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ShockFossils Are The Most Fascinating Pieces Of Art Ever


By David Ponce

Todd Johnson has been making ShockFossils for a while now but we just came across his work and are impressed beyond words. They are acrylic pieces with fractal designs that were created using a particle accelerator. Todd takes blocks of acrylic and brings them to an industrial accelerator facility where he rents time on the machine. He loads them into the machine and charges them with multiple millions of volts of electricity. When they come out, the blocks are charged, chock full of electrons which are released with a small blow of a hammer. And when that hammer hits, holy hell is it amazing!

The trapped charge is then carefully released by applying mechanical shock with a sharp insulated tool, and the electrons escape with a bright flash and loud pop. As the charges leave the plastic, they gather into channels following fractal branching rules just like river deltas, plants, and capillaries.

You can literally see the fractals spreading, with visible electric sparks propagating inside the material. It’s fascinating to watch.

We believe Todd sells these, though we can’t figure out how much he charges. And yes, we do realize that this is not a newly discovered phenomenon.

[ ShockFossils On devantART ] VIA [ BoingBoing ]








  • Anonymous

    I believe these are more commonly known as “Lichtenberg figures.”

  • http://lambslife.com/ Joshua

    I agree, that is pretty neat and creative too.