Top 10 Famous Monuments Ruined By Morons

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Top 10 Famous Monuments Ruined By Morons

VOICE OVER: Peter DeGiglio WRITTEN BY: Sarah O'Sullivan
Idiots don't discriminate when it comes to destruction. For this list, we'll be looking at some reminders that human creations, no matter how remarkable or well-preserved, are never completely safe from human stupidity. Our countdown includes Plymouth Rock, The Blarney Stone, Jim Morrison's Grave, and more!
Transcript

Top 10 Monuments Ruined By Morons


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Monuments Ruined By Morons!

For this list, we’ll be looking at some reminders that human creations, no matter how remarkable or well-preserved, are never completely safe from human stupidity.

Do you know any other important monuments that have been messed up by idiots? Please tell us about them in the comments!

#10: Plymouth Rock

Blown off-course by bad weather, the ship Mayflower landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts with its cargo of British outcasts. A chunk of granite the Pilgrims might have landed on was dubbed “Plymouth Rock,” and has been preserved for centuries. However, in 2020, just before a celebration honoring the event, a teenage boy went on a red spray-painting spree. In one night, he sprayed not just the rock itself, but surrounding monuments, statues, and placards, marking them with the code “508 MOF.” What does that mean, and why did he go after the monuments? No one knows. According to the police, he gave no explanation whatsoever. If you’re going to pay a high fine for vandalism, you might as well have a reason for it!


#9: Los Escolares Cave

Famous paintings have certainly been stolen–and ruined–in the past. However, this may be the first time it’s ever happened to a cave painting. Los Escolares Cave in Spain has prehistoric paintings dating at least five thousand years in the past, making it an important cultural landmark and a popular site for archaeologists. So, visitors to the cave in 2014 were disturbed one day to see that a small area of the wall appeared to have been hacked off with a chisel. Authorities believe that someone intent on stealing a cave painting tried to remove part of the wall, but ended up crumbling it to dust instead–leaving them with nothing for their pains, and a famous cultural legacy defaced. Not the greatest plan!


#8: The Blarney Stone

The Blarney Stone is part of a castle in Cork, Ireland. Legend has it that whoever kisses the stone will be gifted with amazing eloquence and powers of persuasion. It’s not easy, as you have to lean back through a hole high up in the castle to reach the stone, but people come from all over the world to do it–even Winston Churchill once paid a visit. Unfortunately, a less magical story has been circulating lately: that Irish locals urinate on the stone to spite tourists. It may be untrue–the castle is supposed to be locked up during off-hours, and they’d have to climb a lot of stairs–but the rumor itself has made people leery about puckering up, and we can’t blame them.

#7: Petroglyph National Monument

Located in a desert region of New Mexico, Petroglyph National Monument is one of the largest preserved sites of early art in the United States. The petroglyphs–pictures carved into volcanic rock–were created by Native Americans and Spanish settlers, making the area a unique study in human culture. Unfortunately, vandalism in the park has been on the rise in recent years, with spray paint, trash, old campfires, and displaced rocks marring the ancient beauty of the region. Since it covers a large area, the park is difficult to guard, especially at night. And while paint or a moved rock may seem inconsequential, such changes can actually cause irreparable damage; not only to the petroglyphs themselves, but to the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem.

#6: Luxor Temple

The Luxor Temple was built in Egypt thousands of years ago, on the edge of the Nile. It is a large, complex group of buildings with many chapels for different gods, sculptured stone walls, and grand gates. In 2013, a tourist discovered something that definitely wasn’t part of the original: someone had scratched “Ding Jinhao was here” with a sharp object, right over a carving of the god Anubis. The vandal was quickly tracked down–he was a teenage boy from China who had come on a tour to the temple with his parents. Apparently, no one caught him in the act, so he probably would have gotten away with it… if he hadn’t signed his name.


#5: Jim Morrison’s Grave

Of all types of monuments, you’d think a gravesite would be respected–but if the buried person is rock star Jim Morrison, apparently all bets are off. Morrison, who sang with The Doors and died at only twenty-seven, is buried in Paris. The monument looks somewhat different now than it did in 1971; it started off as a small plaque on the ground, surrounded by seashells–those were soon gone, taken by fans. A bust of Morrison was added to the memorial and got spray-painted, decked with flowers and jewelry, and then carried off altogether. Finally, Morrison’s family had to hire a guard to watch the grave and keep overzealous fans from adding–or taking away–anything objectionable!

#4: Nohmul Pyramid

So far we’ve seen monuments painted, rearranged, and defaced, but this is the first one that got completely destroyed. Was it because of war or a natural disaster? Nope, someone wanted some gravel. There may be stupider reasons to bulldoze an ancient temple, but it’s hard to imagine them. The Nohmul Pyramid of Belize was one of the largest Mayan buildings still standing, at least two thousand years old, and pretty obviously an ancient structure. The construction company that destroyed it was either extremely ignorant, or appallingly indifferent– hard to say which is worse. Apparently, important historical sites in Belize have little practical protection, but this pointless destruction of a cultural landmark seems ridiculous even under those circumstances.


#3: Rapa Nui Statues

The mysterious moai statues, with their giant heads, have guarded the island of Rapa Nui (also known as Easter Island) for centuries. No one really knows who carved them from volcanic rock, or why. Despite efforts to protect these unique artifacts, they have been through a lot: in 2008, a Finnish tourist pulled off one statue’s earlobe, which crumbled in his hand. Other tourists have touched the statues or climbed on them to get cool photos, in direct violation of the rules. Worst of all, in 2020, a man in a pickup truck lost control, crashed into one of the moai, and destroyed it. One can only hope that these statues will endure the ravages of time, weather… and morons.


#2: Stonehenge

You may be wondering, how could someone possibly ruin Stonehenge? It’s been standing for almost five thousand years! Well, it hasn’t been utterly destroyed, but the British government has had to severely restrict access to the great monument because of badly behaved visitors. First, they had to stop people from bringing chisels to take bits of stone as souvenirs; then, they had to put ropes around each stone to keep people from climbing them; and now, after several solstices of dealing with gum, oil, graffiti, and even human waste, no one is allowed to go among the stones without special permission. So, you can still visit Stonehenge… but thanks to the morons, you have to stay several yards away from it.

#1: The Great Sphinx of Giza

The Great Sphinx of Giza, like the nearby Great Pyramid, is a construction of amazing proportions. A limestone statue of a man-headed lion, over two hundred feet long and sixty feet high, it’s at least four thousand years old; and aside from natural erosion, the Sphinx is in pretty good condition, except for one thing: its nose is missing. There was an old rumor that Napoleon’s troops shot off the nose with a cannon, but historians now believe that a Sufi man, who objected to people worshiping the Sphinx, climbed up and hacked off its nose sometime in the fifteenth century. The outraged locals hanged him, which may seem extreme–but then, so does going to all that trouble to break someone else’s statue.
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