In the coal-rich county of Northumberland, North East England, reclines one of the largest human sculptures in the world – Northumberlandia.

Northumberlandia is a park of grassy undulating hills and swirling walkways. It somehow resembles the Chocolate Hills and the Rice Terraces of the Philippines. When viewed from afar or from a vantage point, the park transforms into a colossal figure of a reclining woman who seems to enjoy the day as much as the tourists do. It really is a rare masterpiece to behold. It’s also a park worth visiting to contemplate the puniness of human existence or about the differences in people’s worldviews, if you want to go all philosophical about it.

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Close up photo of the sculpture’s head by Glen Bowman
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Panorama of Northumberlandia by Glen Bowman

Below are the Chocolate Hills (left, photo by Kleomarlo) and the Banaue Rice Terraces. See the resemblance?

The interesting part though, is that Northumberlandia is a reclamation project by the Shotton Coal Mine. In fact, the sculpture lies right beside the deep black coal pit. They constructed the park-sculpture from the waste rock excavated from the coal mine. This is a triumph in itself as this proves that mining and art can go together – countering the old view that mining is ugly. Maybe in the future we’ll see more of this intersection of art and mining.

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Open Pit Coal Mine Photo by Smurrayinchester

Check out the official page of Northumberlandia here:

http://www.northumberlandia.com/page_details.html?PID=28&sec=ab

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