Monster fire-blowing weta to feature at famed American desert festival

The giant 5m metal weta, which will shoot flames, will feature at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.
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The giant 5m metal weta, which will shoot flames, will feature at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.

A five-metre flame-shooting metal weta sounds like a terrifying proposition.

It sounds like something out of a horror film - or, more frightening, like something from Will Smith's rightly-maligned steam-punk cowboy film Wild, Wild West.

But it is hoped this giant Kiwi insect will become a prominent feature halfway around the globe at the Burning Man festival in the Nevada Desert.

An art team calling themselves Auckland Burners are crowdfunding to construct the massive creepy-crawly and get it to Nevada.

It is a "uniquely New Zealand art installation created for Burning Man, being built in Auckland", the group said.

The installation will be transported to Burning Man before returning to New Zealand to feature at Kiwiburn - New Zealand's Regional Burning Man event - and will eventually be installed permanently in New Zealand.

The metal behemoth will be 50-times the size of a living giant weta and will be an interactive art installation.

People will be able to manipulate its legs, head and mandibles through hand-driven cranks in its thorax.

A hatch in its abdomen will also reveal an internal "cave complete with artificial glow worms, moss and stalactites".

The public are invited to join the Auckland Burners as they launch their crowdfunding campaign and new build space at 113 Valley Road, Mount Eden, from 7.30pm on Wednesday April 20.

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