Would this spooky reindeer that seems to have transported from some unearthly netherworld stop you in your tracks? That’s the hope of the Finnish Reindeer Herders’ Association which is trying out coating reindeer antlers in reflective paint to help reduce its huge reindeer vs. car problem.
As AFP reports, there are annually between 3,000 and 5,000 car accidents in Finland that involve reindeer. Part of the issue is that large groups of reindeer roam without restriction in the Lapland region where they are herded by the Sami people. Most of these accidents occur during November and December when the area up along the Arctic Circle is engulfed in darkness that just ends with low daylight for a few hours.
The reflective antlers would gleam phantasmagorically only when a car approached — the added eye eeriness is the naturally occurring reflectiveness of the animal’s retinas.
The Sami news publication Yle quotes from Anne Ollila, the executive director of the Reindeer Herders’ Association:
“The goal is specifically to prevent road accidents. The spray is being tried on their fur, but it is maybe more effective on their antlers because the reflection can be seen in every direction.”
So it could also be whole illuminated ghost reindeer suddenly manifested from the Finnish night. However, according to the Telegraph, a reflective spray has already been tested by Sami herders in Norway, “but it reduced the fur’s ability to keep out the chill.” Presumably since their antlers are deciduous the reflective material is less hazardous that way for the animals.
The problem with creature collisions is of course not limited to Lapland, and other Scandinavian countries face similar trouble with the dark season and their hooved residents. In the north of Norway, an estimated 315 people were injured from 2005 to 2011 in accidents that involved elk. After trying out fences and motion-detecting devices, last fall the country debuted “elk disco poles” similar to LED poles used in Austria. As Henrik Wildenschild of the area’s roads administration told the Guardian, the solar-powered poles “react to car headlights and emit a high-pitched, rhythmic sound and flash LED lights in blue and yellow to frighten elk away.”
Earlier this year, a proposal was also made in Norway to widely attach biodegradable reflective cuffs to reindeer antlers, a technique they’ve been testing since 2010, the Local reported. Other recent prevention designs include one last year from Morgan Graham with the Conservation Research Center of Teton Science Schools in Wyoming. It involved a pattern of red reflectors that would create infrared flashes when a car passed that could be seen by deer to startle them from crossing at that moment, but stay invisible to drivers. Meanwhile in places like Canada’s Banff National Park and the highways of the Netherlands, wildlife overpasses have been constructed to offer road crossings to deer and other animals above the motorized traffic.
As urban development continues to flow into the paths of wildlife, more of these seemingly strange animal “hacks” may soon appear. So don’t have a heart attack if one inky evening you are cruising down the highway and suddenly the form of a reindeer appears like a specter in the night.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Finally Spicing Up
In the penultimate episode, the show’s editors managed to ignite the spark of mindless reality TV.
Guggenheim Museum Union Rallies at VIP Opening
The museum’s commitment to diversity in exhibitions rings hollow to workers who say they are not receiving a fair wage.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
Quieter Artworks Stand Out At a New York Photo Fair
At this year’s Association of International Photography Art Dealers show, the best works offer glimpses into the personal lives of photographers and their subjects.
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
Glowing red noses are the only logical solution to this problem.
Comments are closed.