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Creating the Sand Beasts

Theo Jansen is a Dutch physicist turned sculptor who has spent much of his career fascinated with the role of evolution in natural life. Powered by the wind, his sculptures resemble massive dinosaur skeletons (he calls them "Sand Beasts") that seem to move autonomously.

Jansen refines each generation of Sand Beast in a process that emulates natural selection. He throws away the parts that don't work and amplifies features that do. His long-term goal is to create creatures that can live indefinitely on their own, roaming the coast without human intervention. You really need to see them to appreciate how amazing they are:

Footage courtesy of Theo Jansen and Alexander Schlichter.