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Smaug the Dragon And Other Unexpected Airport Surprises

There’s more to the world’s airports than newsstands and food courts

Smaug now resides at the Wellington airport. (Photo: Wellington International Airport and Weta Workshop)
smithsonian.com

Visitors to New Zealand can now get their Middle Earth fix before even entering the country. A massive bust of Smaug—the dragon that torments Bilbo and the rest of The Hobbit crew—now resides at the Wellington International Airport, 3 News reports. The head, its creators say, is 75 percent to scale with the would-be size of the actual dragon, and it is based off of the same 3D files used to create Smaug in The Hobbit movies. 

Smaug is actually the third J.R.R. Tolkien-themed installation to arrive at Wellington airport. There's  Gandalf riding atop one of the Great Eagles and "the world's biggest Gollum." 

Smaug and his fellow characters aren't the only unexpected finds at some of the world's international airports, however. As Travel and Leisure reports, Asia's largest 4D projection screen can be found at the Hong Kong airport; Singapore's airport has a butterfly garden; and Brazil's São Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport offers dental services. Visitors to Nagoya's airport in Japan, on the other hand, can visit a traditional onsen, or bath house, and watch the planes take off while they lounge naked in a hot tub.

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