew Park.

While helicopter pilot Andrew Park was flying over Phoenix this week, photographer Jerry Ferguson captured what appears to be a giant foreboding mushroom cloud hanging over the city. In actuality the scene is a weather cluster called a “microburst,” a phenomenon that occurs when cooled air from a thunderstorm rushes to the ground and spreads over the land at speeds over 100 miles per hour causing a powerful and centralized air current.

Ferguson captured the sight while filming the weather for a local TV station. A timelapse video by Bryan Snider shows the same microburst from Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, the camera positioned at what looks like just a couple hundred feet from the center of the storm. (via Mashable)

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Surreal Views of the Marqueyssac Topiary Gardens Photographed by Philippe Jarrigeon 

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All photography by Philippe Jarrigeon for PIN–UP.

For the latest issues of PIN-UP, photographer Philippe Jarrigeon visited the Château de Marqueyssac in France to photograph the incredible topiary gardens found there. The area was first developed in the late 17th century by Bertrand Vernet de Marqueyssac, but truly began to take form in the 1860s when owner Julien de Cervel planted thousands of malleable boxwood trees which were carved into fantastic shapes. Today the sprawling gardens have over 150,000 trees cut into unusual geometric forms that can be explored by the public through 5 kilometers of walkable paths. You can see more photos by Jarrigeon over on PIN-UP. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

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Levitating Clouds Provide a Dreamlike Resting Place During the Festival des Architectures Vives 

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Images by Paul Kozlowski

The Festival des Arcitectures Vives in Montpellier, France grants access to the courtyards of private hotels and other buildings typically restricted to the general public, filling these outdoor areas with installations that reflect the architecture that surrounds the temporary artworks. For the 2016 festival, the French collaborative duo Michaël Martins Afonso and Caroline Escaffre-Faure brought architecture’s universal backdrop down to eye level, floating several large clouds throughout one of the selected courtyards.

The project, which they have titled “Head in the Clouds,” provides a relaxing dreamland away from the bustling city, inviting attendees to sit or stand within the fluffy orbs. Although the symbolism of the piece is direct, the installation does provide a meditative area for those to take a step back and think, dream, or scheme amongst the hovering works.

You can see more images from this installation and the rest of the festival on the Festival des Architectures Vives’ Instagram. (via Designboom)

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Candid Moments with Forest Creatures Photographed by Konsta Punkka 

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Crawling on the ground for hours at a time in the middle of winter at the mouth of a cave doesn’t sound like a particularly fun time, but for Finland-based photographer Konsta Punkka it’s a necessary sacrifice to get the perfect photograph … of a mouse. At the age of only 21, the budding wildlife photographer has proven himself wildly capable of capturing affectionate portraits at extremely close quarters of squirrels, birds, foxes, and other woodland animals.

“My main goal always is to try to capture the emotions and feelings my animals feel while I take the photos of them,” he shares with Colossal. “The animals health always comes first and then I get the shots if I can. All animal portraits that I have taken have been done with trust between me and animals. And with patience you earn the trust.”

Punkka has amassed a sizeable following on Instagram where he shares photographs from his travels around the world.

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Botanical Tattoos Inspired by Garden Walks by Pis Saro 

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All images via Pis Saro

Inspired by the botanical specimens she finds while walking through parks and gardens on her frequent travels, tattoo artist Pis Saro creates elegant plant portraits on the legs, arms, and spines of her international clients. Designed directly from nature, Saro’s works are nearly indistinguishable from the plants she sketches, often holding each side-by-side in the beautifully composed images she shares frequently on Instagram.

This year Saro’s tattoo work has taken her to Turkey, Lebanon, Germany, Holland, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. You can see more of her travels, inspirations, and sketches on her Instagram and Facebook. (via My Modern Met)

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