The Cerne Abbas Giant – Cerne Abbas, England - Atlas Obscura
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Cerne Abbas, England

The Cerne Abbas Giant

Giant naked man on a hillside. 

Just outside of the small village of Cerne Abbas, England, lies the massive outline of a naked giant, holding a club and sporting a massive hard-on. Sculpted in chalk, the giant geoglyph is carved in solid lines into the chalk bedrock and stands an impressive 180 feet, making it especially visible from up high. In fact, during WWII, the figure was disguised to prevent Germans from using it as an aerial landmark

The history of the giant is not so clear. While it is considered to be an ancient symbol of fertility, records of it cannot be traced farther back than the late 17th century. Some posit that it was built by the order of one Lord Holles as a jab to Oliver Cromwell’s puritanical rule. Other theories include the Roman hero Hercules, a Celtic warrior, and a representation of a Danish giant who, according to local folklore, was killed by villagers as he slumbered on the hill.

Regardless of its history, the giant is well kept by the locals, receiving regular grass trimmings and a full re-chalking — to all of his massive parts — every 25 years.

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