The blade of a wind turbine is designed to move in one particular way: in a big, fast circle, cutting a 360-degree swoop through the air.
In order to achieve one’s destiny, though, sometimes it’s necessary to compromise. If you’re a wind turbine blade, that may mean your journey starts in a slower, more horizontal way—say, banking gingerly around highway curves while balanced in between two trucks.
This particular blade, made by LM Wind Power, is 73.5 meters (241 feet) from tail to tip—a bit longer than the Leaning Tower of Pisa is tall. It’s the longest blade ever manufactured in Spain. In the video above, it travels from the LM factory in Castellón, Spain, to a port about 45 kilometers (28 miles) away.
The root of the blade was balanced on a truck cab, while the other end was held up by a second set of wheels. A nine-vehicle police escort cleared a path, which included tight squeezes, some precarious-looking tunnels, and at least one planned shortcut through a rotary.
There’s something majestic about watching such a large object maneuver through the landscape, an impression that LM’s video, with its smash cuts and Game of Thrones-style music, certainly underscores. This is a theme for the company. In Jul 2016, when they pulled off a similar transport in Denmark with an even longer blade, they staged a comparable video at sunset.
But there’s something ungainly about it, too, as there often is when otherwise graceful things are forced to move counterintuitively. It’s a bit like watching a rhinoceros get airlifted via helicopter, or an underwater creature try to move on land.
The blade reached the port in 3.5 hours, which means it averaged about 8 mph. Its next stop is Merkur, Germany, where it will become part of an offshore wind farm. Meanwhile, the rest of the project’s 197 blades await their own strange, slow road trips.