Friday, 28 February 2014


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Nature blows my mind! 8 brilliant bioluminescent creatures
By Margaret Badore,
Treehugger, 26 February 2014.

Bioluminescence seems almost like magic.

Organisms have evolved the ability to produce light for different reasons: to trick predators, to attract mates and even to communicate. The diversity of creatures with this ability is equally astonishing, from the common firefly to deep-sea dwellers that are rarely seen by humans. What's also fascinating is that many of these creatures are not closely related, and bioluminescent traits have evolved separately at least 30 times.

1. Fireflies

Firefly Animated Gif on Giphy

Fireflies, also known as lightning bugs, are one of the most common examples of bioluminescence. They have a special organ that produces light through a chemical reaction. Fireflies use flashing light to attract mates, but begin emitting light even as larvae, as you can see in the image below.

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They belong to the Lampyridae family, and there are 2000 species around the world, many of which have distinct flashing patterns.

2. Glowworms

Although Lampyridae larvae are also sometimes called glowworms, there's also distinct family of bioluminescent insect: Phengodidae. This glowworm is found in both North and South America, and has a series of organs that emit light.

3. Millipedes

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The Motyxia millipede, also commonly known as the Sierra luminous millipede, is another bioluminescent invertebrate. In a paper published in Current Biology, researchers report that this millipede's bright light is a warning to predators that it's highly toxic. Motyxia defends itself by oozing cyanide, but the light tells predators to stop before they take a bite.

A new species of glowing millipede was recently discovered on Alcatraz Island.

4. Comb jellies

Most bioluminescent creatures are found in the ocean, often at depths below the reach of sunbeams. Some species of comb jellies, or Ctenophora, are an example of this. The comb jelly produces blue or green light, but the movement of its combs can scatter the light, producing a rainbow effect (see top image). Researchers think the lights may serve to confuse predators.

5. Bobtail squid

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The bobtail squid has formed a symbiotic relationship with bioluminescent bacteria. The glowing bacteria helps the squid camouflage itself at night, in exchange for food. The bacteria lives under the surface of the mantle, which can act as a filter to control the brightness of the light.

6. Lanternfish

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Credit: NOAA Photo Library/Public Domain

The name "Lanternfish" may be given to any number of fish species belonging to the Myctophidae family. According to researchers at UC Santa Barbara, the fact that each species has a specific pattern of light organs suggest that luminescence helps these fish to attract mates. The lights may also serve as defensive camouflage.

The above video illustrates the different species of lanternfish.

7. Anglerfish

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The long protrusion on anglerfish's head is called a lure, and it does exactly what it sounds like. The light on the tip of the lure attracts prey right to the fish's toothy mouth, just like in "Finding Nemo." It's no wonder Jeff Kart called this predator a fish to inspire nightmares.

Also like the video, anglerfish often also have bioluminescent patches on other parts of their bodies. However, researchers from UC Santa Barbara point out that these fish have milky eyes only when dead. You can see a living one here, along with other photos of glow-in-the-dark fish.

8. Krill

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Most types of krill, tiny shrimp-like creatures, are bioluminescent. Their light-emitting organs are driven by an enzyme reaction.

Krill light up when touched or agitated, and are responsible for the amazing effect of glowing waves that can be seen in the wonderful video above, along with some other luminous sea creatures.

Top image: Comb Jelly. Credit: CC BY 2.0 Michael Bentley.

[Source: Treehugger. Edited. Some links added.]


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10 Disgusting Animal Habits That Will Make Your Skin Crawl
By Karl Smallwood,
Listverse, 28 February 2014.

Animals and bugs have a lot of creepy habits. Most of them are harmless, some of them are weird, and just a few are so mind-bendingly freaky and upsetting that they make you itch just thinking about them. For example, consider that...

10. Tarantulas Migrate In Herds Of Thousands

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Of all of the animals you’d expect to travel in packs, tarantulas are probably at the bottom of the list, right next to goldfish and unopened boxes of animal crackers. But they totally do.

Every year, in places like southern California, thousands of male tarantulas will leave their burrows in autumn to seek out a mate. The tarantulas will ignore their usual stealthy tactics in search of their new mate and will not hesitate to straight-up invade a person’s home if it’s in the way. It’s supposedly not uncommon to see dozens of giant tarantula spiders crawling across the floor behind you, right now. The phenomenon is so common that every year, animal control will receive dozens of calls from terrified home owners finding the eight-legged monstrosities in their houses.

Don’t worry though, because according to experts, technically this doesn’t count as a “migration;” it’s just a group of several thousand of the world’s largest spiders all moving in the same direction as your house. Which is much less terrifying, right?

9. Vampire Bats Will Target The Same Victim Every Night

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As far as blood-sucking animals go, you could be bitten by worse things than a vampire bat. Along with being a decidedly fuzzy creature, the vampire bat is a remarkably disease-free animal, meaning your risk of catching rabies or anything else from a bite is very unlikely. They also only hunt at night and have teeth so sharp that their bite is virtually painless.

However, they do have one rather unsavoury habit that is probably going to make you hate them forever - for reasons scientists aren’t quite sure of, vampire bats tend to feed on the same victim night after night. To make it worse, scientists have discovered that the common vampire bat is able to recognize an individual human being solely by the sound they make when they’re breathing.

That means that if you’re ever bitten by a bat and it happens to think you’re pretty tasty, it will not only seek you out to feed from you again, but it will also remember the exact sound of your breath, like a tiny winged ex-girlfriend.

8. Fire Ants Always Bite At The Same Time

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Fun fact: The fire ant was named that because its sting is not unlike being set on fire. They can also sting multiple times while biting you. That on its own would be scary enough, but fire ants have another trick up their tiny ant sleeves: psychic powers.

When fire ants attack, they rarely bite straight away; instead, they will almost always wait for a few seconds to synchronize the bites of the entire army. It isn’t clear exactly how fire ants are able to do this. One theory is that the ants sting in response to a reaction movement, such as a person recoiling in horror at the sight of hundreds of ants crawling up their arm.

Whatever the reason, by doing this fire ants are able to make their stings exponentially more painful. By attacking all at the same time, they’re able to ensure that the victim isn’t aware they’re being attacked until they’re being attacked by hundreds of ants at once. In other words, if you ever step on a fire ant nest, you won’t know it until most of the ants are already staking out a piece of your skin for a shock-and-awe campaign against your leg.

7. The Brown Tree Snake Attacks Sleeping Babies

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The brown tree snake is an invasive species of snake that was accidentally introduced to the island of Guam sometime during World War II. Though the snake is known for being largely harmless to humans, it has caused considerable problems for people living on the island over the last 60 years.

For starters, the snake is so abundant that power lines have been brought down under the sheer weight of the reptiles lying on them. If being hit on the head by three angry, falling snakes isn’t terrifying enough for the island’s residents, the brown tree snake has become infamous among locals due to its habit of attacking children and babies while they’re trying to sleep.

Scientists and researchers are genuinely baffled about why the snakes would do this, since sleeping people pose no threat to the snakes, and even the smallest, most delicious smelling baby is too large for a brown tree snake to possibly consume, ruling out the possibility of the snakes attacking these people to feed or out of aggression. All of which has left scientists with no reasonable explanation as to why the snakes would go to the effort of sneaking into a baby’s room just to bite a passive victim.

As if that wasn’t creepy enough, experiments have shown that the snakes are attracted to the smell of menstrual blood and that they will actively seek it out. The researchers weren’t able to tell whether it was the menstrual blood specifically that the snakes wanted, or if they were just sniffing around for human blood in general, but really, would either answer make you feel safer? And in case you’re wondering, the experiment was carried out exactly like you might imagine - by dangling tampons in front of hungry snakes.

6. The Hairy Frog Breaks Its Own Bones In Defense

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Photo credit: Emoke Denes

The hairy frog, sometimes known by its stage name of Trichobatrachus robustus, is a small amphibian with perhaps the single most disgusting method of defending itself in the entire animal kingdom.

When threatened, the hairy frog will produce a small pair of tiny bone claws that erupt from the ends of its toes. These claws are normally stored inside the frog’s own body, and the only way for it to actually unsheathe involves physically breaking them and forcing them through its own skin.

Imagine for a second breaking your own fingers and then trying to force the jagged pieces of bone through your palms; that’s essentially what the hairy frog does every single time it’s attacked. As of yet, no one is really sure if the frog has the ability to retract its claws after it has pushed them through its own skin.

If that wasn’t disgusting enough, during mating season the frog will also grow long strands of “hair-like” pieces of skin and arteries along the side of its body to help it take in more oxygen, so along with having Wolverine claws, they also have Wolverine sideburns.

5. Tasmanian Devils Are Born Scarred

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Like their cartoon counterpart, Tasmanian devils are vicious, loud, and dangerous. They’re also one of the few creatures on Earth that is born fighting. You see, a mommy Tasmanian devil will usually give birth to about 30–50 pups; however, she only has four teats from which the pups can feed.

You don’t have to be a math genius to realize that something is wrong with that equation, and you don’t need to be a biologist to guess what happens next. The instant they’re born, the pups will begin to fight for access to a teat. They will bite, scratch, and try to kill their own brothers and sister eight seconds after being born. As the Tasmanian devil is a marsupial, this all happens inside of the mother’s pouch, which is said to writhe and squeal as this is happening.

Very few new-born pups survive this ordeal, and it’s extremely rare for more than a handful to survive. It’s noted that the fighting among pups is so fierce that some will even leave their mother’s pouch covered in wounds, scars, and the blood of their dead siblings. That’s just hard-core.

4. The Horse Bot Fly Lays Its Eggs In A Horse’s Tongue

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Photo credit: Kalumet

Bot flies are a group of bugs that lay their eggs inside the flesh of living beings. Though Dermatobia hominis (the bot fly that lays its eggs inside of a human) is the member of this family that gets the most press, its cousin, Gasterophilus intestinalis (the common horse bot fly), should be the one that makes your skin crawl, even if it doesn’t lay its eggs beneath your skin.

The common horse bot fly is so named because it lays its eggs on the hair of horses, donkeys, and other equids. As the animal grooms itself these eggs will hatch and the larvae will either enter the animal’s stomach or burrow into its tongue, gums, or mouth lining to grow.

After they’ve matured for a few days, the larvae will then make their way to the equid’s stomach, where they will then attach themselves to the lining of the animal’s intestines with about a hundred of their friends, and wait nine months to be pooped out. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, yes, these things can also infect humans. However, they’re unable to live inside of us and will die after a few days - after they’ve burrowed their way into your lips, of course.

3. Komodo Dragons Swallow Prey Whole

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Though they’re powerful and stealthy hunters, capable of stalking prey for many miles before ending their life in a single, crushing blow, komodo dragons will throw all of that out of the window the second they begin eating.

Komodo dragons will go to extreme lengths to make sure that they’re full, and they have been observed in the wild running headlong into trees to force the food down their gullets and break the bones of whatever it is they’re currently trying to digest. The force with which komodo dragons do this has been known to uproot small trees.

If the image of a giant lizard forcing half a goat down its own throat by crushing it against a tree isn’t already unsettling enough, komodo dragons have also been known to raid recently dug graves for food. This problem is so widespread that it is common practice on Komodo Island to cover the graves of the recently deceased with large, heavy rocks to dissuade the dragons from digging them back up.

Locals on the island are so terrified of the creatures and their eating habits that houses on the island are built on stilts so that the creatures can’t enter their homes.

2. Mosquitoes Can Smell Your Blood

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In a 2004 study conducted in Japan, it was discovered that mosquitoes will instinctively target people with type O blood far more than they will target other people. Along with meaning that about 45 percent of the people reading this have a tiny bull’s-eye on their veins, it also means that mosquitoes can literally smell your blood.

To make it worse, a mosquito will intentionally seek out the people it deems more attractive, while actively ignoring the ones it doesn’t. For example, in the Japanese study mentioned above, mosquitoes ignored dozens of other people in the same room in favour of repeatedly trying to bite the same few, unlucky individuals.

Basically, if you have type O blood, even if you’re surrounded by friends, a mosquito is going to know exactly where you are, and it’s going to go out of its way to bite you regardless of how many people are in the way.

1. There’s A Type Of Bee That Drinks Your Tears

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None of that title is hyperbole - there is literally a species of bee that can gain sustenance from your tears. Though the bees will normally be happy to feed on your sweat, they can and will opt instead to drink your tears if the opportunity presents itself.

If that wasn’t bad enough, as researchers in Thailand noted, when presented with the chance to feed from a person’s eyes, it took dozens of failed attempts before the bee would lose interest and try to find food elsewhere. Perhaps the worst part of all of this is the fact that the bees themselves are so adept at feeding this way that, most of the time, the people they’re feeding from don’t even notice. You could actually have bees feeding from your eyes right now.

[Source: Listverse. Edited.]


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6 Weird Animal Phenomena Investigated by Science
By M Asher Cantrell,
Mental Floss, 27 February 2014.

These animal kingdom oddities may seem like urban legends, but they all actually happened and had real-life scientists scratching their heads.

1. Exploding Toads in Germany

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Image: Florian Quand/AP, via NBC News.

While toads often inflate themselves to appear bigger to predators, they don’t often outright explode. Except, that is, in April 2005 in Hamburg, Germany when thousands of frogs blew apart over a period of a few days, sometimes strewing little toad parts up to a meter around.

Dr. Franz Mutchsmann, a veterinarian from Berlin, came up with a theory for the toads' apparently spontaneous explosions: A flock of crows had recently taken up residence in parts of Hamburg, and they had developed a taste for toad liver. The crows would swoop down, thrust their beaks inside the toads, and steal their livers before the toads even knew what had happened. The toads would instinctively puff themselves up to scare the crows away, but with the holes the crows left in their skin, the pressure would push their insides to the outside, bursting the toad into pieces.

2. Globsters

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All over the world, huge lumps of unidentified flesh, known as "globsters," wash up on shore. Often, they look like animals completely unknown to science. They can weigh up to several tons and have been spotted on beaches everywhere throughout the last century.

So what are they? Often, they’re initially believed to be giant squids and other rare (or non-existent) marine animals, but scientists have found that the explanation isn’t quite that amazing.

So far, every globster discovered has been definitively identified (before it washes back out to sea or is tampered with in some way) as the remains of an ordinary creature, usually a whale. For example, a globster found in Chile in 2003 was discovered to be the skin of a sperm whale. Since dead animals in the ocean simply drift, anything left over from predators and natural decay can get caught in a strong tide and wash up on dry land to gross us all out.

3. Mike the Headless Chicken

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In 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen took one of his many chickens to the chopping block to prepare dinner for his family. After decapitating the chicken, something strange happened: The chicken didn’t die.

The headless chicken, which the family later named Mike, continued to wander around the farm and steadfastly refused to be turned into the Olsen’s supper. The Olsens discovered that they could still feed and water Mike by way of an eyedropper inserted into his neck hole. After that, they took the chicken on the road, showing him off as Mike the Headless Chicken.

What magic kept Mike alive? Sheer luck, as it happens. Scientists at the University of Utah who examined Mike found that Olsen barely missed Mike’s brain stem, which allowed him to continue walking and moving even after his decapitation. Unfortunately, Mike died when his family lost his eyedropper and were unable to help him when he began to choke on a kernel of corn.

4. Thousands of Eyeless Fish Wash Up on the Same Beach. Twice.

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A few years back, the news was rife with stories about mass animal deaths, especially ones involving birds. Almost all had completely normal explanations (like fireworks scaring birds into flying into trees and buildings), but a few ended up going more or less unexplained.

On the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand, thousands of dead snapper washed up overnight in early 2011, many of them with no eyes. Although wildlife authorities looked into the event, no official explanation was ever announced. An early statement indicated that it may have been “deliberate.”

Almost two years later to the day, the same thing happened again, at the same beach. Thousands of snapper popped up with strange wounds on their bodies. This time, officials concluded that it was most likely a broken net being hauled by an illegal fishing boat, though they didn’t say how (or if) it was connected to the previous deaths.

5. The Malawi Terror Beast

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In 2003, villagers in the Dowa district of Malawi fled in fear of a creature dubbed the “Terror Beast,” an unidentified animal that killed three and injured sixteen. The creature badly maimed its victims, tearing off limbs and disembowelling the dead. Since most animals only attack out of self-defense or to feed, this appeared to be extremely unusual behaviour.

The villagers described it as some variety of large dog. What’s more, a similar animal killed five and injured 20 a year before. That one was killed by authorities and found to be a rabid hyena, but survivors of that first attack alleged the creature was too large to have really been a hyena and that the animal killed was not the one which attacked them.

Meanwhile, the Terror Beast, which may have also been a rabid hyena, was never found.

6. The Florida “Skunk Ape” Photos

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In 2000, Florida residents in Campbell County began seeing a large, ape-like creature and finding dead cats throughout their neighbourhoods. Some believed it might be a legendary Bigfoot-esque creature known as the “skunk ape.” Things got especially weird when an anonymous woman sent two pictures of the creature to the police.

Loren Coleman, a cryptozoologist, became interested in the case and began to archive newspaper reports as well as copies of the letter and photographs sent by the anonymous woman. The Skunk Ape eventually disappeared and the photographs were never positively identified.

Coleman has a pretty good explanation sitting in plain view on his site (although he and the cryptozoological community don't buy it). In a comparison image created by a Canadian Wildlife Service biologist named Tony Scheunhamme, the skunk ape is compared with an ordinary orangutan. Not coincidentally, animal control had already been looking into a lost orangutan.

As for how an orangutan got loose in Campbell County, that’s as much of a mystery as anything else.

[Source: Mental Floss. Edited. Some images added.]


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Are You A Slave To The Grind?
By Gerri,
Business Pundit, 27 February 2014.

Although the practices of slavery that were common during the days of President Lincoln are long behind us, some of the core concepts of slavery that once invaded the United States are far from dead. The corporate world holds fast to some of the techniques that plantation owners used to make money where business management is concerned, or perhaps it’s just an eerie similarity.

Slavery was first justified as an institution in 1660. However, the practice was in wide use since 1619, when the first 20 indentured servants were brought to U.S. shores from Africa to Virginia. By the 1840′s, plantation owners kept books on their slaves and their output in much the same way that modern corporations track their own workers and their output. Slaves were traded, moved around, and constantly encouraged to produce greater amount of outputs with little reward. This approach to business is still central to the corporate landscape to which we have been desensitized.

Slaves were also considered numbers rather than people. It is not difficult to draw this parallel to modern structures in business management today. Employees are considered to be replaceable and rarely given consideration on the individual level. There is also a high level of intervention and monitoring of today’s employees in much the same way that slave owners controlled every possible aspects of their worker’s lives in the past. Under the guise of the concern for health insurance costs, today’s corporate entities keep track of everything from the food that their employees eat to the amount of time that they are allowed to take off in a given year.

In addition to the eerie similarities that exist between plantation owners business management techniques, there are some real and blatant slavery practices that exist in the the modern world. These institutions include sex trafficking, arranged marriages, and bonded labour. At its heart, slavery looks at the individual as a commodity that is to be manipulated for profit above anything else. Slavery currently impacts over 20 million children, men, and women all over the world. Modern slavery is alive and well in many forms, making society not quite as developed as most of us would like to believe.

Slave Owners vs Modern Management
Infographic by Top Management Degrees

[Source: Business Pundit.]


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Bridging The Urban Landscape: 10 Skywalks That Have Us Walking On Air
By Alex Garkavenko,
Architizer, 25 February 2014.

Since “skywalks” evoke Jedi masters, and “gangways” indicate pirates, the appearance of these architectural features in contemporary structures makes the mundane task of traveling from building to building an absolute adventure. Strung between two visually disconnected masses, a gangway becomes an urban bridge, giving pedestrians a soaring understanding of a building’s elevation. Combining the best features of a cantilever (but with support!) with sweeping views (but on both sides!), what's not to love about these aerial pathways?

A surprising number of the world’s top firms have used these floating paths to link buildings in a complex, either alluding to the size of the project or the budget. Or perhaps (like us!) they're addicted to the exceptional quality of these spaces - the moment when the building drops away and the solid can be distinguished from the void. Here are some of our favourite instances of gangways, urban planks, and skywalks from the Architizer database.

1. LM Harbour Gateway by Steven Holl Architects - Copenhagen, Denmark

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Steven Holl's proposed walkway - the LM Harbour Gateway - spans the entire entrance to the Copenhagen Harbour (!), joining two giant cantilevers "like a handshake."

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Employing all the cable-stay elements and drama of a vehicular bridge, the massive pedestrian gangway will take advantage of its unique positioning not only by providing spectacular views, but also by harvesting enough wind power to provide lighting for public spaces. The movement of air will also aid in natural ventilation for the entire building. The site at the water's edge lets the towers employ a seawater heating/cooling system.

2. Linked Hybrid by Steven Holl Architects - Beijing, China

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Clearly, Steven Holl is an ardent fan of the skywalk. Like a group of friends holding hands, the towers of this Beijing complex surround a new kind of public space for the Chinese environment - one that is porous and inviting rather than defensive and exclusive.

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The bridging elements add layers to this "open city within a city," not only offering unusual views, but also introducing rich programs to connect the eight residential towers and hotel. Perched up there in the sky, you can find a swimming pool, a fitness room, a café, and a gallery.

3. Danish National Maritime Museum by Bjarke Ingels Group - Helsingør, Denmark

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Floating above the dry dock, the bridges in this project by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) let the users interact with the space without disturbing the heritage structure. The three double-level walkways provide visitors with shortcuts through the museum and serve as an urban connection.

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The harbour bridge blocks the dock and acts as a harbour promenade; the auditorium (also a bridge) joins the adjacent Culture Yard with the Kronborg Castle; and the last connects to the node of the main entrance.

4. Psychiatric Hospital Helsingor by Julien de Smedt Architects with Bjarke Ingels Group - Helsingor, Denmark

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Both Julien de Smedt Architects (JDS) and the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have used elevated walkways separately in other projects, so it's not surprising that their joint project - the Psychiatric Hospital Helsingor - would too.

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The moments where the ground appears to fall from under the building emphasize the luscious rolling landscape. Where it is not lofted, the building dips into the ground, allowing the lawn to completely engulf the structure in certain moments. This intimate relation with the landscape provides for a healing environment, evoking safety and calm.

5. Sjakket Youth Centre by Julien de Smedt Architects - Copenhagen, Denmark

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In contrast, this much smaller project by JDS features a single elevated crossing that is intentionally as disjointed from the primary building as possible. The architects converted a run-down factory into a community centre mainly for immigrant youth, with minimal, subtle interventions, save for the red beacon on the roof.

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Teetering on the two curved peaks, the bright red container provides a raised terrace for the children and room for the "Ghetto Noise" sound studio. The floating space further allows for the half-pipe underneath to be used as a sun deck, letting the kids playfully inhabit the building at all levels.

6. Central Los Angeles Public High School for the Visual and Performing Arts by Coop Himmelb(l)au - Los Angeles, USA

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Joining the likes of Disney Concert Hall, Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in the Grand Avenue cultural corridor of downtown Los Angeles, this school needed to stand out. Coop Himmelb(l)au used this opportunity to communicate Los Angeles's commitment to art through the creative forms of the three buildings of the complex.

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One of the features is the spiralling elevated ramp that the architects claim "serves as a widely visible sign for the arts in the city and a point of identification for the students."

7. SEG Apartment Block Remise by Coop Himmelb(l)au - Vienna, Austria

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Wanting to open up the typical housing block, buildings exceed the height of the average complex while remaining at the same density in this complex in Vienna by Coop Himmelb(l)au.

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This allows for the creation of "reserve spaces" within the buildings that form recreational spaces like air pockets at various levels of the complex. The gangways that span between the spaces act as a circulatory stitch between moments of interest.

8. Marina Bay Sands Singapore by Safdie Architects - Singapore

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Designed by Moshe Safdie for Las Vegas Sands Corporation, this integrated resort was never going to be a shy project. Not only does it cut an imposing figure in the Singapore skyline, with its three imposing towers, but the "skybridge" in this case is actually a "SkyPark," spanning the tops of all three 55-story buildings.

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The one-hectare soaring space comes equipped with an infinity pool, landscaped gardens, dining facilities, an entertainment venue, and obviously some of the best views in Singapore.

9. Ravenna Harbour Apartment Building by Cino Zucchi Architetti - Ravenna, Italy

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One of the first projects of an urban renewal project in Ravenna, Italy, this residential building by Cino Zucchi Architetti has left porous openings for future development.

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The undulating heights of the massing comes as a result of extensive solar studies. Following this logic, the "lived-in bridge" of this complex also provides a way to connect the blocks while giving the central courtyard a sense of spatial enclosure.

10. Courtyard Building in the Forest by Arons en Gelauff Architecten - Calslaan, Enschede, Netherlands

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Connecting a large dormitory complex, the bridges in this project by Arons en Gelauff Architecten provide residents with an alternative to continuously climbing the stairs. Furthermore, the almost-whimsical appearance of the spindly structures means that they also activate the courtyard beneath, arranged just close enough to the ground to let people communicate from above and below.

Top image: LM Harbour Gateway. Credit: Steven Holl Architects.

[Source: Architizer. Edited. Top image added.]