Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dark Secrets

One of the most interesting artifacts I've had is something I was never supposed to see. The fellow from whom I got it said that it was smuggled out of a military research lab in the 1950s, and that I should keep it secret. Which I did for many years, until it was recently declassified. So now I feel free to show it here.

This device is called a blackout bulb, and its remarkable property is that when turned on, it emits only darkness.

You can imagine how important this device could be, useful for concealing virtually anything in darkness.

The first picture below shows it when it's turned off.
The second picture was taken by a high-speed camera in the split-second before it is fully deluminated.
The third picture is a photograph of the bulb when it is working.


  1. Good one! You almost had me, but then I looked it up and found out they're real. They were supposed to just allow a small stream of light from the base of the bulb to be used during WW2 blackouts to provide a small amount of light. Does yours still actually work?

  2. Thanks. Actually, when I screwed it in and flipped the switch, and no light came out, it sort of inspired the whole idea.

    It has a deep yellow little spot on the tip to allow what little light it provided.

  3. All I can say is hahahahahahahahahahaha

  4. I was sort of proud of "deluminate."

  5. Beautiful April 1 post. I did one— and think most didn't get it... not sure.