In some cases, size does matter. For instance, who could avoid being impressed by a 30-foot-high pistachio, a seven-story picnic basket, or a fork that weighs 11 tons, just to name a few.
There’s no real explanation as to why, but there really is something wonderful about weirdly giagantic objects, which is why so many of them have become international tourist attractions — sometimes complete with observation decks and souvenir gear.
Our expert editors searched high and low — reading more than a few local travel guides and clicking through a slew of user-submitted selfies on Yelp — to find the top oversized oddities all over the world.
Below, we’ve put together a list of 20 quirky works — of fine art, clever branding, whimsical architecture, or even “just because” — that demand a pit stop, and maybe an impromptu photoshoot, on your next trip. Don’t forget to pack your camera’s widest lens and the longest selfie stick you can find.
Channel your inner lumberjack while visiting this humongous tribute to the region’s forest industry. With its 23-foot blade and 50-foot handle, the axe has also a time capsule hidden away in the head, and the gigantic concrete stump it's stuck into occasionally doubles as a stage for local performances.
Frank Stoeber, who started his ball of twine in 1953, gave it to Cawker City in 1961, but continued adding to it. It contained 1.6 million feet of twine by the time he died in 1974. Since then, the ball has continued to grow in size with the help of the town’s residents and has since become something of a communal effort. The city holds an annual “Twine-A-Thon” during which any and every one is invited to wrap more twine around the ball. (Needless to say, it’s still expanding.)
Head Down Under for a whole bunch of fun! This fantastically sized fruit welcomes visitors to The Big Banana Fun Park, an amusement park featuring an ice skating rink, miniature golf course, laser tag arena, water slides, and more. These a-peel-ing attractions live next to a real banana plantation, which offers tours and other educational presentations.
Pack up a picnic and head to Newark to visit the former headquarters of The Longaberger Company — a seven-story, 180,000-square-foot building based on the maple wood baskets manufacturer’s best-selling product, the Medium Market Basket. The company also built the World's Largest Apple Basket in Frazeysburg, which is just a short drive away.
Strike a photogenic pose in front of Flying Pins, which are suspended mid-air, tumbling over, and buried in the ground around a massive bowling ball. The innovative steel structure was designed by leading gigantists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The ten whimsical pins wear a yellow hue to match the region’s springtime daffodils.
If you’re in the San Diego area, venture onto the campus of the University of California, San Diego for a quirky selfie with The Big Red Chair. Located outside the college’s theatre department building, the piece’s origins are kept under wraps. Nevertheless, climb on up and grab a seat, à la Lily Tomlin in her role as the character Edith Ann.
When you’re in the city that’s unofficially nicknamed the "home furnishings capital of the world" — thanks to the furniture manufacturers that crowd the area, as well as its widely attended High Point Market industry trade show — stop by the local information center to see a 38-foot-high Goddard Townsend chest of drawers, complete with a pair of dangling socks. You might as well drive five miles to Jamestown for a massive highboy chest of drawers (over 80 feet tall) and seven miles to Thomasville for a huge Duncan Phyfe chair (sitting at around 30 feet).
Come Christmastime, all of New York City gets especially festive with its holiday decor. Sixth Avenue’s Midtown blocks have the most whimsical offerings: giant red ball ornaments, multi-colored twinkle lights (with a plug!), and an army of towering toy soldiers. It’s all just steps away from the enormous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.
Officially, the Millennium Park installation is called Cloud Gate, a seamless piece designed by the Mumbai-born British sculptor Anish Kapoor and made up of 168 stainless steel plates. The sizable sculpture is officially called "Cloud Gate" — but its shape suggests something else to locals, and it has come to be more casually known as "The Bean." By either name, it's the perfect site for a slightly-warped mirror selfie.
We’re paw-sitive you’ll love visiting Denver's Municipal Animal Shelter to see Sun Spot, a 20-foot-tall metal dog sculpture that’s covered in over 90,000 stainless steel dog tags. But where is the dog’s collar? Go inside the shelter and look up to see the oversized accessory, decorated with commemorative tags. With a five-dollar donation, you can add one too!
The Good Place’s Kristen Bell would probably describe this 35-foot utensil as pretty forking cool. Weighing in at 11 tons, the piece lives outside the offices of Noble & Associates, a firm that adopted the sculpture from a restaurant when it closed down. But no, the leafy greens growing amidst the fork’s prongs are not meant to be eaten.
Wisconsin is home to the world’s tallest grandfather clock, which was built in 1976 and stands at nearly 36 feet. Despite its massive size, the clock is fully functioning and keeps time for the city of Kewaunee. You should definitely make time to see this one.
Hee haw! These big ol’ rancher accessories in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood have been herding in tourists for decades. Taken from a now-defunct Western-themed gas station, the 44-foot-wide hat held the gas station’s office and the 22-foot-tall boots housed the restrooms. They've been relocated throughout the years and were restored in 2010.
You’ve got mail! Really, you do, because this giant mailbox is fully functional — its flag on the side will even be raised whenever outgoing mail is dropped into the slot. Visitors can step inside the mailbox for a sweeping view of this Illinois town, which is also home to a giant rocking chair, golf tee, pitchfork, wind chime, wooden shoes, and crochet hook and knitting needles.
Courtesy of PistachioLand
Get ready to go nuts over the 30-foot-sculpture at PistachioLand! The New Mexico attraction offers half-hour tours of the 111-acre McGinn's Pistachio Tree Rance, as well as wine tastings at the Arena Blanca Winery. Don’t forget to buy the uniquely spiced nuts (garlic, habanero limón, and barbecue are among the offered flavors) and homemade pistachio brittle from McGinn’s Country Store.
NJR ZA/Wikimedia Commons
No, this pineapple isn’t under the sea (sorry, SpongeBob!). Instead, the huge tropical fruit, made of metal and fiberglass, stands in a field at 56 feet tall. Visitors can climb the three floors inside the building to check out the view from the observation deck, learn about the region’s agricultural gem, and even purchase some fresh slices.
Itching for the glory days of roller disco? Be sure to pull over and see this oversized roller skate, which is made entirely of wood and plaster. The 1980s relic used to be a fixture of a nearby roller rink, which has since closed down. Thankfully, the novelty piece is stationed for photo ops.
Another quirky installation by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen (who designed Flying Pins, above), this 50-foot sculpture sees a saw seemingly cutting directly into the ground. It’s one of eight art pieces featured in the convention center Tokyo Big Sight.
Here’s the scoop: Spoonbridge and Cherry, an iconic 7,000-pound piece of art — a large spoon and a suspended cherry, with water emitted from both ends of the fruit’s stem — is yet another Claes Oldenberg/Coosje Van Bruggen collaboration. Found in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which showcases more than 40 works from the Walker Art Center’s collections, it’s a delicious sight.
In the middle of La Défense, a major business district just outside the Paris city limits, this 40-foot, 18-ton sculpture truly sticks out like a sore thumb, but in the best way. Since the piece, designed by César Baldaccini and based on his own digit, resembles a “thumbs up,” it’s now considered a symbol of good luck.