Cats can truly make a statement with the way they look. Even cats you think that you know can surprise you. Solid-color cats, for instance, can develop marks when they grow up. Whether or not they've always got them, cats can sometimes come with markings you just have to see to believe.
Here is a list of adorable cats that will make you check your eyes with their unique look. Do not forget to check out our bonus that shows that cats can make their mark in more than one way!
Release the bat signal!
Animals can find many ways to say “I love you.”
If they ever remake Harry Potter with an all-feline cast, here is your star...
A goofy smile lightens everyone’s mood.
Within every cat beats the heart of a warrior...
Who says there is no such thing as dragons?
The raccoons are starting to suspect there is a spy among them.
If his tail is straight, it is an exclamation point. When he bends it, it is a lowercase “j.”
We’re number one! He’s number one...
Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolf?
Is it weird that his second pair of eyes look more like cat eyes than his other eyes?
With this sword at his side, this is the cat who should be king.
Cats love teaching the world about the continents.
The only thing classier than a mustache is a mustache with a cute, little goatee.
Time to flex those pecs!
The best way to teach kids about shapes is to get a cat.
Charlie Chaplin is going to make a comeback.
To think that most girls need eyeliner and mascara to look this good.
Is anybody else suddenly in the mood for a cookie?
This is not a sleeping panda; it’s a cat’s butt.
If Zorro ever needs a new sidekick, we’ve probably found one.
Here’s a cute, little Christmas tree you won’t have to decorate.
Whether you see “LOL” or “101,” cats have sure come a long way in the art of communication.
The dinosaurs aren’t all gone; some are just hiding...
You can make every day a black tie event with this cat. The Oasis Animal Sanctuary (@oasisanimalsanctuary) on Oct 27, 2015 at 10:52am PDT
Felines are just classier than the rest of us.
Here is a little kitten with another little kitten, right in the middle of his face...
鼻にもねっこがおるよ pic.twitter.com/tmUMqyT5bl— トウカイトリックbot (@TOKAITRICK_bot) July 19, 2017
Batcat isn't the hero we asked for, but he's the hero we need.August 25, 2017
The only time a soul patch works is when it is on a cat. Robin, goodboy cat (@robinlafsf) on Mar 23, 2014 at 2:53pm PDT
Who doesn’t want two cats for the price of one?August 29, 2017
Bonus: Eyebrow cat has such a wide array of emotions. Sam (@samhaseyebrows) on Dec 17, 2018 at 4:19am PST
Sam (@samhaseyebrows) on Nov 22, 2018 at 6:19am PST
Sam (@samhaseyebrows) on Aug 27, 2018 at 8:29am PDT
Sam (@samhaseyebrows) on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:27am PST
Preview photo credit ねこやん / Twitter
The American Dream has slowly but steadily turned into the American Nightmare; the notion that anyone, despite their wealth, race or class, can make it to the top has now become thoroughly discredited.
Wealthy parents cheating and bribing to ensure their children into elite schools is nothing new, as the upper classes have long since rigged the system in their favor to make sure that the door remains closed to everyone but their own, often mediocre offspring. However, while the concept of the one percent looking after themselves is well known, it’s not usually that a concrete, infuriatingly obvious example of the process occurring is made public.">
Finally, the college admissions scandal has shone a light onto this shadowy world of influence and coercion, and it may just open up a whole can of worms. The case involved “Fifty people, including Hollywood stars, top CEOs, college coaches, and test administrators, who allegedly took part in the scheme to cheat on tests and admit students to leading institutions as athletes, regardless of their abilities.”
This scandal has shaken the academic world in the United States, raising questions about whether “qualified students were denied entry to accommodate kids of the rich and famous.” Actresses Felicity Huffman and Lauri Loughlin have been implicated in the scheme, although it is unclear whether their kids were aware of it at the time. One of Loughlin’s daughters, influential Vlogger and social media star Olivia Jade, won't return to one of the Universities heavily involved in the scam, the University Of Southern California.
If that kind of bribery and blatant cheating happens in schools, it leads to the question: where else is corruption happening? Who knows what dirty secrets are hiding in the world of politics, high finance, and the weapons industry, for instance?
Writer Jaimie Leigh has recently written an eye-opening piece that further exposes the festering injustice which runs deep through American society. The post, which has already been shared more than 30k times, details her experience working for wealthy clients, writing papers and doctoring resumes ensuring that lazy, entitled rich children get the right ‘personal brand’ for Ivy league universities. Because once you've got the right credentials, parentage and connections, your actual talents and work ethic cease to matter. You’ve made it, and you can tell everyone that you're ‘self-made,’ while bright and hard-working people from less privileged backgrounds find the doors locked shut.
With elections on the horizon, these are precisely the kind of conversations that America needs to have, rather than the endless distractions over the personalities of individual politicians. The issue goes far beyond any individual; it's systematic and needs to be rooted out if the American Dream is ever going to become remotely achievable.
People had a lot to say about the post:
Even celebrities got in on the act:
Japan is hosting the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, and they have just revealed their design for the Olympics torch. Designed by Tokujin Yoshioka, the stunning rose gold beacon is made to resemble the most celebrated national flower of the country: the cherry blossom (or sakura).
Yoshioka incorporated the sakura motif into this design using a single sheet of aluminum metal. It is made using the same cutting-edge technology as the shinkansen bullet trains of the country. Yoshioka also pays homage to the heroic efforts of those that had to rebuild their lives after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011—approximately 30 percent of the 71cm-long, 1.2kg torch is made from recycled aluminum which was used for temporary housing units. Yoshioka revealed, “Cherry blossoms drawn by children in the disaster-hit area inspired me.”
On March 26, 2020, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay will start in Fukushima and be carried by roughly 80-90 runners for 121 days through the country’s rich landscape, before igniting the Olympic cauldron (which signifies the beginning of the games) at the opening ceremony. 10,000 torches in total will be produced for the event. As the committee reports, “The flame will burn brightly and forcefully through the wide variety of seasons, climatic conditions and geographical regions that make up the Japanese archipelago.”
16 historic works of art were removed from the Notre Dame Cathedral only four days before the fire that destroyed a large portion of the building, according to the Associated Press.
On April 11th, 2019, it was reported that “religious statues set atop Notre Dame Cathedral have come down for the first time in over a century as part of a restoration of the monumental Paris church’s towering spire. A 100-meter-high (105-yard) crane lowered the copper statues representing the 12 apostles and four evangelists onto a truck, giving the public a ground-level look for the first time on Thursday. The three-meter-tall statues are being sent to southwestern France for work that is part of a six-million-euro ($6.8 million) renovation project on the cathedral spire and its 250 tons of lead.”
When the fire occurred, the cathedral was in the middle of a renovation project estimated to cost at least $169 million or €150 million.
As reported by a New York Times article in 2017, Cathedral spokesperson André Finot said the building was in desperate need of repair.
According to Reuters, the works of art taken from the Notre Dame Cathedral during the evacuation are being transferred to the Louvre Museum.
A worker helps to remove the religious statue representing St. Andrew from the top of Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. Photo Credit: Francois Mori Associated Press
French Culture Minister Franck Riester said that members of the fire department, the ministry of culture, and the city townhall rushed into the Cathedral when the fire started and did their best to protect the historic works of art inside the cathedral. The historic artworks that were saved include French king Saint-Louis’s 13th-century tunic and Christ’s crown of thorns.
French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to rebuild the historic cathedral, and as the church burned, wealthy donors from around the globe started pledging their own money for the reconstruction. The donors have reportedly pledged approximately €600m or $677m so far.
“We’ll rebuild this cathedral all together, and it’s undoubtedly part of the French destiny and the project we’ll have for the coming years,” French President Emmanuel Macron said in a televised speech.
When the fire was fully put out, fire brigade spokesman Lt-Col Gabriel Plus told the BBC that the damage was bad, but would've been far worse had fire crews not arrived when they did.
The religious statue representing St. Paul is hoisted from the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Thursday, April 11, 2019. / Photo Credit: Francois Mori, Associated Press
However, Riester, France’s minister of culture, warned that although the principal structure had been saved, the building was still unstable.
The picture below shows the full extent of the fire in its aftermath:
Aftermath of Notre Dame Cathedral fire / Photo Credit: AFP Getty
At first, some speculated that this could be an act of arson. However, experts are now pointing to a construction fire as the reason for the blaze. Construction fires are sadly common during old church restorations, as Glenn Corbett, an associate professor of fire science at John Jay College in New York, explains.
The problem is that sparks from welders or open flames from torches can easily catch fire to the many flammable items in places like this. Also, the old wood in the building itself acts as a kind of kindling.
Experts claim that the building was already in rough shape anyway, and was at risk of collapsing in the next ten years even if there wasn’t a fire.
A photograph is like a pause button: it captures not only the moment but also the feelings that come along with it. What makes a picture special is its perspective and timing. While portraits are a classic, playing with your subject can give you incredibly creative shots.
We compiled some of these fantastic images that will mess with your sense of perception:
A scientific phenomenon can be bewildering. Yet not when you have a teacher as cool as this one!
“So what if there are no surfboards? I got your back, bro!”
“I feel as free as a bird. Let’s fly!” Kika | Creative Photography (@kutovakika) on Jan 25, 2019 at 12:20pm PST
“Life is like an ice cream cone. It is best enjoyed before it melts.” Travel Laloo ✈️🏝🌟 (@travel.laloo) on Sep 19, 2018 at 10:20pm PDT
“Drink me, Alice.”
“Who needs dragon’s breath, when I have the power of the rainbow?!”
“Through the looking glass.. err.. Sea!” Jericoacoara 🌴 (@kimveiga.tur) on Sep 18, 2016 at 11:25am PDT
Eureka! Eureka! Jericoacoara 🌴 (@kimveiga.tur) on Apr 25, 2017 at 5:47pm PDT
That's where heaven and earth meet... ilkin karacan karakuş (@ilkinkaracan) on May 2, 2018 at 12:19pm PDT
“Winner, winner — chicken dinner!”
“Let me capture the clouds...” Lucas Marques Simão (@l.msimao) on Sep 3, 2018 at 7:03pm PDT
“I see you. Can you see me?”
“Ahhh! Bigfoot!” Yafiq Yusman (@yafiqyusman) on Jul 25, 2017 at 4:55am PDT
“Hold on. Just hold on.” Instagram (@instagram) on Mar 16, 2016 at 6:17pm PDT
“Let yourself go. You’re bound to bloom.”
“Life is a game of balance.” Gabriel Barbosa (@gabriel_barbosa_s) on Sep 5, 2018 at 7:29am PDT
“You blew us away... literally!”
Holding on to fall... ilkin karacan karakuş (@ilkinkaracan) on Oct 7, 2017 at 12:24pm PDT
“Be willing to be a child and be a Lilliputian in the world of Gulliver.” Yafiq Yusman (@yafiqyusman) on Feb 16, 2019 at 7:27am PST
“Paint the sky. Make it your own.”
“Everything’s a toy.” Steffen Geldner (@steffengeldner) on Dec 29, 2018 at 12:26am PST
Picking up a ball of fire! Dennis Stever (@dennisstever) on Nov 28, 2018 at 9:08am PST
That's the longest and most well-groomed bear in the world- Wait a minute... What!
The happiest day of your life, presented by: your friends.
“You get the best photographs by playing with the light.”
The world has eagerly greeted news that the second-ever patient has been permanently cured of HIV following a bone-marrow transplant–an achievement that came almost twelve years after the first known case of someone being cured of the AIDS-causing virus.
And it seems that the feat has been repeated once again, as New Scientist reported, bringing the total number of those that have been freed of HIV to three. The report suggested that the medical community could be on the cusp of developing a breakthrough cure to the global AIDS epidemic.
Members of a Netherlands-based group of scientists announced in Seattle on Tuesday at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), where they noted the “Düsseldorf patient” had been free of any HIV rebound symptoms following bone marrow transplants that were a part of their cancer treatment.
The Düsseldorf patient, like the “London Patient” before him, had quit their HIV antiviral medication regime before biopsies of the patients’ gut and lymph nodes showed no signs of viral infections–and only a few clusters of viral genes too weak to multiply.
Scientists warn, though, that it is still too early to know whether the virus has been completely wiped out.
In both cases, patients received transplanted donor cells including the genetic defect which blocks HIV receptor CCR5 – successfully preventing HIV from further infecting cells.
Notorious Chinese scientist He Jiankui had previously used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to delete CCR5 from twin embryos’ DNA in a bid to make them immune to HIV.
Two other patients that have undergone the same stem cell transplants from someone with the CCR5 mutation are being tracked through the IciStem project. Still, they have not yet ceased taking their antiviral drugs, as reported by Javier Martinez-Picado of the Barcelona-based IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute.
Bone marrow transplants are an exceedingly dangerous medical treatment considered too risky for HIV patients that do not also have cancer. Such risky treatments remain out-of-the-question for people that are HIV-positive and can manage the disease through easily-accessible antiviral drugs.
However, scientists are hopeful that genetically-resistant cells like CCR5, especially when paired with more refined and developed genetic therapy and editing methods, might point the way to a potentially permanent cure to HIV which carries minimal risks for patients.
Reference: The Mind Unleashed
Under is the largest underwater restaurant in the world with a total seating capacity for a hundred guests. It is the first of its kind in Europe, and it functions as a research center for marine life as well. The Snøhetta-designed dining experience has just started operating, but people are already adding it to their Norway destination lists.
‘Under’ means both ‘below’ and ‘wonder’ in Norwegian. Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 111-foot long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest on the seabed below. Its structure is built to eventually integrate into its marine environment fully, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it.
Thick concrete walls allow it to withstand shock and pressure from the rugged sea conditions and the restaurant’s sizeable panoramic window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.
In Norway, Lindesnes is famous for its intense weather conditions, that can change from calm to stormy numerous times a day. Upon arriving at the site, the visitors' impressions of the unruly outdoors quickly dissolve as they're ushered through into the hushed, oak-clad foyer. The luxurious interiors create a warm, welcoming atmosphere inside the restaurant.
As a metaphor for descending from the land to the sea, textile-clad ceiling panels reference the colors of the sunset dropping into the ocean, accompanying one climbing down the stairs. Furthermore, the elegance of the finely woven ceiling panels provides the building with a serene ambiance.
The restaurant focuses on creating an excellent dining experience based on high quality, locally-sourced produce, emphasizing on sustainable wildlife capture. The Head Chef is Danish expatriate Nicolai Ellitsgaard from the acclaimed restaurant Måltid in Kristiansand accompanied by an international, 16-person kitchen team experienced in top Michelin restaurants.
The furniture represents the philosophy of the entire project too; to build stable structures without compromising the natural beauty which lies inherent in the raw materials.
Under is not merely a restaurant. The building houses a marine research facility as well. It welcomes interdisciplinary research teams which will be able to study fish behavior and marine biology through cameras and other measurement tools installed on and outside the restaurant's facade. They'll be able to document the population, behavior, and diversity of species that live in the surrounding areas. The research aims to collect data which can be programmed into machine learning tools that monitor the population dynamics of key marine species regularly.
As Snøhetta reports, Under is a story of contrasts: the contrast between landscape and sea as well as above and below. This project underscores the delicate ecological balance between land and sea and draws people's attention to sustainable models for responsible consumption.
The project emphasizes the coexistence of life on land and in the sea introducing a new way of understanding the relationship with our surroundings – under the water, above the surface, and alongside the life of the sea.
More info: snohetta.com
The polar vortex has been keeping Lake Michigan frozen for the most of winter. For instance, in Chicago, Illinois, temperatures reached -30C (-23F) during the season's peak, making ice shelves to form on the lake – hills made of waves crashing over existing ice piles. However, everything eventually ends. Spring is bringing warmer weather to the area, destroying the ice and turning the region into a magical wonderland. Moving water underneath the ice is pushing the sheets to the surface, shattering them into unusual patterns, visible along South Haven’s pier.
However, as much as people want to capture the beautiful phenomenon in photographs, the US Coast Guard warned that the ice should only be viewed from afar since it is dangerous to stand or walk on the unstable surface. “No ice is safe ice especially this time of year,” US Coast Guard BMC Grant Heffner told MLive. “The ice is certainly deteriorating and breaking up.”
Lake Michigan is one among the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. The U.S. and Canada share the other four Great Lakes. It's the second-biggest of the Great Lakes by volume (1,180 cubic miles or 4,900 km3) and the third-largest by surface area (22,404 sq mi or 58,030 km2), after Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
Several of the earliest people who lived in the region were the Hopewell Indians. Their culture declined after 800 AD, and for the following few hundred years, the area was home of the Late Woodland Indians. Now, around twelve million people live along Lake Michigan’s shores, primarily in the Chicago and Milwaukee metropolitan areas.
People were stunned by the beautiful sight:
When you decide to get a tattoo, selecting the right artist is nearly as important as choosing the design and spot. I mean, if somebody is to ink you they better have the experience and skill required to produce something nothing short of excellent, right? After all, that's going to be on your body forever. Well, experience, yes, but skill? Not necessarily. Helen Fernandes isn't good at drawing, but people are still lining up to get her tattoos. And they're so bad, they're good.
The Brazilian founded her tattoo shop, Malfeitona, in her native city of Salvador de Bahia, and has already gained a cult following for what she calls her tatuagens peba, which translates into "trash tattoos." With over 57K Instagram followers and regularly uploaded pics of happy customers enjoying their new designs, it's clear why her unique style is so popular. It's genuine.
72-year-old British man Stephen Mckears started to question his sanity when he started noticing objects had been moved around in his shed overnight. And they weren't only randomly placed; things like clips or screws were finding themselves neatly packed back into the tub as if to chastise Mr. Mckears for his untidiness. But who was this fastidious phantom, this organized apparition?
Baffled yet determined to solve the mystery, Mr. Mckears decided to empty the tub and scatter its contents around. He was astounded to find that sure enough, everything was back in its place the next morning. Something was certainly afoot.
With the help of friend that lived next door by the name of Rodney Holbrook, the man decided to set up a nice trail camera to catch the helpful ghost once and for all. As a keen wildlife photographer, Mr. Holbrook has experience in tracking down mystery visitors. What they discovered was adorably unexpected – a cute, determined mouse lifting objects twice its size to keep its ‘house’ clean.
“I’ve been calling him Brexit Mouse because he’s been stockpiling for Brexit,” Mr. Mckears said.
“The heaviest thing was the plastic attachment at the end of a hosepipe – and the chain of an electric drill. I didn’t know what it was at first. The kids were saying it was a ghost”, he added.
“One day I emptied the tub and spread the contents on the side – and the next day they were all back in again. I thought I was going mad.”
Mr. Holbrook was astonished at the mouse’s diligent behavior. “I’ve been calling him Metal Mickey, but some people have been saying he’s just mouse proud,” he joked.
It seems that the mouse goes on-shift from around midnight to 2.30am – and has been doing its cleaning duties every night for about a month now.
“It was doing it for about two hours that night – he must have had to go for a sleep after it,” said Mr. Mckears. “I’ve seen a mouse moving objects to make a nest but never metal objects. It’s quite amazing.”
“It’s still busy doing it now.”
The cute and funny story amused people:
Image credits: SWNS
We might take it for granted that the earliest writing systems developed with the Sumerians about 3400 B.C.E. The archaeological evidence so far supports the theory. However, it might also be possible that the earliest writing systems predate 5000-year-old cuneiform tablets by several thousand years. It may even be possible, suggests paleoanthropologist Genevieve von Petzinger, that those ancient forms of writing, that include the earliest known hashtag marks, consisted of symbols approximately as universal as emojis.
The study of symbols carved into cave walls all over the world could eventually push us to “abandon the powerful narrative,” writes Frank Jacobs at Big Think, “of history as total darkness until the Sumerians flip the switch.” Although the symbols might never be truly decipherable, their purposes obscured by thousands of years of separation in time, they clearly show humans “un-dimming the light many millennia earlier.”
While burrowing deep underground to make cave paintings of animals, early humans as far back as 40,000 years ago also developed a system of signs that is remarkably consistent across and between continents. Von Petzinger spent years cataloging these symbols in Europe, visiting “52 caves,” reports New Scientist’s Alison George, “in France, Span, Italy, and Portugal. The symbols she discovered ranged from dots, lines, triangles, squares, and zigzags to more complex forms like ladder shapes, hand stencils, something called a tectiform that looks a bit like a post with a roof, and feather shapes called penniform.”
She found 32 signs discovered all over the continent, carved and painted over a very long period. “For tens of thousands of years,” Jacobs points out, “our ancestors seem to have been curiously consistent with the symbols they used.”
In her TED Talk at the top, von Petzinger described this early system of communication through abstract signs as a precursor to the “global network of information exchange” in the modern world. “We’ve been building on the mental achievements of those who came before us for so long,” she said, “that it’s easy to forget that certain abilities haven’t already existed,” long before the formal written records we recognize. These symbols traveled: they are not only discovered in caves but also etched into deer teeth strung together in an ancient necklace.
Von Petzinger believes, writes George, that “the simple shapes represent a fundamental shift in our ancestor’s mental skills,” toward using abstract symbols to communicate. Not everybody agrees with her. As the Bradshaw Foundation notes, when it comes to the European symbols, eminent prehistorian Jean Clottes argues “the signs in the caves are always (or nearly always) linked to animal figures and thus can't be said to be the first steps toward symbolism.”
It is also possible that both the signs and the animals were meant to convey ideas just as a written language does. So argue MIT linguist Cora Lesure and her co-authors in a paper published in Frontiers in Psychology last year. Lesure said her research “suggests that the cognitive mechanisms necessary for the development of cave and rock art are likely to be analogous to those employed in the expression of the symbolic thinking required for language.”
Reference: Open Culture
Any cat owner knows how they love to climb to high perches and survey their kingdom below. However, felines often need some help from us, and we happily oblige. Switzerland-based designer and writer Brigitte Schuster documented how we aid our furry friends in their quest for climbing. Her new book called Swiss Cat Ladders explores outdoor cat stairways in the city of Bern. It focuses on the different approaches people take to create complex scaffolding networks so the creatures can traverse from the ground to stories-high windows.
Homemade cat ladders can take different forms. A vertical pathway is sometimes made from a preexisting architectural element like treads attached to a drain pipe. In other cases, the ladders are affixed long after the buildings were constructed. They're slats zig-zagged along an exterior wall; or, in more precarious forms, the ladders are a thin walkway between a tree and a balcony. No matter how they're built, each offers a way for a feline to exercise its love of climbing.
In addition to pictures of cat ladders, Schuster’s book includes diagrams and an essay exploring “sociological, architectural and aesthetic perspectives” of the structures. Swiss Cat Ladders is available for pre-order through Schuster’s website.
Brigitte Schuster: Website
While dog lovers and animal charities devote their time to rescuing puppies in need, it’s sometimes the dogs that save us. The devotion and loyalty of pet dogs towards their owners is something special, but rescue dogs are a whole other breed of dog comrades. Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England has recently shared a training video, revealing how their Border Collie mountain search dog named Flo can save somebody trapped deep under snow.
The charity rescue group trains dogs to help search for vulnerable missing people in remote areas who might be trapped due to avalanches or other accidents. The video posted on Twitter asks, “Ever wondered what it would be like to be buried in snow and found by one of our happy search and rescue dogs?” It shows Flo barking and using her paws to dig through the pile of snow before rushing to the person buried underneath.
The Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England website writes, “Flo is an extremely intelligent, confident young dog with remarkable work ethic and drive.” Although the footage isn’t of a real rescue, it gives a first-hand look of what it would be like to be rescued by a heroic hound like Flo. It shows just how vital dogs are to real mountain-related accidents and that their training is essential to saving lives. Here’s to good dogs everywhere!
Ever wondered what it would be like to be buried in snow and found by one of our happy search and rescue dogs? (Video version). pic.twitter.com/AefuhGGCeh— Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England (@MRSearchDogsEng) February 19, 2019
Many of you have asked about the dogs name.
She is Search Dog Flo, a Border Collie from @edalemrt in the Peak District.
She is almost 4 years old and is a brilliant search dog.
See more of our dogs at #MeetOurSearchDogs or on our website:https://t.co/5PFQo0iFgB pic.twitter.com/SlNDXOjOdj
This mysterious Japanese artist that goes by the pseudonym of Ariduka55, or Monokubo, on social media channels, creates otherworldly illustrations that breathe life into an entirely new fantasy world where giant animals live alongside humans.
Monokubo, a 24-year-old artist from Japan, got the idea of giant animals from Studio Ghibli. It seems he likes to indulge herself with illustrations which depict soft and cuddly animals - rabbits, dogs, pandas, and the like - although, it is pretty evident that the cats are his favorite. The atmosphere in the illustrations is almost always ethereal and peaceful, complete with story-telling elements in their compositions. Several of the illustrations are marked with soft sunshine filtering through different objects, such as leaves and windows.
Fun fact, the Japanese have a word for sunlight streaming through the leaves of the trees - komorebi (木漏れ日). It is a term for a light curtain and the shadow it creates on the ground, a term which eloquently describes this beauty.
This black feline is a show off who likes to put his excellent abilities on display. 'You can't do that, human, can you?' - he says with a challenging look on his face, while making a perfect pyramid formation with a huge ball of cotton and a blue blob of a bird.
"In Japanese mythology, grain farmers once worshipped wolves at shrines and left food offerings near their dens, beseeching them to protect their crops from wild boars and deer. Talismans and charms adorned with images of wolves were thought to protect against fire, disease, and other calamities and brought fertility to agrarian communities and to couples hoping to have children. The Ainu people believed that they were born from the union of a wolf like creature and a goddess."
H/t: The Lost Wolves Of Japan (Brett L. Walker, 2005)
A girl comes back home and uses a HUG card on her cat, but this non-exploding kitten combats the girl's futile attempt at physical contact with a NOPE card of his own.
The Japanese have a daily expression 'tadaima' (ただいま) which is a shortened version of 'I just came home', and while usually it is polite to respond with 'okaeri' (おかえり) i.e. 'welcome home', this giant feline will have none of it.
The art of camouflage is on point in this picture. Not only did the black cat become one with nature, it even managed to find a blue blob friend while at it. We are not sure why (perhaps because of the big round eyed), this cat reminds us of Totoro by Ghibli studio.
A world where you can surrender yourself to sleep on a giant ball of fur is a world where you wouldn't be able to get any work done. A perfect world.
Fun fact: did you know that in traditional Japanese architecture, a door, window or room divider made of translucent paper over a frame of wood is called shōji? It probably all comes down to the Japanese love for minimalism, for the purpose of shōji doors is to slide open, and thus conserve space that would be otherwise required for a swinging door.
A tranquil and slightly gloomy part of the series featuring a Korean crow-tit (Baepsae). There is a common idiom/saying: 'the crow tit will break its legs trying to walk like a stork', which, in its simplest form, means pretending to be something you are not.
This looks straight out of a science-fiction movie where the main protagonist is a stray cat looking for a place to call home. For months, locals have tried to lure the kitten out of his hiding place promising toys and treats. 'Look, this ain't a laser pointer, but at least it's shiny.'
A peaceful autumn afternoon at the shrine saturated with both color and falling leaves.
Although it might be hard to tell, the animal depicted in this particular illustration is not your regular raccoon. In fact, this is Tanuki (or a raccoon dog), an atypical species of dog that can grow up to 60 cm in length, with distinctive stripes of black fur under its eyes. Unlike a raccoon, tanuki has a roundish nose, small floppy ears, short and furred paws for running, and a tail that is not ringed.
Originally an evil trickster and spook in Japanese folklore, Tanuki is now a benevolent modern-day symbol of generosity, cheer and prosperity.
An unlikely hero was on his way to slay a villainous wizard, when suddenly a wild menacing fur ball of shadow crossed his path. Contrary to much of the Western world, Japanese culture sees a black cat crossing your path as a good omen. In fact, black cats are generally seen as good luck in Japan and much of Asia.
The fox plays a role in Japanese culture that's unusually rich and complicated. Beliefs that developed when people lived much closer to nature persist in stories, festivals, and language. Even in these rational times, the fox has a magical aura that still lingers.
The fox is associated with Inari as a symbol, a messenger, a servant, or maybe more. Inari is the Japanese god of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal gods of Shinto.
Yet another tribute to the sound sleep on the clouds of fur. How did this girl get a fox inside the school?
Trivia time: foxes are one of the most revered animals in the Japanese tradition and folklore. Kitsune (狐 or きつね) is a Japanese word for 'fox'. They are often the subjects in stories that depict them as intelligent beings with supernatural powers. According to Yōkai folklore, kitsune has the ability to shapeshift into a human form. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
One of the more famous elements in Asian folklore is the Moon rabbit. It's a myth based on pareidolia that identifies the markings of the Moon as a rabbit. Although it originated in China, the myth eventually spread to other Asian cultures as well.
Fun fact: the civilian name of the infamous character Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi is actually Tsukino Usagi which, you guessed it right, means - 'the rabbit of the moon'.
"Japan perceives the butterfly to be a ‘soul of the living and the dead’, as a result of the popular belief that spirits of the dead take the form of a butterfly when on their journey to the other world and eternal life. The butterfly is also often used as a symbol for young girls as they spread their wings and emerge into womanhood, as well as it being believed to symbolise joy and longevity."
A white feline hiding from the afternoon's sun behind the curtain of draping flowers.
Japan is full with wonderful landscapes, but there is one place in particular where you can take a magnificent walk through the pastel-colored passageway of wisteria flowers at the Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu. The gardens are home to about 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species (white, blue, purple, violet-blue and pink).
A surreal image featuring a reoccurring protagonist - the blue blob. We can't decide what we love about this picture the post - the scattering sakura blossoms, or the fact that this cat sports a pair of magnificent blue horns.
In the folklore, tanukis were known to be masters of illusion. They could shapeshift into any form of their liking - anything from an old bedridden woman to a bottle of white wine. Once in disguise, they would use little rhymes to lure people into their games, and although not harmful, they tended to end in some inconvenience or embarrassment.
If you slightly squint your eyes, you can notice that this is no ordinary hill, in fact, it's no hill at all.
The Shiba Inu breed is Japan's one of the most cherished treasures. Literally meaning 'the brushwood dog' these dogs were traditionally used for hunting small animals, and nowadays, Shiba Inus are very popular in pop-culture.
Yet another beautiful composition featuring familiar elements - the cat, the girl, and the soft sunlight streaming through the window.
Historically, cats have been revered in many societies, and particularly in the Japanese culture the furry felines are highly regarded as symbols of good luck. The popular Japanese cat figurine maneki-neko (招き猫, 'beckoning cat') is typically believed to bring about blessings. The figurine is often of a cat with its paw in an upright position as if beckoning.
According to Japanese legend, a landlord witnessed a cat waving a paw at him. Intrigued by this gesture, he came close to the cat when suddenly a lightning bolt struck the exact place he was previously standing in. The landlord believed that his good fortune was because of the cat’s actions. Hence, the beckoning hand became a symbol of good luck.
A sleepy guardian braving itself against the cold blanket of winter.
It's not unusual for the Japanese to carry an owl charm with them, because just like cats, owls are the symbols of good luck, who also offer protection from suffering. In different parts of the country, they have also historically been given a variety of other attributions, for example, the guiding bird or a bird which can predict the weather.
Inoshishi (the boar) is part of the Japanese culture and mythology. It is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac symbols. In the past, the boar was called yamakujira, meaning "the whale of the mountains." It is still considered a dangerous animal, that sometimes attacks people and damages crops. It appears in the Japanese folklore, as the boar gods in "Princess Mononoke" or as Inosasao - the boar with the back covered in bamboo leaves.
Andrea David does what anyone of us would like to do in their lives. She travels all around the world and captures locations that became famous through popular movies.
Andrea lines up pictures of her favorite movies with their real-life background. Incredible images include Harry Potter pictured in front of the ‘Hogwarts’ Alnwick Castle, Home Alone’s Kevin in New York and characters from The Hangover sitting on steps in Bangkok, Thailand.
You can also check out her Instagram page, Filmtourismus.
Harry Potter, Alnwick Castle, England
Home Alone 2, Plaza Hotel, New York
When Harry Met Sally, Katz’s Delicatessen, New York
Jaws, Amity Island, Sylvia State Beach, Massachusetts
Spectre, ice Q restaurant, Austria
Shutter Island, Medfield State Hospital, Massachusetts
The Beach, Maya Bay, Thailand
Good Will Hunting, Massachusetts
The Shining, Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
Fast and Furious, Dominic Toretto, Los Angeles
Game of Thrones, Playa De Itzurun, Zumaia, Spain
The Simpsons, Times Square, New York
The Revenant, Stoney Nakoda Nation Reserve, Canada
Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, Tiffany and Co. store, New York
The Notebook, Boone Hall Plantation and Gardens, North Carolina
Hangover 2, Lebua State Tower Hotel, Bangkok
If you've never seen an animal that can photosynthesize, if you did not know that albino turtles exist, and you cannot imagine what a contortionist’s spine looks like, we have something that can stun you. And there's also a bonus about the “transformation” of a human face.
We found some rare photos that we wish we would have seen in our school biology books instead of those boring diagrams.
1) The sediment from this chemical reaction resembles a marshy forest.
2) The Amorphophallus Titanium is one of the world's largest flowers. It blooms once every forty years for four days!
3) This Malagasy Grasshopper is a rare color. Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (@doctor_karl) on Sep 13, 2017 at 11:31pm PDT
4) A native group of people called Melanesians that live on the Solomon Islands, northeast of Australia, are known for their beautiful dark skin and naturally blonde hair.
5) “Palm print of an eight-year-old in a nutrient medium after the eight-year-old had played outside”
6) Syncephalastrum fungi resembles flowers under a microscope. stylish_streaking on Nov 16, 2016 at 8:47pm PST
7) Flowers growing on the space station Nicole Stott (@astro_nicole) on May 14, 2017 at 5:51am PDT
8) “Just a contortionist sitting on his head...”
9) Here is a hedgehog’s skeleton, in case you have never seen one before.
10) Astronauts are trying to understand how much oxygen their lungs can move. Christina Hammock Koch (@astro_christina) on Jan 19, 2016 at 1:51pm PST
11) Incredibly rare baby albino sea turtle
12) As it turns out, it's possible to draw with bacteria. stylish_streaking on Oct 31, 2018 at 3:45pm PDT
13) A regular ant like we have never one seen before Europejska Noc Naukowców SZN (@noc.naukowcow) on Jul 26, 2018 at 2:36am PDT
14) When Mexican Ajolote meets How To Train Your Dragon
15) The incisors of beavers are orange since they contain iron. That iron makes their teeth stronger and better able to cut through wood.
16) This sea slug that looks like a leaf can go without eating for nine months because it can photosynthesize like a plant while basking in the sun!
17) The tiniest and most poisonous dart frog in the world is approximately 10mm large and is 100x more potent than morphine.
18)This spider, known as the wrap-around spider, can flatten and wrap its body around tree limbs as camouflage.
19) Cynarina coral goes by a much simpler name: “cat’s eye coral” Coral Morphologic (@coralmorphologic) on Dec 26, 2018 at 5:18pm PST
20) A 54-million-year-old gecko trapped in amber
21) Snakes can be this tiny. Leandro Alves (@leandro_herpeto) on Feb 4, 2019 at 5:38pm PST
22) This sea slug was found off the coast of Bali in 2016.
23) That's what a tiger’s skin looks like when it is shaved.
Bonus: Here's how focal length affects the shape of our face:
In a galaxy far far away, Hubert Zitt, a professor at the Zweibrücken University of Applied Sciences in Germany, known for his Star Trek and Star Wars lectures, along with a small group, turned the Zweibrück Observatory of the Natural Science Association into a gigantic R2-D2 – and it's out of this world.
The sci-fi professor completed this project in September 2018, helped by his father-in-law Horst Helle, the master painter Klaus Ruffing and several students who helped. It has caught the eyes of Star Wars fans everywhere in the world. The most notable fan of this re-design was Star Wars actor Mark Hamill that tweeted about it, “R2-D2 Observatory Transformed Germans Into Giant Nerds.”
Zitt and his team are not the first fans to complete a Star Wars design. Goodsell Observatory at Carleton College in Minnesota was also turned into an R2-D2 back in 2010.
Dr. Hubert Zitt might be known now for his Star Wars and Star Trek expertise, but he started in electrotechnology. He received his doctorate from Saarland University in the field of systems theory of electrotechnology and he's now a tenured professor in the field at the University of Applied Sciences, Kaiserslautern, Zweibrücken. When he is not teaching electrotechnology he's spreading information about his beloved sci-fi pop culture.
He gained worldwide acclaim as a Global Top Speaker for his lectures on Star Trek. The first announced was a “Christmas lecture” where he presented the topic in a unique style that people could not get enough of. In 2005 he took his lectures on the road to other cities at universities and conventions like FedCon, the biggest Science Fiction Convention in Europe.
Zitt gained so much recognition in the field he wrote the preface of the book ‘Star Trek in Germany’ together with the son of the Star Trek inventor Gene Roddenberry in 2008. In the same year, he became a regular lecturer at the The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas teaching ‘The Physics of Star Trek.’
R2-D2 stands proud, guarding the university. Knowing how hardcore Zitt is, maybe C-3PO will join him sometime in the future? Which building would that be? We'll be eagerly waiting to see what this hardcore fan has in store for us next!
Also known as “pocket parrots,” Pacific parrotlets are tiny birds with great personalities. Photographer Rupa Sutton captures the cute daily moments of her four pet parrotlets (which she calls “The Floofs”) in an ongoing photo series. Her charming images depict how these cotton candy-colored birds are not only beautiful, but they are also incredibly intelligent and loving.
“My flock can be completely crazy, which is absolutely normal for Parrotlets,” Sutton reveals. “They chase and fight with each other daily, and there was definitely some shoving and pushing that went on at the bath. But when needed, they come together and take care of each other.” When one of Sutton’s birds called Rain sadly passed away, the others—called Sprig, Winter, and River—stuck together. “The daily squabbles were thrown out the door as they helped each other get through that very difficult time,” she adds. “It’s heartwarming to know that. Especially on days when they’re being little monsters.”
The loving bond between these adorable birds is evident in Sutton’s photos and accompanying captions. Since the latest member named Willow joined the company, the four pastel-hued birds have been almost inseparable and can usually be seen cuddling-up in pairs. River and Winter are a “couple” and Sprig, and Willow is another. Sutton says that both couples have different relationships: “River and Winter are not as passionate as Sprig and Willow… but their bond is growing stronger each day. It seems there are different kinds of love and relationships with birds as there are for us humans.”
Each year SkyPixel sifts through thousands of aerial photos to find the best drone images and award them with incredible prizes. The grand prize winner for 2018, Deryk Baumgärtner, received camera gear worth $12,090 for his astonishing portrayal of Saint Michael's Mount, an island situated in Normandy, France. Visited by almost three million people every year, Saint Michael's Mount is already a stunning heritage site by itself, but Baumgärtner's incredible drone photography skills took the island, and it's breathtaking monastery to a whole new level.
Deryk Baumgärtner said he thought that he had no chance to be in the top participants of this competition, "It was an unbelievable feeling when I got the mail that I won the Grand Prize. Never thought that I had the slightest chance to be in the top100." He added that it was his first time entering the SkyPixel competition, but he's been interested in aerial photography for lots of years, "I’ve been interested in aerial photography since the 1st DJI Phantom in 2013 came to the market. Today I own the DJI Mavic Pro 1, and I'm still satisfied with its compact size which makes it pretty easy to travel with."
Scroll down below to see the winning photographs from this year's competition!
People's Choice Prize, "Red Train"
One of the winners of people's choice prize captures a breathtaking shot of a train passing through mountains in Landwasserviadukt in Switzerland.
Grand Prize Winner, "Mont Saint Michel"
The winner of this year's Grand Prize is a shot taken by Deryk Baumgärtner and it captures the magical beauty of the famous monastery of Mont Saint Michel during a foggy morning.
Third Prize Winner In Fun Category, "花瓣雨"
Mesmerizing shot taken with a Phantom 4 Pro drone shows gooses creating flower-like figures in the field.
First Prize Winner In Fun Category, "Flowers On The Water"
"These women are washing each gun flower, bundling it into a bundle to bring it to market. They put flowers into a circle that looks very beautiful. This is a fun job."
People's Choice Prize, "Infinity Road: Summer vs. Winter"
"A perfect mountain road shot twice during Summer and Winter. Same place. Different seasons. It took a lot of effort to shoot this photo. Two photos shot 8 months apart. Perfectly aligned. The battle between the Summer and the Winter."
Second Prize Winner In Architecture Category, "Bagan"
Magical shot that captures a sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar, taken by Witold Ziomek using Mavic Pro done.
People's Choice Prize, "Kyiv Monuments"
Photographer Ristenko Segiy managed to capture a magnificent shot of a statue in Kyiv covered in autumnal fog.
People's Choice Prize, "双栖"
Stunning aerial photography of birds and trees in Huanglongtan, China.
Second Prize Winner In Fun Category, "Burden Salt Harvest"
"The workers are carrying salt to the warehouse. They start work from 3 am to 7 am and remake from 1 pm to 6 pm every day. Hon Khoi salt field is the largest salt field in Vietnam."
Nominated Entry, "National Library Of Kosovo"
Photographer Agon Nimani used Mavic 2 drone to capture the beauty of Kosovo's National Librarie's architecture.
People's Choice Prize, "Ancient Moonlight"
Photographer Mauro Pagliai Received a People's Choice prize for his shot "Ancient Moonlight" that captured the Coliseum, Sirio and Rome covered in a magical moonlight
First Prize Winner In Nature Category, "Hungry Hippos"
"There's no party like a hippo party! An incredible visual to see and such a unique perspective. Truly honored to have this moment in time."
Nominated Entry, "Two"
A romantic shot of newlyweds near the lake was captured with a Mavic Pro drone and became one of the nominated entries of the competition
Nominated Entry, "There Is A Precise Point Up There In The Sky Where The Mountains Almost Seem To Pose"
"Sunrise on the Nuvolau group in the dolomites. Temperature -18 c.
Takeoff with the drone and what I see in the screen almost does not seem real. The majesty of Mother Nature."
Third Prize Winner In Architecture Category, "日照新葡京"
A stunning shot of Grand Lisboa's hotel was captured using Phantom 4 Pro drone and won a third prize in architecture category.
First Prize Winner In Architecture Category, "Not A Small HK Island"
It took 43 shots using Phantom 4 Pro drone to capture the architectural beauty of Hong Kong.
People's Choice Prize, "Lofoten"
One of the people's favorites was a shot of a village called Henningsvær in Lofoten, northern Norway. This tiny village has a population of only 500 people and locals mostly rely on fishing for a living. With such a small amount of people in the village, locals managed to build a football field that perfectly explains their love and passion for this sport.
First Prize Winner In Sport Category, "Running Through The Sand Dunes"
"The kids were doing exercise by running through the sand dunes nearby their home in Phan Rang, Vietnam, in an early morning."
Nominated Entry, "Summit For The Team, Mont Blanc"
"Some of the most famous skiers in the world are all together on the summit of the Mont Blanc.
The Dynastar ski team walking the Mont Blanc Summit 4810m before skiing the north face during the sunset, with incredible light."
People's Choice Prize, "至所未知"
One of the people's choice prize winners was an extraordinary shot of a bridge disappearing in the fog with incredible mountains in the horizon.
Third Prize Winner In Nature Category, "足迹"
A snow in the Taklimakan Desert, China during winter forms a rare ice and snow texture. According to the photographer,"The ice pattern is like a huge footprint, like the footprints of aliens visiting the earth."
People's Choice Prize, "Stein Eriksen Residences"
Low-level aerial view of the Stein Eriksen Residences at Deer Valley Resort.
Second Prize Winner In Sport Category, "Shadow Skier #5"
Using Mavic 2 Pro drone photographer Christoph Oberschneider captured skiers in Austria.
Nominated Entry, "Wake Up"
Dreamy aerial photo captured by Phantom 4 Pro drone in Auckland Harbour, during sunrise.
Third Prize Winner In Sport Category, "Throwing It To The Moon"
"Estonian hammer throw champion Kati Ojaloo throwing it to the moon."
Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy stuns us with his brilliant photos. He has recently pulled together an incredible, high-resolution picture of the moon from 50,000 photos. While working on that project, he took the chance also to create a colorful version which shows off the moon’s geological makeup. Taking the color data from 150,000 moon photographs, he has come up with an artistic 64-megapixel color photo of the moon.
The avant-garde image peels back the layers of the moon and shows its hidden colors, standing in contrast to the more standard picture he recently published. A geological map of the moon depicts how rich with minerals the lunar environment is. Through his mind-blowing image, McCarthy visualizes the chemical components present on the moon. The original picture was created by using photographs shot on two different cameras. While one captured color, the stars, and atmospheric haze, the other documented the surface details and texture of the moon.
Apart from the high-resolution photo, which McCarthy has made available for download as an 11 MB JPG and 23 MB PNG, he has also created a charming animation. Many of McCarthy’s moonscapes are also available as prints via his online store.