Australia is a country known for its big things — fruit, animals, instruments. I saw a few of them while I lived there, including the Big Banana, Big Rocking Horse and Big Merino. I had no idea that Portland, Maine, which I visited for the first time at the end of September, also had its own share of big attractions. Here are a few we found in our tour of Portland and its surrounds.
Eartha is the world’s largest rotating and revolving globe. It was built in 1998 by Yarmouth-based company DeLorme, which makes digital map and mapping software solutions. It won the title of “World’s Largest Revolving/Rotating Globe” by Guinness Book of World Records a year later.
Measuring 41.5 feet in diameter, it was hard to even get a complete picture of this beast, which was made using mapping data that took over a year to gather, 6,000 pieces of lightweight aluminum tubing and 800 map sections. What’s even cooler about Eartha is that she tilts at 23.5 degrees like Earth does. Brendan and I reacted like little kids excited for social studies class. We snapped pictures of each continent we could see, remarking on the topography and trying to guess where certain countries started and stopped.
2. The Big Indian
Perhaps a bit politically incorrect in name, the Big Indian is on 117 US Hwy 1 in Freeport. It stands 40′ by 15′ and looks rather angry — maybe because he’s headed towards middle age with a birth year of 1969. Made of epoxy resin and fiberglass, the Big Indian was created to promote the Casco Bay Trading Post, which sold moccasins.
3. Lenny the Moose
Scarborough chocolatier Len Libby decided to have some fun with its sweets in 1997 when it created the “world’s only life-sized chocolate moose.” Made of 1,700 pounds of milk chocolate and standing over 8 feet tall, Lenny took four weeks to create. He sits in the back of the store, which is full of confections like maple sugar candy, fudge and chocolate-coated Twinkies. A few years ago, Lenny got some companions — Libby, the 380-pound chocolate bear and a pair of 80-pound chocolate cubs called Cocoa and Chip. How sweet.
4. The Big Boot
Another Freeport “big” attraction stands outside L.L. Bean’s flagship store. The 16-foot-tall boot is modeled after the store’s signature rubber-bottom boot — some mighty big shoes to fill. It’s worth stopping by the store, which is open 24/7, to check out the boot, but if you want to save some cash, head down the road to the L.L. Bean outlet store for marked-down items (I got the comfiest zip-up sweatshirt there for about $20 off the regular price).
There are apparently more “big things” lurking throughout Maine, including the big Paul Bunyan in Bangor and the big lobster in Ellsworth. Have you seen any of them? What big things have you seen around America?