CLOSE
Original image
Pest Professionals

The Death Star of Wasp Nests Found in English Attic

Original image
Pest Professionals

Home renovations can turn up some strange things, but a family in the UK found something slightly more alarming than mold or a leaky roof. The Pipewell, England residents discovered a 3-foot-wide nest made by wasps that had taken up permanent residence in the attic of their new home, the BBC reports.

Pest Professionals

According to the Northampton Chronicle & Echo, a property that had sat unoccupied for years was once home to some 10,000 wasp squatters. Undisturbed by human activity, the wasps constructed a massive sphere connected to the outside by a long, "intricate" tunnel.

Pest Professionals

The discovery was made by exterminators who had been called in to treat a woodworm infestation and subsequently discovered a much bigger issue when the homeowner asked them to have a look at the massive orb in the attic. While not quite world record material—that honor belongs to a New Zealand nest found in 1963 measuring 12 feet long and 5 feet in diameter—it was still enough to cause a temporary case of buyer’s remorse.

Gary Wilkinson, who owns the pest control business Pest Professionals, told the Chronicle that the nest was an impressive feat of insect engineering.

“Although you wouldn't want it in your own loft, you have to say it's a very impressive and in its own way a very beautiful thing,” he said.

[h/t BBC]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at tips@mentalfloss.com.

Original image
Scott Jarvie
arrow
Design
Optical Illusion Rug Creates a Bottomless Void in Your Floor
Original image
Scott Jarvie

Artist Scott Jarvie doesn’t believe home goods need to be warm and inviting to earn a spot in the house. That’s certainly the case with his mind-bending void rug: When viewed from a certain perspective, the interior design piece inspires feelings of dread rather than comfort.

According to designboom, Jarvie achieved the rug’s bottomless black hole illusion using clever, two-dimensional design elements. To people standing directly over it, the item resembles a shaded crescent moon cupping a flat black circle. But adjust your position, and the simple rug morphs into a stomach-turning void in the middle of your living room floor.

If the circular rug isn’t trippy enough, Jarvie also made a rectangular runner that can turn an entire hallway into an empty pit. Neither rug is something you’d want to forget you own on a midnight trip to the bathroom.

Void rug optical illusion.

Jarvie’s art isn’t limited to floor rugs that trick the eye. The Scotland-based artist’s creative furniture and home decor includes laundry balls, a cling wrap dispenser, and a chair made from 10,000 plastic drinking straws.

Void rug optical illusion.

Void rug optical illusion.

[h/t designboom]

All images courtesy of Scott Jarvie.

Original image
Ikea
arrow
Design
How IKEA Turned the Poäng Chair Into a Classic
Original image
Ikea

IKEA's Poäng chair looks as modern today as it did when it debuted in 1976. The U-shaped lounger has clean lines and a simple structure, and often evokes comparisons to Finnish designer Aalto’s famous “armchair 406.” Its design, however, is ultimately a true fusion of East and West, according to Co.Design.

In 2016, the Poäng celebrated its 40th birthday, and IKEA USA commemorated the occasion (and the 30 million-plus Poäng chairs they’ve sold over the years) by releasing two short videos about the armchair’s history and underlying design philosophy. Together, they tell the story of a fateful collaboration between Lars Engman, a young IKEA designer, and his co-worker, Noboru Nakamura.

Nakamura had initially come to IKEA to learn more about Scandinavian furniture. But the Japanese designer ended up imbuing the Poäng—which was initially called Poem—with his own distinct philosophy. He wanted to create a chair that swung “in an elegant way, which triggered me to imagine Poäng,” Nakamura recalled in a video interview. “That’s how I came up with a rocking chair.”

“A chair shouldn’t be a tool that binds and holds the sitter,” Nakamura explained. “It should rather be a tool that provides us with an emotional richness and creates an image where we let go of stress or frustration by swinging. Such movement in itself has meaning and value.”

Save for upholstery swaps, a 1992 name change, and a new-ish all-wooden frame that's easily flat-packed, the modern-day Poäng is still essentially the same product that customers have purchased and enjoyed for decades. Devotees of the chair can hear the full story by watching IKEA’s videos below—ideally, while swinging away at their desks.

[h/t Co. Design]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios