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Giant Straw Animals from Japan

When someone says giant animal from Japan, my first thought is Godzilla. However, these giant straw animals, courtesy of the mad geniuses at Bored Panda, are just as cool. And they don’t trample Tokyo.

“Fall is a season of harvesting, and festivals to celebrate it are currently taking place all over the world. In Northern Japan, the Wara Art Festival recently rang in the September-October rice season, and it’s a wildly inventive and fun way to repurpose rice straw left over from the harvest.

Wara Art Festival has been taking place in Niigata City since 2008, where it began as a creative collaboration between the city’s tourism division and the Musashino Art University. Rice straw was once widely used in Japan to produce various goods, such as tatami mats, but has now been replaced by wood and plastic in most instances. The students of Musashino worked together to fill the fields of Niigata with giant animal sculptures made of bound rice straw, and they’ve been doing it every year since then.

Check out the best displays from the 2017 festival below, and definitely put a trip to Japan on your fall to-do list for next year.”

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri

Image credits: Wara Art Matsuri


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Correct Names for Animals and Objects

Ever wonder who gets to select the name for animals and objects? This hilarious post by Dominyka Jurkštaitė, Mark Dempsey, and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda offers some sensible alternatives.

“Do you like to eat bagel seeds covered in cereal sauce for breakfast? Perhaps you like to quench your thirst with a nice cold glass of snowman blood? Or maybe you’ve marveled at the majestic grace of the animal known as the sea flap flap? You’re probably shaking your head right now, but the chances are that you’ve done at least one of these three things at some point in your life.

Don’t worry, we haven’t gone mad. Scroll down to see what we mean. The funny (and more than a little bizarre) descriptions of everyday things come courtesy of @CorrectNames, a hilarious twitter account by Mark Dempsey that attributes alternative names to everything from fruit and animals to clothing and body parts. Which one do you like the most? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to vote for the funniest!”

Correct Name

Correct Name

Correct Name

 I’d also call this ice juice.

Correct Name

Correct Name

Correct Name

Correct Name

 Or doughnut seeds

Correct Name

Correct Name

Correct Name


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Amazing Balloon Animals

Thanks to Masayoshi Matsumoto and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda, we are shown how balloon animals can be taken to the next level.

“Everyone would love Japanese artist Masayoshi Matsumoto at their birthday party. This remarkable balloon artist has already made a name for himself but now he’s back with even more incredibly intricate animal and insect sculptures.

“I started making these seven years ago, I was really inspired by wildlife pictures and wanted to see if I could create realistic animals of my own,” Matsumoto told Metro. His pieces take the self-taught artist a minimum of two hours to complete and more complex project last up to six.

All of his work becomes even more stunning when you realize that Matsumoto doesn’t use markers, stickers or any other supplementary material. Ever. His multi-colored animal kingdom is made purely out of blowing and twisting balloons.”

#1 Phoenix

Phoenix

#2 House Fly

House Fly

#3 Chameleon

Chameleon

#4 Caterpillar

Caterpillar

#5 Snake

Snake

#6 Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

#7 Octopus

Octopus

#8 Frog

Frog

#9 Jellyfish

Jellyfish

#10 Siamang

Siamang


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Redesigning animal names

As a fan of good design, I’ve long thought that animal names should be more descriptive. Well, the clever folks at Sad & Useless have compiled a list for us. Enjoy!


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Making Animal Sculptures out of Plastic Household Objects

From the talented Sayaka Ganz and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“When first encountering my art I want my viewers to see an animal in motion such as horses galloping out from a gallery wall, or dolphins swimming above, or polar bear family diving for fish. I want to share the imagination of what it might feel like to gallop like a horse and feel the wind going through my mane, or to swim like a dolphin and feel the water and sunlight against my fins.

When the viewers get up close to my sculpture, it becomes apparent that these animals are made of plastic kitchen items and other household objects. You might even have the same identical spoon or spatula in your kitchen drawer. Upon further inspection viewers may notice that many of the objects are stained or bent, because these are all second hand items bought from thrift stores and collected from friends and family.

I call my style “3D Impressionism”. I use plastic objects like brush strokes in a painting by Van Gogh. The plastic items are my collaborators, and they inform the aesthetic decisions I make as well as educate me about environmental issues.”


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Photos of the Tiny Fae World Around Us

From Magda Wasiczek and the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

My picture book, MABEL AND THE QUEEN OF DREAMS, is inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Mercutio describes how the tiny Fae Queen Mab travels in her flying chariot, painting people’s dreams. The photos in this post show that the Fae Queen could live in our world quite comfortably.

“My name is Magda Wasiczek, I am a flower & nature photographer based in Trzebinia, Poland. Photography to me is a tool of raising the awareness to the beauty of nature. I’ve learned to see invisible things, to enjoy million small details, which I did not pay attention to before.

I do not know who or why, what strength created the world that surrounds us. I know that it is an unusual and fascinating in every smallest detail.

Before I began photographing, I liked to draw, paint. Then I just changed the tool and instead of brushes and pencils I began to use lenses and I have learned to use their optical properties to achieve the desired effects.

I want to show the world of plants or insects in such a way that would impress an average person who has paid no attention to the world at his feet or even hated those “nasty bugs”.

When going to the meadow or the garden, I have no planned shots. I let the nature surprise me. I love the thrill when you find a theme in the open air. It’s like opening presents at Christmas.

I want to present my vision of the world, this idyllic paradise of fairy tales. I hope that looking at my pictures, a child inside of them wakes up, because the world in the eyes of a child is always more colorful, fascinating, mysterious and full of surprises.”


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Straw Dinosaurs and Giant Animals

From the mad geniuses at Bored Panda.

“Niigata Prefecture, Japan, has thought of a novel way to use the straw left over from their rice harvest. A “wara” or rice-straw festival is held every August 31st, where local artists build elaborate straw sculptures over wooden frames. The frames allow the statues to be larger and let spectators interact with them.

Amy Goda, an aspiring local artist, has gained fame for her spectacular rice-straw dinosaur sculptures. Her massive creatures have made the Wara Art Festival famous online. Visitors hoping to catch a glimpse of these unique sculptures can go to Uwasekigata Park in Niigata City’s Nishikan Ward, where they will remain until the beginning of November.”

Niigata Prefecture holds its Wara Art Festival every August 31st

“Wara” means rice-straw in Japanese

Rice-straw is a by-product of the yearly rice harvest

The straw is attached to wooden frames to provide stability and allow for greater size

The results are surprising

Amy Goda studies art in Niigata Prefecture

Her incredible dinosaurs have attracted international attention

Various techniques are used to create the behemoths

The method used to build thatched cottages is similar to that used for the sculptures

This makes for stable structures that visitors can interact with