CLOSE
Original image

Meet the Reigning World Champion of Competitive Hot Air Ballooning

Original image

Inspired by the popular game Clash of Clans, Great Big Story set out to get an inside look at competitive hot air ballooning from the reigning world champion Rhett Heartsill.

So, how do participants compete? They take turns throwing markers from their balloons as close as they can to a set of targets, one-meter-by-one-meter Xs. And the sport isn't entirely solo. Heartsill relies on his sister, Kate, for much of the direction. On the ground, she helps him navigate to the target and sends up a helium balloon to gauge the wind conditions.

Learn more about the surprising sport in the full video from Great Big Story below:

Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages
arrow
Animals
Listen to the Impossibly Adorable Sounds of a Baby Sloth
Original image
RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/GettyImages

Sometimes baby sloths seem almost too adorable to be real. But the little muppet-faced treasures don't just look cute—turns out they sound cute, too. We know what you're thinking: How could you have gone your whole life without knowing what these precious creatures sound like? Well, fear not: Just in time for International Sloth Day (today), we have some footage of how the tiny mammals express themselves—and it's a lot of squeaking. (Or maybe that's you squealing?)

The sloths featured in the heart-obliterating video below come from the Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica. The institution rescues orphaned sloths, rehabilitates them, and gets them ready to be released back into the wild.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Original image
Martin Smith Studio
arrow
video
Mesmerizing Metal Machines
Original image
Martin Smith Studio
5612898127001

Martin Smith's metal machines are mesmerizing. They ripple like water, flap like birds, and undulate in seamless elegant motion. See more amazing automata on Instagram.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios