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Henry Hargreaves

An Artist Proves There's Enough Sugar In Your Soda to Create a Lollipop

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Henry Hargreaves

The next time you go out to eat, consider ordering a lollipop to wash down your chicken caesar salad. You might as well: That Coke you reach for has enough sugar to create one, an artist from New Zealand has proved.

In a recent series of photographs called (de) hydrate, photographer Henry Hargreaves, who now lives and works in Brooklyn, demonstrates what happens when you remove the liquid from common sugary drinks. “After recently hearing a health professional refer to soda as ‘the cigarettes of our generation,’ I decided to do an experiment to show what’s in soft drinks after the water is boiled away—in other words, dehydrating the hydrator,” Hargreaves told mental_floss in an email. “Once boiled, I took each remaining substance and poured it into a lollipop mold. After all, I figure that’s what you’re essentially getting: candy in costume as a soft drink.”

Hargreaves pours the sugar mixture into his molds.

Hargreaves traces around the bottom of each beverage bottle and brands each resulting disk with the drink's name; he then uses these disks as stencils to create molds for his candies. Next, Hargreaves boils the liquid out of each drink on a stove top and pours the remaining sludgey mixture of sugar, food coloring, and other ingredients into the molds. The molds go into the fridge to harden, and, Voila! Soda 'pops.

Watch Hargreaves at work in the video below.

The results of Hargreaves' experiment-cum-art-project are unappetizing, to say the least. “There was way more sugar in there than I thought,” Hargraeves tells the BBC. “Pretty much all of the lollipop molds I made overflowed ... The other shocking thing was if you took the lollipops and put them into contact with water they became the drinks again.”

Unsurprising, Mountain Dew punched in as the sugariest beverage with 77 grams (2.7 ounces) of the sweet stuff. But even the drinks marketed as “healthier” options—such as Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, and Zico coconut water—contained enough sugar to create a lollipop. So stick to water for your hydrating needs—if you think convenience store beverages are good for you, then you’re the sucker.

The final results:

MOUNTAIN DEW

COKE

VITAMIN WATER

SNAPPLE

MONSTER

ZICO

POWERADE

Check out more of Hargreaves's work on his website, Instagram, or Facebook.

All images courtesy Henry Hargreaves

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Cephalopod Fossil Sketch in Australia Can Be Seen From Space

Australia is home to some of the most singular creatures alive today, but a new piece of outdoor art pays homage to an organism that last inhabited the continent 65 million years ago. As the Townsville Bulletin reports, an etching of a prehistoric ammonite has appeared in a barren field in Queensland.

Ammonites are the ancestors of the cephalopods that currently populate the world’s oceans. They had sharp beaks, dexterous tentacles, and spiraling shells that could grow more than 3 feet in diameter. The inland sea where the ammonites once thrived has since dried up, leaving only fossils as evidence of their existence. The newly plowed dirt mural acts as a larger-than-life reminder of the ancient animals.

To make a drawing big enough to be seen from space, mathematician David Kennedy plotted the image into a path consisting of more than 600 “way points.” Then, using a former World War II airfield as his canvas, the property’s owner Rob Ievers plowed the massive 1230-foot-by-820-foot artwork into the ground with his tractor.

The project was funded by Soil Science Australia, an organization that uses soil art to raise awareness of the importance of farming. The sketch doubles as a paleotourist attraction for the local area, which is home to Australia's "dinosaur trail" of museums and other fossil-related attractions. But to see the craftsmanship in all its glory, visitors will need to find a way to view it from above.

[h/t Townsville Bulletin]

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
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8 Things You Might Not Know About the Louvre
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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

It might be the most iconic art museum in the world. Located in Paris, the Louvre (officially the Musée du Louvre) has admitted thousands of cultural artifacts and millions of admirers since opening its doors in 1793. A guided tour is always best, but if you can’t make it to the Right Bank of the Seine, check out these eight facts about the landmark’s past, present, and future.

1. IT WAS CONCEIVED AS A CASTLE FORTRESS.

Before French King Philip II left for the Crusades in 1190, he ordered the fortification of the Seine area along the western border of Paris against any antagonists. Crowning the structure was a castle that featured a moat and defensive towers; it also housed a prison for undesirables. Over time, other construction urbanized the area, reducing the need for a combat-ready tower. In the 1500s, King Francis I built his residence on the same site. An art lover, Francis’s home and its collection of pieces hinted at what the Louvre would eventually become. In 1793, part of the Louvre became a public museum.

2. IT BECAME AN ARTIST RETREAT.

Before art was on open display for public consumption, the Louvre invited artists to stay and work on site and treat the building like a creative retreat. In 1608, Henri IV began offering artists both studio and living space in the Louvre. They could sculpt, paint, and generally do as they wished—but by the 18th century, the surplus of distinguished squatters had left the property a bit of a mess, and their residency was eventually phased out.

3. NAPOLEON RENAMED IT AFTER HIMSELF.

Crowned emperor in 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte wasn’t above a little self-glorification. Having spearheaded the transformation of the Louvre from a cultural hub to his own tributary, he had the name changed to the Musée Napoléon and hung the Mona Lisa in his bedroom. The banner lasted until his defeat in 1815.

4. AN ARTIST MADE ITS FAMED PYRAMID VANISH.

In a move right out of David Copperfield’s playbook, in 2016 French artist JR was able to execute an impressive optical illusion using the three-story glass pyramid that sits outside the front of the Louvre. The surface was pasted with black-and-white photographs of surrounding buildings, making it seem like the construct had disappeared entirely. The performance piece was left up for about a month.

5. THE MONA LISA WAS SWIPED FROM THEM.

Art heists in movies are typically pretty glamorous affairs, with gentlemen thieves and Swiss-watch planning. But when crooks lifted the Mona Lisa from its perch in the Louvre in 1911, it was a fairly indelicate operation. Three Italian handymen hid in the museum overnight, then removed the painting from the wall and bid a retreat out the door in full view of the public. One of them tried selling it over two years later, but a suspicious dealer phoned police. The ensuing media coverage is thought to be one of the reasons the painting has become one of the most famous in the world.

6. THEY ONCE CLOSED BECAUSE OF PICKPOCKETS.

In 2013, nearly half of the museum’s 450 employees refused to come to work because of a nagging pest on the premises: pickpockets. Employees said that the adolescent criminals—admission is free for those under 18—distracted and robbed American tourists and showed only disdain for Louvre workers who tried to intervene. Authorities agreed to increase security measures, and they returned to their posts.

7. THEY HAVE RESIDENT “COPYISTS.”

Few museums sanction forgeries of any type, but the Louvre recognizes the curious subculture of artists who enjoy trying to replicate famous works. Every day from 9:30 to 1:30, “copyists” are allowed to set up easels and study paintings while working on their own replicas. The appeal for the artists is to try to gain insight into the process behind masterpieces; the museum insists that the canvas size not be exactly the same, and that they’re not signed.

8. AN APP CAN HELP YOU FIND AN EXIT.

With more than 8 million visitors annually, the Louvre can often feel congested to tourists unfamiliar with its layout. In 2016, the museum began offering an app that guides users around, offering them a pre-planned tour or an exit strategy. Lost? Hang a left at the Picasso, then a right at the Michelangelo.

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