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You’ve likely seen the inflatable T-rex costume. Or, to be more accurate, you have seen the: Rubie's Adult Official Jurassic World Inflatable Dinosaur Costume, T-rex—though, at the time, you probably didn’t think of it in that way. Instead, you probably thought something like, “Huh, cool. An inflatable dinosaur suit.”
For the past few years, this T-rex has been kind of everywhere, in varying forms and to varying degrees of exposure. Videos of a T-rex (or, you know, a person in a T-rex costume) doing ordinary things like ice skating and shoveling the driveway go viral on Twitter and Facebook every now and then. Once, someone wore the suit on American Ninja Warrior. At every Halloween costume party, gathering, or parade, you can usually spot at least one person in the dinosaur suit. Why is it secretly (or not-so-secretly) all over the place, and why does it bring onlookers such joy?
Of course, one answer to the joy-related question requires little investigation: Dinosaurs (especially T-rexes), as any five-year-old-and-up who has ever visited a natural history museum, seen a film in the Jurassic Park franchise, or even the Ben Stiller vehicle Night At The Museum will tell you, are awesome. They’re big, scary, and, most importantly, extinct, which lends them a mystical kind of allure that is only strengthened by the various media that surrounds the creatures. And this costume—which gives the T-rex a cheery, expectant fanged grin and wide, shocked-looking eyes set in place of a head that tends to loll back with any forward movements—possesses a perfect mix of anatomical accuracy and goofiness that elicits a chuckle out of even the most dinosaur-agnostic among us.
This husband and wife are always looking for an excuse to throw on their dinosaur suit 🦖 pic.twitter.com/B1lN2Sy3RY— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 14, 2019
Get yourself a brother and sister in law that will go to their sons senior year parent teacher conference in dinosaur costumes! pic.twitter.com/gkLttMH5Hi— Nads (@nadiac5296) October 17, 2019
I reached out to Christina Meador, the woman who wore it as the maid of honor in her sister’s wedding. She told me her sister had told her she could wear “anything” to the wedding, so she pitched the the dinosaur suit to test “anything’s” limits. After some back-and-forth between the dinosaur suit and a regular dress, she decided on becoming a T-rex for the ceremony. It went over well—the photo she posted of the event garnered 12,000 likes and 39,000 shares on Facebook, and even earned her some outfit requests for other weddings.
“I've been asked to wear it at several other weddings, but I gave it to the happy couple as a wedding present,” Meador says.
Something to note about the costume: though it is inflated by a fan, you should not expect it to keep you cool. In fact, Meador, whose viral appearance at the wedding happened in early September in Texas, says her experience in the costume was more like being in a “sauna” than next to a fan with a cool breeze, because the costume is so tightly enclosed and traps heat and humidity within it. “The humidity outside made the clear plastic rectangle you look out fog up some, and it wasn't easy to clear the fog with the little arms,” she says.
Still, she has no regrets. It was easy to move around in the suit—that is, aside from walking through small doors—and overall, a pleasant experience. “It was extremely fun to wear and the novelty and joy of wearing it was worth it,” Meador says.
So, it seems, the original thesis holds true: Dinosaurs, as it turns out, are the kind of fun that never goes extinct.
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