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I saw Vantablack

I was driving through metro Atlanta on my way to get a haircut (first in three months, whew) when I saw something that surprised me.

Stopped at a light I saw a Maserati Quattroporte that contained the vastness of the universe.


The body of the car was wrapped or painted in either a sophisticated approximation of Vantablack or the real thing. I could not tell because the only thing telling me there was a car there at all was the visible space to either side of it.

No matter how hard you looked at it, the only thing you could see was that you couldn’t see anything. You could lose yourself in that inky void and never find your way out.


The only way I can think of to describe it is to quote the immortal words of Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

“It’s so... black!” said Ford Prefect. “You can hardly make out its shape... light just seems to fall into it!”

The blackness of it was so extreme that it was almost impossible to tell how close you were standing to it.

“Your eyes just slide off it...” said Ford in wonder.

Yes, the only points of reference to determine a wormhole into the 5th dimension had not opened up in front of me were the windows, wheels, and bright chrome.

Illustration for article titled I saw Vantablack

I actually looked it up to see if I could find an image of it someone else had taken and found many pictures of a Maserati Ghibli (very similar even when not an inky void) that seems nearly identical down to the wheels. Except the story was from a photo taken in Venice. It could be the same car, but considering how impossible it was to determine exactly where the car was to begin with I couldn’t begin to confirm it was the same. Based on the wheels, I would say it was the same car. I didn’t see the front though so I couldn’t spot a European style plate.


That does beg the question though: what on earth is this car doing here? Even under the show and display law there is no showing and no displaying to be done.

This image shows a small amount of light reflection but in person I saw not even the faintest hint of solid mass on that car.It was breathtakingly stupid because I really would have a hard time telling where it and I was if I were driving next to it.

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