When Dante descended the circles of hell, he crossed the River Styx and found the damned, mud-covered and pitiful, tearing one another apart. In the real world city of Lianyuan—located in Hunan province, China—something much more horrifying occurs: Groups of tourists, dressed in adult-sized Minion costumes, frolic across nature’s beauty in open contempt of the notion of a just or kind universal order.
While the entire world is at fault for allowing the pube-headed, Twinkie-looking Despicable Me characters’ popularity to get this far out of hand, China in particular shoulders a decent amount of responsibility for injecting so much cash into the coffers of those who continue to make movies and merchandise centered on them. As we previously covered, the Minion-starring Despicable Me 3 recently set the record for the most lucrative opening day for an animated film in China, pulling in $20.1 million to supplant a prior milestone set by… 2015’s Minions.
And now, because the world is a wretched and miserable place, this enormous popularity has translated into scenes like these, captured by intrepid photographers documenting what future historians will no doubt refer to as The Fall Of Lianyuan:
Look, if you dare, at the split rictus grins of the costumes, mouths open in eternal laughter at the horror humanity brings upon itself. Stare into the unblinking eyes and refuse to turn away. The Minions will soon be rafting through our dreams.