Standing in the middle of a field near the intersection of Sundown Lane and I-27, just south of Amarillo, TX, is a giant pair of disembodied legs. The way the story goes, English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft (author of Frankenstein), were trekking on horseback across the Great Plains in 1819 when they stumbled upon these creepy ruins. Shelley penned his famed “Ozymandias” sonnet after the encounter with the “two vast and trunkless legs of stone.” According to the historic plaque, which has been graffitied with pot leaves, the visage was damaged by students from Lubbock who rioted after losing a football game to Amarillo.
It is all utter bogus, of course—the legs, once painted white with knee-high gym socks, and the patently untrue story behind them, are yet another fabrication from the brilliant mind of late millionaire art prankster Stanley Marsh 3. He commissioned local sculptor Lightnin’ McDuff to make the legs, stick them in the field, and confuse the hell out of everyone for years to come. It’s an urban legend as big as Texas, that one.
4743 W. Sundown Lane, Amarillo, TX; no phone.