Standing sentinel outside of Las Vegas, Nevada’s Downtown Container Park shopping center is a massive, metallic mantis. Like some kind of post-apocalyptic, Mad Max–monster, the mantis sculpture is capable of shooting fire from its antennae and blaring sound from a powerful internal speaker system. But strangely, this tribute to B-movie creatures began as an anniversary gift.
The Mantis was originally built by aerospace engineer Kirk Jellum as a first wedding anniversary gift to his wife Kristen. Debuting at the Burning Man Festival, the Mantis made a second appearance outside of Zion National Park before finding its permanent home in Las Vegas.
In addition to the fire and sound, the 40-foot-tall Mantis also claims to be able to “speak 20 different languages,” and can also be driven to new locations, should Jellum feel the need to move his giant artwork. But for now, the Mantis can be seen firing off nightly bombast in front of the Container Park, a giant metal monument to love and monsters.
Know Before You Go
The Mantis is awakened every night at sundown by a drum circle celebration called the “Call to the Mantis” and shortly after begins its flame shooting display.