How to cram a Blue Whale inside your computer
Ever tried to pick a Blue Whale up in the palm of your hand? Office concensus is that it’d be pretty damn diffcult even with my gigantic, freakish hands, and people of smaller dimensions – such as Lilliputian Peripherals Editor David Bayon – would really struggle. Thankfully, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society has come to our rescue with a fantastic and innovative website that highlights the plight – and sheer brilliance – of the world’s largest animal.
As with many of the best ideas, it’s incredibly simple. The screen is taken over by a large eye that’s gently drifting past the browser window and, in the top right-hand corner of the screen, there’s a small, zoomed-out picture of a whale. The main window – the one with the large eye – is the whale, reproduced, in life-size scale.
The site lets you click anywhere on the whale and quickly loads the high-resolution image of the animal’s mottled skin and features, and there’s even small bits of detritus floating past to give the impression of murky sea-water. You can clickand drag across the whale to see more, revealing fins, eyes and more as you go. It’s a bit like scrolling around the globe in Google Earth.
So, again, it’s terrifically simple, works fantastically well – it’s built using flash, and nothing more – and manages to convey the suitably charitable message incredibly easily: these are stunning creatures that don’t deserve to become victims of commercial whaling. It actually has a similar affect on me as the life-size Blue Whale model in the Natural History Museum, instantly shutting me up due to the sheer awe it inspires.
It also handily ties in with David Bayon’s blog from a couple of days back, when he detailed the amazing adventures of Dave Stevenson’s Dad as he searches for exotic creatures of the deep. It seems that PC Pro has been going a little nautical this week – but if there’s things like the life-size Blue Whale to discover then, well, lock me in a submarine and call me Jacques Costeau.
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