IN IMAGES: Artists unveil mechanical dragon

A legendary French artistic collective has raised the curtain on its latest outlandish creation: a massive fire breathing mechanical dragon that is headed for China. See photos and video of the beast here.

IN IMAGES: Artists unveil mechanical dragon
A famous French arts troupe has unveiled its 'dragon'. Photo: Jean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP

The newest creature to come out of madly imaginative western France arts group "Machines of the Island" took its first step this week in Nantes.

It's called Long Ma and it's a mechanical, fire-breathing, part horse, part dragon, that was created to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between France and China.

Machines of the Island is already responsible for a giant mechanical elephant and a merry go round of a strange sea creatures which can be seen in Nantes.

Here's their newest creature:

Creator François Delaroziere stands with the beast during its unveiling this week (Jean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP)

Onlookers get their first glimpse of the dragon this week in Nantes (Jean-Sebastian Evrard/AFP)

One fan snapped a picture of a burst of the creature's fire and sent it out on Twitter, writing "Impressive: The horse dragon Long Ma is out. Too bad it's not staying in Nantes."

And here's a video caught by another onlooker:

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