Cool Stuff Friday


Photo © Mattia Menchetti

When Given Colored Construction Paper, Wasps Build Rainbow Colored Nests.

It’s unnerving to discover a wasp’s nest dangling outside your house, but perhaps it would be a tad less so with the help of biology student Mattia Menchetti who cleverly realized he could give colored construction paper to a colony of European paper wasps. By gradually providing different paper shades, the wasps turned their homes into a functional rainbow of different colors.


© Waldo Nell

The Extraordinary Iridescent Details of Peacock Feathers Captured Under a Microscope.

In this series of photographs featuring the delicate details of peacock feathers, photographer Waldo Nell relied on an Olympus BX 53 microscope to take hundreds of individual shots that were combined to create each image seen here. The process, called photo stacking, blends dozens or even hundreds of photos taken at different focal points and then stitches them together to extend the depth of field. At this level of detail the feathers look more like ornate jewelry, thick braids of iridescent necklaces or bracelets, rather than something that grows organically from the wings of a bird.

By day Nell is a software engineer in Port Moody, BC, Canada, but is fascinated by technology, science, and nature, all of which he merges in his photography practice. You can see more of his work on Flickr.


  1. says

    I love the bit about using wasps to create art. How garish!

    You referenced “microcosmos” related to Struwe (who I hadn’t heard of) and immediately thought of the movie by that name. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth a watch. I especially love the part where it rains and all the bugs get sent flying by the drops.

  2. says

    Marcus, I have seen that. I’m surprised you hadn’t heard of Struwe, but I suppose I shouldn’t be.

    As for the wasps, I quite like what they’re doing! :D

  3. says

    There are so many cool artists, it’s delightfully impossible to keep track of them all. And I occasionally lose some, only to find them again. I used to feel ashamed by this but then I realized that that’s how art works.

    There’s a fellow who did amazing black and white photos of science experiments, welding torches, sparklers, lightbulbs stuff like that (no, not Doc Edgerton) Aaaaaah google image search FTW: Caleb Charland
    Abelardo Morell did some amazing camera obscura photos (turn hotel room into camera obscura, photograph the wall!)

  4. says


    Ooooh, that nest is made of awesome!

    I think so too. Did you see the rest of the photos? So pretty.

  5. Hekuni Cat, Social Justice Ninja, MQG says

    WMDKitty is right. The nest is totally awesome.

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