Uncanny: This 19th Century Automaton Will Give You Nightmares

The uncanny valley can be a terrifying place – a place of strange dolls, unsettling computer animation, and people who just look off. But how deep does the valley go?

I think I may have found the bottom.

Cast your gaze upon the creature in the above video. Its face and eyes are eerily realistic, but the bizarre automaton seems trapped in a happy delirium. Is this the stuff nightmares are made of?

I originally saw this video posted on a Facebook community. However, after some digging, I was able to find the original, clearer HD version on YouTube. It was uploaded back in 2012 by 69mechanik (they also have several other videos of strange and fascinating automata available for your perusal).

This one is, indeed, a 19th Century automaton clown balancing a ball.

Image: 69mechanik/YouTube
Image: 69mechanik/YouTube

My only question: Why does it have a tongue?

Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.