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Students Built A Zoo Full Of Giant Creatures From Nothing But Straw

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Art students from Japan have come up with a modern solution to an ancient problem, and tourists are snapping up tickets to see their work.

In the northern Japanese prefecture of Niigata, farmers still grow rice as they have for centuries, and autumn is still the harvest season. But the harvest leaves a huge supply of rice straw (or "wara") which is basically useless these days.

While wara was once used to make mats and other products, it has been replaced by plastic and other materials over the years. All of the wara that's not fed to livestock or composted just goes to waste.

So farmers in Niigata asked students from a local art college to put the hay to good use. For the last 10 years they've built enormous animal sculptures for the Wara Art Festival. With only wood frames and folded hay, they make some seriously impressive creations.

Check out some of their finished products from the last few years:

Are you impressed yet? There are a lot more awesome sculptures...

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