World’s largest what?When I was driving out to North Dakota for the first time, I remember Blake’s family mentioning that we should make sure we stop and see the World’s Largest Buffalo as we pass through Jamestown, N.D. Obviously I was intrigued. In my mind I pictured a massive buffalo roaming the plains of North Dakota.
By: Hailey Adkisson, The Jamestown Sun
Posted Sept. 12, 2012
When I was driving out to North Dakota for the first time, I remember Blake’s family mentioning that we should make sure we stop and see the World’s Largest Buffalo as we pass through Jamestown, N.D. Obviously I was intrigued. In my mind I pictured a massive buffalo roaming the plains of North Dakota.
“I wonder how big it really is?” I questioned.
“I wonder how much it eats?” I questioned.
As we approached Jamestown and began seeing billboards urging us to exit and catch a glimpse of the buffalo, my anticipation only grew.
We pulled off Interstate 94 towards where the billboards directed us, and my face was glued to the window scanning the horizon for a giant buffalo grazing the hillside. Before I knew it, there it was. The World’s Largest Buffalo. How big was it? Huge. How much did it eat? Well … nothing. For in fact the world’s largest buffalo was not a living, breathing animal. Instead, it was a 40-foot statue of a buffalo.
Now, don’t for a second think I was disappointed. This was still great! A giant buffalo statue was the perfect photo op. As we left Jamestown and the World’s Largest Buffalo behind, I asked Blake, “Why do you think they have a statue of a giant buffalo?”
“Why not?” he replied.
I soon learned that the World’s Largest Buffalo was not the only large, man-made creature that stood proudly throughout the towns of North Dakota and Minnesota. In fact, the buffalo is accompanied by a whole stampede of giant animals. And according to road sideamerica.com, apparently North Dakota and Minnesota have the densest population of largest animals (and a few other random large objects) than anywhere in the world. Here are a few I found while Googling:
* World’s largest holstein cow (named Salem Sue) in New Salem, ND
* World’s largest sandhill crane in Steele, N.D.
* World’s largest catfish in Wahpeton, N.D.
* The Enchanted Highway in Regent, N.D. has an entire host of giant animals including a giant pheasant family, a giant deer family, giant grasshoppers, and giant flying geese
* A giant walleye in Garrison, N.D.
* A giant turtle in Bottineau, N.D. (named Tommy the Snowmobiling Turtle) as well as Dunseith, N.D. and Turtle Lake, N.D.
* A giant otter (named Otto) in Fergus Falls, Minn.
* A giant octopus in Minneapolis, Minn.
* A giant prairie chicken in Rothsay, Minn.
* A giant cod statue (named Lou T. Fisk) in Madison, Minn.
* A giant viking name Big Ole in Alexandria, Minn.
* A giant muskie in Bena, Minn.
* The world’s largest stucco snowman in North St. Paul, Minn.
* Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyon in Brainerd, Minn.
* The world’s largest corn cob statue in Olivia, Minn.
And while I now have a new goal before leaving the Northern Plains of visiting as many world’s largest creatures as possible, I still have to ask, why? Why are there so many large statues spotted across North Dakota and Minnesota? Maybe the best answer should simply still be, why not?
Adkisson blogs about her adventures as a new North Dakotan at becoming midwestern.areavoices.com