These Psychedelic Art Pieces Were Grown in Petri Dishes

Josie Lewis
Josie Lewis

Josie Lewis isn't the first person to grow art in a petri dish, but she claims to be the first to use resin to produce colorful petri dish creations reminiscent of an exploding supernova.

Based in Minnesota, Lewis tells Mental Floss that she's been using resin in her work for over a decade. Last year, she started experimenting with adding different chemicals to uncured resin. "I used all sorts of paints and inks and solvents like a science lab to see what would happen," she says. "At some point I discovered that when I used certain inks with resin in a certain sequence, strange, colorful forms and growths would develop."

After mixing the ink and resin together in a petri dish, she seals the container, flips it upside down, and leaves it to bloom over 12 hours. That means Lewis has no idea what the piece looks like until she flips it over and removes the disc from the mold the next day.

The result is a clash of irregular shapes and vibrant colors that work together as striking abstract art. Lewis says the patterns remind her of petrified wood, which is why she named the project "Petrified Rainbows," but the technicolor swirls defy definition. She also compares them to neon mushrooms, mermaid skin, and the Big Bang. "There's a beautiful biological element to them, but the colors are so vibrant and edgy they also have a futuristic, engineered feel," she says. "They could be microscopic bio-chemically enhanced nerve agents."

You can check out some examples of the art below and follow Josie Lewis on her website and Instagram page for more.

[h/t io9]

All images courtesy of Josie Lewis.

Mental Floss's Three-Day Sale Includes Deals on Apple AirPods, Sony Wireless Headphones, and More

Apple
Apple

During this weekend's three-day sale on the Mental Floss Shop, you'll find deep discounts on products like AirPods, Martha Stewart’s bestselling pressure cooker, and more. Check out the best deals below.

1. Apple AirPods Pro; $219

Apple

You may not know it by looking at them, but these tiny earbuds by Apple offer HDR sound, 30 hours of noise cancellation, and powerful bass, all through Bluetooth connectivity. These trendy, sleek AirPods will even read your messages and allow you to share your audio with another set of AirPods nearby.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

2. Sony Zx220bt Wireless On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones (Open Box - Like New); $35

Sony

For the listener who likes a traditional over-the-ear headphone, this set by Sony will give you all the same hands-free calling, extended battery power, and Bluetooth connectivity as their tiny earbud counterparts. They have a swivel folding design to make stashing them easy, a built-in microphone for voice commands and calls, and quality 1.18-inch dome drivers for dynamic sound quality.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Sony Xb650bt Wireless On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones; $46

Sony

This Sony headphone model stands out for its extra bass and the 30 hours of battery life you get with each charge. And in between your favorite tracks, you can take hands-free calls and go seamlessly back into the music.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Martha Stewart 8-quart Stainless-Steel Pressure Cooker; $65

Martha Stewart

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and buying a new pressure cooker, this 8-quart model from Martha Stewart comes with 14 presets, a wire rack, a spoon, and a rice measuring cup to make delicious dinners using just one appliance.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

5. Jashen V18 350w Cordless Vacuum Cleaner; $180

Jashen

If you're obsessive about cleanliness, it's time to lose the vacuum cord and opt for this untethered model from JASHEN. Touting a 4.3-star rating from Amazon, the JASHEN cordless vacuum features a brushless motor with strong suction, noise optimization, and a convenient wall mount for charging and storage.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

6. Evachill Ev-500 Personal Air Conditioner; $65

Evachill

This EvaChill personal air conditioner is an eco-friendly way to cool yourself down in any room of the house. You can set it up at your work desk at home, and in just a few minutes, this portable cooling unit can drop the temperature by 59º. All you need to do is fill the water tank and plug in the USB cord.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Gourmia Gcm7800 Brewdini 5-Cup Cold Brew Coffee Maker; $120

Gourmia

The perfect cup of cold brew can take up to 12 hours to prepare, but this Gourmia Cold Brew Coffee Maker can do the job in just a couple of minutes. It has a strong suction that speeds up brew time while preserving flavor in up to five cups of delicious cold brew at a time.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Townew: The World's First Self-Sealing Trash Can; $90

Townew

Never deal with handling gross garbage again when you have this smart bin helping you in the kitchen. With one touch, the Townew will seal the full bag for easy removal. Once you grab the neatly sealed bag, the Townew will load in a new clean one on its own.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. Light Smart Solar Powered Parking Sensor (Two-Pack); $155

FenSens

Parking sensors are amazing, but a lot of cars require a high trim to access them. You can easily upgrade your car—and parking skills—with this solar-powered parking sensor. It will give you audio and visual alerts through your phone for the perfect parking job every time.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

10. Liz: The Smart Self-Cleaning Bottle With UV Sterilization; $46

Noerden

Reusable water bottles are convenient and eco-friendly, but they’re super inconvenient to get inside to clean. This smart water bottle will clean itself with UV sterilization to eliminate 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria. That’s what makes it clean, but the single-tap lid for temperature, hydration reminders, and an anti-leak functionality are what make it smart.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

TASCHEN Is Celebrating Its 40th Anniversary With a New $25 Greatest Hits Line

TASCHEN
TASCHEN

In 1980, Benedikt Taschen started his eponymous comic shop in Cologne, Germany, which eventually evolved into TASCHEN, a world-renowned publisher of high-end books on art, photography, and pop culture. In its four decades of existence, the brand has made a name for itself by spreading the work of photographers and artists like Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh, Jeff Koons, and Sebastião Salgado, along with chronicling the history of various cultural trends, art movements, and movies.

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, the publisher is reprinting some of its most popular books for only $25 each.

TASCHEN has covered everything from the paintings of Bruegel to the history of Marvel Comics.TASCHEN

For the comic book and cartoon lover in your life, TASCHEN has gone back to its roots with books about the history of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse—available to pre-order on TASCHEN or Amazon—and the golden age of Marvel Comics from 1961 to 1978, complete with the behind-the-scenes stories of superheroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk (available here).

Interior pages from TASCHEN's The Marvel Age of Comics 1961–1978 – 40th Anniversary Edition.TASCHEN

Cinephiles will love collections like The Star Wars Archives from 1977 to 1983, which features concept art, original script excerpts, and on-set photos from the original trilogy. There is also a book for The Godfather aficionados that collects 300 behind-the-scenes photos from the iconic series. That one is available for pre-order on TASCHEN and Amazon.

For a full list of the titles TASCHEN is offering for its 40th anniversary, head here.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.