The Super Soaker, invented in 1982 by Air Force and NASA engineer Lonnie Johnson, is basically a water gun that utilizes manually-pressurized air to shoot water with greater power, range, and accuracy than conventional squirt pistols. The prototype combined PVC pipe, acrylic glass, and an empty plastic soda bottle. During that same year, Lonnie Johnson decided to shift his focus from his current scientific career at NASA to the Super Soaker because the Super Soaker could potentially create enough funding for his own research goals. The revenue that Lonnie received from the Super Soaker licensing provided enough money for Lonnie to create Johnson Research & Development Co., Inc. Continue reading for more fascinating images from around the web.
Photographer Martjn van Oers recently purchased an original Zeiss Ikon 520/2 - a folding medium-format camera - from a second-hand store, and inside, he discovered roll of undeveloped film with the word 'EXPOSE' on it. So, he took it to his friend Johan Holleman, who has been developing his own films for the most part of his life, to help recover some of them. "We scanned the negatives and found four images had enough detail in them to tell that the last time this camera was used, it belonged to a man (who's even in one of the pictures, carrying the camera's case) who probably brought his expensive piece of gear on one of his travels," said Oers. Continue reading to see what he found.
NASA's Juno orbiter has transmitted stunning close-ups of Jupiter's Great Red Spot. It's been orbiting the massive planet for more than a year, but last weekend's flyby was the closest that the probe came to the solar system's most famous superstorm. The images were captured from as little as 2,200 miles above the cloud tops, while flying directly over the Great Red Spot at a distance of 5,600 miles. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.
It's that time again, time for the 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, and while the overall winner hasn't been selected yet, there are already plenty of notable entries, including the falling owl by Tibor Kercz. "The last two years have seen some fantastic entries. We want to see even more animals represented than before. Go out and photograph, wherever you are... a squirrel could win the competition. We want to raise awareness of conservation of all animals all over the world, so wherever you are, take pictures of those wilder things," said contest officials. Continue reading for more pictures.
Many drone users casually fly, while others do it for a living, capturing these award-winning shots in the process. Calin Stan captured "The Infinite Road to Transylvania" in Romania, and managed to become a finalist in the nature category of the annual Dronestagram competition. The region of Transylvania is known for the scenery of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history. It also contains major cities such as Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Sibiu and Targu Mures. In the English-speaking world it has been commonly associated with vampires, due to the influence of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula and its many film adaptations. Continue reading to see more award-winning shots. Click here for a few bonus images.
Alexander Pietrow is an astrophotographer who wanted to try something new. So, he took an old Game Boy Camera, strapped it to a 6" Fraunhofer telescope with a Gosky Universal Cell Phone Adapter, and then proceeded to take pictures of the moon, as well as Jupiter. "I wondered if it would be possible to do astrophotography with this camera. Searching the internet I was surprised that nobody had tried this before and decided to give it a go," said Pietrow. Continue reading to see the full rig and the images he took.
A retired federal agent claimed to have discovered a photograph of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan in the National Archives that could prove they successfully crash-landed in the Marshall Islands before being allegedly captured by the Japanese military. The photo alleges to show the duo in front of a barge towing an airplane, and the image is even stamped with the official markings of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
At first glance, the top image may seem like a scene from Back to the Future, but it's just a clever illusion created by photographer Felix Hernandez. To make this possible, he used a 1:18th-scale model toy car, studio tabletop, fire, hand tools, smoke, and light painting. Once the scene was shot, he used Photoshop to layer multiple frames, add flares, and color grade. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one of a spider with three super powers.
It may look like a fiery sunset, but the image above actually shows a fire opal. This translucent opal boasts warm body colors of yellow to orange to red. The most famous source of fire opals is the state of Queretaro in Mexico, and are sometimes cut in their rhyolitic host material if it is hard enough to allow cutting and polishing. Continue reading for more. Click here for a few bonus images.
Researchers have recorded up-close footage of a single DNA molecule replicating itself for the very first time, and it's revealed that this fundamental process incorporates an unexpected amount of 'randomness'. "It's a real paradigm shift, and undermines a great deal of what's in the textbooks. It's a different way of thinking about replication that raises new questions. We've shown that there is no coordination between the strands. They are completely autonomous," said Stephen Kowalczykowski from the University of California, Davis. Continue reading for more interesting images from around the web.