Spawning life from PVC

If it didn’t have the backing of the BBC and a bazillion YouTube views, I’d chalk this one up as an elaborate hoax.

Theo Jansen is an artist who creates Strandbeests — PVC sculptures that operate like simple robots. The strandbeests can walk using wind power, some can dig themselves into the ground when the wind gets too strong, and some can even detect when they touch obstacles or water. Jansen builds them and sets them loose on beaches in Holland, to see how they interact with the environment. His eventual goal is for the strandbeests to become self-sufficient, surviving on their own without his help. While that seems like a fanciful goal, these machines are pretty amazing — particularly given the relatively low-tech approach to their creation.