Join Sir David Attenborough in a Virtual Reality Titanosaur Experience

The Titanosaur is the largest dinosaur—and creature—known to have walked the Earth, but we only just discovered it in Patagonia a few years ago. Now, a 122-foot-long cast of the enormous animal is on display at New York’s American Museum of Natural History, where it occupies multiple rooms. If you can’t get to Manhattan to see the Titanosaur, you can now experience one in 360-degree virtual reality alongside another titan of planet Earth: broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

In the 4-minute video above from BBC One and PBS, Attenborough introduces you to the planet as it was some 100 million years ago. Using the Chrome browser (or ideally the Cardboard VR display), you can navigate 360 degrees as a virtual Titanosaur wanders by.

The experience was created with a combination of footage from a RED Dragon camera and CGI, according to Gizmodo. In the video, the 40-meter-long and five-story-tall Titanosaur transforms from a flesh-and-blood rendering to a neon skeletal one, allowing Attenborough to delve into how the creature moved and breathed, and of course, allowing us marvel at the architecture of such a magnificent beast.

For more of Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur (a BBC One show that aired in January), head on over to the show page.

Images via BBC One // YouTube.

[h/t Gizmodo]

By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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