The Giant Buddha of Guifeng – Shangrao, China - Atlas Obscura
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Shangrao, China

The Giant Buddha of Guifeng

China's mysterious record-setting sleeping Buddha. 

It’s hard to miss a 1500-foot long sleeping Buddha. It’s the size of an oil tanker stretched out and it has a gigantic face. Not to mention its toes are taller than an average-sized person. Still, little documentation exists about this modern wonder of the world and little information is available on its finished size or the details of its completion.

In 2002, Chinese artists and sculptors went to work on a creation for the ages. Until that time, a reclining Buddha in Burma had held the record for largest Buddha statue in the world, at an impressive 190 feet. With a sense of national pride and one-upsmanship, the Chinese began work on carving a Buddha out of the side of a hill in Jiangxi.

The completed Buddha was set to measure close to 1500 feet long and a massive 200 feet high. The most recent sources on the giant sculpture claim that in 2008, it was nearing completion. In comparison, Mount Rushmore is 60 feet high and the massive Crazy Horse Memorial is 650 feet long. The pleasant sleeping Buddha of Jiangxi could easily devour these North Americans figures, as it spans the side of an entire valley.

Although some pictures exist proving its massive size, many of them across the web are the exact same photographs, underlining the uncertainty surrounding the details of the gigantic Chinese Buddha.