Adding lasers to photos of cats is a time-honoured internet tradition, right up there with Rickrolling and looking at explicit pornography. But this is 2015. Cats are passé. And dinosaurs may be extinct, but they’re breathing new life into an old meme.
Paleoart is best known for its scientifically accurate depictions of extinct animals, but even the most professional of scientific illustrators sometimes like to get silly. After all, if your career revolves around recreating badass lifeforms from bygone geologic eras, chances are you’re a pretty fun person. Chances are you’ve thought, once or twice, in passing, “How would predator-prey relations in the Jurassic have differed if Brachiosaurus projectile-vomited lasers?” Or: “If a laser-breathing Deinosuchus and a lightsaber-horned Triceratops got in a tussle, who’d vaporize the other?”
And lo, #AddLasersToPaleoart was born. And people with fetishes for internet art involving creatures wielding ocular laser powers finally got a fresh stash of sensual images.
Paleoartist Mark Witton sums up my feelings on the laser-dinopocalypse just perfectly:
Yes, the Internet is finally beginning to feel like its juvenile self again. Good, I was getting a little worried.
Top image via Josh Cotton