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What's Up With the Candy-Colored Boulders Stacked in the Desert?

The art piece by a Swiss artist is made from "locally sourced" rocks

A photo posted by LAND (@nomadicdivision) on

Recently installed off I-15 about an hour outside of Las Vegas and officially open to the public today is this eye-catching collection of rocks. Called "Seven Magic Mountains," it looks like the marriage of Honey, I Blew Up The Kid technology and Fruity Pebbles that we never knew we needed, but what is it exactly?

According to its website, the project—the work of Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone—is made up of seven "totems" of brightly painted, "locally sourced" boulders that weigh anywhere from 20,000 pounds to 25 tons. The towers are placed about halfway between the desert towns of Jean and Sloan, Nevada, on land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management. Why there? The official site explains:

According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

"Seven Magic Mountains" was a hit before it even opened; plenty of photos posted to Instagram show the art piece and the "Closed" and "Do Not Enter" signs protecting the project in the background. The colorful "mountains" will be up until May 2018. Swing by but maybe don't make it your pit stop on the trek to Vegas: there are no restrooms at the site.

A photo posted by Matt Quan (@dog_food) on

The LA Daily News also has some great, non-Instagram photos of the installation here.