While we may lead the world in Super Bowl victories, the United States lags embarrassingly behind other countries when it comes to our giant statue situation. Our largest, the Statue of Liberty, ranks only 47th in the world! This isn’t to say that our great nation hasn’t got a wealth of big statues, however — here is only a sampling of what you can visit right here in Minnesota.
Lou T. Fisk
As the Lutefisk Capital of the World, Madison is home to Lou T. Fisk, a 25 foot long cod. He does more than simply greet visitors to the town with his warm, vacant stare — he also serves as a monument to Minnesotan heritage. Only the proud sons and daughters of Scandinavians, who were once so bold as to have raided or settled on most of the world’s continents, could ever muster up the courage to eat fish that had been submerged in a lye solution for three days. Lou is lovingly detailed, and even sports a jaunty whisker jutting out of his chin. Real cod would use that whisker to sense their surroundings for things that they like.
World’s Largest Crow
Sheryl Crow and Russell Crowe, although big stars in their own regard, have got nothing on the World’s Largest Crow in Belgrade. Over 40 feet tall including the pedestal it’s perched on, this massive corvid stands guard over Centennial Flag Park where each of our 50 states’ flags (as well as those of some other, less relevant places) fly. It is nice that the crow should receive so loving a tribute from the town — it’s a sort of consolation for the bird, which in spite of its great intelligence has been jinxed by nature with a hoarse and angry sounding song. If this beefy crow could caw, Belgrade’s tourism numbers would probably plummet into the negative range.
In 1898 a Swedish immigrant named Olof Ohman claimed to have discovered a 202 pound runestone buried in a field in what is now Alexandria. If authentic, the stone would have evinced that Scandinavians had beaten Columbus to the New World by at least 130 years. The ivory tower bookworms have ixnayed that theory by proclaiming the stone a fake, but many still choose to believe the Scandis got here first. Big Ole is a monument to them. The 28 foot tall hunk stands guard across the street from the town’s Runestone Museum, his shield declaring that Alexandria is, in fact, the birthplace of America, and his proud eyes suggesting that anyone who would disagree is free to do so while dangling from the end of his spear.
World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken
Rothsay erected this 9,000 pound behemoth in 1976 to celebrate our nation’s bicentennial. The 13 foot tall bird is booming, which is his species’ mating display. If you were a prairie chicken hen, you would find the sight of a cock like this one with his orange cheek pouches bulging out, head feathers pointed toward the sky, and voice crooning a warbly serenade positively irresistible. The World’s Largest Booming Prairie Chicken is poised as though he’s in mid-peck, making for a marvelous photo opportunity — a shot of you about to be apparently devoured by a giant, titillated prairie chicken is the stuff that high quality Christmas cards are made of.
By David Scheller