Paper Art [via Nina Reznick]

Calvin Nicholls has worked for 25 years to perfect his medium of choice: PAPER

To make the art, he starts by observing real-life animals and their movements.

He takes numerous sketches that he will later use as reference for his paper art.  He then cuts up thousands of tiny pieces of paper and pastes them together to form each animal.

It’s delicate work. He uses X-ACTO knives, scalpels, and scissors in the construction of his critters. His work has been featured in National Geographic, as well as numerous galleries and art shows all over the world.

Calvin’s Facebook page and website.

Bolivia Salt Flats [Via cacciatore]

These salt flats in Bolivia are a natural wonder that are not only awe-inspiring, but also seem to be the best place to play with perspective. With reflections that play tricks on the eye and constant bright sunshine, Salar de Uyuni is a veritable dreamland for the photographer with a sense of humor.

Below, find out what happens when you have the perfect backdrop, good props and a group of people who have really thought this whole salt-flats-photo-shoot thing through:

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Did the Mayans Fly Airplanes?

Another great mystery that has caused many researchers to scratch their heads, are a group of 1,000-year-old gold pendants which have been unearthed within the Mayan ruins. These pendants measure just 150mm x 125mm in dimension, but they resemble objects that look almost exactly like modern-day airplanes. Some people debate the possibilities that these pendants are actually supposed to be flying insects or animals, but others bring up evidence that seems to prove that this is not the case. Airplanes, you see, require a part called a “vertical stabilizer”, which all of these pendants happen to feature, yet not a single animal on earth possesses. The question that remains is, “Could these aircraft actually fly?”

Thanks to 3D printing, we have found out. A group of researchers a the Tongji University College of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, decided to test the feasibility of flying these aircraft, by utilizing a combination of 3D printing and laser cutting.

Read more

Almost Too Late [via David Angsten]

We don’t really think about it on a daily basis, but the Earth is still changing all the time. It just happens so slowly that we can’t really perceive it. But every now and then, things speed up… a lot.

Recently, the crew of the Maiken was enjoying a leisurely sail through the South Pacific when they spotted a strange discoloration on the water.
They moved in closer to inspect it, but by the time they realized what it was, it was too late. The crew of the Maiken was sailing the South Pacific when they spotted an unusual shadow.

 As they got closer, what they had taken to be a sandbar revealed itself to be something else entirely.

A huge amount of pumice stone was floating to the surface of the water. It looked like a beach.

 They decided to get a closer look and redirected their yacht towards it.

 It looks like a beach in the middle of the ocean!

The crew decided to sail through it, leaving a break in the stone behind them as they went.

They wondered what could have caused this expanse of stone to suddenly appear.

The field of pumice was getting even larger as they passed through it. The crew had an uneasy feeling and upped their speed.
Once they were a safe distance away, they heard a faint rumbling. Looking back they saw water bubbling from the surface.

The source of the pumice stone was an underwater volcano that was actually erupting at the time!

They anchored to watch this tremendous event. Massive plumes of smoke filled the sky.

As the smoke cleared, they noticed something strange just at the water’s surface…

 It was land!

The stunned crew couldn’t believe what they were seeing: It was the actual birth of a new island.
They sailed a little bit closer to see if their eyes were playing tricks on them.

 But it was real. The peaks of this new land mass were already taking form.

It was one of the rarest events imaginable.   They were so lucky! Not only because they were able to witness such an impossible sight… but also because they apparently very narrowly escaped with their lives!