Giant mechanical elephant


And you thought the Neverwas Haul was cool. Here’s a giant elephant vehicle/movingbuilding/animatronic thingy, from Nantes, France.

Mechanical elephant in Nantes, France

6 thoughts on “Giant mechanical elephant

  1. acidrain69 says:

    Apparently this was built back in 2005 and his since been dismantled. Check wikipedia for “The Sultan’s Elephant” for more information. Fascinating though. I think a few days/weeks ago there was something on makezine with a giant puppet girl and a jules verne-ian looking diving suit; those are related to this.

    1. Steph says:

      I’m visiting Nantes today. The elephant is still in one big piece. It can be visited and you can travel in him, well in his body ( like the mechanical elephant of Jules Vernes who lived in Nantes …)
      It’s quite huge and slow ..

  2. Jean says:

    It is possible that this elephant may be different from the Sultan’s, while its designer is the same person.
    It is currently an attraction in Nantes’s “Machines de l’ÃŽle” (Machines of the Island), on the site of a former shipyard.
    Several times a day, you can board the elephant for a relatively slow trip along the island.
    It is currently the main attraction, with a sideshow-gallery showing some of the parts being made for the next ‘item’, a 25m high merry-go-round created around the theme of the sea. Last but not least, “L’Arbre aux Hérons”, “The Herons’ Tree”, a 28m high tree-like structure, with hanging gardens, and on top of which people will be able to board “baskets” under the wings of the giant birds, which will revolve above the tree.

    Really worth a visit should you be lucky enough to pass by.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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