Dylan Thuras is a guest blogger on Boing Boing. Dylan is a travel blogger and the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura: A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica, with Joshua Foer.
Recently the most perfect spheres in the world were created as an answer to the "kilogram problem." Made to replace a chunk of platinum and iridium that has defined how much a kilogram weighs for 120 years (the weight of the metal has been changing ever so slowly ) the spheres are about the size of a melon and almost perfectly round. They are likely the most perfectly spherical objects on the planet.
"If you were to blow up our spheres to the size of the Earth, you would see a small ripple in the smoothness of about 12 to 15 mm, and a variation of only 3 to 5 metres in the roundness"
With this in mind we present you a collection of a few of the more interesting spheres found around the world.
Sweden Solar System: The world's largest model of our planetary system centered around the largest spherical building in the world.
The Mapparium: An three story inside-out glass globe built in 1935.
The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory: A gigantic spherical neutrino detector built into the largest man made underground cavity in the world.
Costa Rican Stone Spheres: Mysterious spherical rock formations from an earlier era.
Paris Sewer Museum: Giant wooden balls helped keep the Parisian sewers clean.
The Republic of Kugelmugel: A spherical "micro-nation" in the heart of Vienna.
A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]
Dr Gale Ridge is a public entomologist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where an average of 23 people a day call, write or visit; an increasing proportion of them aren’t inquiring about actual insects, they’re suffering from delusional parasitosis, and they’re desperate and even suicidal.
Biologist Nipam Patel and his team at UC Berkeley study how butterflies develop wing shape and color by performing surgery on caterpillars, creating translucent windows in their cocoons.
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]