Beautiful Chemistry is a new collaboration between Tsinghua University Press and University of Science and Technology of China that seeks to make chemistry more accessible and interesting to the general public. Their first project was the creation of several short films that utilize a 4K UltraHD camera to capture a variety of striking chemical reactions without the usual clutter of test tubes, beakers or lab equipment. I definitely would have paid a bit more attention in chemistry class if we’d had the opportunity to watch some of these. Filmed and edited by Yan Liang.
Photographer Chris Morgan snapped these great macro shots of hummingbirds in 2011 at Bosque De Paz, a 3,000 acre privately-owned biological reserve in the middle of Costa Rica. The top photo is a Green-Crowned Brilliant, a bird that only grows to a length of 13cm and is not known for its ability to sit for portraits. You can see more of Morgan’s bird photos here. (via Lost at E Minor)
Created by University of Queensland PhD student Daniel Stoupin, this remarkable macro video of coral reefs, sponges and other underwater wildlife, brings a fragile and rarely-seen world into vivid focus. Stoupin shot some 150,000 photographs which he edited down to create the final clip. He shares about the endeavor:
Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness. I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behavior I realized that I have to take it one step at a time. For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef “landscapes.” The close-up patterns and colors of this type of fauna hardly resemble anything from the terrestrial environments. Corals become even less familiar if you consider their daily “activities.”
Stoupin discusses Slow Life as well as the threats to the Great Barrier Reef that inspired him to make the video in a detailed entry over on his blog. (via Kottke)
In her second experimental clip exploring the effect of sound waves on lycopodium powder, filmmaker Susie Sie just released this new promotional video for high-end audio system manufacturer Burkhardtsmaier. The super fine (and super flammable) powder made of clubmoss spores creates fascinating patterns and forms as it vibrates due to a subwoofer positioned just below the surface. If you liked this you’ll also like her previous short Cymatics.
We’ve seen all matter of snow and ice photography here on Colossal, as well as time-lapses of melting snow and snowdrawings, but this is the first video individual snowflakes forming I’ve ever come across. Created by filmmaker Vyacheslav Ivanov this microscopic short shows the intimate details of fragile snowflakes as they form in their miraculous hexagonal forms. Robert Gonzalez writing for iO9 gives us an idea of what we’re looking at:
The ice crystal(s) in snowflakes owe their six-fold rotational symmetry to the hydrogen bonds in water molecules. As water freezes, water molecules bound to other water molecules crystallize into a hexagonal structure, where each point on the hexagon is an oxygen atom and each side of the hexagon is a hydrogen bonded to an oxygen. As freezing continues, more water molecules are added to this microscopic six-sided structure, causing it to grow in size into the six-sided macroscopic structure that we recognize as snowflakes.
We have a line into Ivanov to see how he filmed this and will update as soon as we hear something. Music by Aphex Twin.
Like hairy aliens from another planet, these tiny spiders seem to stare with giant, all-knowing eyes into your very soul. Whether they possess otherworldly secrets or a desire to attack your face is open to interpretation. Regardless, photographer Jimmy Kong has done an incredible job capturing these intimate moments with diverse arthropods found in his native Malaysia. What you see here is just a taste of his macro work that also involves insects, reptiles and other creepy crawly things. See more on Flickr. (via the Colossal Flickr Pool)