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Is this the most realistic sculpture ever?

Orlando airport sculpture
(Image credit: u/WhatWasThatLike on Reddit)

From the bronze Elon Musk tribute nobody asked for to the world's worst wax figures museum, we've seen some pretty diabolic statues over the last few months. But when sculpture is done right, it can be utterly mind-blowing – as is the case with this example at Orlando Airport. 

Titled The Traveller, the statue by Duane Hanson depicts a man napping against various luggage bags. And as thousands of Reddit users have commented, if the sculpture weren't sitting inside a glass enclosure, we'd believe we were looking at a real person. (Check out our art techniques guide if you're inspired to get creative.)

this_is_not_a_middleaged_guy_tired_from_traveling from r/pics

The sculpture regularly pops up on Reddit, and users are always blown away by its realism. "Duane Hanson is a legend," one user comments. "Seeing pictures of his work doesn’t do it justice. When you find one in the wild they’re usually something you’d interact with and never realise it’s a sculpture." And the statue also recently went viral on TikTok, when one user posted a video asking "who else always thinks this guy is real at Orlando Airport?"

@marvelousmousetravels

Anyone else think this guy is real? #marvelousmousetravels #mmtravels #airport #travel #vacation #orlandoairport #travelagency

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod

According to Newsweek, Hanson created the sculpture for the airport in 1986, and it can be found in Terminal A. The artist, who died in 1996, was renowned for creating hyper-realistic sculptures of normal people, made from bronze polychromed in oil. 

Duane Hanson scultures

The artist was renowned for his sculptures of everyday subjects, such as these at Berlin's Museum Frieder Burda (Image credit: Art Blart)

While many can't quite believe the statue isn't real, one thing's for sure – it beats both that Elon sculpture, and that museum. If you fancy making your own virtual sculpture, here's how to 3D sculpt on an iPad.

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Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an 'iSheep', but he's fine with this. It doesn't bother him at all. Why would it? They're just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.