Glare From This London Skyscraper Is Melting Cars
Building has been nicknamed the 'Walkie Scorchie'
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2013 4:01 PM CDT
The "Walkie Talkie" building.   (Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group)

(Newser) – A new London skyscraper appears to be acting like a giant magnifying glass. But instead of burning ants, it's melting cars. A man says his Jaguar sustained about $1,470 in damage after he left it parked for two hours near the 37-story building, which is still under construction, the BBC reports. When he returned to his car, he found parts of it, including a wing mirror and a badge, had been warped out of shape. On his windshield was a note from the construction company: "Your car's buckled, could you give us a call?"

Last week, a van near the skyscraper—which had been nicknamed the "Walkie Talkie" but has now been re-dubbed the "Walkie Scorchie"—was also damaged by the building's glare, when a bottle of soda melted onto its dashboard, the Telegraph reports. "We are aware of concerns regarding the light reflecting from 20 Fenchurch Street and are looking into the matter," the building's developers said in a statement. “As a precautionary measure, the City of London has agreed to suspend three parking bays in the area which may be affected while we investigate the situation further." (Click for the wild tale of another problematic skyscraper.)

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Showing 3 of 54 comments
Sep 3, 2013 2:43 PM CDT
It's simple physics, if what I see is true. A simple parabolic reflector is what is used in home satellite dishes to grab incoming signals. The same physics applies if light is focused on a point, for some period of time, and intense heat can result (think magnifying glass from boy-scout days). Any building designer worth his salt knows that reflective light can be very damaging, if focused properly. Building are "flat" on the sides for numerous reasons, this being one of them. This will be interesting to watch. Of course, as the sun changes position in the sky, the trouble goes away (at least for a while). Put this problem to a committee, and time will show that it is not a problem...until it is again.
Sep 3, 2013 12:55 PM CDT
Hot Dogs ! Hot Dogs ! Get Your Hot Dogs ! Fresh roasted by Nature Hot dogs !
Sep 3, 2013 10:21 AM CDT
SOLAR ENERGY at it's greatest ?.