August 10, 2009

Large (But Not World's Largest) Armadillo - Houston, TX

With our nails freshly painted and our bellies full of cupcakes, Anna and I had some stocking up to do. We needed fresh provisions. As we were making our rounds to pick up the necessities, I saw some weird things, like a puddle of urine in aisle two of a store, a chipmunk in the yogurt display of Target, and a palm tree farm (explaining why there were palm trees everywhere even though they don't grow in Texas).

These things were weird, but this is Texas. And the truly weird things can not be seen in a grocery aisle. No, they are gigantic roadside attractions. Like a Large (But Not World's Largest) Armadillo in Houston, Texas.

Goode's Armadillo Palace in Houston isn't easy to miss. Especially with a giant, horned armadillo perched on a rock out front. Armadillo is Spanish for "little armored one" and this particular giant's shell is made from reflective metal so it literally glimmers and shines in the sunlight. The longhorns are an artistic addition and true to Texas heritage. The armadillo is the official small mammel of Texas while the large mammel is designated as the longhorn. Adding longhorns to the giant armadillo is a way to honor both of Texas' special creatures.

While Goode's armadillo is two-stories tall, it is not the largest. The actual World's Largest Armadillo, named Killer, can also be found in Texas. Killer, created by sculptor Marc Rankin of Strawn, was built in 2002 for a celebration at Six Flags over Texas. Constructed from scrap steel, Killer is 48 feet long and weighs 4 1/2 tons. (Fun Fact: A typical Giant Armadillo weighs an average of 28kg, so Killer weighs as more than 145 live Giant Armadillos put together!) The World's Largest Armadillo now resides at Fall Creek Farms in Granbury, Texas and still has the title in the Guiness book of World Records.

Total Travel Distance: 30 miles
Soundtrack: Country radio (What else are you going to listen to in Texas?)


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