Fold them bones

By Phil Plait | May 7, 2011 7:11 am

I love clever art, especially when that art has a deeper meaning… literally and figuratively.

Check out Japanese artist Takayuki Hori’s X-ray animal origami:

Pictures of the animal bones are printed on transparent paper, so when assembled you get a complete skeleton. They’re beautiful and a bit eerie… and the message the artist is conveying is about pollution in Japan that is threatening and killing wildlife there.

Tip o’ the lead apron to Geekologie.

Related posts:

X-rayted pinup
Follow-up: X-Rayted calendar
Hoo barfed?
What the hell were we thinking?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Pretty pictures

Comments (6)

  1. My daughter is good at origami. I think she’s like this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Linda

    Wow. That made me really, really sad.

  3. Lyra

    I think you broke that website…

    “Due to overwhelming response, our servers are currently busy. Try again later.

    Thank you.”

  4. Messier Tidy Upper

    Great artwork but .. a complete skeleton of what exactly?

    Looks like Pegasus the mythical flying horse a la the constellation! ūüėČ

    .. the message the artist is conveying is about pollution in Japan that is threatening and killing wildlife there.

    Not just in Japan but everywhere else too – it is thought by some that we are living through – and causing – a mass extinction of our own right now. The global rates of biodiversity loss and habitat destruction is a real worry. :-(

    PS. Off topic but news of possible interest for folks from the NASA Shuttle page : The final Endeavour launch & penultimate shuttle launch ever now delayed until May 16th 2011 earliest.


    “We live in a zoologically impoverished world from which all of the hugest, fiercest, and strangest forms have disappeared.”

    – Alfred Russel Wallace, 1876 as quoted on page 71, Tim Flannery ‘Here on Earth : An argument for Hope’, Text Publishing, 2010.

  5. Mark Hansen

    Just a wild guess but I think the bird may be an albatross.

  6. Calli Arcale

    That is definitely a bird, not a Pegasus. Note the keel-shaped sternum, the beak, the long three main digits of the hindlimbs (bird feet, in other words — horses have just one digit on each foot), and the fused phalanges of the forelimbs (the wings) with the little “thumb” still visible.

    The classic origami is a crane (“orizuru”), but I don’t think this is one; the neck is too short. The beak is hooked, which makes me think “raptor”. The feathers are probably more suggestive than accurate. The artist’s stated focus is species of Japan’s coastal waterways which could be threatened by pollution. The White-Tailed Eagle (cousin to our Bald Eagle) comes to mind as a threatened bird which is a) very popular in Japan (it’s considered a national treasure, though it’s range extends all across northern Eurasia), b) definitely threatened by polluted waterways, and c) at least casually similar to this skeleton.

    Of all the fish eagles, only one enjoys sufficient protection to ensure its survival — the Bald Eagle. If it weren’t tied up with American patriotism, it would not be so lucky. The other Halieetus are in serious decline. There may be about 10,000 pairs of white-tailed eagles left in the entire world. There are well over twice that many bald eagles in Alaska alone, and over ten times that many in the entire world.

    This is a beautiful project; I hope it calls attention to the dangers these animals face. I also plan to print out the one model provided on the link so I can make it. ūüėČ


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