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New Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium gallery features world’s smallest micro-sculptures

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Willard Wigan Micro-sculptures Ripley's

Micro-sculptures by Willard Wigan are now featured at Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium.

Ripley’s Orlando Odditorium has opened a new gallery filled with the world’s smallest micro-sculptures, artworks by Willard Wigan that are so small they’re nearly invisible to the naked eye.

The new gallery at International Drive’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not attraction now features a collection of very rare micro-sculptures. Most are so tiny that they sit on the head of a pin or in the eye of a needle. Ripley’s has magnified these minuscule sculptures to reveal their detail to visitors.

The micro-sculptures were created by artist Willard Wigan, who uses homemade carving tools, including diamond shards, filed-down acupuncture needles, and his own eyelashes or hairs plucked from a fly to sculpt and paint his creations. To produce these tiny sculptures, he enters a meditative state and times his movements between heartbeats; even dust and static electricity can affect his work.

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The gallery also features several interactive exhibits where people can try some of Wigan’s techniques. Visitors can see how many threads they can put through the eye of a needle, try and slow their heart rate down, and take a photo of themselves inside the eye of a needle.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! owns the largest collection of Willard Wigan sculptures in the world; this is the first time that any of the micro-sculptures have been on permanent display in Orlando.

“In my 38 years of acquiring items for Ripley’s Odditoriums around the world, I have never seen anything more unbelievable than Willard’s sculptures,” said Edward Meyer, Ripley’s VP of Exhibits and Archives. “They will take your breath away!”

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To learn more about Wigan’s artwork, watch his TED talk.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Orlando is located at 8201 International Drive, and is open daily from 9:00 am to midnight (last entry nightly at 11:00 pm). For more information, visit ripleys.com/orlando or call 407-345-0501, and take a peek inside Ripley’s warehouse in this episode of Attractions The Show:

Attractions - The Show - Christmas in July; Ripley's Warehouse; latest news - July 28, 2016
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