The World’s Largest and Smallest… Funky Claims to Fame in Arizona
Arizona has some truly one-of-a-kind wonders and quirky artistic endeavors, several of which have earned the titles of world’s largest or smallest. Below, we’re sharing some of our favorites. Do you know of any other “worldly” oddities? Leave us comment with your thoughts.
CAMP VERDE — The world’s largest kokopelli, commonly known as “that big flute player,” has been leaning over and giving silent performances in front of the Krazy Kokopelli Trading Post here for more than 20 years. The large sculpture stands 32 feet tall, sits atop a six-foot base and is painted yellow, so he’s probably one of the main reasons tourists stop to check out the variety of goods offered inside.
SUPERIOR – Even though it never gets any larger, the World’s Smallest Museum in Superior remains a work in progress. Owner Dan Wight never enlarges the museum itself, but he’s always working on improving the grounds that surround it. Like adding new fountains. The most recent one is made of old mining equipment; before that Wight constructed one out of old tires.
CAREFREE – The world’s largest kachina is a 39-footer that stands guard over the Tonto Hills subdivision about several miles north of downtown Carefree. This giant Hopi legend weighs 14.5 tons and took four months to complete. E.V. Graham, the subdivision’s developer, had it built as an inducement to get his wife to move onto the property, which at that time was way out in the country.
FOUNTAIN HILLS – There’s some confusion about the World’s Tallest Fountain. What used to be the World’s Tallest Fountain in Fountain Hills has been usurped by the Gateway Geyser in East St. Louis, Illinois, but the Arizona gusher is still the World’s Tallest Fountain sometimes. The Illinois fountain shots a geyser 627 feet into the air, the best the one in Arizona can do is 560 feet, when operating at full capacity.
PRESCOTT — The John W. Kalusa Miniature Aircraft Collection is a wonderful assortment of 5,829 model aircraft, all done to an exact scale of one-eighteenth of an inch to one foot. Each model is delicately painted, right down to the detailed markings characteristic of the actual aircraft. This required a steady hand because many of the planes have wingspans of less than two inches.