John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A 50-foot tall creature in a diving suit stalks the streets of England.
Imagine waking up in the morning to see the head of a 50-foot-tall entity in an atmospheric diving suit passing by your window. That actually was a distinct possibility for late risers last weekend in Liverpool, when an immense creature rose from the sea and lumbered through the streets.
The thing from the deep had its human help, of course. A team of puppeteers scurried around its appendages to control its gait, and a moving crane supported it from behind. The cloud-scraping assemblage was created by Royal de Luxe, a marionette-fabrication company based in Nantes, France, and was meant to promote a local cultural fest centering on the Titanic disaster. The disarmingly innocent name for this beast: the "Giant Uncle."
Aside from the huge diver, which must've inspired sweaty flashbacks among BioShock players, Royal de Luxe also rolled out a 30-foot-tall "Giant Girl" and her pumped-up puppy, "Xolo." The girl has starred in previous dreamscapes staged by the French players; have a look at her meeting a "time-traveling elephant" below.