Far away from the overcrowded streets of Paris or London or Barcelona, I’ve found that every city has it’s own unique charms and attractions, and that in many cases, those are more worth seeing than the more popular sights.

In the case of Nantes, the port city that my French friend Lilou is from, that attraction happens to be a giant, mechanized, steampunk-style elephant. It’s part of a collection of mechanical beasts inspired by Jules Verne, the famous author of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and it reflects his unique artistic vision for the future and it’s explorers.