A London Skyscraper Is Melting Cars With A Solar-Powered Death Ray

The “Walkie-Talkie” skyscraper has been accused of partially melting a Jaguar that was parked in the wrong place. The buildings are fighting back. Updated: You can also fry an egg with it.

1. London newspaper City AM reports that the skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street - commonly known as “the Walkie-Talkie” - has damaged several vehicles parked close to it by melting them with the sun’s rays.

Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images

2. The problem is that one side of the Walkie-Talkie - which is still under construction - is effectively a giant curved mirror.

AFP / Getty Images

3. So when the sun is in the right position, the building focuses the light into one spot…

4. …creating a potentially car-melting beam of intense heat.

City AM reports that multiple vehicles were damaged by the sunbeam last week.

6. For example, the sunlight warped some of the panels on businessman Martin Lindsay’s (very expensive) Jaguar XJ beyond repair.

via City AM / Laura Lean / cityam.com

Okay, the damage is slightly less dramatic than the previous GIF might have suggested.

7. Pedestrians have been complaining about the spot of incredibly bright light for the past week.

via City AM / Laura Lean / cityam.com

8. Eddie Cannon, a driver whose vehicle was also hit by the melty sunbeam, said:

The van looks a total mess – every bit of plastic on the left hand side and everything on the dashboard has melted, including a bottle of Lucozade that looks like it has been baked.

The building’s developers say they are investigating - and, as a precaution, have banned parking in the affected spots.

10. But for now, Mr. Lindsay is left to look upset next to his slightly melted Jaguar.

via City AM / Laura Lean / cityam.com

11. Update: The Walkie-Talkie is now accused of setting a barber’s shop on fire.

12. Also you can fry an egg with the death ray, or set fire to journalists.

AMAZING SCENES: @jimwaterson fries an egg on the pavement, live on @SkyNews #WalkieScorchie

— Tara Mulholland (@tara_mulholland)

Tara Mulholland


AMAZING SCENES: @jimwaterson fries an egg on the pavement, live on @SkyNews #WalkieScorchie

/ Via

I just set my hair on fire.

— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson)

Jim Waterson


I just set my hair on fire.

/ Via

14. Here’s a video of the egg-frying.

View this embed ›

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Tom Phillips is the UK editorial director for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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