Watch the Absolutely Insane Performance That Marked the Opening of the World’s Longest Rail Tunnel
Switzerland has a new rail tunnel. They celebrated its opening in quite the curious way.
A yodeler belts out an eerie tune as men and women dressed in orange jumpsuits and black boots march along the inside of a dark tunnel, then raise their hands for a slow and somber salute.
Cut to a woman in a black, button-down shirt wearing a pile of straw on her head, which looks like a cross between a bird’s nest and an artistic interpretation of a Donald Trump wig.
Then the camera pans to a sudden and unexpected sight: Five white horses, moving at a healthy trot through the same tunnel, dragging a carriage behind them.
No, this is not a fever dream. It’s highlights from the insanely strange performance that marked the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland on Wednesday. The rail tunnel took decades to build and will connect northern and southern Europe by way of the Swiss Alps. At 35 miles, it is the world’s longest and deepest, surpassing Japan’s Seikan Tunnel by around a mile-and-a-half.
Sure, that sounds like a good reason to celebrate. No problem. What’s confusing is how Switzerland chose to mark the occasion, with a conglomeration of modern dance performances that included, at one point, a winged creature descending from the ceiling in nothing more than underwear and a massive mask that makes him look like a baby with its mouth stuck open.
At one point, a few of the men and women dressed in the orange jumpsuits (which make them look like a cross between prisoners and construction workers), swing on chains hanging from the ceiling in what could possibly be a subtle reference to labor reform.
In one of the more confusing scenes, humans (we think) covered in grass skirts roll around on the ground as a person dressed as an unidentified animal hops off the back of a truck and runs through them at a full sprint.
According to the tunnel’s website, the opening ceremony was intended to promote “Swiss values such as innovation, precision, and reliability to the world.” Art, I suppose, is up to interpretation.
Watch the highlights below:
Photo credit: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images