March 7, 2012
Every now and then, someone comes up with an idea that makes me smack my foreheard and say, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Getting married inside a dinosaur is one of them.
Newlyweds Scott and Amanda Peters selected one of the world’s most recognizable dinosaurs for the site of their wedding: the huge concrete Tyrannosaurus at Cabazon Dino Park in California. Remember the roadside dinosaur that comes to life in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? That’d be the one. And while getting married anywhere inside the digestive tract of a huge theropod is not typically advisable, in this case it made for some great photos. Congratulations, Scott and Amanda!
January 27, 2012
Last week I asked you submit your favorite atrocious roadside dinosaurs. While the sculptures along the main drag of Dinosaur, Colorado come close to the top of the list, my vote last week went to the ugly, ugly dinosaurs outside Stewart’s Petrified Wood near Arizona’s Petrified Forest National Park. Readers sent in a few additional contenders for the title.
Reader Mark Ryan sent in this sad, decaying dinosaur that stands near Interstate 15 in the vicinity of Victorville, California. No wonder the dinosaur needs those metal rods to support itself—its legs look like they’re made of cooked noodles.
A regular favorite of Dinosaur Tracking readers is the truly strange Dinosaur Kingdom in Natural Bridge, Virginia. Suggested as a top choice for weird dinosaurs by reader Laura Wilson, this tourist trap features a peculiar southern mash-up of dinosaurs and the Civil War—Union Soldiers are chomped on and terrorized by Mesozoic monstrosities. This particular shot, sent in last year by Kathy Krein, features a rather surprised looking cowboy who looks as if he’s only just begun to realize that riding a deinonychosaur was a horrible decision.
Reader Kelly Enright sent in a set of several dinosaurian abominations from around the country. This one, complete with glowing eyes, stands guard over Goony Golf in New York.
While not actually a dinosaur, this boxy mosasaur outside Big Mike’s Rocks & Gifts in Kentucky deserves an honorable mention, especially since the poor thing is stranded hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean.
While not the absolute worst dinosaur I have ever seen, this Tyrannosaurus at the entrance to Kentucky’s Dinosaur World is one of the creepiest. So if the head is up there, and the legs are on either side, what part of the dinosaur am I walking into, exactly?
We may have a new winner! While this automotive Triceratops—I think?—from Hanksville, Utah does win some bonus points for recycling, my first thought when I opened the image was “Oh geez! Kill it with fire!” This dinosaur is a junkyard nightmare, and surely a top contender for the worst roadside dinosaur ever.
January 20, 2012
I have a fondness for roadside dinosaurs. Not because they’re accurate. Quite the contrary. Concrete and plastic dinosaurs beside America’s highways are often sad, malformed creatures that are truly terrible. Nevertheless, they are a reminder of the popularity and cultural importance of Mesozoic life, especially along roads that connect fossil-rich exposures where many authentic dinosaurs were found.
My vote for the best worst dinosaurs goes to the monstrosities at Stewart’s Petrified Wood shop near Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona. One sad, roughshod theropod is poised to chomp down on a poor mannequin, and a model in a shock wig rides a dilapidated sauropod surrounded by icicle lights (seen above in a photo by David Williams).
But I know there must be others out there. I want to hear your suggestions for the worst roadside dinosaurs. And if you have a snapshot, share the photos of the poor beasts. You can send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll share the best of the worst later next week.
July 20, 2011
While driving along Interstate 40 toward eastern Utah’s Dinosaur National Monument, you can’t miss the roadside dinosaurs. They’re all over the place. Many are concentrated in Vernal, about a 20-minute drive to the west of the national park, but a few stand near the highway in the small town of Jensen. One of my favorites is this fellow—an old, cracked dinosaur that could probably be called “Crocosaurus.” The thing looks more like an alligator doing a dinosaur impression than a real dinosaur, yet there is something unmistakably dinosaurian about it. I’ve been wondering about why this should be. Is it just the upright posture, or is there something else that clearly makes the model a dinosaur? As crude as it is, this restoration always makes me think about what—in the cultural realm, at least—makes a dinosaur.
Have you seen a prehistoric creature in an unusual place? Submissions of dinosaurs—and other ancient beasts—should be sent to email@example.com.
August 4, 2010
While on her way to the Festival d’été de Québec in Canada, my old friend Ashley Rosenfeld happened upon a row of shoddy-looking dinosaur sculptures. With missing arms or with necks snapped backwards, many of these dinosaurs have seen better days—the theropod in this photo was one of the few that still looked halfway decent.
Have you stumbled across a dinosaur in an unexpected place? If you have, and have a photo of the encounter, send it to us via firstname.lastname@example.org!