Just off the highway heading south on I-27 out of Amarillo two gigantic legs in athletic socks can be seen. You wouldn't know it but they are in fact the shattered likeness of an Egyptian king."Ozymandias" is the Greek name for Ramesses II and was the inspiration and name of a famous poem written in 1818 by Romantic poet Shelly after a visit to the ruins.
A plaque near the gigantic legs reads:
"In 1819, while on their horseback trek over the Great Plains of New Spain, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary Shelley (author of 'Frankenstein'), came across these ruins. Here Shelley penned his immortal lines, among them:
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert...
And on the pedestal these words appear:
'My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
The pedestal near the monument also asserts that the visage of the king was destroyed by Lubbock football players after losing a game to Amarillo, which while plausible, is of course false.
The sculpture was built by local artist by self taught artist Lightnin’ McDuff, who specializes in altering found objects to make new pieces of art. Mcduff has been called "quite possibly is the most gifted artist in the Texas Panhandle."
The sculpture has been vandalized numerous times, most notably with the addition of socks to the legs. Occasionally the sock vandalism is sandblasted off of the sculpture, but always seems to reappear. The locals appear to prefer the king's legs be kept warm.
Like the more famous 'Cadillac Ranch', this monument is another of the peculiar philanthropist, millionaire, and artist Stanley Marsh 3's creations. (He actually prefers the Arabic numeral over what he considers to be the more pretentious Roman numeral.) He is responsible for many of the interesting attractions in Amarillo, including 'Dynamite Museum', 'Floating Mesa' and more.