The Mystifying Air Bonsai Floats and Spins Like a Tiny Planet


The creators of Air Bonsai want to suspend your tiny tree plants in mid-air. The Tokyo-based team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $80,000 for the project by March.

Each kit includes a "little star" and "energy base" that help keep the plants suspended and rotating. The little star hovers about two inches from the base and can hold up to 300 grams.

The magic trick is achieved with the help of magnets. The little star is a round sponge covered in moss and fitted with a strong magnet. (There is also a lava stone from the Sakurajima Volcano which can be used as an alternative.) The energy base also has a strong magnet with a similar pole that pushes the other magnet away.

The base comes in a variety of different looks to fit different decors. If the buyer opts for the handmade option, they receive a special porcelain base that takes about three months to create. The pieces are all hand-painted with a “Fu-de," or Japanese paintbrush, and are packaged in a traditional “Kiri” box made of Paulownia wood.

Once the kit arrives, the user plants their bonsai inside the little star. With occasional watering, the enchanting little plant will flourish and hover.

The iNaturalist App Is Like Shazam for Plants, Animals, and Insects

The planet is home to approximately 8.7 million species, with plenty more still waiting to be discovered. Whether you're a biology expert or a nature enthusiast, the iNaturalist app can expand your knowledge of the world's plants, animals, and insects by acting as a social media site for cataloging the natural world.

Here's how it works: If you spot an organism in the wild that you don't recognize, snap a photo of it and upload it to iNaturalist. There it will be identified through a combination of artificial intelligence that draws from the app's database and the crowdsourced efforts of citizen scientists. According to The Big Issue, the app is already home to roughly 10 million observations from users that can be broken down by species, time, and location.

While most animals catalogued on the site are fairly common, some observations have led to major breakthroughs. In 2013, a photo of a red and black frog uploaded from Colombia was identified by a poison frog expert as a new species. The following year, a scientist stumbled upon a photo of a rare Vietnamese snail on the app that had been described by 18th century explorer Captain Cook but never photographed.

The discovery of a new or rare species isn’t the only thing that makes the app worthwhile; the growing pool of observations gives biologists who use the app more data to refer to in their research. So while this may not be the case for all social media sites, oversharing on iNaturalist is never an issue.

[h/t The Big Issue]

Stop and Smell the Roses With Pop Chart Lab's Flowers of North America Poster

You can now fill your room with 200 kinds of flowers that you never need to water: Simply hang up Pop Chart Lab's bright and beautiful new poster breaking down the blooms of North America.

The print features familiar species like the sunflower alongside weirder fare like turtlehead, fireweed, and giant Rose Mallow. Each flower is accompanied by its common and scientific names and categorized as a perennial, annual, tree, shrub, or vine. There's also a color-coded map of the United States so you can look up where to spot each one.

The print goes for $29 on its own or $120 to $130 if you want it framed. Shipping begins on July 5. To see each bud in detail, head to the Pop Chart Lab website (and don't miss the puns, which, as always, are on point). They have tons more posters for nature lovers, from fruits and vegetables to butterflies.

Check out the design below:

Pop Chart Lab's American Bloom poster
Courtesy of Pop Chart Lab


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