New Salem, ND.
Salem Sue, New Salem, ND.

Titans of the Northern Plains

In a land where everything is dwarfed beneath an endless sky, in a climate where anything under ten feet tall is buried under snowdrifts, you need to build things big.

The people of North Dakota and Minnesota know this, and they also know themselves. They are Children of Bunyan who like things large, scant generations from Nordic ancestors who worshipped the timberwolf and caribou. These qualities have created an apparently unquenchable passion for thirty-foot fiberglass birds, fish, reptiles, and anything with four legs and fur.

Turtle on a Snowmobile, Bottineau, ND
Turtle on a Snowmobile, Bottineau, ND.

North Dakota and Minnesota boast the densest population of giant animals anywhere on earth. Whether you enjoy the literal-mindedness of the big black duck in Blackduck, MN, or the mystery of the giant octopus in downtown Minneapolis, you'll never be more than an hour's drive from something larger than life and lower on the food chain.

The billiard table terrain up here means that you can spot these big beasts clear to the horizon, which sometimes is fifty miles away.


Some Favorites

  • World's Largest Buffalo, Jamestown, North Dakota - The World's Largest Buffalo faces the Jamestown grain elevator, guarding the prairie gold.
  • Tommy the Turtle, Bottineau, North Dakota - Astride his giant snowmobile, almost featureless Tommy resembles something out of an early '70s Eastern Europe cartoon.
  • W'eel Turtle, Dunseith, North Dakota - 2,000 steel wheel rims make this turtle apparition very real.
  • Big Otter, Fergus Falls, Minnesota
  • World's Largest Booming Prairie Chicken, Rothsay, Minnesota - Yes, it's some kind of chicken -- the kind with giant orange throat nodules.
  • Salem Sue, World's Largest Cow, New Salem, North Dakota - She's a giant among cows.

W'eel Turtle, Dunseith, ND.
W'eel Turtle, Dunseith, ND.

One monstrosity of the plains is not animal, but vegetable -- an altogether otherworldly presence in Blue Earth, MN.

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