Hot Air Balloons that Soar Above the Rest

I don’t know anyone who has been in a hot air balloon, but I know a lot of people who would love to give one a shot. Even the biggest hot air balloon haters would be intrigued by these delightful creations. In wacky and wonderful shapes, and out of personal pleasure and love for the craft, or for commercial gain, a variety of hot air balloons have graced balloon festivals around the globe. Here are some of the best of the best:

(Images via roclar, hotairbrand, ecolocalizer, chm.bris.ac.uk)

Animal balloons seem a little dull until you see the tiny box holding the hot air balloonist at the controls. One is quickly awed by the gigantic form of a polar bear as it soars slowly past its smaller, garishly colored peers.

(Images via strangetravel, laughingsquid, work-killer, work-killer, unusual-things)

Interesting hot air balloon shapes are limited only by the creativity of the designer. Enter a hot air mystic that looks suspiciously like Jesus, a wonderful cactus, space shuttle, and… Van Gogh’s head. Oh, don’t forget the bagpiper, at over 150 tall.

(Images via ushotairballoon, gonewengland, work-killer, qwickstep)

Monsters in the skies! Giant dinosaurs and ferocious faces are a bit more terrifying when blown up to colossal proportions. They soar over fields, delighting onlookers and making children cry out in fear.

(Images via murobbs.plaza.fi, meg, toxel)

Some of our favorite characters have been featured in this exciting medium. Darth Vader makes an appearance, along with Sonic the Hedgehog, and Michael Wazowski from Pixar’s “Monsters, Inc.”

(Images via flypepsi, piculous, flemington.injersey, pzrservices)

Companies love to find creative ways to push their products into the limelight, and hot air ballooning isn’t an exception. From alcohol to batteries, companies will find a way to catch your eye, even if they have to cruise the skies to do it.

(Images via specialshapes, annarborspecialshapes, batw)

Everyone loves beer! At least, at hot air balloon festivals. Here are some of the coolest beer-shaped hot air balloons. I personally think bottles are the coolest, because they’re so different from the conventional hot air balloon shape.

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