Walkie Talkie Building's Reflection Melts Car, Fries Egg (Video)

Tuesday, 03 Sep 2013 01:51 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A concentrated beam of sunlight that reflects off the so-called Walkie Talkie Building in London has grown so hot that it's melting cars, setting fire to nearby shops, and cracking the sidewalks, witnesses reported.

The curved skyscraper, which is under construction, reportedly creates a reflection of sunlight that can reach up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NBC News. Some have even started calling the building "Walkie Scorchie."

The light beam melted the side panels of one man's Jaguar XJ Monday, and the owners of a nearby shop said it was the cause of a recent carpet fire.

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"They're going to have to think of something. I’m gutted," Martin Lindsay, the Jaguar's owner, told reporters. "How can they let this continue?"

City A.M. journalist James Waterson decided to test the sunlight ray for himself on Tuesday.

"It is hotter than anywhere I've ever been," he told NBC News. "I was able to get a frying pan up to heat as quickly as you would on a hob and then fry an egg, which I ate for my lunch."

Solar physicist Dr. Simon Foster explained the science behind the Walkie Talkie Building's blistering glare to Sky News.

"It's like a satellite dish. When you’ve got a satellite dish it converges, or forces, radio waves down onto a point," he said. "Now you can do the same with light. And that’s what this building is doing. Basically, you’ve got a vast area just collecting sunlight and it's focusing it down onto a tiny point. It's like being under a magnifying glass."

The building's joint developers, Land Securities and Canary Wharf, reportedly plan to investigate the complaints.

"The developers are on the site," a company spokesman told The Independent. "It's their priority to find out more and see what kind of solution can be put into place."

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