The Ugliest Statue in Every State
Nothing says "America" like a 22-foot-tall Optimus Prime.
When you think of iconic U.S. statues, what comes to mind? The Statue of Liberty, certainly. The Lincoln Memorial, of course. Probably Mount Rushmore and Christ of the Ozarks. But those are just the most deservedly famous examples of our nation’s sculpted tributes. The United States is a big place and it contains a lot of statues, and not all of them are going to end up in our history books and tourist guides. Not because they weren’t created by people with passion and artistry and devotion to their subjects. But because they’re just plain ghastly to look at.
Every state in our country has at least one terrible statue that they are (or should be) embarrassed about. We took the time to compile them all right here—so read on, and enjoy. And for more examples of truly unsightly aesthetics, here are the 30 Ugliest Sports Uniforms Every Designed.
The Boll Weevil Monument; Enterprise
Yes, this is a 13-foot woman holding a giant bug over her head.
Santa Claus Statue; North Pole
Forty-two feet tall and a staggering 900 pounds, this is the world’s largest Santa Claus statue. Looking for more fun trivia? Here are 30 Celeb Names You’re Mispronouncing.
Street Corner Glenn Frey; Winslow
The late Eagles singer-songwriter was celebrated with this statue of what Glenn Frey might look like if he was unemployed and homeless and just hanging out on the street in Winslow, Arizona.
Popeye the Sailor Man; Alma
Alma is the self-declared “Spinach Capital of the World,” so we suppose it makes sense why they have this gigantic bronze Popeye, standing in a fountain and holding a can of spinach. For more fun facts about our country, here are the 50 Hardest Partying Cities in America.
Quetzalcoatl; San Jose
It’s supposed to be a statue of an Aztec god, a “Feathered Serpent” who represents intelligence and self-reflection. But we all know what it really looks like. Hey, lady, you have to pick up after your dog!
Blue Mustang; Denver
If there’s one thing you want to see while flying out of Denver International Airport, it’s a 32-foot fiberglass horse statue with eyes that look downright demonic. There’s a reason this horse has been given the nickname “Bluecifer.” Oh, and speaking of Denver: did you know that it’s also one of The 100 Drunkest Cities in America?
Jack the Turkey; Hartford
A tribute to the very first turkey “pardoned” by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Immediately afterwards, the poor turkey was dipped in gold, apparently.
Huge Doctor’s Bag and Stethoscope; Newark
Located outside the Apex Medical Center, it’s the perfect thing to put any patient at ease. Because who doesn’t feel a little better before an annual checkup if they think their doctor might be suffering from gigantism?
Passiflora Incarnation; Coral Gables
We’d never suggest that this million-dollar sculpture looks anything like a dystopian future where plants have become carnivorous creatures in some kind of Little Shop of Horrors nightmare. That’s just…. ridiculous.
Monkey Massacre Memorial; Duluth
What kid hasn’t shouted at his parents, “Can we pleeeeeease take a road trip to see the statues commemorating the mass murder of escaped circus monkeys in the early 20th century?”
Elvis Aloha; Honolulu
The poor King has never looked worse. For more great trivia, here are 30 Words That Will Make You Sound Instantly Smarter.
World’s Largest Beagle; Cottonwood
Would this statue seem more appealing if we mentioned you can sleep in it? No? Didn’t think so.
Harry Carey; Chicago
The late Chicago Cubs announcer still stands outside Wrigley Field in Chicago. Well, “stands” might be the wrong word, as Harry Carey’s legs in this statue appear to be melting into a pool of disembodied heads.
The Tooth; Crown Point, IN
Plumbers and Steamfitters; Des Moines
Yes, those are two hulking hands bursting from the earth brandishing pipe wrenches.
Deafy Boular, the Legless Bricklayer; Atchison, KS
Atchison is more widely known as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart. But it’s also the birthplace of a man named “Deafy,” who lost his hearing and his legs at a young age during the late 19th century. He refused to wear prosthetic legs, and instead attached boots to his stumps—a decision immortalized here for eternity.
Pink Elephant; Guthrie, KY
No, you’re not tripping. There is indeed a pink fiberglass elephant guarding a gas station off US 41.
World’s Largest Ronald Reagan Statue; Covington
Hey, the guy was larger than life.
Big Boyz Worker; Augusta
A 15-foot tall worker with huge forearms, an impressive beer belly, and a ‘stache straight out of a ’70s stag movie.
The Awakening; National Harbor
Not entirely sure what we’re looking at here, but it sure does look like a dude drowning in quicksand. So, um…. welcome to Maryland, we guess?
Myles Standish’s Legs; Halifax
Sorry if we’re the first to point this out, but those 9-ton granite legs of the military commander of the Mayflower, um… how do we put this delicately? They’re missing a torso. And arms. And a head.
Paul Bunyan; Alpena
Finally, a roid-raging statue of the lumberjack from folklore that seems to be saying, “Do you even lift, bro?”
If you want to remind visitors that you’re the Walleye capitol of the world, maybe you erect a statue that doesn’t make your local fish look like a cross between the Jaws shark and a bloodthirsty piranha.
It’s like somebody watched those spectacularly campy Godzilla movies from the ’60s and thought, “We could do worse!”
Charlie Parker; Kansas City
Here’s a helpful suggestion: If you’re creating a brass statue of jazz legend Charlie Parker and you leave out the saxophone, maybe you don’t have him blowing into an invisible instrument. This just looks like a creepy dude spitting.
Talking Penguin Statue; Cut Bank
You won’t forget the coldest spot in the nation.
Chef Boyardee; Omaha
It’s a lifesize bronze statue of Chef Boyardee, the man who gave the world bland canned pasta. We don’t have a joke here. It’s a statue of Chef Boyardee that somebody made, and it continues to exist. This is the world we live in.
Toilet Paper Hero of Hoover Dam; Boulder City
Too many questions.
Pollyanna Statue; Littleton
She clearly doesn’t know it’s 2017.
Mr. Peanut; Atlantic City
Everyone’s favorite anthropomorphic legume dressed like an oligarch.
The World’s Largest Pistachio; Alamogordo
Still, betcha can’t eat just one!
Nude Man Pulling Rope; Brooklyn
This statue commemorates an 1862 naval battle, which apparently involved entirely nude sailors.
Queen Charlotte; Charlotte
This bronze sculpture, standing at 15 feet, is a tribute to the town’s namesake, the English queen who inspired English settlers to name their settlement after her. If the town wants us to know nothing else about Queen Charlotte, it’s that she knew how to take a punch to the stomach.
Four-Headed Thunderbird Statue; Bismarck
Oh cool, that won’t be hovering over us in our nightmares for the rest of our lives. Thanks for the horrifying visual image, North Dakota!
Any tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., is worth having, of course. But of all the great monuments to the civil rights leader, this one with four disembodied heads just strikes us as a little… odd.
We don’t even know where to begin.
Fish Swimming Through Building; Portland
As if we needed more evidence that everybody in Portland is slightly bonkers, here’s an 11-foot sculpture of a bronze salmon swimming through a building.
Singing Statue of Perry Como; Canonsburg
If there’s one thing that’ll change millennials’ minds about their grandparents’ music, it’s a statue of a Perry Como singing “Dig You Later (A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba).”
Ms. Potato Head; Westerly
This bikini-wearing spud, officially called “Sunbaked 1966,” stands a full six-feet tall and happily terrifies visitors at the local airport.
Freaked Out Revolutionary Horse; Johnsonville
This 12-foot bronze tribute to Revolutionary War General Francis Marion and his horse, Ball, tells everything you need to know about 18th century war. The horses were so not into it!
Corn Palace Mascot; Mitchell
Sorry if we’re the ones to break it to you, Corn Palace owners, but “Cornelius,” the creepily happy ear of corn that you’ve picked as a mascot, is not going to become the Mickey Mouse for a new generation. But kudos for trying!
General Nathan Bedford Forrest; Nashville
If you were hoping for the Confederate Army to be remembered as anything but slave-owning traitors, this crazy-eyed statue is probably not the way to go.
The Taco Queen; Austin
“Monster Maria,” a styrofoam statue of Taco XPress owner Maria Corbalan, shouldn’t be such a beloved a landmark, but that’s what she is nonetheless. When her 8-foot arms were cut off by vandals not long ago, it was treated like a national tragedy, until the limbs were recovered and reattached. Accept her as your personal lord and savior, and all will be forgiven.
Joseph Smith Sphinx; Salt Lake City
What’s that? Oh, just the head of the founder of Mormonism on an Egyptian sphinx. No big deal.
The Whispering Statue; Barre
Fun fact: They say this war memorial from the ’20s has unique acoustics, where you can whisper behind the statue and the sound will reverberate across the plaza.
Foamhenge; Natural Bridge
It’s just like the prehistoric Stonehenge in England, but it’s made out of… sorry, sorry, no, we can’t do this. Seriously, styrofoam?
Christopher Columbus; Seattle
We can’t imagine a better tribute to the guy who maybe didn’t really discover North America than a gaunt futuristic cyborg looking out at an ocean on the other end of the continent he may or may not have landed on first.
Point Pleasant Mothman; Point Pleasant
A 12-foot-tall stainless steel tribute to a creature that supposedly terrorized residents during the mid-1960s.
Fox Cities Oracle; Appleton
Supposedly this is a horse. Your guess is as good as ours.
Rock Paper Scissors; Gillette
Everyone’s favorite game, immortalized. Have you enjoyed all this American art and history? Check out more with The 28 Most Enduring Myths in American History.