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Unraveling science

US
By US Desk
Fri, 06, 22

These historic dresses are lavishly adorned with iridescent beetle bits....

BITS ‘N’ PIECES

Unraveling science

These historic dresses are lavishly adorned with iridescent beetle bits.

The practice of creating intricate designs with hundreds of wing cases from jewel beetles, is traditional to Thailand, Myanmar, India, China and Japan, and became popular in 19th century Europe.

These insects, including Sternocera aequisignata, are short lived during their adult phase (up to four weeks) so their wing cases were collected once they died naturally.

Unraveling science

This tartan material ribbon was the first ever colored photo. Taken way back in 1861, it used three-colour filter method developed by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell.

Hilariously the sensors used mistakenly picked up ultra-violet light rather than the intended red but the red dye in the material also transmitted this wavelength too, providing the expected results. It wasn’t until a century later that this mistake was discovered.

Unraveling science

This is not some crafty Photoshop trick; the bizarre hole in the water actually exists.

It’s a drain like the one in your bathtub, but super-sized and in the Napa Lake Berryessa reservoir. Fondly known as the ‘Glory Hole’, it only forms once the lake water rises to a certain height, then the excess water whirlpools into a drain, cleverly engineered to get around the cliffs in the way of a usual damn side chute.