Humans usually marvel at the wonders our planet continuously uncovers before our eyes, from the peaks of Mount Everest and K2 to the depths of the Mariana Trench. But humankind has left its own forms of colossal structures, with different purposes in mind; no matter what that may be, some massive monuments and statues have appeared all over the planet. Here are the most impressive 25 of them!
1. Lord Murugan, Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Built of 250 tons of steel, 1,550 cubic meters of concrete, and 300 liters of gold paint, the statue of Lord Murugan at the entrance of the Batu Caves is the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia. Impressive, isn’t it?
2. Spring Temple Buddha, Lushan County, Henan, China
The Spring Temple Buddha is the single tallest statue on the planet at a height of 128 meters (420 feet). A Buddhist monastery can be found beneath the statue, which is built from roughly 1,100 pieces of copper cast. I guess someone had to keep Buddha clean, right?
3. Cristo de la Concordia, Cochabamba, Bolivia
The Bolivian statue of Jesus Christ with his arms spread measures 40.44 meters when the pedestal is included. The statue leads visitors up 1,399 stairs to a viewing area within the arms of the statue. What will they think of next?
4. Ten Directions Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Mount Emei, Sichuan, China
Completed in 2006, the Ten Directions Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is a 48-meter, ten-headed Bodhisattva Samantabhadra sitting on a four-headed, six-tusked elephant. The base of the statue doubles as a temple, where people can pray and make offerings.
5. Rodina-Mat zovyot!, Volgograd, Russia
Rodina-Mat zovyot! is considered a complex engineering feat due to the extended posture of the statue. When dedicated in 1967, it was the tallest statue in the world. It weighs 7,900 tons.
6. Great Buddha of Thailand, Ang Thong, Thailand
The tallest statue in Thailand, the Great Buddha of Thailand is 92 meters high . Construction began in 1990 but didn’t end until 2008; it’s composed of cement and carries a coat of gold paint.
7. Cross of the Valle de los Caídos, Madrid, Spain
At a height of 152 meters, this cross sits atop a massive underground basilica and crypt carved into a granite ridge in the Sierra de Guadarrama. A Benedictine abbey can be found on the opposite side of the mountain. I’m not sure why, but I immediately thought about the Conte of Montecristo.
8. Rear-Front, Magnitogorsk, Russia
Depicting a worker passing a sword to a warrior, Rear-Front is 15 meters in height. Completed in 1979, the statue is part of a “sword triptych” with The Motherland in Volgograd and the Warrior-Liberator in Berlin.
9. Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, Sanya, Hainan, China
The statue of Guan Yin measures 108 meters tall, making it the fourth-tallest statue on Earth. It has three aspects, all holding different poses; it took six years to build.
10. Leshan Giant Buddha, Leshan, China
Construction of the Leshan Giant Buddha, measuring 71 meters tall, was led by a Buddhist monk named Haitong in the 700s. It is said that he gouged his eyes out in an act of dedication when funding for the construction project was threatened.
The Genghis Khan Equestrian Statue, 40 meters tall, sits on top of the Genghis Khan Statue Complex on the bank of the Tuul River. Visitors can walk up to the head of the horse through the statue’s chest and neck. Now, that’s news to me.
12. Mangal Mahadev, Savanne, Mauritius
Another statue of the Hindu god Shiva, found on Ganga Talao Lake, was inaugurated in 2007. Mangal Mahadev is a replica of a Shiva statue at Sursagar Lake in Vadodara, Gujarat, India.
13. Mansudae Grand Monument, Pyongyang, North Korea
Originally comprising one statue, that of Kim Il-sung, the site was expanded to include a statue of Kim Jong-il in 2012 after the leader’s death. Twenty meters in height, the original was completed in 1972.
14. The Merlion of Sentosa, Sentosa Island, Singapore
An oversized replica of the merlion, a lion-headed fish from mythology, the Merlion of Sentosa is 37 meters tall. In Singapore, the creature is considered to be a national emblem.
15. African Renaissance Monument, Collines des Mamelles, Dakar, Senegal
Standing 49 meters in height, the African Renaissance Monument depicts a man and woman, with a child held in the man’s left arm). The giant statue, which cost $27 million, took four years to complete.
16. Guardian of the Valleys, Aberbeeg, Monmouthshire, South Wales
The Guardian of the Valleys is a 20-meter statue near the Six Bells Colliery, a coal mine in Wales. It was built in 2010 to commemorate the disaster of 1960, in which an explosion killed 45 men working in the mine.
17. Erawan Museum, Samut Prakan, Thailand
Measuring 29 meters, a statue of Erawan makes up Erawan Museum. Erawan, the king-god of elephants, is depicted with three heads.
18. Mevlana Statue, Buca, Izmir, Turkey
Including its foundation, the statue of Mevlana Rumi is 20 meters in height. A cafe sits below the statue, which was designed and built by the sculptor Eray Okkan. Anyone in the mood?
19. Laykyun Setkyar, Khatakan Taung, Myanmar
The second tallest statue in the world, runner-up to the Spring Temple Buddha, is the 116-meter Laykyun Setkyar. Construction of the statue, which depicts the Gautama Buddha, took nearly 12 years.
20. Statue of Liberty, New York City, United States
The colossal Statue of Liberty was a gift to the United States from the people of France. The 46-meter figure is visited by over 3 million people annually.
21. Thiruvalluvar Statue, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, India
In Kanyakumari, one finds the 40-meter statue of Thiruvalluvar, a Tamil poet and philosopher. The total height of the statue and pedestal is 133 feet, signifying the 133 chapters in the Thirukkural.
The 53-meter statue of Cherusci war chief Arminius attracts over 130,000 visitors yearly to the southern region of the Teutoburg Forest.
23. Lord Shiva Statue at Murudeshwara, Karnataka, India
Murudeshwara, another name for the Hindu god Shiva, is the town in which this 37-meter statue can be found. The statue is the second tallest of Lord Shiva in the world, and it cost 50 million rupees to build.
24. Ushiku Daibutsu, Ushiku, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
One of the tallest statues in the world, Ushiku Daibutsu weighs in at 4,003 tons at a height of 120 meters. The bronze statue is so large it contains four levels which essentially function as a museum, as well as an elevator.
25. Vulcan Statue, Birmingham, Alabama, United States
At 17 meters in height, the statue of Vulcan is the largest cast-iron statue on the entire planet. It was originally created as Birmingham’s entry for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.