The Strandbeest and its glittering seaside evolution

The Strandbeest and it's glittering seaside evolution

Theo Jansen’s strandbeests are composed of spindly plastic organs that take elephantine strides. They have guts that store energy and are powered by wind. They are sensitive mechanical beasts that can even detect water. Each of Jansen’s ingenious strandbeests are miracles in motion. They may very well be the next stages of natural selection. 

Jansen augmented his strandbeests from from the humble every-day materials of PVC tubing, zip ties and string. Tubular muscles and tendons undulate in the wind and create alarmingly perfect spirals of perfection and complexity,

They are a marvel of engineering and wind power. Each of the moving parts of the beest act independently and interdependently. When one leg senses that it’s moved too close to water, it will hesitate and move the entire organism away from the shoreline. When another leg senses high wind it will anchor the entire beest into the sand and ensure that it won’t topple over.

Theo Jansen from Salazar on Vimeo.

The sheer imaginative lineage of the strandbeests each bear a Latin name that reflect the unique character of the species.

Animaris Currens Vaporis is known in English as a walking steam animal that puffs like a steam engine.  Whereas Animarus Vermiculus is a worm-like undulating beast that wriggles like its namesake.

Over 25 years Jansen has perfected his strandbeests and built upon strong and hardy characteristics, letting weaknesses falling to the wayside in each subsequent species.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

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