That point once more: One other zoo within the Netherlands has been dinosaurified! Beforehand I confirmed you the dinosaurs that got here to ZooParc Overloon, Dierenrijk and GaiaZoo. This time, it’s Ouwehands Dierenpark within the city of Rhenen that has been visited by creatures from hundreds of thousands of years in the past. There’s a twist, although; whereas the earlier points of interest centered across the typical fashions and animatronics, this attraction is a dinosaur-themed version of Ouwehands’ yearly Gentle Nights winter occasion. Which means these dinosaurs are gentle sculptures that gentle up at the hours of darkness and switch the zoo right into a surreal, psychedelic nocturnal wonderland.
I’ve been to numerous earlier editions of Gentle Nights right here, themed to normal animals and to the underwater world. This one being themed to dinosaurs, after all I’ve to share it with you. By the way, Ouwehands Zoo will quickly be, roughly, my employer. That implies that this text will not be, strictly, a overview; you shouldn’t overview the place the place you’re employed. I’m simply exhibiting you the images and telling you what they’re from a customer’s perspective, and I’m going to attempt to not be pedantic. Regardless that being pedantic is like 60% of my whole persona. Evening falls!
The zoo entrance has been became this tunnel of time. I couldn’t discover any info on who created these gentle sculptures other than a notice that they’re “hand-crafted by Chinese language artists”.
The doorway sq. has a ceratopsian and naturally a volcano, take a shot! There’s additionally a fireplace juggling present right here. The sculptures appear to be manufactured from some type of tarp over a steel body. with lights inside. They appear to be fairly sturdy; they’ll stand as much as some harsh climate. There was snow on our day trip.
Inside the center of the zoo could be discovered a number of the massive centerpieces. Right here’s a giant blue T. rex mouth you could stroll into. The spider net construction flaring out from behind its head is kind of curious and offers it a dragon-like vibe. The “raptor” appears to be largely based mostly on the quilled one from JP3.
This blue and yellow ceratopsian is a part of the identical tableau. It options on lots of the posters.
Subsequent to the large Rexy head is one other cluster of dinosaurs and crops.
Cryolophosaurus right here might be the deepest reduce at this attraction. The way it appears to be like remains to be largely knowledgeable by Jurassic Park; it appears to be like like it might match proper in amongst that bestiary.
Dilophosaurus advantages from being not based mostly on its JP-counterpart. It seems full-sized, its jawline is visibly based mostly on the true factor and it doesn’t have the frill.
Right here’s our full-bodied T. rex. You possibly can see the sculptors have gone wild with the colors on this one; it appears to be like prefer it desires to be Spider-Man.
Talking of color: the sauropods on the dinosaur disco are all inexperienced. Since Sibbick made his Brachiosaurus inexperienced, that’s what sauropods are within the minds of us 90s youngsters. This sauropod has a brachiosaur’s physique, however a diplodocid’s head. I feel the theropod right here may be meant to be Monolophosaurus? The hatchling is one other inevitable trope, although the sculptors have once more let their fantasies run free the place the color is anxious.
In fact, there’s additionally a few animatronics, additionally possible of Chinese language manufacture. They’re successful with the children (after all, they roar with the JP sound impact) however I discover these so much much less fascinating than the sunshine sculptures.
Feed me, Seymour. The flamboyant carnivorous plant has little to do with dinosaurs, and but it appears to slot in right here. The hallucinogenic world conjured up by these psychedelic sculptures is as soon as once more not an actual reflection of the mesozoic, however extra of a fantasy dinosaur world.
There’s additionally room for numerous extant animals. Elephants, apes, pandas and reptiles, all of which have their dwelling, respiratory counterparts right here at this zoo. These giant iguanas particularly caught my eye as a result of, effectively, they remind me of the Crystal Palace Iguanodons.
One other very distinct ceratopsid. All ceratopsids listed here are named “Triceratops” on the indicators however that is clearly meant to be one thing like Styracosaurus. The pink pterosaur appears to be vaguely Ornitocheirus-like.
The biggest single sculpture right here will not be of a dinosaur, however of an enormous spider you’ll be able to stroll beneath. Arachnophobes beware! Imagine it or not, there are spiders on the market who’re truly this vivid blue and yellow.
Right here’s a giant ornithopod, presumably meant to be Camptosaurus because it has fingered arms with no thumb claw. Actually what actually makes the entire thing work isn’t just the dinosaurs, however all of the fantastical crops that give the dinosaurs some context, some setting. Entire displays are simply issues like large lillies or psychedelic gardens in all colors.
I wouldn’t care a lot for this raptor, as an illustration, if it wasn’t surrounded by all this dreamlike foliage.
This was my favorite sculpture, a mosasaur consuming a smaller mosasaur, with a splash made of sunshine and surrounded by magical water crops and corals. I don’t a lot like it for the depiction of extinct life, however for the nods to each classic palaeoart (which was all about sea monsters) and classic Asian artwork.
Oh no, it’s Spinosaurus! Transfer alongside, nothing to see right here.
The Ice Age animals get a nod too. They aren’t surrounded by crops, however by blocks of ice. The blue and pink ice crystals do make all of it really feel a bit magical.
Stegosaurus can also be right here.
When it comes to respectable depictions of dinosaurs, this Oviraptor might be pretty much as good as issues get right here. It’s feathered, and it’s even acquired these again feathers that Saurian’s Anzu has. Plus it’s nesting, which is a pleasant factor for Oviraptor to do. The arms and arms are a bit suspect. Oops. No reviewing! Simply impartial discription.
I recognize how birdlike the eyes of Pachychephalosaurus look. Right here, you’ll be able to see effectively the strategy to foliage, crops, flowers, all types of vivid, vibrant and magical wanting flora. It makes these dinosaurs inhabit a fantasy world, which suggests they’ll sort of get away with being lower than completely scientifically correct.
There’s only a magical environment to this complete occasion. Being right here at a zoo at the hours of darkness with all these surreal technicolor scenes actually does really feel like being transported to a different world. The snow helps too, the chilly not a lot. Right here’s one other mosasaur.
Scratch what I mentioned about Cryolophosaurus being the deepest reduce. Who’d anticipate to see Hallucigenia reproduced in gentle sculpture type? This bizarre critter from the Burgess shale will not be even essentially the most hallucinogenic factor round right here…
…not when there’s a tree stuffed with ammonites close by!
One other inexperienced Brachiosaurus! This one doesn’t have as a lot flora surrounding it, simply two palms. Which means this one, which seems sort of remoted, doesn’t hit the identical excessive notice as a number of the others.
That is in all probability the weirdest sculpture of the bunch. It’s a completely fabricated model of an anglerfish. It has tusks outdoors of its mouth, and 4 eyes. As a result of this one is on an island solely reachable by stepping stones and I didn’t need to threat getting myself moist within the freezing chilly, that is the very best image I may get.
One other surreal scene: It’s a lit up tree stuffed with planets. That’s the way you get planets, they develop on bushes. Does this have something to do with dinosaurs, or broader ideas of deep time and the place of humanity in an enormous universe? I don’t actually thoughts, it appears to be like cool.
And that’s it for our non-review of this surreal dive into deep time. It’s not simply the dinosaurs that make this occasion so cool. It’s the environment, the sensation of stepping right into a magical dream, the loving consideration to element, not simply on the sculptures themselves however within the broader manner the scenes are arrange and built-in with this zoo. There’s a cause I’ve been going to the Gentle Nights occasion at Ouwehands for 3 years straight now. The occasion was on account of run till the tip of January nevertheless it has now been prolonged into February and could be visited each Saturday till then. Subsequent 12 months, it’s going to in all probability be again. There possible might be no dinosaurs, however there’s a great likelihood I’ll go once more.