Racing Extinction

Endangered species light up Empire State Building

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 3 August 2015

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod


As the sun set in Manhattan on Saturday, images of endangered animals were projected onto the south side of the Empire State Building.

A total of 160 species – from insects to sea creatures – were stretched across 40 storeys of New York City’s most recognisable attraction, with blue whales swimming hundreds of feet above the city streets.

Racing extinction

A 350ft image of Cecil, the lion killed in Zimbabwe earlier this month, appeared alongside pictures of snow leopards, tigers and manta rays.

The projections served as a reminder that mass extinction is happening all around us: we are at risk of losing 30-50% of all species by 2050.

‘We lit up the Empire State Building with the world’s most beautiful – and threatened – species to show the world what’s at stake. Not it’s your turn to make a difference. Join the race now


Projecting change

Projections begin at 32.41.

The projections

The images were sent from 40 20,000-lumen projectors stacked on the roof of a building on West 31st Street.

Visible from over 20 blocks away, the eight-minute sessions were repeated every 15 minutes between 21.00 and 00.00 local time.

Our planet’s treasure

Academy Award-winning Racing Extinction director Louie Psihoyos and world-renowned visual artist Travis Threlkel (Chief Creative Officer of Obscura Digital) hoped this projection event – on one of the world’s most iconic buildings – will catalyse a movement to preserve the real treasure of our beautiful planet: its life.

The event was organised as part of a promotion for a new Discovery Channel documentary, Racing Extinction, which is set to air in December.

Click here to find out more about Racing Extinction.

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