Natural History

Top 10 Bizarre Roadside Attractions in North America

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Lucy the Elephant — Margate, New Jersey
Bob Krist/Corbis

6. Lucy the Elephant — Margate, New Jersey

(Please pardon our boldness in discussing your dimensions , Lucy.)

So … this 90-ton, 65-foot-tall wooden elephant overlooking the beach in Margate, New Jersey, is developer James V. Lafferty, Jr.’s attempt at a publicity stunt. He built the mammoth structure in 1881 to snag attention and shake up his local real estate business. But the stunt outlived the business (and the man). In her day, Lucy has housed a tavern and a private home, and has survived two hurricanes, a lightning strike, and a serious demolition threat.

So what could be more natural than a giant elephant on the beach at the Jersey shore?

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