On a recent Friday night, a lonely triceratops was seen wandering the streets on the Isle of Wight. But don’t worry, this isn’t proof that scientists have finally created a dinosaur using ancient blood parsed from fossilized mosquitoes.
The truth is a lot less cool and just further proof that alcohol and boredom are not a good mix.
The appearance of a model triceratops on High Street in the Isle of Wight village of Godshill was likely the handiwork of drunken pranksters, at least that’s the theory of locals and the man who owns the dino, the Isle of Wight County Press reported.
Martin Simpson owns a business called Island Gems, a Jurassic Garden that features model dinosaurs, prehistoric gems, and fossils, the Telegraph reported. The garden is actually a popular spot for tourists who visit the Isle of Wight, and this model triceratops is part of the scenery there.
In fact, the dino even has a name in honor of his hometown on the Isle of Wight: Godshilla.
Last Friday, Simpson apparently didn’t notice anything unusual or mischievous going on at Island Gems. In fact, he had no idea that Godshilla was missing until a picture of the 25-foot-high model was posted on social media, looking lost in the middle of the road.
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No doubt Martin knew instantly that the wandering triceratops was his. After all, how many people can say they own an enormous model dinosaur?
Simpson talked to media outlets in the UK and didn’t seem very miffed that his triceratops had been pilfered from under his nose. Rather, he seemed fairly impressed that someone was able to steal Godshilla at all — the job must’ve been a challenging one.
“It takes about five blokes to move the dinosaur a couple of inches, so it was definitely a concerted effort and drink was probably involved… It must have taken five hefty lads to move it.”
The triceratops was first spotted by an Isle of Wight resident named Chris Hollingshead, who found humor in the late-night discovery, BBC News reported.
He was on his way home from work Saturday morning when he came upon the unusual road obstruction. Of course, he snapped a photograph and quickly posted it to Facebook, United Press International added.
Island Roads, which performs road maintenance on the Isle of Wight, promptly responded to the call of a triceratops in the road. They removed the dino and returned him to his home in the Jurassic Garden.
“Three of our staff attended the scene and placed it back into the garden from where it had been removed,” a spokesperson said. “The road was reopened within a short period of our arrival on site.”
No one has come forward to claim responsibility for taking Godshilla on a little tour around the Isle of Wight, nor has the role of alcohol been confirmed — although it’s probably a safe bet. So far, no one has any theories as to who may have perpetrated this prank, but apparently, the triceratops has been the butt of jokes before.
The owner of a local pub called The Taverners, Lisa Choi, said someone recently “tied balloons round its neck and put tinsel over it for Christmas.” She thinks the same people likely stole the trike from Island Gems and dragged him into the road, noting that “they’ve gone one step further this time.”
With his trike back in his garden, Martin has plans to spruce him up with some paint. He purchased the model in 2007, and since then, it’s been the talk of the town. He even wanted to paint Godshilla pink to help advertise his shop.
Now, he plans to put up a fence so that such a late-night prank will never happen again.
“It’s great people are talking about it, but I wouldn’t want to encourage anybody to cause a hazard for traffic.”
[Image via Chris Hollingshead Facebook]