The world is filled with creatures that boggle the mind, tickle the imagination, induce nightmares, or all of the above. And that’s just talking about the creatures that are currently in existence or at least the ones we do know about. There are dozens even hundreds more that we will never get to see, something for the best, but Google and partner museums are reviving these long-extinct creatures to let you see them at the safety of your own room. At your own risk, of course.
Most people have probably never met some of the Earth’s weirdest creatures and if they did, they’d probably think they were alien lifeforms anyway. The Cambropachycope, for example, is a crustacean that is only 1.5mm long but its compound eyes and odd legs definitely make it look out of this world.
This is just one of the creatures you’ll be able to place anywhere, in your home or out of it, to observe and learn about in 3D. That’s thanks to Google’s augmented reality framework, ARCore, and its partnership with the likes of the State Darwin Museum in Moscow and the Natural History Museum in London. And thanks to AR, you can position and resize these objects without worrying about them bumping into furniture or scaring off your pets.
The Arts & Culture app isn’t just about exotic creatures from millennia ago, of course. Also new to the collection are artifacts both old and not so old, including the Apollo 11 Command Module and Frida Kahlo’s numerous self-portraits. All of these available for free from the Android and iOS apps.
This new addition to Arts & Culture’s collection is one of the ways Google is making ARCore available to a wider audience. It has recently confirmed that the other application, the Pixel-exclusive Playground AR stickers, are being retired from future Pixel phones starting with the Pixel 4a.