30 August 2015

The Astonishing Eggs of Alien Nations

They may look like they come straight out of a science fiction film, but these eggs are real - they come from the stink bug. It’s life, but most certainly not as we know it. Our sibling site, Ark in Space has a new feature today about the eggs of insects.  It doesn't sound thrilling exactly until you see them - then your jaw slackens. Take a look at the astonishing eggs of the alien nations all around us.

Image Credit

Star Stuff – Inspired by the Life of Carl Sagan

This is really something rather special and will give you goosebumps if like me you have only fond memories for the work of Carl Sagan and his great contribution to humanity.  Here you get the opportunity to watch Sagan as a child, developing his curious mind and the questions he would ask throughout his life.  

Star Stuff was written and directed by Ratimir Rakuljic.


If you enjoy our occasional forays in to dance here at Kuriositas then you are in for something of a treat.  This dark and atmospheric dance performance is Abaddon, a place of suffering, purification and sensuality.

It was written and directed by Rogerio Silva, choreographed and performed by Harriet Waghorn and Troy Savic with music by Alaskan Tapes.

Once in a Blue Moon

On the 31st of July, nature and landscape photographer Luke Taylor captured the rise of the full blue moon in Aquarius. As you can see from the video, it was a beautiful sight to witness. The video is made up of 1038 frames and slowed down as close to real time as Luke could make it.  The results are amazing.  It was filmed in Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia.


In a world in which the inhabitants are inexorably turning to stone one young boy has the ability to cure – but by sacrificing his own blood.  Yet the inhabitants of this world are as hard and unforgiving as the stone in to which they are turning.  Created by a group of students at ESMA in 2008 (Sebastien Durand , Aurélien Peis, Julien Limon and Cédric Trezeguet.) Frat remains an intriguing piece and has hardly aged despite the advances in animation technology.

29 August 2015

The Golden Rock – The Gilt Boulder of the Buddha

It looks as if it is just about to fall off the edge of Mount Kyaiktiyo and roll down in to the sweeping landscape of Myanmar. Yet the enormous granite boulder, known as the Golden Rock, has perched precariously here for as long as the land’s recorded history.  The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, built atop, is, alone, over seven meters in height. The whole edifice is said to be balanced on a single strand of the Buddha’s hair.

As such, this is an important pilgrimage site for adherents of Buddhism.  It is said that those who visit it three times in a single year will be blessed with wealth and acknowledgement of their goodness. The main legend associated with the rock and the pagoda is that the Buddha, on one of his visits, gave a single strand of his hair to the local hermit, Taik Tha.

23 August 2015

Go Delhi Go: Hyperlapse

Delhi is a city with so much history that one might need a lifetime just to appreciate its many different aspects.  However (a reluctant one, but still) in lieu of time to spend doing just that, soak in Delhi in all its glory by watching this fantastic hyperlapse by Ayush Dinker of Etheral Colours. Over 5000 pictures went in to creating this hyperlapse – and please watch it in HD if your connection will allow!

Nuttin Else Matters

When all you have on your mind is your next nut the last thing you want is to be captured by a nutty human girl who is intent on dressing you up as her heroes.  However, such is life for this poor squirrel in this funny animated short by Sebastian Pfeifer.

This animation features ‘appearances’ by Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Lee, Arielle, Alien, Hulk, Rambo, Wonderwoman, Darth Vader, Jason, Mary Poppins, Dr. Evil, King Kong, the Terminator, Psycho, Edward Sscissorhands and Raoul Duke.  It’s nuts.

Ex Animo

This is like one of those dreams that you have which you can never quite remember but what you can recall is their whole strange, surreal dislocation from real life.  Here, images conjured up by the animator create a reality of their own.  Creatures exist because they do; things happen because they do – it all makes perverse, inextricable sense. Produced by the Polish Film Board and Fumi Studio, Ex Animo was directed by Wojciech Wojtkowski. Watch in HD if you can.

22 August 2015

Ecdysis: When Growing Up is More than Skin Deep

Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has a feature today about Ecdysis.  No, it’s not the latest strangely named Hollywood science fiction blockbuster, it’s something that many invertebrates go through.  Taken from the ancient Greek the word means, literally, to strip off.  It leaves behind an exuviae (often spelled with the final e omitted) which is the remains of the exoskeleton which has been shed, often with related structures still attached. For some invertebrates it can be a regular occurrence to facilitate growth.  For others it can be part of a series of instars which culminate in the emergence of the finished, adult form.

It is a fascinating process where beauty can be found in the grotesque. For these invertebrates, the process of growing up is far more than simply skin deep. Catch the whole feature over on Ark in Space.

21 August 2015

Disabled by Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen wrote ‘Disabled’ in 1917 at a time by which he had experienced the full horror of war in the trenches.  It is a long, narrative poem: vignettes of a young man’s life appear before us as he reminisces from his wheelchair.  Now, he is without arms or legs and he looks back to the time when he was ‘whole’.

Although Owen uses simple language throughout, probably to emphasize the fact that the soldier is just an ordinary man – and ‘everyman’ as it were, the poem uses a number of sophisticated poetic techniques to juxtapose the ‘then’ and ‘now’ reality of this soldier’s life. As the soldier’s life and body have been broken, Owen also deliberately breaks the rules of iambic pentameter to convey the man’s bewilderment about his current existence.  This video is an attempt to convey the soldier’s story, using images from the time (not all from Scotland, it must be admitted).

In my ‘other’ life I teach English and IT – and this is one of my summer holiday projects (which makes me sound quite sad, I suppose, but think of it as therapy!). I had been meaning to attempt to match images with the words of this poem for a while but it is so long I needed an extended period of time, doing a line or two from day to day.  I got there eventually and hope that it helps more people to become familiar with this very powerful poem.

17 August 2015

Hitachi Seaside Park – Tsunami Survivor

The Miharashi No Oka hill offers visitors the sight of the panoramic splendor of the Pacific Ocean. Yet it is not the sea views that people come to see in Hitachinaka, a small city on the east coast of Japan. It is the Hitachi Seaside Park, devastated by the tsunami of 2011 but now restored to its former, somewhat bizarre, glory.

The park is not large, it covers only 3.5 hectares yet the flowers draw people from all over the Ibaraki prefecture and beyond. There is something on offer all seasons. It is truly famous for the nemophilas which wash the whole area in to a blue hue.

15 August 2015

Dreams of the Last Butterflies

This almost defies definition but Dreams of the Last Butterflies is certainly this – something very special. Combining poetry, song, dance, and flame throwing among other things, this performance-film had me spellbound from start to finish.  It is a dark ‘faerie tale’ written and directed by Zina Brown and is told by the last of the butterfly queens (wonderfully –quite ravishingly - performed here by the actor-dancers).

The last of the queens tells the story of her many species, how one by one they are disappearing from the world because of human intervention.  Yet she is herself ultimately captured and the future of butterflies looks bleak…

Dreams of the Last Butterflies has wowed people at festivals across the world and has already won over ten awards. It was created in partnership with Saving Species.

The Abandoned Giant Chicken Church of Java

Due west of Borobudur in central Java in Indonesia, a strange and somewhat bewildering sight rises above the forest canopy.  Now abandoned, this church was built to represent the Christian dove but all the locals refer to it as the giant chicken church – and you can see why.  This brilliant footage was captured by ThreatLevel11 who only had a single battery pack left when this most strange edifice revealed itself – so bravo for the excellent views.


We have featured Lofoten in Norway a number of times on Kuriositas as it is such a special place – not least because it shouldn’t really be there at all.  Yet this stunning part of the world does exist and Kai Venøy has created this amazing short film to take you on a tour of the place from the comfort of your [insert wherever you are right now]. It was filmed with the DJI Phantom 2 drone and a number of other cameras.  The result is stunning.

Wish 143

A teenage boy is suffering with terminal cancer – not to mention adolescent growing pains – when he is approached by a wish-giving charity (if you don’t know you’re dying already you do when that happens to you…).  As a horny teenager who hasn’t yet lost you know what, then you can guess what his wish is. Wish 143 is an Oscar nominated short film directed and co-produced by Ian Barnes. If you’re a Downton Abbey fan, look out for a familiar face.


During the 1990 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq a young photographer must make a quick decision, one which could have a profound impact on his future. This animated short, created by Yousef Al Bagshi, who spent almost two years making it, will have you on the edge of your seat but has its moments of pure comedy too.  The artwork is superb, reminiscent of Dalmation era Disney but modern and vibrant too. It is based on a true story.

14 August 2015


CocóNonó are a band based in Bogota, Colombia. They were formed in 2012 and it's about time the rest of the world heard about them, frankly. Lovers of rock n 'roll, country, bluegrass and jazz, among others, the band members compose songs from these influences, with lyrics in English, French and Spanish mainly.

This deliriously energetic video for their eponymous song was created by Ana Maria Angel, an animator and illustrator from Colombia, currently living in Berlin.

I speak only a few words of Spanish, mostly involving alcohol, beaches and, ahem, the wild thing - so if the lyrics to this song are completely and utterly rude and not suitable for a family audience then I really can't say I told you so.

13 August 2015

Neuschönau: The Longest Tree Top Walk in the World

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise – a very big surprise! Nestled in the Bavarian forest just outside the small town of Neuschönau, the longest tree top walk is an unexpected but spectacular sight. It is as if the fantasy of a young child with perhaps too much imagination has suddenly come to life.

The statistics certainly stagger the imagination. The walk way is over 1300 meters long, and at its greatest height takes the visitor to over 25 meters above the trees. Yet what really captures the eye is the oval shaped dome at walk way’s end. At 44 meters high it spirals around a massive pine tree, allowing for startling views of the canopy of this beautiful German forest and beyond to the Alps.

12 August 2015

The Question

Have you ever looked up at the stars and wondered whether there is life on other planets? Will we ever be visited by people from light years away? What will they be like and what legends might they leave behind?

This thought-provoking animated short by freelance illustrator and architecture student Ettore Biondo poses these questions – and in a way which you might not altogether expect.

Flowers Opening Timelapse

This three minute video took fourteen months and about 40,000 photographs to create and it’s worth every second.  Its creator, David de los Santos Gi, must be sick of the sight of any earthly flora by now. Or perhaps not, as this is his second foray in to the world of flower time-lapses.

It’s exquisite and that isn’t hyperbole for its own sake.  Go ahead – be entranced – and take a look at more of David’s work at his wonderful website.

Watch a Relationship Break Up via Instant Messages

I don’t mean to be prurient or voyeuristic and you might wonder what a post with that title is doing on Kuriositas – best leave that kind of thing to... other sites. This, in fact, is a very cleverly put together music video for Harrison showcasing their song How Can It Be (feat. Maddee), from the EP, 'Colors' on Last Gang Records. When viewed on a mobile this will look exactly as if it is happening in real-time and I don’t think I have ever seen a music video quite like this before.

Above Transylvania

Admit it – if you were asked to do a variation on the Rorschach Test but with words and someone said Transylvania, your reply would be Dracula, correct?  However there is so much more to this historic central part of Romania.  Jonathan J Scott recently took his DJI Phantom 3 there and captured the lush beauty of the rolling landscapes from above.  It really is quite breath-taking and not a vampire in sight. Guess they may not have heard of daylight rings there…

Bear and Bird

Bear and Bird are so excited when their new video game, Kung Fu Fisticuffs IV arrives that they have to play it immediately.  Unfortunately for Bird, Bear’s atrocious body odor is revealed in all its glory every time he celebrates a win and raises those big hairy armpits.  Yet that might soon be the least of their worries in this hugely entertaining animated short by New York based Hornet production studio.

Data Protection Act - the 8 Principles Explained

In the ‘real’ world I teach English and also a lot of ICT (Information Creative Technology). One of the things my students have to learn about is the Data Protection Act (DPA) which became law in the UK in 1988 and is as dry as a bone... However, if you are going to be asked about legislation around ICT in an exam, then it is likely to be about the Data Protection Act.

So, as it is an important piece of legislation and affects people on an almost daily basis I thought I would try and jazz it up a little.  The video above is the result.

9 August 2015

World Record Vertical Skydive - 164 Person, Head Down Formation

Oh, a thousand, a million times - no. That just how often I would have to refuse to do something like this if I was asked (which admittedly is highly unlikely). However, each to their own – this amazing footage was captured by Ben Nelson. 164 skydivers jump from 7 different aircraft and come together in the sky to form the largest head-to-earth formation skydive that has ever been seen. The World Record was set at Skydive Chicago on July 31,2015.

Kelimutu – Indonesia’s Tri-Colored Lakes

They are located on the same volcanic peak yet each of the three crater lakes atop Kelimutu in Indonesia is a markedly different color. It is the only place on earth where this amazing color variation takes place.

 The three lakes all have different names and local people have for centuries believed that the lakes are the spiritual resting place of their ancestors. It is said the lakes change color according to the mood of the spirit – and if that is the case then the souls’ moods are constantly restless.

8 August 2015


Cecil the praying mantis is in the mood for a little love and he knows just the present for the lady mantis he has in his sights.  However, poor Cecil is blissfully unaware of the fate which will befall him once the object of his affections has had her wicked way with him.  Can he escape her clutches before he gets a love bite to end all love bites? Lovebites is a 2014 animated short film by students from the Academy of Interactive Entertainment in Sydney, Australia.

Watch an Amazing Botanical Mural as it Takes Shape

I always find art time-lapses fascinating not least because if you gave me a hundred years I would not be able to do anything close to the end product.  Here Lucila Dominuez creates a fantastic botanical mural over the space of five days in Buenos Ares.  It’s amazing to watch the process from start to finish and really makes me want to dash out and but some paint and brushes.  However, knowing what my end result would be like, I will defer that: I’m not in the mood to repent at leisure.

Yesterday's Tomorrow - A Portland Journey

In “Yesterday’s Tomorrow,” Uncage the Soul Productions brought their cameras to the same position and angles of their favorite Portland historic images. We wondered, what’s changed? What’s remained the same?  This is not quite the ‘then and now’ video you might expect however – what makes it different is the fact that it is done through motion – plus there is a wonderful narration.

Old Tricks: Help this Great Short get Made in to a Movie

If the older gentleman in this short film by Theo Buckwald looks familiar that’s because you have recognized him from his many on-screen appearances.  If you are my age you will remember Joe Spano as Harry Goldblume on Hill Street Blues. Younger Kuriositas readers may have seen him as Special Agent Tobias Fornell on NCIS.  Here his character gets to grips with a hapless young burglar, played by Drake Zimmerman.

Theo has contacted us with a request.  He says “I am currently entered in a contest with Amazon Studios to pitch Old Tricks and hopefully get it professionally developed. It would mean the world to me if you could share the link of the contest page to your viewers in order for them to rate and comment on the video”.

We don’t normally do this sort of thing but as Kuriositas was instrumental in its original success online we thought we would make the exception.  Please rate this short on Amazon – you can get to the right page by clicking on the picture below or this link.  I found the review link difficult to find so look for the part of the page pictured below.  Good luck, Theo!

7 August 2015

Three Guesses What This Might Be...

So, what do you think this is? It's called a bee hotel and more and more people are making or buying them in order to encourage solitary bees to use them to hibernate or as a place in which to lay an egg.  The reason is fairly simple- with bee numbers in decline in many places it is important to encourage the species that do not have hives ready made for them to continue to breed. Why? Solitary bees are often fifty times better pollinators than their honey producing hive living counterparts, so it's vital that their species persevere. For lots more great examples of bee hotels, buzz over to Ark in Space.

Image Credit Flickr User szczel

The Man Who Survived Two Atomic Bombs

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was, depending on your point of view either the luckiest man on Planet Earth or exactly the opposite. Either way, what happened to him in the August of 1945 is nothing short of amazing – and his survival miraculous.

Yamaguchi was a resident of Nagasaki but on the fateful day of 6 August 1945 he was in Hiroshima, on business for his employer, Mitsubishi. He was badly wounded when the bomb carried by Enola Gay exploded above Hiroshima but survived and returned to Nagasaki the next day.

Amazingly, he returned to work on August 9 – most of us in this day and age will take a day off work if we have a nosebleed, let alone get blown up by an atomic bomb. He was explaining the first bomb to his supervisor when Bocks Car flew over Nagasaki. The Fat Man atomic bomb was dropped on to the city and Tamaguchi became the victim of a second atomic blast. He was three kilometers away from Ground Zero but was not able to get treatment for the injuries he had received in Hiroshima – for obvious reasons.

He was recognised as a hibakashu (one of those affected by the explosions) but only of the Nagasaki bomb – he kept his remarkable story to himself for many years. The Japanese government finally recognised his presence in both cities in 2009. He died of stomach cancer in January 2010.

We may not have heard the last of Tsutomu Yamaguchi. Several months before his death he met the film director James Cameron (of Titanic and Avatar fame). It seems that the director is keen to shoot Yamaguchi’s story – and it certainly does deserve more exposure. Let’s just hope that Celine Dion doesn’t sing the theme music.

Ani – Ghost City of 1001 Churches

Ani – some call it the City of 1001 Churches, others the City of Forty Gates.  Yet no one has called it home for more than three centuries.

Abandoned by its once prosperous and powerful inhabitants, it is situated on the Turkish side of a militarised zone between the border of Turkey and Armenia. The city of Ani is no stranger to death, destruction and desertion.

It is a ghost city today but once its Armenian inhabitants numbered close to 200 thousand.  In its heyday it was a metropolis which rivalled Constantinople, Cairo or Baghdad as a center of culture and enterprise.  Although it was never on traditional trade routes its sheer size and power commanded visits by merchants from all directions.  Yet what happened to reduce this once magnificent and regionally dominant city to virtually dust?

Cecil: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

The killing of Cecil the lion created a global wave of revulsion – and rightly so.  Artist collective id-iom have come up with this lovely tribute to the lion, shot by a dentist from Ohio on an illegal hunt.  The stencil shows a winged lion with the legend ‘the lion sleeps tonight’ below.  Of course, when it came to choosing the location in London to position the stencil, there was only one place it could go: Cecil Road in the capital’s Haringey area.

Amung Feedjit
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