18 August 2010

Attack of the 50 Foot Dinosaur!

Well, to be honest, it should read more like the meander of the fifty foot dinosaur but its peaceful intentions didn’t stop holiday makers at the British resort of Southsea from doing a double take – or is that even a triple take?

The huge beastie – measuring seventy feet from nose to tail is known as Luna Park – and she can be seen for many miles around. From a distance the effect is, if possible, greater than close up.

"Dad, Dad!  What's that big monster by the war memorial?"  "Quiet Jimmy, or you won't get your ice.... scream!!"

She is the creation of artists Ivan and Heather Morrison and is part of their current exhibition called An Unreachable Country: A Long Way To Go. But what kind of dinosaur is Luna Park? The answer is, she isn’t based on any in the fossil record.

 A professor in Colorado in the seventies discovered the bones of what were thought to be the largest dinosaur that ever lived and it was quickly labelled Ultrasaurus. The fossils were eventually found to be from two different species but some of them were from Supersaurus which is among the largest to be found. In fact, supersaurus would be almost twice the length of our placid friend, Luna Park.

Although Southsea is now home to Luna Park she was originally made in a village in Serbia and shipped over to the UK piece by piece. The artists drew on the assistance of the workers of the Zastava car factory in Kragujevac to realize their dream. Underneath the polyester shell is a rigid steel skeleton which supports the weight of the dinosaur.

Luna Park will be on display until October.

We very much regret to inform you that on the night of 30 September 2010, Luna Park was destroyed by fire.  You can read about it HERE.

Kuriositas would like to thank Flickr Users Ray_chel, Drumaboy and bobfranklin for their very kind permission to reproduce their pictures here.  Please visit their photo streams!