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Lyle Lynch and
Lyle Lynch and "Clonia," his Barbed Wire Ball.

World's 2nd Largest Ball of Barbed Wire

Field review by the editors.

Grand Prairie, Texas

For years this was the world's #1 largest barbed wire ball. It was rolled in Mesa, Arizona, beginning around 1970, by Lyle Lynch, a retired National Park Service tour guide. Lynch named it "Clonia" and kept it in his front yard. Varying accounts give the ball a maximum height of eight feet and a weight of three tons. It reportedly contains 16 miles of barbed wire wrapped around a silver dollar.

Barbed Wire Ball crashing through wall in Jackson Hole, WY Ripley's (2007).
Barbed Wire Ball crashing through wall in Jackson Hole, WY Ripley's (2007).

In 1997 the ball was placed on display at the Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which had a Western theme. According to Kevin Ricks, co-owner of the Jackson Hole Ripley's, Lyle Lynch was 77 years old when he began rolling the ball and "wanted to be known for something."

Unfortunately for Lynch, his fame came too late: by 1997 he was dead and his ball had already been surpassed by another, rolled by J.C. Payne, who claimed to have been a friend of Lynch but who nevertheless set out to obliterate his record. Payne said that the ball he had rolled was 11.5 feet high, weighed 12 tons, and contained 70 miles of barbed wire. Guinness World Records, however, refused to certify it, and Ripley's declined to buy it, so it sits on private property, out of view.

Barbed Wire Ball displayed outdoors in Grand Prairie, Texas.
Barbed Wire Ball displayed outdoors in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Even if you accept Payne's unverified figures, Lynch's barbed wire ball holds the record as the largest ever to be publicly exhibited. In 2017 the rusty wonder was taken out of storage and put on display outside the Ripley's in Grand Prairie, Texas.

Despite Lyle Lynch's desire for recognition, the sign accompanying his barbed wire ball in Grand Prairie does not mention his name.

Also see: Towns with Balls

World's 2nd Largest Ball of Barbed Wire

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

601 E. Palace Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX
Ripley's Believe It or Not! I-30 exit 34. Turn north onto S. Belt Line Rd, then turn left at the stoplight onto E. Palace Pkwy. Drive until you see the Ripley's sign on the left. Drive past the building to its front and turn left. You'll see the twine ball up ahead, on the front lawn.
Gates open F-M 11-5 Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

ChromosaursChromosaurs, Grand Prairie, TX - < 1 mi.
JFK Assassination House: ToursJFK Assassination House: Tours, Irving, TX - 4 mi.
International Bowling Museum and Hall of FameInternational Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, Arlington, TX - 4 mi.
In the region:
Skyscraper with Lots of Fossils, Fort Worth, TX - 19 mi.

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