The Ten Weirdest Landmarks in Miami

Categories: Lists

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Photos by Travis Cohen
Miami can be said to be the home of a lot of things: home of the torrential downpour, perhaps; home of the majestic likes of Trick Daddy and Rick Ross; even home of the Whopper (Burger King is headquartered here). This tropical wasteland is a vastly varied landscape, so much so that she could readily be described as charmingly schizophrenic. But there is at least one thread that winds its way through the fabric of the Magic City: the weird.

To be perfectly clear: Weird is not a strictly negative term. The weird that lives in Miami's DNA is one of the things that makes this town so fascinating. It's what gives this place a personality that can be all at once inspiring and revolting, what keeps this city's blood flowing in that unnerving shade of purple neon magic. And it's in that fine tradition of the celebration of strange that we've put together this list of the flat-out strangest signs, structures, and other stops around town. From the distinctive to the bizarre, from the incredible to the inane, and all sorts in between, these are Miami's ten weirdest landmarks.

See also:
- Ten Signs You're a Miami Art Snob
- The Ten Best Skyscrapers in Miami
- The Ten Best Parks in Miami

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10. The Miami Science Museum's Giant Sloth Statue
3280 S. Miami Ave., Miami
If you've driven up the northbound lanes of South Dixie Highway to the junction with I-95, you've undoubtedly seen this hulking fellow. Perhaps you've asked yourself: My God, what is that confused-looking creature? And why does he have such a peculiar grin? We can't explain the grin, but this 20-foot-tall concrete curiosity is a statue of the now-extinct giant land sloth, a huge, apparently silly-looking mammal that wandered the Earth, embracing invisible friends, until about 5,000 years ago. Presumably, they were just as lovably slow and goofy as the three-toed sloths of today. In a decision-making process that can be described only as unclear, the museum's powers that be decided the first sight to greet visitors upon their arrival to the planetarium for their annual field trip should be no less than an unsettling reproduction of a giant land sloth. Unfortunately, the big guy might not be long for this world, because the new Miami Science Museum will soon open at its new home in Museum Park, so be sure to give him a hug next time you pass by.

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9. Fernando Botero's "Torso" in Bayfront Park
301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Botero is an unequivocal genius. His style is both playful and powerful, and to this day, some of the artist's works carry in their message a degree of gravity and social commentary that other artists often spend their whole lives pursuing.

That said, this piece seems odd in the context of its placement. Dropped nearly on the sidewalk along Biscayne Boulevard, the colossal bronze body with no legs, arms, or head towers over passersby amid the palm trees and bustling streets of downtown, subtle as a great black monolith. It is undoubtedly a beautiful work of art and a fine jab at all the self-centered morons who spend hours flexing in front of the mirror with their iPhone, trying to capture the perfect picture of their newly embellished tan line. Social commentary ahead of its time. But still, pretty weird in its current context.


Location Info

Venue

Map

Bayfront Park

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL

Category: General

Coral Castle Museum

28655 S. Dixie Highway, Homestead, FL

Category: General

InterContinental Miami

100 Chopin Plaza, Miami, FL

Category: General

Pelican Harbor Park

1275 NE 79th St., Miami, FL

Category: General

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27 comments
Victoria Renard
Victoria Renard

Though not spectacular to behold, wouldn't the Miami Circle at Brickell Pointe fall under the "weird" category? Ancient alien theorists would agree.

Alba Lu
Alba Lu

Chantal Ximenez LOL at the intercontinental hotel dancing silhouette (welcome to Miami) sign..... They would ....

Alba Lu
Alba Lu

LMFAO!!!!! Chantal Ximenez no way what a weird coincidence !

andreaduran
andreaduran

The Coppertone girl was originally off of 163rd Street when you exited off the Golden Glades Interchange. I just think facts such as these should always be included when citing landmarks :)

Brittany Janes
Brittany Janes

I mean, let's be real even Miami lovers make fun of Miami. Even all the "305 till I die, Dale" idiots make fun of Miami. So it's not that serious.

Brittany Janes
Brittany Janes

I'm assuming the negative articles are written by transplants like me, who are used to more civilized parts of the country that instil values and morals into their citizens. Voicing our pure disgust for all the ratchetness of Miami helps ease our misery. BEFORE you go yelling that I should "Get out! Leave then! We don't want you here!" I would just like to say that I am a fan of the warm weather and beautiful beaches and will not leave. I will just keep commiserating with other civilized individuals ;)

Emy de la Fuente
Emy de la Fuente

I worked with the girl who was the model for that ad!!! Beautiful adult.

sunkissed
sunkissed

A little background info on the Fin project sculpture.

MIAMI
Pelican Harbor Park
(Fin Project sculpture by John T. Young - See below)

The Pelican Harbor Fin Project is a public artwork with a 
memorial component specific to U.S.Submariners of the Cold War era. 
It was installed in 2002 and dedicated on Veterans Day 2003

Located north of Miami off Highway I-95. Visitors should take the 79th Street Causeway exit (also known as the Kennedy Causeway) and proceed toward North Bay Village. As they cross over the drawbridge, they will immediately see Pelican Harbor Park/ Boat Ramp on the right. The site is located in the park.Present at the 11 November 2003 ceremony were dignitaries including Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas and State Senator Gwen Margolis.

Members of the Pelican Harbor USSVI Base present included:

    Bill Vasquez, Base Commander
    Tippy D'auria, Vice Commander
    Jose Roese, Secretary
    Tom Burgess, Treasurer
    Fred Richards, Member

The dedication was well received by everyone present and appropriately honored submariners for their past and present contributions to world peace. Members of the other military services, past and present, were also honored.

Bill Vasquez, who was instrumental in the planning and creation of the site, was commended for his work on the project. The other Pelican Harbor Members present were recognized by the speakers and the crowd.


It is physically the same Fin Project --- a part of Swords to Plowshares*** --- however, the big difference is that the artist states that this site includes a memorial component specific to U.S.Submariners of the Cold War era rather than just a public art work.

Pelican Harbor Fin Project information above was provided by William L. Vasquez, member USSVI Pelican Harbor Base     wvasquez@earthlink.net***THE FIN PROJECT: FROM SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES
Sculpture by John T. Young
http://faculty.washington.edu/jtyoung/fins.html

Copy of a Pelican Harbor news item RE; The Fins Project


Gregory Lee
Gregory Lee

I always liked that landmark... I think there was a commercial that had that pose also..

Jorge Shicken
Jorge Shicken

i miss this ad on lejeune by the airport!!! such fond memories...

delacruzshaun
delacruzshaun

its a Chevy Caprice NOT a Ford Crown Victoria PFFTT

Dan Marino
Dan Marino

It's what makes our city unique. Who wants to look like Albany?

Richard Greenfield
Richard Greenfield

You guys should really consider hiring new writers. So much derision of Miami doesn't sit well with this native or his advertising budget.

Edward Quinto
Edward Quinto

We need Neil Rogers' wisdom for something like this.

José Manuel
José Manuel

Botero was not a genius, he is a genius. Don't kill him yet please.

wookie420
wookie420

@Victoria Renard .

But I didn't spend the last 20 years of my life looking at it.

BoxersLovers
BoxersLovers

Look up "Stolen Robot Gorilla" and see how famous this Gorilla is.

ccampria
ccampria

MNT does nothing but publish negative articles about Miami. It's like they hate it here!

OddWriteUp
OddWriteUp

@Richard Greenfield agreed, the Coppertone Girl writeup is especially troublesome.   he fails to mention it was moved to this location, it fits well in MiMo and it's actually closer to high end restaurants like Michys, Metro and NiDo than to Wonderland.

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