A huge dinosaur model frightened locals after drunken pranksters are believed to have moved it from the garden of a shop that sells gems and fossils and placed it in the middle of High Street in Godshill, a small village in the Isle of Wight.
The life-size model was of a triceratops, a herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur with a huge skull that existed about 68 million years ago. It weighed from 6 to 12 tonnes (13,000 to 26,000 lbs) and reached a height of 9.8 feet. By comparison, an African elephant today weighs from four to six tonnes.
Somebody or some people – the police believe they were probably drunk – placed the model, known as Godshilla, in the middle of the road in the early hours of Saturday. It must have involved several individuals – there is no way one person could have done this on his or her own.
The little village of Godshill is this week on the global map. The dinosaur incident has gone viral in social media and is being read about in every corner of the globe. (Image: facebook.com/dr.curiosity)
Commuter saw dinosaur on way home
Chris Hollingshead, who was driving home from work, took a picture of the dinosaur and posted it on Facebook with the following message:
“That priceless moment when you’re driving home from work at 3am and the road is blocked by a 20ft Triceratops!!! #godblessbeer #someoneneedsamedal.”
Staff from Island Roads, the firm which operates road maintenance on the Isle of Wight, later returned the dinosaur to the garden of Island Gems (name of the fossil shop).
The BBC quoted the owner of Island Gems, Martin Simpson, who said regarding the kidnapping of Godshilla:
“It’s gone mental. Somebody kidnapped my dinosaur while I was away for the weekend and now it’s gone global. It’s a full-size fibreglass replica, it was in the garden of my shop to attract a bit of business and it must have taken at least three or four people to move it.”
“It’s all good fun but I do not condone it, it’s a drunken prank but someone could have been injured if someone had crashed into it.”
Had it been a real triceratops, given it was a herbivorous animal it would not have attacked any humans. However, it may have destroyed quite a few people’s gardens and knocked down some trees with its reinforced forehead to get at the leaves. (Image: vignette3.wikia)
Triceratops placed in busy street
The triceratops had been placed in a very busy street. In fact, locals have long been petitioning for a zebra crossing. Mr. Simpson suggested jokingly that perhaps they will now get a dinosaur crossing.
When asked why he had not secured the dinosaur model to the ground, he said he had considered that, but was told he would need planning permission, because that would be classed as a development.
Mr. Simpson added:
“But this dinosaur has done more than our tourism board has achieved for the last three years.”
An Island Roads spokesperson said: “Three of our staff attended the scene and placed it back into the garden from where it had been removed. The road was reopened within a short period of our arrival on site.”
Video – Japanese dinosaur prank
In Japan, considered the world’s capital of major pranks, those involving prehistoric animals are quite common. Watch this dinosaur prank – the animal actually moves.