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We Must All Hail Marble Mountain

Ben Tardif's mesmerizing 12' x 8' x 8' masterpiece is like Walt Disney and Rube Goldberg had a baby.

by Beckett Mufson
Apr 4 2016, 2:20pm

Screencap via

Disneyland took 12 months and $17 million and a massive construction team to build, but one man working alone for three years has created the next best thing: a theme park for marbles. Ben Tardif's 12' x 8' x 8' Marble Mountain, replete with ski jumps, a fairy tale castle, and an Escher-esque series of stairways, is a mesmerizing testament to craftsmanship and dedication. Watching 300 marbles click and clack their way through 25 separate "lands" is an antidote to the stress of returning to work, right when the weekend was getting good.

"Every element is themed (or will be upon completion) to an aspect of my life or to something that I find interesting," Tardif writes in the video's description. "Some of the elements include a roller coaster, ski jump, Times Square, Lombard Street, and a skatepark. It took three years to get to this point of being able to turn it on and watch it go, and I will continue to work on it and get it fully completed."

A kinetic sculpture made entirely from wood, Marble Mountain captures the aesthetic of old, local theme parks with wooden roller coasters and names like Fantasy Island. It takes about a minute for a marble to go from start to finish, but the 32 possible paths for each sphere to travel, it's worth watching for the entire 8-minute video, which you can find below:

Learn more about Marble Mountain on Ben Tardif's YouTube channel, and follow his progress on Instagram.


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rube goldberg machine
kinetic sculpture
Ben Tardif
marble mountain