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Sep. 11, 2012

Meet the Strandbeests

by Leslie Taylor

Click to enlarge images
This summer, kinetic sculptor Theo Jansen has been working on a herd of new strandbeests -- large, intricate, wind-powered, animal-like sculptures.  Later this month, he will be at a beach in Den Haag, Holland to "try out" his six animal herd for the public.
 
The otherworldly strandbeests evolve over time as Jansen adapts their designs, incorporating new features that enable them to better function in their windy seaside "habitat."
 
Below is a video of one of the recent strandbeest species, Animaris adulari, which is described on Jansen's website as:
...relatively small, five meters long and three meters high. It can survive strong winds. It has a wagging neck and a wagging tail. Theo tries to use the wagging movement to steer the animal. If the wind is 3bfrt or stronger, it will walk on the wind.
 

Wagging Neck from Strandbeest on Vimeo

Below is a video of one of Jansen's "extinct" strandbeests, Animaris gubernare. Jansen writes:

Born in October 2010 died out in October 2011. It has two external (rolling) wind stomachs which serve as an anchor against strong winds.

See more of the Strandbeests and their kin at:
About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is Science Friday’s Web editor. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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