North Dakota July 07, 2016
8 Bizzare Roadside Attractions In North Dakota That Will Make You Do A Double Take
There are many long stretches of road in North Dakota that are pretty normal with nothing seeming out of place the whole way along, but sometimes you come across things that are just downright weird. The state actually has a lot of giant sculptures scattered around that make anyone’s drive a little more interesting, and a lot of them came to be in some of the strangest ways. They can be a little bit creepy at times. These eight roadside attractions are crazy enough that you’ll have to look twice to believe what you’re seeing.
1. The Mighty Og
Now this one has quite the history and is definitely the weirdest roadside statue to ever stand in North Dakota. The Mighty Og, a name that doesn't really have a meaning, is an 36-foot-tall gorilla (not originally an albino-looking color, it used to be painted). It was built to promote Rawhide City in Mandan, which was to be a new tourism attraction that ended up going bankrupt. I'm not quite sure what a gorilla has to do with an Old West town tourist trap, but in any case, Og went up for auction following the closure. A man purchased him and had him moved from Mandan to Harvey, ND, where he sat for the rest of his days, freaking out passerby and local kids for years. Unfortunately, in 2005, a strong windstorm destroyed him. Despite that, I still think he deserves a spot on this list. He's just bizarrely fascinating!
2. Tommy the Turtle
Why have a normal slow turtle when you can have a giant fast turtle on a snowmobile? Okay, he doesn't actually move, but a turtle on a snowmobile is definitely eye catching to say the least. Tommy stands in Bottineau at a lofty 30 feet tall. He claims the record as the biggest turtle in the world, and his snowmobile as the largest one, too, at 34 feet long. He promotes the winter activities you can do in the town... and guards the tennis court. Tommy is very important and definitely pretty interesting to see!
3. Viking on a Hill
Way in the distance near Fort Ransom, you can see this proud Viking on top of Pyramid Hill, named for its pointy shape. The Viking is there to represent and honor the Norwegian heritage of many of the residents in that area. He certainly sticks out pretty well on such a perch; it's hard to miss him when you go by.
4. W'eel Turtle
There's another turtle hanging out in roadside North Dakota to rival Tommy with his spot for the biggest turtle. While this one isn't riding a snowmobile, he has all the mobility he needs! The W'eel Turtle in Dunseith is made entirely out of tire rims. About 2,000 rims make up the body and are all welded together. This tough turtle has been standing guard and turning heads since 1982 and will continue to for many years down the road (pun intended).
When you drive into Wahpeton, this, well, interesting face is there to greet you. His name is, of course, Wahpper, and he claims the throne as the world's largest catfish. He weighs a hefty 5,000 pounds and would certainly put up a fight on the line. He sits right next to the Red River and when it floods, he actually appears to be swimming in the water. While it's pretty much impossible to catch this fish, he'll certainly catch a lot of people's attention!
6. And of course, last but not least, the three that most everyone in North Dakota knows. The World's Largest Buffalo...
(In Jamestown, ND)
7. ...The World's Largest Holstein Cow...
(In New Salem, ND)
8. ...And the Enchanted Highway
(Near Regent, ND)
North Dakota certainly has its fair share of wacky sculptures. Some of these are actually kind of creepy if you ask me. If you like visiting weird places and are into the more unknown and otherworldly, check out
this haunted North Dakota road trip. It’s a little scarier than some roadside statues, and one you have to do yourself to fully experience it.