Amarillo, Texas: Huge Pair of LegsInspired by a similar set of big legs in the Egyptian desert, Stanley Marsh 3 (who commissioned the nearby Cadillac Ranch) paid a guy named Lightnin' McDuff to build the legs. A joke plaque claims that the rest of the body was destroyed by jealous football players from Lubbock.
Visitor Tips and News About Huge Pair of Legs
I live in Amarillo and I just want everyone to know that the legs were built by an eccentric millionaire, Stanley Marsh, 3 (he thinks the Roman numeral III is pretentious.) The plaque on the bottom of the statue is a boldfaced lie -- Shelley's poem was written BEFORE the statue was built -- WAY before. The statue was based on the poem, not vice-versa. Stanley is known for his crazy art around the area, including Cadillac Ranch on Old Route 66.[Cydney, 11/13/2008]
Stanley Marsh 3 commissioned artist Lightnin McDuff to create the Ozymandias sculpture. The sculpture was copyrighted in 1997 by McDuff.
Came by the legs yesterday on the way back from Ruidoso, New Mexico Socks are on and you can drive right up and read the inscription. There is some dirt gone from the base but all is well. I think if Stanley wants to spend his money this way, that's okay.[Betty Barkley, 08/23/2008]
The huge pair of legs in Amarillo are now wearing sport socks.[Joe Boulter, 04/16/2006]
Nice touch. Much better than the whole poetic sculpture thing.... August 2007: Tipster Chris reports "The socks have recently been sandblasted away. This is very unfortunate." November 2007: Jenner Bestor sez the "Socks are back on."
On a recent roadtrip we visited this odd site. Thought I'd fill you guys in a little bit. The inscription on the plaque is a poem titled "Ozymandias" written by Percy Bysshe Shelley in a friendly competition with Horace Smith. Ozymandias is actually what the greek philosophers called Rameses II, of Egyptian fame. Apparently Rameses thought a lot of himself! Anyways, seems someone thought it would be fun to build a monument to the poem. As for the actual site, it's still there and in good condition. There were a few cows that hardly took notice of our presence, and didn't seem to mind us jumping the fence for a closer look.[Brandon Lindsey, 06/23/2004]
The "Huge Pair of Legs" near Amarillo are still alive and kickin'. Sorry, couldn't resist. I saw the tips about these on your site and I wanted to get a better idea of just how huge they really are. I have a friend who lives in that area and he showed me where they are. We had to actually jump a fence because the land has bulls out on it! At almost 6 foot tall I came up mid-shin.
The best part about my visit to this roadside oddity is that I got to read the commemorative historical plaque that has been installed at the site. It reads as follows, "In 1819 while their horseback trek over the great plains of New Spain, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft (Author of "Frakenstein"), came across these ruins, here Shelley penned these immortal lines: "Ozymandias" I met a traveler from an antique land who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert, near them, on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage* lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, the hand that mocked them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear - "My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away."
*The visage (or face) was damaged by students from Lubbock after losing to Amarillo in a competition. A stone cast of it will be replaced when it is ready. The original is on display now in the Amarillo Museum of Natural History. Souvenir hunters have scraped off the bottom of the pedestal. Archaeologists have determined it was as Shelley described it.
In conclusion, the plaque makes as little sense as the fact that there is a huge pair of legs in the middle of a cow pasture![Jason Graham, 05/03/2002]