(つ◔౪◔)つ━☆゚.*・。゚ The 2022 TKSST Gift Guide ✩°。⋆・゚  
Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Making a mechanical whale kinetic sculpture

Watch more with these video collections:

Carved from basswood, this mechanical whale is five parts of a swimming kinetic sculpture by Toulouse, France-based woodworker and designer Sylvain Gautier.

The humpback comes to life with a walnut frame, an acacia base, hinges, and a wire crank mechanism. It is named Wooden Migaloo after the rare all white male humpback whale that’s been spotted off the coasts of Australia since 1991. Via Australian Geographic, “‘Migaloo’ means ‘white fella’ in some Aboriginal languages.”

cutting the wood block
carving the whale
The kinetic sculpture is one in a series of wooden white whales that Gautier has put into motion. Previous Migaloo kinetic sculptures were auctioned in benefit of SeaLegacy, a collective of conservation-minded photographers, filmmakers and storytellers.

hooking up the mechanical bits
final whale sculpture

Watch these related automata and kinetic sculptures:
A wood automata submarine bustling with busy animals
• Hand-cranked mechanical singing birds by Bliss Kolb
• Hand-cranked kangaroo automaton (and friends)
• The Silver Swan, an 18th-century automaton at the Bowes Museum

Bonus: Humpback whale videos.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Walking mechanical woman and man

Rion Nakaya

Up close and underwater as a humpback whale breaches

Rion Nakaya

Two beautiful humpback whales dance

Rion Nakaya

Traditional Swedish Woodworking (1923)

Rion Nakaya

Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest on the beach in San Francisco

Rion Nakaya

Theo Jansen’s Animaris Mulus Strandbeest

Rion Nakaya

The Writer, a drawing machine automaton by Pierre Jaquet-Droz

Rion Nakaya

The Solar Do-Nothing Machine by Charles and Ray Eames

Rion Nakaya