'The DunBear' – Dunbar, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

'The DunBear'

This giant steel bear is a tribute to naturalist John Muir. 

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A towering 16 1/2 foot, (5 meters)steel bear stands in Dunbar, a Scottish town that stands on the coast of the North Sea. The sculpture, officially named The DunBear, is built of structural steel and covered with stainless-steel cladding. It was built as a tribute to the naturalist John Muir, who was born just down the road.

The sculpture was created in 2019 by Scottish sculptor Andy Scott, who is best known for his sculpture The Kelpies in Falkirk. He described the work as “a symbol of the wilderness John Muir was such a passionate advocate of.” The sculpture is positioned on a base planted with wildflowers. At night it is lit up with the lights powered by nearby solar panels.

A brown bear was chosen to honor Muir’s role as the “Father of the National Parks.” His work establishing parks like Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks in the western United States has helped protect brown bears, among many other animals. The name of the sculpture was chosen as the result of a competition between local schools and The DunBear, a mixture of Dunbar and bear, was voted as the favorite.

Know Before You Go

The bear is located off the A1 in close proximity to the Spott Roundabout at Dunbar, there is a layby on the A1 where you can pull in and walk.

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