Geometric Insects Navigate Sparse Flora in Pastel Illustrations by Hoàng Hoàng
April 5, 2020

Based in Ho Chi Minh City, graphic designer and illustrator Hoàng Hoàng merges science and art into a series of illustrations that mimic both insects in their natural habitats and those pinned in display cases for preservation. The Insect World Collection is comprised of varicolored stripes, semicircles, and other angular shapes that form multi-hued wings and rotund bodies. Set on pastel backgrounds, each arthropod features both Vietnamese and English translations of the insects’ common and scientific names. More Continue reading

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Get a Meteorite-Speckled Slab of the Moon’s Surface Made with NASA Data
March 28, 2020

Most of us will never get to touch the moon’s outer crust, but a new project by DeskSpace lets people pretend they’ve got a little portion of the crater-covered satellite sitting on their desks or hung up on their walls. Designed using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Lunar Surface is a square piece of portland concrete that’s natural bubbles form ridges and dips that mimic the divets caused by meteorites.
The astronomical project commemorates humans’ first steps on the moon. More Continue reading

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Elimination of Boat Traffic in Italy Attracts Wildlife and Creates Clear Water in the Canals
March 20, 2020

 
Articles and op-eds have been circling the internet during the last few weeks comparing the global response to the coronavirus outbreak to that of the climate crisis. Fast Company published an article outlining potential measures to slow environmental destruction that would be analogous to those being taken to stop the virus. A piece in the New York Times even explicitly ties the two crises together, speaking to the connections between air pollution and respiratory illness. More Continue reading

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Fantastical Video Imagines the Crystalized Intricacies of Mineral Deposits
March 16, 2020


In an enchanting new video titled “Waiting to Be Found,” Dan Hoopert dives into the details within Earth’s minerals. The United Kingdom-based designer highlights the sprawling crystallization process as it expands within each deposit and alters its colors. One piece even grows a sparkling mass off its left side.
Hoopert’s project is based on a 2019 article in Earth, which states that the International Mineralogical Association recognizes more than 5,000 distinct minerals, including well-known silicates and carbonates that are frequently found in masses around the world. More Continue reading

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A Hummingbird-Sized Dinosaur Skull Found Preserved in 99-Million-Year-Old Amber
March 12, 2020

Protected in a small piece of amber dating back 99 million years, an ancient skull is changing the timeline researchers have for when reptiles transitioned into the descendants of current-day birds. Found in Myanmar, the oculudentavis khaungraae had at least 23 sharp teeth on its upper jaw, which suggests that the dinosaur ate insects, according to an article published in Nature this week. Its eye was canonical with small pupils and resembles those of a modern lizard, while the edge of the socket indicates that it was well-equipped to see in bright light. More Continue reading

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Explore Curiosity’s New 1.8-Billion-Pixel Panorama of Mars
March 6, 2020


While many Americans were enjoying a few days off of work for the Thanksgiving holiday, Curiosity Mars Rover (previously) was busy taking more than 1,000 photographs of the Red Planet. Capturing the Glen Torridon region on the side of Mount Sharp, the rover shot enough images to create a composite that totals 1.8 billion pixels and provides its most expansive view to date of Mars’ landscape.
NASA released a video that points out the various landmarks and proves just how impressive the shot is, like the incredible detail that’s visible on a three-mile wide crater at least twenty miles away. More Continue reading

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An Almost Comically Diverse Parade of Wildlife Crosses a Log Bridge in Pennsylvania
March 3, 2020


A log in Pennsylvania has gotten a lot of foot—and talon and paw—traffic during the last year. In trail camera footage captured by photographer Robert Bush Sr., local wildlife is shown crossing the downed tree throughout 2018 and 2019. A black bear frequents the location, in addition to grouse, bobcats, deer, squirrels, and beavers, which all are caught scurrying over the log or wading through the water. Despite their regular visits, though, none of the species seem to run into each other. More Continue reading

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Frightening Animation Compares the Size of Asteroids in the Solar System to New York City
February 25, 2020


A new animation created by Alvaro Gracia Montoya of MetaBallStudio provides a terrifying look at the exceptional asteroids currently in the solar system. The video begins by comparing a human to one of the minor planets before revealing their enormity as the following asteroids quickly dwarf New York City in its entirety. 2008 TC3 is the smallest shown with a mean diameter of about 4.1 meters, while the largest is 1 Ceres, which has a mean diameter of about 939 kilometers. More Continue reading

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Anatomical Forms Emerge From Zippers, Quilted Fabric, and Felt by Élodie Antoine
February 14, 2020

Belgian artist Élodie Antoine understands the behavior of fibers, controlling them in ways to produce textile designs that are organic, fungal, and oftentimes anatomical in nature. Her anatomies emerge from taut lycra, dense felt structures, and an impressive number of zippers. The pieces are as much a reflection of the numerous tissue types in the human body as the textiles themselves. 
Antoine shares with Colossal her view on the connection between textiles and anatomy. More Continue reading

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People Are Knitting, Crocheting, and Weaving Tangible Records of Temperature Changes
February 11, 2020

In an effort to make the ongoing effects of climate change more visible, needleworkers around the globe are creating temperature blankets and scarves that track local weather patterns. Earlier this month, writer Josie George began an expansive Twitter thread about the project, motivating others to share their similar work. “I decided that this year, every day, I would knit a row on a scarf to mark the corresponding daily temperature/weather of my town,” George wrote in the original post. More Continue reading

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A Verdant Botanical Animation Takes a Macro View of Nature’s Cycles
February 4, 2020


Spanning from day to night and from sunshine to rain and wind, “Story of Flowers” shows the various stages of botanical growth and the help plants get along the way. The instructional project—which was illustrated by Katie Scott, animated by James Paulley, and directed by Azuma Makoto—depicts the interconnected networks within an ecosystem, like the organisms underground fertilizing the soil or a bumblebee landing atop and pollinating a pistil. More Continue reading

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Striped Eel Catfish Traverse the Ocean Floor as a Strategically Rotating Mass
January 24, 2020

For young striped eel catfish, there really is safety in numbers. A recent Instagram post shares a video by Marie-Laure Vergne of about one hundred juvenile fish moving across the bottom of the ocean. The Abyss Dive Center, a scuba diving school located in Amed, Bali, explains in the post that until the fish are fully grown and gain all of their deadly capabilities, they protect themselves by swimming in dense groups. More Continue reading

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Tiny Organisms Escape Life Under a Microscope in Oversized Puppets by Judith Hope
January 8, 2020

The familiar faces of friendly puppets like Kermit and Elmo are missing from Judith Hope’s enlarged microbe creations that magnify the world’s tiniest organisms. A brown bacteriophage, commonly known as a virus, features six moveable legs powered by a hand-operated device, while a pink tardigrade stands upright and sways side-to-side. Sometimes referred to as a “water bear,” the tardigrade imitates a resilient animal who can survive in extreme conditions and is usually only .02 inches long when fully grown. More Continue reading

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