Tagged With bugs
You might not know this, but we're in the midst of an insect shape-studying renaissance. MicroCT technology — basically a lab version of the CAT scanners found at hospitals — is increasingly allowing scientists to produce detailed three-dimensional images without destroying samples. So naturally, if we're scanning everything, we might as well scan grasshopper genitalia mid-bang.
A popular approach to designing robots that can navigate a world built for living creatures is to simply copy Mother Nature's designs. But while trying to improve how a six-legged robot walks, researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne actually found a faster way for six-legged creatures to get around.
We ate some weird stuff in 2016. A person born in the year 1000 AD definitely wouldn't comprehend a Dorito. He certainly wouldn't understand why kids love the taste of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and if you showed him a Twinkie, he'd probably burn you at the stake. But the way things are headed, our food is bound to get a lot weirder.
Making robots act like humans is hard, but making robots act like insects is considerably easier. And if you've ever seen a towering ant hill, or a massive bee hive, you know that thousands of insects working together can accomplish impressive things. So why not have a bunch of tiny robots do the same?
Meet the Lichen Katydid, an insect that has such impressive camouflage skills that it can hide in plain sight when walking on a lichen (a plant-like composite organism of an alga and a fungus). The bug's body matches the wisps of the lichen so damn well that you're not even sure which part belongs to which.
The Xbox One S makes a great 4K set top box. It's a rare box capable of handling HDR, a part of the Ultra High Definition format that allows for better details in scenes of extreme brightness or darkness. But the HDR on the Xbox One S is currently experiencing some significant bugs that firmly drop the console from best in class.
Video: It's slightly uncomfortable to see a hornet climb out of its cocoon from this close of an angle, but there's also something really captivating about seeing it stretch out and discover its own body and surroundings for the first time. I imagine it must be like waking up with a massive hangover with no memory of what happened the night before.
Video: How many thousands of ants do you think are in this floating ant raft? I mean, the size of it is just ridiculous and there's more ants clumped up in balls on top of the raft too. Ants have been known to link their legs and mouths with each other to create these sort of ant rafts during flooding but this one is more like the size of an ant island. Apparently, they can survive for weeks just holding each other like this.
Video: Watching flowers bloom in a timelapse is always fun because they sprout up in this graceful, almost balletic way. Artist Yoshiyuki Katayama somehow managed to add bugs crawling to that dance of flowers which makes it even more lovely to see because it's like watching life happen at two different speeds all at the same time.
"8000 locust, 2000 crickets, 4000 cockroaches. See you tomorrow night," was the text Huck Magazine writer Michael Segalov received hours before activists unleashed those exact breeds and quantities of insects inside a Byron burger location in London. The bugs came from activists upset by some recent anti-immigration activities at the chain and their vengeance was swift.
Video: The butterfly is in a much heavier weight class compared to the ant. But when you have a bite like this ant, it doesn't even matter. Watch as the butterfly pokes its proboscis around until it irritates the ant enough for the ant to fight back by locking its jaws on the long, straw-like feeding tube of the butterfly.
Video: To test the sticking power of the glue used inside its Gokiburi Hoi Hoi roach traps, a Japanese pest control company called Earth Chemical created a human-sized version and then made a scientist, athlete and sumo wrestler attempt to get from one end of it to the other. They all failed miserably. But watching the three of them get painfully stuck might actually be harder than trying to get across this mess yourself.
Video: Meet the Drosera Capensis, also known as the Cape sundew. It's a deadly little thing that looks like some sort of alien finger trap, but it's actually a carnivorous plant with sticky tentacles that basically entomb bugs that come across its way. It's incredible to see how it traps the bug as if it were hugging it to paralyse it, and then folding vertically to trap it forever.
Video: Photographer Levon Biss takes such incredibly detailed pictures of insects (most smaller than 1cm) that he can blow up his insect portraits to nearly 3m in size. It's a treat to see him work. And there is just so much work involved in photographing each insect. He lights each specific section of the bug (antennas, eyes and so on) and photographs them individually so that every part will look its best. Because he uses a microscopic lens to capture the detail in each bug, he has to take thousands of photos to make up for its shallow depth of field. His final images are made up of 8000-10,000 photographs. Incredible.
Image Cache: Does it come as any surprise that a portrait photographer's hobby would still be photography? Given that Levon Biss didn't have room for an entire portrait studio at home, he turned to shooting insects in his spare time. But his macro setup and skills have resulted in some of the most spectacular insect portraits you'll ever see.