Though many people like to visit places that are considered cultural or historical centers of town, there are others who choose the more… unexpected. Whether it’s a spot famous for its curiosity factor or one that has some type of personal significance to the traveler, these places often go overlooked by the average tourist.
The Little Mermaid
This bronze statue of one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most famous characters is a Copenhagen staple and has been since 1913. But despite its popularity with the locals, it isn’t as well known to those outside Scandinavia. It was made in 1999 and depicts the mermaid lying on her stomach with her arms stretched out behind her. The statue is based off of original sketches by Danish painter Edvard Eriksen, who used his own daughter as a model for his sculpture.
The Hollywood Sign
At the top of Beachwood Canyon in California’s Santa Monica Mountains lies an enormous white sign that reads “Hollywoodland.” It was originally erected in 1923 to advertise a new housing development, but after its popularity waned it became just the big white sign seen today—with the exception of four years during World War II when it was painted brown to avoid being targeted by enemy aircraft.
The Butt of Lewis
This location in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland is famous for its unusual shape. At high tide, it looks like a normal island but at low tide there’s… another feature to be seen. It’s believed that ancient sailors mistook this peninsula sticking out into the ocean as an island and named it accordingly. The name is far from the only unusual thing about it though. There are also a number of stones that resemble old women’s faces and some that look like cows.
The prehistoric monument found on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England is believed to have been constructed between 3000 B.C.E. and 2000 B.C.E. and has been in the public eye ever since. The “bluestones” that make up part of its ring came from 150 miles away and were transported by various prehistoric people over a period of many centuries before being arranged to form what we see today.
Coney Island Cyclone
This wooden roller coaster at New York’s Coney Island is one of the oldest left in America, having opened its doors in 1927. It was originally named “Giant Cyclone” but later renamed for its famous seven-story drop. It’s known for being incredibly fast and once held the world record for the steepest drop on a wooden coaster until it was recently dethroned by The Voyage at Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine (and String)
This six-story-tall collection of string is located in Cawker City, Kansas. It was made by one man, Francis A. Johnson, who believed that it would be a tourist attraction and talked his neighbors into giving him their used twine so he could create it. And thus, in 1949, the ball was born.
Well, that does it for this article. We hope you found these places and their history interesting and remember: don’t judge a book by its cover! You never know what you might find until you look deeper.