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17 Wonderfully Sweet Watermelon Carvings

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Flickr

Watermelon is delicious—and a great material for food artists. In fact, watermelon carving is a traditional Japanese art form known as Mukimono. Here are a few amazing sculptures made with nothing more than watermelon and perhaps a few other fruits as well.

1. An Introductory Flower

Here is a beautiful, albeit rather traditional, watermelon carving to provide a context for what Mukimono designs tend to look like. Image courtesy of David Sim.

2. Every Rose Has Its Rind

There are a lot of watermelon roses out there, but these fruit flowers covered in rind vines present a whole new level of intricate beauty to the craft. Photograph courtesy of Andre Pan.

3. Ssssseriously Skilled

If you have a fear of snakes, you’d probably want to stay away from the decoration Restaurant Jalisco on the Mexican Rivera put up for their Asian-themed buffet night. Fortunately, Leonora Enking was brave enough to take this picture anyway.

4. Green Elephants On Parade

This elephant carving is particularly impressive because the detail is carved in so shallowly and subtly. Flickr user Caroline spotted this masterpiece at the 2009 Thai Festival in Greenwich.

5. Green Gorillas Go!

This gorilla’s carving is similarly shallow, but the use of the white flesh to create a silhouette of his facial details gives him an impressive and incredible level of detail. Putting him on a plate filled with foods a gorilla would actually eat seems like a final fitting touch. Image courtesy of Michael Fienen.

6. Birds Of A Flavor

This is one example of what can be achieved with watermelon peels and another fruit—in this case, daikon radish. Pairing the two creates an impressive combination of colors, shapes, and textures. This impressive creation was made by Flickr user wtimm9.

7. Turning Trash Into Tasty Treasure

Why use floral bouquets to spruce up your dining room when you can instead add a little flair with food scraps such as watermelon rinds and pineapple crowns? Let this photo by Greg McComsey serve as inspiration for your next dinner centerpiece.

8. Chief Pineapple Leaf

Pineapple tops and carved radishes provide a perfect accent to this carving of a Native American complete with a sweet headdress. Flickr user Jim H. spotted this fantastic creation on a 2011 Carnival Cruise.

9. Why So Serious?

If you prefer to have a centerpiece that will make your guests smile—out of discomfort—then this goblin-esque watermelon man discovered by Flickr user MC would be a delightfully jarring centerpiece for any dinner party.

10. Gorton’s Watermelon Sticks?

Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t help but see the mascot from Gorton’s Fish Sticks when I look at this watermelon carving Quinn Dombrowski spotted on a cruise.

11. Yarr Me Matey

Bob Cotter spotted this fantastic pirate watermelon portrait while eating at a buffet.

12. Sing A Sweet Siren Song

Every pirate needs a mermaid to tempt him. Here’s one in fruit form spotted by Flickr user Patty on a tour of a Crown Princess cruise ship.

13. A Bumpkin Not On A Pumpkin

Apparently, country bumpkins are even well known in Turkey, where Matt Shalvatis spotted this watermelon, which was carved as part of a Halloween festival. Why watermelon instead of pumpkins? Well, why not?

15. Dancing In The Rind

While the majority of watermelon carvings feature one specific subject, this beautiful design, photographed by Brandi Korte at a friend’s wedding, stands out because it actually depicts a whole romantic scene.

16. Screaming For More

Most watermelon carvings are fairly serene, but this whimsical Sweet Street Preacher, photographed by Flickr user nodigio, is anything but.

17. Holy Scrapped Fruit Batman!

When it’s a geek watermelon you need, the Denver Comic Con has you covered. Or, at least, they did at the most recent convention, as evidenced by Flickr user M A Lurig.

18. Just In Time For Football Season

This glorious gator was carved by Adam Potash in support of the famous Florida Gators. Image courtesy Christopher Haugh.

As long as this warm weather lasts, you should keep seeing affordable watermelons in the stores. So if you ever want to try your hand at a new art form, just buy a melon, start to carve your masterpiece, and don’t be too disappointed with any failures—after all, that just means you get to eat the tasty fruit inside!

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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
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Weird
Take a Peek Inside One of Berlin's Strangest Museums
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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Vlad Korneev is a man with an obsession. He's spent years collecting technical and industrial objects from the last century—think iron lungs, World War II gas masks, 1930s fans, and vintage medical prostheses. At his Designpanoptikum in Berlin, which bills itself (accurately) as a "surreal museum of industrial objects," Korneev arranges his collection in fascinating, if disturbing, assemblages. (Atlas Obscura warns that it's "half design museum, half horror house of imagination.") Recently, the Midnight Archive caught up with Vlad for a special tour and some insight into the question visitors inevitably ask—"but what is it, really?" You can watch the full video below.

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Courtesy of Nikon
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science
Microscopic Videos Provide a Rare Close-Up Glimpse of the Natural World
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Courtesy of Nikon

Nature’s wonders aren’t always visible to the naked eye. To celebrate the miniature realm, Nikon’s Small World in Motion digital video competition awards prizes to the most stunning microscopic moving images, as filmed and submitted by photographers and scientists. The winners of the seventh annual competition were just announced on September 21—and you can check out the top submissions below.

FIRST PRIZE

Daniel von Wangenheim, a biologist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, took first place with a time-lapse video of thale cress root growth. For the uninitiated, thale cress—known to scientists as Arabidopsis thalianais a small flowering plant, considered by many to be a weed. Plant and genetics researchers like thale cress because of its fast growth cycle, abundant seed production, ability to pollinate itself, and wild genes, which haven’t been subjected to breeding and artificial selection.

Von Wangenheim’s footage condenses 17 hours of root tip growth into just 10 seconds. Magnified with a confocal microscope, the root appears neon green and pink—but von Wangenheim’s work shouldn’t be appreciated only for its aesthetics, he explains in a Nikon news release.

"Once we have a better understanding of the behavior of plant roots and its underlying mechanisms, we can help them grow deeper into the soil to reach water, or defy gravity in upper areas of the soil to adjust their root branching angle to areas with richer nutrients," said von Wangenheim, who studies how plants perceive and respond to gravity. "One step further, this could finally help to successfully grow plants under microgravity conditions in outer space—to provide food for astronauts in long-lasting missions."

SECOND PRIZE

Second place went to Tsutomu Tomita and Shun Miyazaki, both seasoned micro-photographers. They used a stereomicroscope to create a time-lapse video of a sweating fingertip, resulting in footage that’s both mesmerizing and gross.

To prompt the scene, "Tomita created tension amongst the subjects by showing them a video of daredevils climbing to the top of a skyscraper," according to Nikon. "Sweating is a common part of daily life, but being able to see it at a microscopic level is equal parts enlightening and cringe-worthy."

THIRD PRIZE

Third prize was awarded to Satoshi Nishimura, a professor from Japan’s Jichi Medical University who’s also a photography hobbyist. He filmed leukocyte accumulations and platelet aggregations in injured mouse cells. The rainbow-hued video "provides a rare look at how the body reacts to a puncture wound and begins the healing process by creating a blood clot," Nikon said.

To view the complete list of winners, visit Nikon’s website.

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