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Utah couple auctions off giant fire-spitting scorpion car

In 2010, Jellum, an aerospace engineer with no art experience, built a giant fire-breathing...
In 2010, Jellum, an aerospace engineer with no art experience, built a giant fire-breathing praying mantis, now a Las Vegas tourist attraction. The metal fire-spitting scorpion is now for sale on ebay.(KOLO)
Published: Jun. 17, 2016 at 4:27 PM PDT
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A lot of unusual things are put up for sale on eBay, but few quite like what Utahns Kirk Jellum and his wife, Kristen Ulmer, are auctioning off — a giant metal fire-spitting scorpion.

"I bought shoes on eBay, but I've never bought a giant scorpion before," Ulmer said.

She said the whole thing began with a love story involving a giant rat.

"Well, I had an art car — a giant ... 23-foot rat — before I met my husband," Ulmer, a former extreme skier, said. "And then we went to Burning Man together and everybody saw it said, 'Is this your rat?' My husband, he said, 'No, it's my wife's rat' and finally, he got upset and said, 'OK, we're selling the rat, we're building something new.'"

In 2010, Jellum, an aerospace engineer with no art experience, built a giant fire-breathing praying mantis — now a Las Vegas tourist attraction.

"I'm the muse," Ulmer said. "My husband was peacocking for me. It's very romantic, very romantic for my husband … to build me art cars. It makes me very happy."

A year later, he built the scorpion.

It's 55 feet long, 23 to 45 feet wide, 33 feet tall and weighs 28 thousand pounds. It has 21 hydraulic actuation points and seven computerized flame controls and it runs on diesel fuel. It was constructed around the body of a 1991 Department of Transportation boom truck.

It was originally built for a Burning Man fan from Utah, but was sold back to the couple.

They've started the bidding at $50,000. They said actually almost a quarter million dollars was spent on the giant bug.

They're parting with it, they said, because it's been taking up too much time and too much space.

Jellum isn't sure what kind of art car he'll build next, but it will, he said, involve fire.

"It's going to have really, really big flame effects because he knows that makes me happy," Ulmer said.