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Skyscraper's natural death ray melts Jaguar

A man parks his car outside a London skyscraper -- known as the Walkie-Talkie -- under construction. He returns to find elements of his car have been melted by light reflected from the building.

The building that doesn't always reflect glory.
ch2mhillpr/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/YouTube

Coming back to your car and discovering it's been damaged can harden the soul.

What kind of human being thinks it's acceptable or amusing to walk up to someone's Bentley and smash a couple of windows?

At least those people can be caught. It's harder to indict a building.

That was the prospect Martin Lindsay faced when he returned to his parked Jaguar and discovered parts of it had been damaged.

In fact, they'd melted.

What made it even more frustrating was that this was London, where the only things that usually melt are people's legs after eight pints of lager.

However, as the BBC reports, he'd been given a clue when, as he approached, he was someone photographing his Jaguar.

He told the BBC: "The photographer asked me 'have you seen that car? The owner won't be happy.'"

Studying his side mirror, side panels and his lovely Jaguar badge, all suddenly warped, he saw a note tucked to his windshield.

It was from the construction company responsible for the so-called Walkie-Talkie building (take a look at the embedded video) outside which he had parked.

The vandal was light reflecting from the building.

The Walkie-Talkie boasts a design that relies on sophisticated software to create a construction with more width above than below.

Indeed, one of its ads declares: "Sometimes the wrong way up is the right way up. The building with more up top."

Someone hadn't perhaps used all their up top to work out what might happen down below.

The developers, Land Security and Canary Wharf issued a statement: "The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky. It currently lasts for approximately 2 hours per day, with initial modelling suggesting that it will be present for approximately 2-3 weeks."

Three parking spots have been suspended pending a bending of the building in another direction.

Actually, only the first part of that sentence is accurate.

Having paid the 946 British pounds (almost $1,500) it took to repair Lindsay's car, the builders must now try to calculate a solution to its natural death ray.

"It could be dangerous. Imagine if the sun reflected on the wrong part of the body," Lindsay said.

Danger is everywhere. Sometimes, we just have to absorb it.