A California UFO Mystery, A Selfie-Taking Monkey, And Other Amazing Images Of The Week

Also, Arnold Schwarzenegger blows up an elephant tusk

This Building Is An Optical Illusion

The winners of this year’s Arcaid Images Architectural Photography Awards have been announced. Among the shortlisted images is this photograph of De Rotterdam, the largest building in the Netherlands. The complex was designed in 1998 by architect Rem Koolhaas, a once-aspiring filmmaker who wanted to create a building that moves when you drive by. The result is De Rotterdam, whose towers appear to separate and then converge as you pass by.

Mobile For A Coral Nursery

Coral nurseries, like this one established off Andros Island in the Bahamas, can help replenish diminishing coral populations threatened by overfishing, pollution, and climate change. This image is part of a special issue of Science magazine, published on November 13, dedicated specifically to exploring climate change in oceans.

Arnold Blows Up An Elephant Tusk

Arnold Schwarzenegger has on his most menacing snarl for this new video from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s 96 Elephants campaign, named after the 96 elephants poached on average in Africa each day. “Hey, stop killing 96 elephants everyday just because of this ivory,” says Schwarzenegger before blowing apart an ivory tusk rigged with explosives. Message received.

Microflowers Bloom In The Lab

Flower-shaped objects hold promise in a range of fields from optoelectrics to biomedicine, which is why researchers are eager to synthesize them in the lab. Cue microflowers, created for the first time in India, which self-assemble when placed in water. This image of a microflower was magnified 20,000 times.

Bright Lights, Big Missile

Curious reports lit up social media in November as witnesses in California claimed to see UFO lights in the sky. The lights turned out to have come from a missile test launch off the coast of Southern California. A photographer captured the image under time-lapse.

Shot In The Dark

This image of a bullet hole pattern in a liquid crystal recently won first place in the University of Cambridge’s annual engineering photo competition sponsored by ZEISS. It was taken by Rachel Garsed, an electrical engineering student at Cambridge. Liquid crystals (the “LC” in LCD) are peculiar because they may flow and behave like a liquid, but have the molecular structure of a solid.

Kids’ Drawings Become Reality

Ikea’s new Sagoskatt range of plush toys may look a little strange, and that’s because they were faithfully recreated from children’s drawings. For its Soft Toys For Education program, the company donates 1 Euro to UNICEF and Save the Children for every toy sold during November and December.

How Driverless Cars See The World

Matthew Shaw and William Trossell, of ScanLAB Projects, mapped London from the point of view of an autonomous car. Driverless machines use LIDAR 3-D scanning to detect buildings and people, yet recognizing mirrors and fog remains a challenge. Tesla’s Elon Musk claims he will produce a truly self-driving automobile by 2018.

The Latest Legal Battle Over This Monkey Selfie

The controversy over these selfie, taken by a crested black macaque on a camera stolen from nature photographer David Slater, wages on with new disputes over the monkey’s gender. In 2014, Slater picked a fight with Wikimedia after the organization made the selfies available over public domain, claiming that the photos belong to him. This September PETA joined the debate by suing Slater on behalf of the macaque, named Naruto. PETA argues that the monkey should own the photos’ copyrights and any profits made off them. Now Slater’s defense team is saying that PETA can’t prove the identity of the monkey in the photos, particularly since Naruto is male and PETA has described the monkey as female. A hearing has been scheduled for January 6, 2016.

Psychedelic Pluto

Scientists for New Horizons mapped the surface composition of Pluto using a technique called principal component analysis. The false color image was created using data collected by New Horizons’ Ralph/MVIC color camera over the summer.