Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

How a wee Scottish village is shining a light — literally — on rising seas

At high tide each night, bright lights predict the underwater future.

(Niittyvirta/Aho)
  • Lochmaddy is a seaside village sitting at the encroaching edge of the North Atlantic.
  • Artists dazzling lights depict the town's submerged future as the oceans continue rising.
  • It's an unsettling visualization of global warming's impact.

The Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre sits in a hauntingly beautiful place, at the sea's edge in a tiny Scottish village. The name of this Outer Hebrides place is Lochmaddy, and it can be found, for now, in the low-lying archipelago of Uist off the country's west coast. It looks like a place the world forgot. But now, a new outdoor light installation chillingly illustrates the likely fate of communities such as Lochmaddy as Earth's warming seas rise.

Lines (57° 59N, 7° 16W)

Photo credit: Niittyvirta / Aho

Named for Lochmaddy's latitude and longitude, Lines (57° 59N, 7° 16W) is the creation of two Finnish artists, Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho. They've constructed horizontal LED arrays above low-lying areas and bridges that will be submerged if the Earth's temperatures continue to rise, and at corresponding high-water locations on the sides of endangered structures.

Floating sensors switch the LEDs on at high tide each night, bright, painful incisions in the otherwise peaceful dark. It's a troubling sight, not least due to the incongruous appearance of such a futuristic-looking intrusion in such a serene setting. A sad one, too, making starkly clear what's about to be lost if we don't act quickly to save the places we love too much to lose.

(Niittyvirta/Aho)

(Niittyvirta/Aho)

(Niittyvirta/Aho)

LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

Scientists see 'rarest event ever recorded' in search for dark matter

The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

Image source: Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
  • The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
  • The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
Keep reading Show less

Space travel could create language unintelligible to people on Earth

A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.

Cylindrical space colony.

Credit: NASA Ames Research Center.
Surprising Science
  • A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
  • Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
  • This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".
Keep reading Show less

Your emotions are the new hot commodity — and there’s an app for that

Many of the most popular apps are about self-improvement.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Personal Growth

Emotions are the newest hot commodity, and we can't get enough.

Keep reading Show less
Scroll down to load more…
Quantcast