Terren’s Christmas projects are some of his favourites – last year he created a nine-metre high Christmas tree using lightning-like sparks from a tesla coil and long-exposure photography; this year he’s strapped a Christmas tree to a bicycle with a front light that is so powerful it could be seen from the International Space Station with the same intensity as a bright star (when pointed at the sky). The country doctor documents his displays on his website and has developed a worldwide cult following. Many go to enormous lengths to deck out their houses with lights and decorations over the holiday season, but few can claim their elaborate displays earned them a Guinness world record. Australia’s very own Dr Shock, Peter Terren, from Bunbury in Western Australia, regularly uses hundreds of thousands of volts of electricity to create elaborate art he calls “electrickery”.
Last year’s “Modern Thinker” project. “I would love to send some Morse code to the International Space Station,” said Terren, 54. He has applied to Guinness for the “world’s brightest bike light” record, saying he has done his research and, at 100,000 lumens, his creation is five times brighter than any other bike light he’s seen. “The current world record holder in Guinness looks pale by comparison,” he said. Photo: Peter Terren
It is powered by three deep cycle industrial batteries weighing over 30 kilograms. Terren, a self-confessed “media junkie” who is married with three kids, says he creates his displays mainly as a hobby and for the allure of “doing something new and different that hasn’t been done in the world before”. I like electrical things and the photography aspect has been very popular,’ he said. His 2010 Christmas rig uses 18 high-powered 100 watt LED lights – 15 at the front and three at the rear to light up the tree. “I’m an electronics and electrical tinkerer from way back … It’s illegal to ride on the open road due to the light intensity. Terren was planning to ride it in his local Christmas parade but says “bureaucracy” and a lack of liability insurance prevented him from doing so. He got his first electronics kit at 12 and but it wasn’t long before he graduated to performing elaborate stunts such as photographing himself standing in a pool with 100,000 volts of electricity surging into his tinfoil hat.
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Terren’s 2009 Christmas creation.

Peter Terren’s 2010 Christmas rig purportedly has lighting so bright it can be seen from space. Photo: Peter Terren

“I have had kangaroos jump out in front of me so this gives me the upper hand,” he said. Last year, Terren created the “Modern Thinker”, an imitation of Rodin’s famous The Thinker statue except with about 200,000 volts of electricity passing over his body. Photo: Peter Terren The Christmas tree bike rig from the back. He does not own a car. Terren said he got the idea for the project on one of his night-time bicycle rides.