Watch 11,000 Marbles Run Wild

Some people build model trains. Some people play video games. Jelle Bakker, known as The Marble Master, builds super-complex Rube Goldberg machines for his tens of thousands of marbles to run through. It's good to have a hobby.

In this video, we see the Marble Tsunami, a giant contraption through which 11,000 marbles flow. As they roll along, the marbles set off chimes, hit bells and bumpers (like in a pinball game), go around loops, tip trays, and do other rather impressive mechanical things. The most incredible aspect is the sound of these things clattering; when installed, Bakker promises sound-dampening material to protect viewers' ears. (This thing is going on display this month at the Gouda Monkey Town Indoor Playground in The Netherlands.) For now, just turn down the sound.

Prepare to lose your marbles.

Fun fact: This kind of machine is called a "knikkerbaan," which roughly translates to "marble lane." (Thank you, reader Miranda Kate!)

(Via the always-excellent The Kid Should See This.)

The Auto-Icon of Jeremy Bentham

In life, philosopher Jeremy Bentham was best known as the founder of Utilitarianism. After he died, he became a statue. Take a peek at the "auto-icon" of Jeremy Bentham above, and read the strange story of Jeremy Bentham's dying wish—and how he came to America two centuries after his death—here

Watch How a Bioluminescence Expert Catches a Giant Squid

Giant squid have been the object of fascination for millennia; they may have even provided the origin for the legendary Nordic sea monsters known as the Kraken. But no one had captured them in their natural environment on video until 2012, when marine biologist and bioluminescence expert Edith Widder snagged the first-ever images off Japan's Ogasawara Islands [PDF]. Widder figured out that previous dives—which tended to bring down a ton of gear and bright lights—were scaring all the creatures away. (Slate compares it to "the equivalent of coming into a darkened theater and shining a spotlight at the audience.")

In this clip from BBC Earth Unplugged, Widder explains how the innovative camera-and-lure combo she devised, known as the Eye-in-the-Sea, finally accomplished the job by using red lights (which most deep-sea creatures can't see) and an electronic jellyfish (called the e-jelly) with a flashy light show just right to lure in predators like Architeuthis dux. "I've tried a bunch of different things over the years to try to be able to talk to the animals," Widder says in the video, "and with the e-jelly, I feel like I'm finally making some progress."

[h/t The Kid Should See This]


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