You know how the wily coyote always runs into the tunnel that the road runner painted onto a mountain and then gets hit by a train? That sometimes happens in real life.
A man who visited a Portuguese museum last week was strolling around when he noticed an exhibit, cordoned off with velvet ropes. The art installation at the Serralves Museum in Porto is titled “Descent Into Limbo,” by Anish Kapoor, and it’s basically just an eight-foot hole painted black.
Visitors often gather around it and debate “whether there really was a hole in the floor or whether it was simply a circle painted with an extremely dark black paint,” according to Britain’s Times.
So the man sought to find out. He stepped into the hole — and disappeared.
Though the Descent Into Limbo installation was reportedly surrounded with warning signs and staffers warning visitors not to get too close, there was no barrier around it. How the museumgoer, whom Portugal’s Publico reports was an Italian man in his 60s, was able to step into the hole isn’t known, but he was briefly hospitalized for the eight-foot fall. The museum closed the exhibit to assess what happened, but says it plans to reopen it soon.
Kapoor, best known for his big bean in Chicago, made headlines in 2016 when he got exclusive artistic rights to a physics-defying material called Vantablack. “Developed by a British company called Surrey NanoSystems, the material is able to trap photons in-between lab-grown carbon nanotubes, which bounce around until they’re eventually absorbed. Just a scant 0.035 percent of visible light is reflected by an object covered in Vantablack, making it impossible to see any curves or contours—or to accurately gauge the depth of a hole if you don’t know what you’re looking at.”