Australia and its Big Things: megalomaniacDecember 11, 2018
If you’re traveling on Australia’s roads, you’ll encounter a six-meter-tall crocodile or a 13-meter-long banana: the country loves its “big things” – as a distraction on road trips and expression of the people’s soul.
Most recently, it was giant “Larry” who made international headlines. “Larry” is a 17-meter steel and fiberglass lobster, a statue in the Australian city of Kingston Southeast – and one of the country’s most popular “big things”. This is what Australians call their “huge things”, their oversized statues that stand everywhere in the country. There are an estimated between about 100 and 350 of them.
Some are rather irrelevant attractions for individual cities and regions. Many others, however, have long been cult status in the country. They reflect what makes a city or a region (“The Big Banana”, “The Big Merino”) – and sometimes, what Australians are particularly close to the heart (“The Big Beer Can”, “The Big Golden Guitar” ).
One of the most popular giants in the country is “Larry” aka “The Big Lobster”: Like many of the statues, the sea creature was built in the 1980s. An artist named Paul Kelly grabbed a real lobster on behalf of a restaurant owner, prepared and measured it and used the animal as a model for his work. He needed about six months to complete the work, and by the end of 1979 he was done.
And at the beginning, “Larry” did what he was supposed to do: he drew crowds of tourists eating seafood at the restaurant. But that is a long time ago. “Larry” changed ownership over the years, and his appearance suffered as a result. The restaurant in the 1400-inhabitant town of Kingston Southeast in the state of South Australia closed about two years ago.
In late August, “Larry” caused some headlines – fears were voiced that the famous Hummer could be sold and shipped to another state. “A Kingston without Larry is unimaginable,” the New York Times wrote at that time. The newspaper quoted a local artist as saying, “Kingston dies without the lobster.”
Fortunately, that did not happen. A family from the area took over the property, the restaurant and “Larry” – and Kingston Southeast keeps its most famous representative.
It was not the first time that one of the giant statues attracted public interest. You can find out more about the disappearance of the seven-ton mango, the fight about folk hero / criminal Ned Kelly and the rescue of the king prawn without a tail in the following photo gallery:
You can read more travel tips about Australia here. And if you want to test your knowledge about the “bloody island”, here is the quiz:
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