World’s Oldest Glasses

 

The world’s oldest surviving pair of glasses, from 15th century Japan. According to legend, this folding ivory pair at the Daisenin Temple in Kyoto belonged to the twelfth shogun. Glasses are thought to have been invented in medieval Florence; it is unknown when and how the technology reached Japan.

 

(via Erik Kwakkel)

Molten Aluminum and Ant Hills

 

 

Ants are the architects of the underground world. They build extensive caverns, tunnels, nurseries, and storage spaces in incredibly intricate and symmetrical homes. Dr. Walter Tschinkel from Florida State University discovered the perfect way to capture the hidden wonders of the ant hill by pouring molten aluminum into the ant hills. It kills the ants, but provides a plethora of information about their lives that would otherwise be hidden.

 

 

(via It’s Okay to be Smart)

The Spiny Puffball Mushroom

 

The spiny puffball mushrooms(Vascellum curtisii) fruiting body is shaped like a small ball, 1-2 cm across, but frequently misshapen as a result of clustered growth; densely spiny when young; spines up to 5 mm long, often joined at their tips, and easily rubbing off; in maturity often fairly smooth, with a powdery coating; white becoming pale brown; developing a small hole at the top, through which spore dust escapes

 

(via The Soul is Bone)

The Power of Wind at Slope Point

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Twisted Trees of Slope Point, New Zealand

Slope Point is at the southernmost point of the South Island of New Zealand. The air streams loop the ocean, unobstructed for 2000 miles, until they reach Slope Point causing incredibly strong winds. In fact, the winds are so strong and persistent here that they perpetually warp and twist the trees into these crooked, wind-swept shapes.

Slope Point is generally uninhabited, except for the herds of sheep that graze the land. There are no roads leading here, however backpackers regularly make the short 20-minute walk to see the fascinating tree formations that only Mother Nature could create. However there is no public access during the lambing season from September to November.

(via Crooked Indifference)