10 Large Erections Around the World

Does size matter? We’ve put this age-old question to the test lately. Tawny and I have spent our lives watching notable world landmarks on the big screen and wanting to go there. When we arrive however, it’s not always what we expected. Not unlike online dating, we’ve found that what we see on the screen isn’t always what we meet in real life.

Here is our list of Top Ten Monuments that were bigger/smaller than we expected.

#10 – Mt. RushmoreSMALLER

Mount Rushmore Captain and Clark

Mt. Rushmore – SMALLER

Captain Chris Staudinger and Tawny ClarkIt’s true! Despite what Nicolas Cage in National Treasure might try to convince you of, this iconic face (or faces) of America is smaller than you expect. I had hoped that it would tower over me and I’d be consumed in the shadow of Jefferson’s nose. Not the case.

Despite the fact that this 150 year old monument doesn’t seem as big it is anything but disappointing. It was voted as the most patriotic small town in the 2011 Best of the Road rally with Rand McNally and it deserves it. What the mountain lacks in size it makes up in heart. Also, a little know fact, behind Lincoln’s head there is a secret vault known as the Hall of Records. The architect behind Mt. Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, wanted to preserve the essence of the monument for thousands of years. A cavern was hewn out of the mountain behind Lincoln and inside is a sealed titanium vault containing several porcelain copies of our nation’s most important documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

# 9 – Space Needle – SMALLER

The Space Needle with Captain and Clark

Space Needle – Smaller

It pains me to say it, but yes, the space needle is smaller than you might think. True, it is a lofty 605 ft. at its tallest point. However it hardly clears the Seattle skyline any more these days. When it was erected in 1962 it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Today it’s tough to compete with the CN Tower in Toronto, but to its credit the Space Needle is incredibly beautiful. Not only that, it is a marvel of engineering. The Restaurant near the top rotates on a turntable designed in the 60’s by the railroad companies. Today it takes only a 1.5 horse power engine to turn the 125 ton restaurant.

# 8 – Machu Picchu – BIGGER

Tawny Clark Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu – Bigger

There’s been so much coverage of Machu Picchu over the years that this once hidden city may have lost some of its mystery for people with internet access. Clark is happy to remind of all of us that this peak is far more impressive in person.

# 7 – Stone Henge – BIGGER/SMALLER

stonge henge for cheap

Stone Henge – Smaller

Weird Washington

Stone Henge in Maryhill, WA – BIGGER

hidden WA things to do

Replica of Stone Henge in WA, USA

It’s hard to say. When Clark and I went to Stone Henge in England we expected it to be much larger. I have no way of justifying why I thought that. It’s not like you see a lot of Stone Henge on TV. Interestingly enough though, when I stopped into Maryhill, WA (in the South Center of the State) there is an exact replica of the monument, and I thought it was bigger. My only thought is that the finished henge feels larger where as the traditional henge in England feels a touch deflated with a few pieces missing. Both are spectacular feats of engineering. The original Stone Henge (it is now speculated) was built to serve as a calendar to marking the solstices and equinoxes. The WA replica is exact in size and orientation. Dedicated in 1918 by Maryhill resident Sam Hill it was built as a WWI memorial.

The project began when Hill was mistakenly informed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site. He thus constructed his replica as a reminder that “humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.

# 6 – Great Wall – LONGER but SMALLER

The Great Wall - It's an "ok" wall...

The Great Wall – It’s an “ok” wall…

The Great Wall is astounding. When I first saw it I was struck by how absurdly long it is. That said, I had no idea how short it is. Sure, the Mongols were shorter back then, but it’s pretty short in some places. The average height of the wall is 25ft but slopes to a scant 10ft in some locations. While the wall of the Ming Era is reported to have been 5000 ft long it is interesting to note that the wall was discontinuous and so the Mongols actually just rode around it and invaded Northern China. While it might not keep your dog out of the yard it does make an incredible camping experience.

It should also be noted though, that while visiting the Great Wall, my hair was much bigger than expected.

China is for lovers

Boo yah!

Chris Staudinger# 5 – Chand Baori -BIGGER

hidden mysterious interesting India

Chand Baori Well – Bigger

Unique Indian things to seeTruth. This 1000+ year old step well is one of the most impressive structures I’ve ever seen. It is a 13 story, 3,500 step, well which was filled by jar and rain. This focal spot for Indian life was established to provide for the community and allow life in the harsh Rajastani desert. Today it is sorrowfully neglected and left as a local toilet. Although, a much larger one than I had imagined. Even after seeing it in the final installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. You may recognize it as the prison that Bane is kept in.

# 4 – Eiffel Tower – BIGGER

The Eiffel Tower - Bigger

The Eiffel Tower – Bigger

Much Bigger

Much Bigger

Both Tawny and I were blown away at just how massive this once radio tower is. Not to mention, it’s the only place in France we found free wi-fi. The trip to the top is dizzying and leaves you very satisfied.

# 3 – Coliseum – Exactly the Same

How to visit the Coliseum

The Coliseum – Exactly the Same

Russel Crowe prepared us nicely for the Coliseum. Both from above and below, this monument is massive. Of course, that’s sort of what you expect. At no point during our tour did I find my self thinking, “I thought there would be more.” In fact, I was very pleased with how many different levels (both literally and historically) you get to explore at the Coliseum.

# 2 – Korea’s Penis Park – BIGGER

The biggest penis in Korea

Korea’s Penis Park – HUGE

This is a monument not to be missed. Tawny and I happened upon it quite by accident while road tripping through Korea. It’s both bigger and more prominent than we ever thought a penis park would be. Located in the small town of Sinnam on the East Coast, this strange collection of phallus statues and shot glasses was originally erected to ensure a good catch. The popularity of the place couldn’t have been predicted and today 8 new penises are brought in every year. It’s certainly a folk village worth seeing. Just don’t lose an eye.

# 1 – The Taj Mahal – BIGGER

The best place to propose

The Taj – Bigger

Blissfully, the Taj Mahal is far more grand and inspiring than I could have ever imagined. This structure towers over everything around it and threatens to blow out the limitations of the imagination. Not only is it a stunning structure but it actually hums. If you arrive super early in the morning before the crowd (you’ll have to wait in line and then run past all the tourists) you can stand in the center of the sepulcher and hear what has been called “the sound of eternity.” The perfection and the symmetry of the building allows it to purr with a harmonic sound when the wind whispers through it. It has my full endorsement.

What about you? Are there any monuments that you’ve visited that are bigger or smaller than you expected?

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26 Comments

  1. Jim
    August 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Love the post title and the idea for the post. I totally agree about the Colosseum; it was absolutely perfect.

    I was surprised a bit by Angkor Wat. It seemed smaller in real life than I thought it would be. That being said, it was still super awesome.
    Jim recently posted…6 Haggling Tips for the Nervous TravelerMy Profile

  2. Samantha
    August 23, 2013 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    LOL Korea has a penis park?! That is hilarious! 8 new penises a year…that’s quite a lot ! haha
    The Space Needle is quite smaller than it looks in pictures since it stands out so much among the rest of downtown. Still gives an awesome view though!
    Samantha recently posted…An American view on American tourists – What to do when visiting foreign countriesMy Profile

    • Carl
      August 24, 2013 at 5:38 am - Reply

      I was going to say that too. How different can 8 new ones be each year?

  3. Greg
    August 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    Great post. You highlight many of my bucket list places. Stone henge and the colosseum were favorites. Honorable mention to penis park.

  4. Jalan2Liburan
    August 24, 2013 at 3:06 am - Reply

    i do agree with your opinion about Taj Mahal, more grande and wow that i thought πŸ™‚

  5. Ryan
    August 24, 2013 at 4:23 am - Reply

    Great list (and awesome title).

    I’d like to add a few:

    Bagan, Burma (smaller)
    Petra, Jordan (bigger)
    Liberty Bell, Philadelphia (smaller)
    St Basil’s, Moscow (smaller)
    Sand dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia (bigger)
    Moai on Easter Island (bigger)
    Ryan recently posted…Emptying the Bucket (List): TuvaluMy Profile

    • Captain & Clark
      August 24, 2013 at 5:21 pm - Reply

      Those are great additions. I always wondered about Easter Island.

  6. Tim H
    August 25, 2013 at 2:58 am - Reply

    This was a fun post. Never heard of Chand Baori, but its definitely going on the list.

  7. Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels
    August 26, 2013 at 6:15 am - Reply

    I found that the Statue of Liberty was smaller than I expected. If taken off its pedestal, it could fit inside Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Harlem.
    Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels recently posted…The Hunt for the Perfect Laptop BagMy Profile

  8. Brendon @ NerdTravels
    August 27, 2013 at 1:31 am - Reply

    I agree with Melissa on this. I thought statue of liberty didn’t live up the scale and majesty that I was expecting πŸ˜€

    I also thought the Hollywood sign was far smaller and tacky than what I was expecting when I was in Los Angeles

    Really fun and well named post πŸ™‚
    Brendon @ NerdTravels recently posted…My Totally Awesome Travel Plans For South East Asia!My Profile

  9. Ryan
    August 27, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Ha, wickedly hilarious post, what an catching title! Many of these erections (and I’m not embarrassed to say) have attracted me since I was a wee lil’ lad. Especially the Colosseum. But I’ve never seen them presented like this, so kudos.

    It was awesome meeting you at TBEX, and I definitely need to stop by the blog more!
    Ryan recently posted…Bucket Lists are Rubbish: How to Create one You will Cross Off!My Profile

  10. Colleen Brynn
    August 27, 2013 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I love this concept for a post. And yes, I did recently experience this in Ulan Ude, Russia. This is where the world’s largest Lenin head is, and when I saw it, I was blown away by how big it actually is. Even though I knew it was big, all the pictures I’d ever seen of it didn’t do its size any justice. Quite weird actually, this massive head, just chilling out in the square.
    Colleen Brynn recently posted…How To Shop For A LopapeysaMy Profile

  11. the lazy travelers
    August 29, 2013 at 6:50 am - Reply

    OH YOU TWO. have to agree with the eiffel tower- you don’t realize how massive it is until you’re just underneath it…or on top of it. everything i say is making me feel dirty. xo, the wino
    the lazy travelers recently posted…radisson blu carlton: a tale of two roomsMy Profile

  12. Kieu ~ GQ trippin
    August 29, 2013 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    The Chand Baori looks so cool! And yes, Chris’s hair is much bigger than all your list combined. LOL
    Kieu ~ GQ trippin recently posted…Where to Eat in Kuala LumpurMy Profile

  13. @mrsoaroundworld
    August 30, 2013 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Some stunning places you have been to. I hope I can go to Machu Picchu one day!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted…Summer jumps around the worldMy Profile

  14. Erin at The World Wanderer
    August 31, 2013 at 10:21 am - Reply

    This post has two of my absolute favorite photos of you both. 1. Tawny on the penis chair. 2. Chris’ hair in China. Both AMAZING!

    Sadly, I’ve only seen the Eiffel Tower and Coliseum so far and I agree with you on how you felt about them. Now, it’s time I get out there and see the rest of these!

  15. lola
    September 1, 2013 at 10:09 am - Reply

    i don’t know if i’ve really been disappointed by the size of a monument. i think they are always the size i pretty much expect them to be!
    lola recently posted…Four Seasons Toronto – The Brand’s Fabulous Flagship HotelMy Profile

  16. Vid
    September 4, 2013 at 6:11 am - Reply

    Haah ! Chris’s hair is really funny !

    I agree about the Stonehenge – wasn’t too impressed by it to be honest. Love your description of the Taj Mahal. Interestingly enough I have never been to the Taj even though I lived half my life in Delhi – planning to visit it on the next trip back home. Sigh, talk about ironies.

    I am sure the height of the wedding-gifts-tower is going to bigger than all these monuments combined πŸ™‚ Good luck !!

    Cheers
    Vid recently posted…The Great English Road Trip : London to CornwallMy Profile

  17. D.J. - The World of Deej
    September 5, 2013 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    Great idea for a post. I’d say mine is the Golden Gate. In the pictures, it always seems so huge with the city as the backdrop, but in real life it seemed, well, just about like any other bridge in terms of size.
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted…The Best Things To Do At Disney World Besides Theme ParksMy Profile

  18. Leah Travels
    September 7, 2013 at 2:21 am - Reply

    This title alone makes me smile, but I’m down-right giddy to see Tawny sitting on a giant penis.
    Leah Travels recently posted…Hiking O’ahu’s Diamond Head CraterMy Profile

  19. Clayton @ The Big Travel Theory
    September 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    TV and books always seems to distort my view of things. I expected the famous leonardo davinci mona lisa to be huge. It’s tiny, about the size of a normal piece of paper. I also thought the leaning tower of pizza (pisa) would be smaller for some reason.
    Clayton @ The Big Travel Theory recently posted…A Murderous Night with MacbethMy Profile

  20. Michael @ Suitcase Stories
    September 30, 2013 at 3:14 am - Reply

    Interesting article. One that comes to mind for me is the Hollywood Sign. It’s probably big up close, but you generally see it from far away and all it looks like is a little sign up on a hill. Easily missable..if you weren’t looking for it.
    Michael @ Suitcase Stories recently posted…Things to do in Interlaken SwitzerlandMy Profile

  21. Arianwen
    October 21, 2013 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Kudos for coming up with such an eye-catching title for this post. I love your take on whether you were over- or under-whelmed on seeing these places. I’ve read about that penis park a few times now and I really want to go!!
    Arianwen recently posted…Milford Sound with Real JourneysMy Profile

  22. Gulshan
    June 16, 2014 at 5:04 am - Reply

    wow beautiful place and goos experience…..one time have fun this enjoy and click picture….

  23. Brian
    April 30, 2016 at 5:41 am - Reply

    Great title and some great erections, some of which I have visited and some I haven’t. Really didn’t expect to see an actual penis park, whcih I am now guessing was the inspiration for this post lol. πŸ™‚

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