5 Things About Vikings That We Get All Wrong

Unfortunately, thanks to centuries of misinformation in scholarly histories and in popular culture, most people suffer from a variety of misconceptions about the Vikings, from who they were to when they were active to what, exactly, they did.

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No other art form can quite match the surprise factor of a truly beautiful statue. There's no equal to the gut-wrenching elation you experience when you unassumingly walk around a corner and find yourself face to face with a well-sculpted, awe-inspiring piece of art. Or, if you're going for the exact opposite of that feeling, you can just stumble ass backward into one of these fucking things.

Burnside Fountain -- Worcester, Massachusetts

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

Imagine that your beloved father has passed away and you want to honor his memory in some fashion. But how? Paintings are so pedestrian, and everyone knows a bust is nothing but a surefire way of setting him up for an eternity of boob jokes and barely suppressed chortles. Luckily, you have the perfect memorial in mind:

A naked dude molestin' a turtle.

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

Also known as a "dick-down rodeo."

Yes, Burnside Fountain, also known as Turtle Boy for no-shit-related reasons, is very much a memorial. Turtle humping probably wasn't part of the original plan; it entered the equation when the artist that was supposed to sculpt the piece passed the gig to his protege, who was evidently just tinkering with sculpting to pass the time until deviantART came along.

The end result of this unfortunate process was revealed in 1912 and has since enjoyed cult status as one of the most skull-crappingly stupid things in existence. Really, the turtle's expression says it best:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

"Squirtle, I choose you!"

Posankka -- Turku, Finland

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Sightbywalk

Your travels have brought you to Turku, the former capital of Finland. Approaching the city in anticipation of cultural pleasures, you remember all the great things you've heard of its picturesque buildings and fine riverside cafes.

And then, out of the blue, your eyeballs are pimp slapped by a giant statue made entirely out of ass.

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Panoramio.com

"Greetings, mortal! Grab your complimentary bondage gear by the next roundabout."

Congratulations! You have just joined the legions of visitors whose common sense has been ravaged by Posankka, a 16-foot fiberglass pig/duck/butt hybrid that haunts one of the city's main entrance roads like a twisted Statue of Liberty.

With that image etched onto your retinas, it's understandable that you want to immediately pull a U-turn and drive as far away from Turku as humanly possible. Do not do this under any circumstances. Avoid the road. Drive your car into the river to avoid temptation. Escape through the forests, acquire a boat, hijack a jet pack. Anything but the road.

Why? Because the poor bastards who drive the Posankka road away from Turku are waved goodbye by this:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Turkulainen.fi

"Fuck you for visiting!"

The Fremont Troll -- Seattle, Washington

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Openplac.es

Hey, let's take a quick shortcut under that bridge. No need to worry, I know where we are. Seattle holds no surprises for m- AARGHOHSHITRUN!

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

"Wait! What about my riddle?"

Too late.

The Fremont Troll is a huge mixed-media statue based on the old Three Billy Goats Gruff folk tale, and today is your chance to play the goat (hope you have a couple of bigger friends following you!). The troll's chosen haunt is under the Aurora Bridge, and in case you're confused about its scale, that's a real VW Beetle it's holding.

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Travelphotoadventures.com

Huh. Trolls like German food. Makes sense.

The locals, not satisfied with the troll's already abundant murder vibes, regularly add to its hatred of mankind by desiccating it with graffiti, light shows, and, worst of all, stupid hats. This is an ancient ritual to ensure that the giant earthquake that will one day devour them all remains in the #2 spot on the city's "terrifying things that want to consume us" list.

Entropa -- Brussels, Belgium

GREVE! sae
Via Wikipedia

Entropa was commissioned to celebrate the Czech Republic's 2009 presidency of the Council of the European Union. A joint effort of 27 international artists, the statue was comprised of several pieces, each designed to honor a specific EU country.

The unveiling went exactly as European celebrations tend to go: Everyone yelled "Huzzah," twirled their mustaches, and waved their hats in unison. And then people started noticing the details. Here's Entropa's spin on Italy:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Abc.net.au

Yep, that's an Italy-shaped soccer pitch where the players are trying their level best to bone soccer balls (Italy really likes soccer, you guys). Romania becomes a creepy, vampire-infested fortress:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Theguardian.com

Which looks like it was just bought from the toy section at Walmart.

Still, surely that's about as bad as it can get. It's not as if the artists, hah, represent Germany as a set of huge autobahns forming what looks a lot like a broken swastika.

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Artinvestment.ru

Well, shit.

You get the picture -- Entropa insults every single nation in the Union like that. France is perpetually on strike, Scotland is a bunch of shitty marshlands and a set of bagpipes that fart out random tunes, Sweden is an IKEA box, and the Czech Republic shat a brick as it realized it had just started its reign by brutally mocking every single one of its friends.

It was soon found that the whole "27 artists" thing was a complete fabrication. Entropa was the work of none other than Czech artist David Cerny, a familiar face on Cracked's statue lists and a professional waver of sculpture-shaped middle fingers.

Via Bbc.co.uk

Some of them more literal than others.

The rest of the story is Politics 101. The Czech Republic immediately removed Entropa and apologized to everyone, and the first order of their presidency was to relocate Cerny to Antarctica.

Ha, no! They totally displayed the piece for well over a year after the Czech EU presidency ended, and after that they put it on permanent display in an esteemed science center. Cerny waltzed away with a shit-eating grin and is still gleefully wreaking havoc with works like ...

St. Wenceslas Riding a Dead Horse -- Prague, Czech Republic

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Expats.cz

Central to the city of Prague is the mighty statue of St. Wenceslas, patron saint of the city and the "Good King Wenceslas" of that Christmas carol you sort of remember hearing once.

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

The one about horses and spears.

However, take a wrong turn while looking for the monument and you might wind up with a very different experience. Lurking within an otherwise unassuming passageway of the nearby Lucerna Palace, just a couple of hundred feet from the original, is David Cerny's version of this holy man and national hero:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikipedia

Riding that horse's penis is a nice touch.

The statue was originally meant for the main post office, but for some reason the director wasn't too thrilled about it. So Cerny went all out and installed it as close to the original as humanly possible, thus establishing once and for all that in the Czech Republic, "artist" is just another word for "professional troll."

The full name of this piece is "Newton, After William Blake." As a poet and an artist, Blake hated all things science-y, and was fond of using uber-scientist Newton as the personification of his pet peeve. Yes, this huge, public statue depicts one of history's greatest scientists in a way the man who disliked science wanted us to see him.


If you were a tiny island nation that wanted to honor the sea surrounding it -- you know, the very element that can destroy you any moment it goddamn chooses to -- what kind of monument would you make? I'm asking out of genuine curiosity because, according to Malta, the correct answer is DICK DICK DICK A HUGE TATTOOED SMURF DICK WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE IT! AHAHAHAHA!

The man behind Colonna Mediterranea insists the piece packs no phallic qualities and thinks the members of the community who keep seeing it as a giant dong are just looking for a bone to pick. Even so, this majestic shaft often rubs people the wrong way. Locals have been raging hard on the column ever since it was erected, and its existence remains a throbbing issue that is considered a massive pain in the ass by many a critic.


Abraham Lincoln was a man with many occasionally conflicting faces: president, hero, corporate lawyer, superpowered wild man. However, the one thing no one will ever call him is an oppressor of slaves.

Well, no one except the very statue that is supposed to portray him in his role as the Great Emancipator.

Via Wikipedia

"There, you're all free and whatever. Now emancipate some shine on my shoes."

Washington, D.C.'s Emancipation Memorial is decades older than the actual Lincoln Memorial. It was financed by a group of African-Americans who wanted to raise Lincoln a statue for windmill-punching slavery in the dick. However, in a particularly bullshit example of irony, the project ended up being supervised by a bunch of wealthy white men who took to the task with all the racial sensibility 1870 could muster. In an effort to save money, they ended up telling the sculptor to just combine a random Lincoln statue with a random slave statue, thus accidentally creating the unfortunate domination effect of the finished product.

The Charles La Trobe Monument -- Melbourne, Australia

Via Sinbadesign.com

Here's one you may have seen floating around the Internet, usually right above a dozen comments screaming "Photoshopped!" It's a statue of Charles La Trobe, a man who is to Melbourne what George Washington is to America, located in front of the university bearing the dude's own name. The sculptor explains that it embodies "the notion that universities turn ideas on their heads."

The George Vierheller Memorial Statue -- St. Louis, Missouri

Via College Humor

There really is no way to introduce this one in a way that is a) humorous and b) not going to get my May Walk in Public Without Supervision card confiscated. So let's all just acknowledge the fact that I had to image search this and shudder at the thought of all the keywords I had to use.

It's a statue of George "Mr. Zoo" Vierheller, the man who built the St. Louis Zoo virtually from scratch. The sculptor, uh, didn't quite understand the "animal lover" aspect of the man.

Ehekarussell -- Nuremberg, Germany

Via Panoramio.com

16th century poet Hans Sachs once wrote an honest piece on the various aspects of marriage called "The Bittersweet Married Life." In 1984, a dude called Jurgen Weber revealed the fountain called Ehekarussell ("The Marriage Carousel"), a work inspired by this poem.

He might have gotten a little carried away.

Via Wikimedia Commons

When you look at the whole piece, you can sort of tell there's something slightly off about the fountain, but it still seems pretty unassuming for a #1 entry on a Cracked list. Let's look a little closer:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikimedia Commons

Also inspired by Sam Kinison.

What the shit? Are those prank figures some other artist sneaked in after the fountain was finished? Or was something lost in translation, and "marriage" actually meant "zombie smackdown" in 16th century Germany? Let's investigate further:

The 11 Most Disturbing Tourist Attractions Around the World
Via Wikimedia Commons

Fuck! That's actually worse. I'm not married myself, but I imagine the process does not include too many decomposing goat carcasses, unless of course you're doing it the way Nyarlathotep intended, with some good old-fashioned wife slavery:

Via Tourismus.nuerenberg.de

OK, sculptor guy, we get it. It was not a nice divorce.

Special thanks to Jukka K. for his suggestions in this article. Follow Pauli Poisuo on Twitter.

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