Made up of 2,000 wheel rims, the W’eel Turtle of Dunseith, North Dakota, is arguably the largest turtle in the world.
Convinced that one day he”ll find a proper use for them, George Gottbrecht saved around 2,000 car wheel rims, over 16 years. In 1982 he had a vision of how to turn his impressive collection into an artwork that the whole town would admire. He decided to build a giant turtle statue, in honor of the famous Turtle Mountains state park.
Gottbrecht had master welder Curt Halvorsen do the work and ended up paying $5,000 for the world’s largest turtle statue. Eighteen feet high, and forty feet long, W’eel Turtle is one of those roadside attractions that you just can’t miss.
I personally think the turtle shape of the artwork is quite clear, but there were people who often mistook it for a cricket, and that inspired George Gottbrecht to install a motor that would make the turtle bob its head up and down. But then kids started climbing up on its head, and the motor had to be removed, to avoid any accidents.
The best time to visit the W’eel Turtle, in Dunseith, is during the winter holidays, when its head is covered with a giant, red Santa Claus hat.