Giant snow-sauropods of the FairbanksSapporo Ice Festival

February 17, 2010

Hat tip to Open Dinosaur Project contributor Rob Taylor, who drew my attention to this photo of a huge and sauropodoriffic snow sculpture at [what I thought when I wrote this was] the Fairbanks Ice Festival:

Sauropod snow-sculpture. No attribution given -- please mention in the comments if you know where it's from.

(Copied from this page on

Is it real?  I really hope so, but I have my doubts.  That is a big, big sculpture, and you’d think that such a thing would be better known — my searches on the Internet have turned up only this photo and none from other angles or taken at other times.  So I guess that suggests it could be photoshopped.  But if it is, that’s OK: just means it’s art of a different kind.

We’ll be back with some proper science in a day or two — just thought you all ought to see this.

Update (later the same day)

The good news is, it seems this is legit: it’s confirmed by a different photo of the same sculpture from a different angle:

Sauropod-centric snow sculpture, from Saporo as it turns out.

This picture is from The PhotoMann Travel Photography site’s Sapporo page, so it looks like the sculpture is, or was, in Sapporo, Japan, rather then Alaska, USA.

Another update (the next day)

Many thanks to commenters ech and MarkR, who found more photographs of the same sculpture and confirmed that it definitely was from the 2004 Sapporo Snow Festival, and not Fairbanks as originally advertised.  I’m posting copies of those other photos here for posterity, since it’s nice to have them all in one place.

From, but I can't find a way to locate the specific page.


12 Responses to “Giant snow-sauropods of the FairbanksSapporo Ice Festival”

  1. ech Says:

    pretty sure it’s real. Here’s (i think) detail of the triceratops on the left: and this: gives a wider view.

    I think your photo is taken with a pretty long lens or something so it kind of looks bigger than it really is.

  2. Louis Bérubé Says:


    I’m amazed at the precision and patience it obviously takes to pull off something like this.

  3. MarkR Says:

    Mike, it’s def from the Sapporo Snow Festival, but from 2004. Here’s a wider angle pic which also shows the baby Triceratops’ (I love Wikipedia. Platonically).

    I’m guessing that the T. rex has his jaw on the ground for the same reason that the Brachiosaurids have vertical necks and thick legs.

    My first comment BTW – excellent blog, have enjoyed it quietly for some time.

  4. Neil Says:

    Thats awesome :)

  5. Graham King Says:

    [Indrawn gasp at first glimpse of top image]

    [Gasp continues..]


  6. […] Ice Age: SV-POW! posts remarkable photos that are a guaranteed cure for the winter blues: giant sauropod snow sculptures. […]

  7. […] the Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week site (a year ago) come these awesome (and not Photoshopped) dino sculptures from the […]

  8. […] Japan has some pretty crazy snow. It even falls into all sorts of weird shapes. […]

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