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Whirl of a World

MOVA Globes spark curiosity with light and magnets
Rare Bird’s MOVA Globes rotate on their own using any available light to activate without batteries or cords.

A simple scan of Rare Bird Uncommon Gifts’ store at 2605 Lincoln Ave., and you’ll find plenty of curious items. But among the hundreds of home accessories, candles, and jewelry is perhaps the shop’s most fascinating product.

Rare Bird’s MOVA Globes are fixed acrylic spheres containing an inner moving globe suspended in a thin layer of oil. The globes rotate on their own using any available light to activate without batteries or cords.

Inside is a mechanism of solar cells and magnets. The solar cells provide power when light passes through, while a magnet keeps the globe in uninterrupted motion by reacting with the Earth’s magnetic field, similar to how a compass needle points to magnetic north and stays in place as the compass turns.

The globes come in different styles such as planets, asteroids, Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” and even a basketball. They are available 4.5-inch, 6-inch, and 8.5-inch diameters and are deceptively heavy: The largest weighs about 13 pounds.

Rare Bird owner Michael Gray says the MOVA Globes are popular items and often are an impulse buy. He adds they are an attractive gift for both men and women because of the diversity of the globe types.

“It’s a great seller for us, and it comes from all directions,” he says. “Sometimes somebody will walk kind of quietly around the shop, and all of a sudden they’ll just walk up and say, ‘I want that right there.’ And quite often it’s people who had no intention of buying it. They weren’t looking for it.”

Rare Bird is one of Indiana’s largest MOVA Globe dealers. Gray says the shop normally keeps 20 to 25 globes in stock at a time. Prices range from $180-$500 depending on the size.

Global Gift ~ rarebirdgifts.com

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