Built in 1974 by Stanley Marsh 3 and members of a San Francisco art collective, The Ant Farm, Cadillac Ranch is ever-changing due to the invitation of graffiti additions by visitors. There are 10 old Cadillacs sitting upright in the middle of a field off of I-40, a welcoming site to an otherwise drab road trip through North Texas, and the cars are said to point at the same angle as the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
Cadillac Ranch, I-40 Frontage Road, Amarillo, TX, USA, +1 630 313 0187
Stonehenge II is not the only famous landmark replica in Texas, but it’s certainly one of the strangest, with Easter Island Moai statues added two years after the original unveiling. This version of Stonehenge is 60% of the original’s size and made of plaster and wire mesh. The purpose of the installation was to show what Stonehenge would look like without the erosion that caused the stones to fall where they are today.
Stonehenge II, Point Theatre Road S, Ingram, TX, USA, +1 830 367 5120
Burnt orange is a commonly beloved color around much of Texas, thanks to the many diehard University of Texas fans. One man took his love of oranges (the fruit, not the color) to the next level by opening The Orange Show, a 3,000-square-foot (278.7-square-meter) monument that took over 20 years to build by himself. The Orange Show is a space for art events, as well as the preservation of other local treasures.
The Orange Show, 2401 Munger Street, Houston, TX, USA, +1 713 926 6368
In a small town called Aurora in the late 1800s, rumor has it that a UFO crashed, leaving behind the body of a small Martian pilot. Locals buried the body under a tree at the cemetery, and the legend of the alien continues to be passed down through the generations. Though someone stole the alien’s headstone, you can still read a historical marker near the site to get the full details.
Barney Smith spent his pre-retirement days as a plumber and carried on his passion by opening the Toilet Seat Art Museum. He collected used toilet seats and painted and adorned each one himself to become a unique work of art. You can even bring your own toilet seat to the museum when you visit, and he will engrave your name on it before adding it to his collection.
Some buttons are just begging to be pressed. The unmarked red button on Houston’s Preston Street Bridge has no signage, but it invites any curious passerby to press it, which forces the bayou below to begin bubbling. This installation has an ecological purpose, as it keeps the water oxygenated and, therefore, less stagnant and smelly than it would normally be.
Another work by eccentric millionaire Stanley March 3, this sculpture too sits near Amarillo and pays homage to Egypt in another strange way. Ozymandias is the name the Greeks gave Pharaoh Ramesses II and was also the title of a famous poem written by Percy Shelly after she visited the Egyptian ruins. These lines of the poem were the inspiration behind the installation’s peculiar visuals: “two vast and trunkless legs of stone. Stand in the desert.”