The Monsters of Toulouse

For a number of days in early November, the streets of Toulouse, France come alive with giant monsters. Part of Le Gardien du Temple show, these incredible beasts are so wildly imaginative and scary, it’s hard to believe they’re actually giant robots, controlled by teams of men and women.  The Atlantic has a great gallery showing just how impressive the creatures are. Piloted by skilled controllers, Asterion, the 50-ton Minotaur, has a huge range of motion, and can breathe smoke. Ariane, the enormous spider, is even more intricate, can rear up, and we imagine could be the things of children’s nightmares.

The creatures are the work of La Machine, a French production company that specializes in such wild and daring robots. The event draws over 600,000 people to the streets of Toulouse, and shows what creativity and engineering can do, when put toward such lofty goals.