A multitude of different manufacturing towns have sprouted up over the years in China, each with its own speciality, helpfully providing the world with most of its socks, fake shoes, Christmas decorations, denim, buttons, and bras. Apparently, there’s even one for animatronic dinosaurs.
Outside of the Sichuan city of Zigong there is a massive development zone which has become known as China’s “Dinosaur City.” Here, there are more than 30 different companies busy producing full-scale dinosaur models that can move, growl, and frighten small children. The robo-dinos are exported to countries all around the globe. According to China Plus, Zigong provides about 90% of the world’s fake dinosaurs.
Apparently, this unusual specialization arose from the city’s very real connection to the prehistoric reptiles. Back in the 1970s and 80s, Chinese paleontologist Dong Zhiming and his team excavated a tremendous wealth of unique and intact dinosaur fossils from the Dashanpu Formation about 7 km outside of town.
In 1987, the city itself decided to celebrate its former famous residents by establishing the first dinosaur museum in Asia, built on top of the excavation site. The Zigong Dinosaur Museum is one of the largest in the world, and also features numerous animatronic dinos, made by local companies.
[Images via IC, h/t Adam Minter]