Strange things are happening in London’s financial center. Cars are melting. Stores are catching fire and tiles are shattering. It feels like the next Roland Emmerich flick. However, that’s not the case.
The London skyscraper known among locals as “The Walkie-Talkie” is melting cars and creating fires in other nearby buildings.
This sounds like it could be the premise of a Japanese monster movie, but it’s actually fact.
Because of its unusual shape and exterior covered in reflective glass, the sun’s rays are turning into more or less into “death rays”, igniting and melting outside carpets, signs and more.
For example, Martin Lindsay parked his fancy Jaguar across the street from the Walkie-Talkie. An hour later he returned to find the panels and mirrors melted. Nearby shops had their front carpets catch fire. In fact, the front tiles of a local restaurant even shattered.
How can a building even be doing this?
The answer is simple.
Just kidding. It’s science.
Do you remember when you were young and the weird kid across the street would use a magnifying glass to light ants on fire? (Please tell me that wasn’t just my hometown…) Well, because of its shape and exterior, the “Walkie-Talkie” is essentially a giant magnifying glass and the nearby Londoners are the helpless little ants.
Designed by renowned architect, Rafael Viñoly, the “Walkie-Talkie” has a curvilinear shape, meaning that it has a concave shape to it. Additionally, the south-side of the building is covered in reflective glass. Therefore, when the sun shines upon this illustrious building it turns itself into a giant death ray. That, or, the exterior glass and the concave shape pinpoint the sun’s rays into one specific location, causing major damage.
As Viñoly explained:
“I knew this was going to happen. But there was a lack of tools or software that could be used to analyze the problem accurately. When it was spotted on a second design iteration, we judged the temperature was going to be about 36 degrees, but it’s turned out to be more like 72 degrees. They are calling it the ‘death ray’, because if you go there you might die. It is phenomenal, this thing.”
Interesting enough, this isn’t the first time a Viñoly building has been noted for turning sun beams into death rays. The Vdara hotel in Las Vegas has a similar problem where the building’s architecture aims sun rays directly onto a pool deck. These rays have been so dangerous that plastic has melted and someone’s hair singed.
If you’re traveling to London or Vegas anytime soon, beware of the Deathray Skyscrapers!
Source: Yahoo News