M.C.Escher’s Curl-Up Animal Constructed!

M.C. Escher’s “Curl-up” is one of his imaginative fantastic creatures. The note surrounding it gives strong support to the potential value of the curl-ups as a concept for an exploratory probe or perhaps a new generation of sophisticated off road vehicle. His “curl-up” creature came into existence because of the absence, of wheel shaped, living creatures with the ability to roll themselves forward Biological details are still few: is it a mammal, a reptile, or an insect? It has a long, drawn-out, horned, sectioned body and three sets of legs; the ends of which look like the human foot. In the middle of the fat, round head, that is provided with a strong, bent parrots beak, they have bulb-shaped eyes, which, placed on posts, protrude far out from both sides of the head.

In the stretched out position, the animal can slow and cautiously, with the use of his six legs, move forward over a variety of terrains (it can potentially climb or descend steep stairs, plow through bushes, or scramble over boulders). However, when it must cover a great distance, and has a relatively flat path to his disposal, he pushes his head to the ground and rolls himself up with lightning speed, at which time he pushes himself off with his legs- for as much as they can still touch the ground. In the rolled up state it exhibits the form of a discus, of which the eye posts are the central axle. By pushing off alternately with one of his three pairs of legs, he can achieve great speeds. It is also sometimes desirable during the rolling to hold up the legs and ‘freewheel’ forward. “Curl-Ups” is what is used in translation, but you may notice that Escher came up with a Latin title “Pedalternorotandomovens Centroculatus Articulosus.” Here below we may see a real life model constructed by an artist Hawken King, a British designer living in Tokyo, who specializes in new-media illustration.

33 Replies to “M.C.Escher’s Curl-Up Animal Constructed!”

  1. While not an optical illusion this is one of my favorite pieces by Escher. It takes an amazing mind to come up with what he has done and still be able to use that imagination power to create an animal that is almost believable

  2. haha. i think i once heard of an animal or insect that did something like this to escape danger by rolling down hills. atleast, i don’t think i dreamt it

  3. id totally make one. they look pretty Bad A55

    i don’t really follow the illusion either.. looks like it could be any other animal rolling into a ball and moving around.

    the whole text around it makes it look really cool

  4. take that back.. i got it.. its all in how the legs unfold. how they move… their original vs new positions.

    its really cool

    cause otherwise, this motion is impossible

  5. The most amazing thing about MC Escher is that to achieve the twisted illusions and impossible worlds he made required an incredible understanding of perspective and such; think about it which is harder painting what you see in front of you or making something that can never exist, but making it so someones mind thinks it can. The best picture to illustrate this is a self portrait he did where he is holding a mirrored ball and you see his reflection in the ball, distorted along the curvature of said ball.

  6. This is a good idea, and it’s well done. But the actual draw show something that aren’t close to an animal or a reptile. First, not animal because he have only 24 vertebras. Second, not a reptile, he have six leg (that confirm that it’s not an animal to). Third, a structure like this are hazardous whit the breath, the animal and reptile use pressure for ventilate there lug (diaphragm and etc.). So, i say that is an insect! (Sorry for the English, It’s my second language.)

  7. hahaha i understand this one…

    look at the front legs in the final frame. now if you think about it, it is impossible for the creature to have ended up twisted like that…

  8. I think there’s a spider that lives in the desert that does this, rolles up in a ball and go downhill to escape enemies. But this one is way cuter!

  9. M.C. Escher is a dutch artist.
    The dutch name of the animal is “wentelteefje” so you can read in the picture. This is the dutch name for french toast or eggy bread. It’s also a composite of two dutch words “wentel” (English = to roll or turning ) and “teefje” ( English = female dog). So the English name of the animal is “turningdog” and its a she.

    He also mention the name “rolpens” which also is a combination of two words “rol”and “pens” (English “roll” and “belly”) So the animal is also known by the name of “rollbelly”..

  10. the rolling sequence of the copy is wrong, pictures are not matching with each other !!!!!! the copy is not rolling at all!!!

  11. These are very cool! Makes me think of my “teenage years” — my baby brother was playing with Legos while was dissecting m.c. escher’s work!

  12. i find it funny that everybody freaks out when one of the posts is not an illusion. for crying out loud people it doesnt matter. it eather means one of two things
    1. Vurdlak couldnt find an illusion (its hard to find one every day)
    2. he found something interesting he wants to share with us.

  13. i did’nt get it at first but thanks 2 eveyone 4 explaining it

    if u don’t get it look at the legs of the creature


    if you don’t get it, the creature reverses it’s legs when it roll’s

  14. I like the concept and the model is great. However, the picture illustrations are not telling the whole truth. The model is moving forward as it initially climbs the object. Between the 1st and 2nd pics the model does a 180 degree turn and continues backwards over the object.
    It’s difficult to see until you observe the direction the feet are pointing in each pic. Other than changing from a forward to a hidden backward movement, this is a great illustration.

  15. A rolling animal like thing? THAT’S AWESOME!!! wonder if I can buy it somewhere, I’ll totally roll it everywhere..EVERYWHEREEE!!!! :D

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