The Most Amazing Science Images of the Week, October 17-21

It's been a great week in science and tech, and what better way to relive it--or, unless you're as obsessive as us, discovering new stories--than with pictures? This week: an electric DeLorean, the world's biggest balloon animal, a robot that scoops "POOP," and the amazing portrait of a North Pacific giant octopus you see above.

Click to launch our gallery of the most amazing science and tech images of the week.

Octopus Portrait

Underwater portraiture is a tricky endeavor. Animals often end up looking greenish or blueish, thanks to the tint of the water--but some of these animals are emphatically not greenish/blueish. Pictured above is the North Pacific giant octopus, arguably the largest octopus in the world, photographed by Mark Laita using studio strobe lighting. Read more at New Scientist.Mark Laita, from Sea

Cosmic Gas Bubble

This picture, imaged by Californian skywatcher Larry Van Vleet, captures a giant bubble of glowing gas being blown by the nebula NGC 7635, also known as the Bubble Nebula. Read more about it here, or just stay here and stare at this amazing shot for awhile. Either is totally acceptable.Larry Van Vleet via SPACE

Don't Google It, Hammer It

MC Hammer, best known as okay you guys all know who MC Hammer is, announced his own search engine, to be called WIREDoo, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. The new search engine is supposed to focus on "relationships" rather than results, so a search for a car will give all sorts of other related information, like mileage, cost, insurance options, specifications, and more. We are reserving judgment. Also we are reserving our MC Hammer puns, just in case we have to use them later.WireDoo

Google Rail View

We love Google Street View, and all the places it takes us--remote Amazon villages, famous art museums, and even our own backyard. Now we get to see how Google gets their coverage of world heritage sites. Here's a Google camera on rails, heading down the Rhaetian Railway through Switzerland and Italy. Check out MacPrime for more.Google

Crystal Ball

This here is Barco's R-360 flight simulation dome, though it's awfully close to being a sphere. It offers state-of-the-art visuals and full 360-degree views--much better than a lousy screen. Ha! Rectangles. Don't make us laugh. Read more here.Barco

Ping-Pong Robots

Two five-foot, three-inch robots, created by engineers at China's Zhejiang University, are just about the most fluid robotic ping-pong players we've ever seen. They can play with each other or with a human opponent--though they're not adept enough to put spin on the ball (which means we would crush them). Still, damned impressive. Check out video here.Zheijiang University

POOPer Scooper

Well hello again to our favorite dexterous robot, the Willow Garage PR2. This time, he's picking up POOP--don't get grossed out, sort of, since it stands for Potentially Offensive Objects for Pickup. See? Potentially. Not "DOOP" (Definitely Offensive Etc Etc Etc). Anyway, check out video of the PR2 in scooping action over here.IEEE Spectrum

88 MPH--Silently

The DeLorean Motor Company, which still exists, showed off an all-electric version of the famous DeLorean, as seen in Back to the Future and every one of your dreams. It's had its engine replaced with a 26 HP equivalent electric engine and gets up to 100 miles per charge "when driven efficiently," which is not far off from electric cars like the Nissan Leaf. Jalopnik, those lucky gearheads, got themselves a real test drive with the DMCEV, as DeLorean is calling it.Kevin McCauley--Jalopnik

The New RAZR

Motorola got their thunder stolen, quite a bit really, when Google announced the next Nexus phone, with the all-new Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android (and, um, a barometer), the same week as Motorola's new flagship phone. Still, that's not to take anything away from the newest phone to carry on the sorta-proud, sorta-tainted RAZR name: the Droid RAZR. It'll be the thinnest phone in the world when it's released, a solid two millimeters thinner than the iPhone 4S, and with strong components like a Gorilla Glass screen, Kevlar back, and splashproof casing so while it'll be thin, it won't feel delicate.Motorola

Balloon Spider

Balloon artist Adam Lee was awarded the Guinness World Record for biggest balloon sculpture by an individual, for this monstrous balloon spider. At 45 feet wide and 22 feet long, the spider required nearly 3,000 balloons, and was created for (what else) a Halloween event. Check out more pictures at Laughing Squid.Otto Greule, Jr.