One of the ugliest crimes known to man is the distasteful act of vandalism. To look at something that was created with so much meticulous care and long agonizing nights to complete, only to then desecrate it with graffiti - or even worse, flat out destroy it - is uncalled for. In fact, it is eye rollingly stupid and immature on behalf of the vandal.
Acts of vandalism go from being a nuisance to being just plain heartbreaking when the victims of vandalism are historic monuments and landmarks. In this case, vandals not only destroy the landmark, but they are also destroying decades and, in some cases, centuries worth of history and significance for the sake of a prank. Newsflash, vandals: stuff like this is never funny. In any case, all stuff like this shows is that selfish vandals will never grow past their age.
More often than not in most places in the world, vandalism is committed by tourists arriving to the area who do not respect or understanding the historic area that they just walked into. Below are a few obnoxious examples of tourists visiting different parts of the world just to destroy the state or country's most important bit of culture.
25 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK IS TICKLED PINK
Modeled after the British explorer and captain of the Royal Navy during the 18th century, the Captain James Cook statue rests at Melbourne's St. Kilda. Days before the country celebrated its annual Australia Day, some vandals took it upon themselves to celebrate a little early, although they did so not in the spirit of Australia.
Instead, they dumped pink paint atop the statue's head, and then proceeded to spray a slogan on it.
24 LINCOLN MEMORIAL GETS SLIMED WITH PAINT
Sometimes, the most frustrating part about vandalism is that a clear message is not always understood as to what the vandal's intentions were to get across. For example, in 2013, The Lincoln Memorial was shut down for five hours after the famous statue was splashed with green paint.
Police never discovered what the symbolism of the green paint may have been. Or if there was any symbolism at all, or if it was just a bunch of idiots pulling a prank. We're inclined to believe the latter.
23 ARIEL WOULD BE SEEING RED IF SHE SAW HOW THE PEOPLE OF DENMARK PAINTED THIS LITTLE MERMAID STATUE
We all remember the catchy musical number in The Little Mermaid where redheaded Ariel declared that she wanted "to be where the people are." We're sure if she knew what people had been doing to her distant statuesque cousin in Denmark that Ariel would be having second thoughts.
Copenhagen's Little Mermaid statue sits on a rock off to the side of the Langelinie, but that hasn't stopped tourists from constantly drenching it in paint. This Mermaid has been dipped in so many paint colors - including blue, red, and pink - that it's hard to tell that she used to be completely bronze, once upon a time.
22 THE KRABY PATTY FORMULA MIGHT BE IN THE PARIS CATACOMBS
The Catacombs of Paris is marred by the bones and remains of over six million Parisians along its ossuaries. Since it was once easily accessible underground to the public, locals and tourists would mosy on downwards and lace the Catacombs with graffiti, including painting a giant image of Spongebob that looks oddly out of place in such a creepy scenery.
The Catacombs were temporarily closed from the public in 2009 following an act of vandalism where bones and remains were removed from city cemeteries and scattered along the tunnels.
21 THE MANY TIMES FOLKS TRASHED THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN
The Hollywood sign may very well have been defaced more times than any other entry on this list. Most of the vandalism against the sign has ranged from being juvenile and simple - like changing the sign from Hollywood to "HollyGood," or when Caltech students turned it into "CALTECH."
The most infamous case of vandalism came when LA residents woke up on New Year's Day in 2017 to see the Hollywood sign turned into, well, let's just say plant lovers in LA loved the new slogan.
20 GOT YOUR NOSE, SPHINX OF GIZA EGYPT!
The Sphinx of Giza is the oldest monument on this list, as well as the most famously defaced. We've all heard the legend that Napoleon had the nose shot off with a cannon during his French invasion of Egypt, but the story claiming this to be the case was published in 1757, which predates Napoleon's birth by over ten years.
The truth is that in AD 1378, an iconoclast named Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr chiseled off the nose when he noticed farmers worshiped it in hopes of a good harvest. After angering the locals, al-Dahr was hanged for crimes of vandalism.
19 TOURISTS RUIN THE RUINS OF ROME COLOSSEUM
The Rome Colosseum is already in ruins enough as is, and yet it remains one of the most frequently vandalized monuments in existence. Back in 2015, two American tourists were seen on camera scraping a "J" and "N" onto the Colosseum's stones. In another incident from 2017, a tourist was seen carving his name into the Colosseum. He faced a fine of up to $23,000.
Most recently, a tourist was arrested after getting caught trying to steal one of the Colosseum's bricks as a "souvenir."
18 LEARNING TO RECYCLE AT MOUNT EVEREST
Mount Everest has been cited as the world's highest mountain above sea level. It also happens to house an incredible amount of trash on its mountaintop. Last March, 2018, a national cleanup campaign group got together to clean up nearly 200,000 pounds of garbage left behind by tourists who visited the prestigious mountain.
Among other pieces of garbage, empty bottles of water were found, as well as empty oxygen bottles, torn tents, empty bottles of Tuborg beer, and food cans.
17 BROKEN CANDLES AT THE HOLY PANTHEON IN ROME
Once worshiped as a temple for the Gods during ancient times, The Pantheon in Rome has since been turned into a Catholic church building. One would think that given the building's history and significance, people would show more respect for it, but alas, some do not.
In a seemingly unmotivated attack orchestrated in March 2017, someone waltzed into The Pantheon, grabbed two of its 18th-century candelabras, and tossed them onto the ground; shattering them to pieces.
16 PIAZZA MINERVA ELEPHANT GETS ITS TUSK CHIPPED
One of Rome's most famous landmarks happens to be the Elephant & Obelisk piece that can be found at the Piazza della Minerva after being crafted in 1667 by famed Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Considering the longstanding history of this statue, it made it all the more soul-shattering for the land of Rome when the tusk of the Elephant was defaced and ripped off by perpetrators overnight.
The damage occurred in 2016, and then again in a similar manner earlier this year.
15 CADILLAC RANCH BECOMES GRAFFITI ART
Created in 1974 by Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michels in the heart of Amarillo, Texas, Cadillac Ranch refers to the installation of ten old and disposable Cadillac cars buried halfway into the ground as a means to "subvert normal corporate ways of doing architecture," at least that's how Lord puts it.
Ever since they were installed, these cars have suffered varying degrees of vandalism via painting and graffiti. In a weird way, the graffiti has only helped add to the allure and mystery of these abandoned vehicles.
14 MR. MOAI HERE HAS SEEN BETTER DAYS ON EASTER ISLAND
A running trend across some of the most historic pieces on this list is that the longer the landmark lasts, it is more likely to suffer more than one vandalism offense during its time.
This Easter Island Moai is no different, as in 2008, a Finnish tourist was detained after allegedly stealing a volcanic rock from the Moai. Then, in 2015, a couple young boys were seeing horsing around and trying to climb the statue before accidentally knocking it over, and cracking it in half. Needless to say, this Moai has been through the wringer over the years.
13 WHEN A GEOLOGIST LOSES HIS MIND, MICHELANGELO'S PIETA NEARLY LOSES ITS HEAD
Michelangelo has a reputation around art lounges for being one of the most famed professionals in his craft, and Pieta is noted as one of his best pieces of all time.
Meanwhile, Laszlo Toth was a Hungarian geologist who visited the piece in 1972 in Vatican City. For reasons that still remain unclear, 33-year old Toth grabbed a geologist's hammer before screaming "I am Jesus Christ risen from the dead!" before clobbering the Pieta a staggering fifteen times. In his attack, he knocked off Mary's arm from her elbow, her nose, and chipped one of her eyelids. Appropriate repairs have since been made to the statue.
After falling under what was deemed a temporary moment of insanity, Toth was not charged for his crime and instead admitted to the psych ward for two years.
12 VIETNAM MEMORIAL IN VENICE VANDALIZED
The debt which so many soldiers paid to fight in the Vietnam War is incomparable and admirable in the highest of esteems. There is a reason why so many memorial sites have been built to commemorate those soldiers.
We wish we could say that's exactly what these soldiers deserve, but honestly, they deserve better. Especially considering what sort of horrible vandalism has been committed on these memorial sites. One, in particular, happened in Venice where someone was bold enough to scribble writings onto the landmark.
11 ANOTHER VIETNAM MEMORIAL VANDALIZED; THIS TIME IN LA
As if the vandalism committed to the Vietnam War memorial site in Venice was not dastardly enough of a sight, somebody else was petty enough to dishonorably desecrate another memorial site. This time, the act happened at a memorial site in Los Angeles.
This time, the act itself consisted of anonymous hooligans defaced the vet's wall with graffiti back in late May of 2016. We are sure there may be even more Vietnam memorial sites around the world that have been defaced in a similar manner, and that deeply saddens us.
10 COFFIN GETS CRACKED AT PRITTLEWELL PRIORY
Here's a harsh truth: some people don't need to own, raise, or produce children. Sorry to be the ones to break the news, but it's just a fact. Some people do not understand the concept of caring for a child, and in the process of trying to do so will either hurt that child, or break the things around them.
The latter happened to be the case at the Prittlewell Priory Museum where a couple tried to take a selfie there with their child in an 800-year old coffin. When they placed their young child in the coffin, they wound up breaking 800 years worth of rich history smack dab down the middle.
9 A BOY'S MESSAGE ONTO THE LUXOR TEMPLE IN EGYPT READS LOUD AND CLEAR
Most Egyptian temples are dripped completely in hieroglyphic markings that most would deem to be hard to decipher. Which is why this latest completely decipherable graffiti stood out so much at the Luxor Temple. In May 2013, it was discovered that a 15-year old boy named Ding Jinhao had scribbled some graffiti on some 3,500-year-old temple art. He took the time to jot down the phrase "Ding Jinhao was here."
Investigators tracked down the boy's home in China, where his parents admitted they learned of the boy's markings a couple years prior to this discovery, and the boy deeply regretted it.
8 BUBBLEGUM ALLEY IS A MONUMENT OF VANDALISM
What makes Bubblegum Alley so unique compared to the rest of these entries is that while most of these entries are victims of vandalism, this Alley was created because of vandalism. While historians struggle to decipher when or how the tradition started, passer-bys have been sticking their used gum all along the 15-foot walls ever since the 1950s.
While Bubblegum Alley is a product of vandalism, it has still been known to suffer being vandalized. Drunken locals and tourist leaving the bar have been known to walk down this alley and deliberately pee on the wall.
7 BLARNEY STONE
Simply put, the Blarney Stone is merely a big ole block of stone found between Blarney Castle, Blarney and Cork, Ireland. There is an old legend passed down from generation to generation that anyone who is brave enough to kiss the blarney encrusted stone will bless the kisser with the gift of gab.
Tourists come through to retrieve their gift every year, but be warned, not all tourists are kind enough to just kiss it. Before anyone puckers their lips for the stone, keep in mind that some tourists have been seen urinating on the stones as a prank.
6 AN ODE TO THOSE WHO TROLL THE FREMONT TROLL
Found in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle, Washington, The Troll Under the Bridge is literally a giant troll hidden under the Aurora Bridge as it was sculpted by four artists. Because it is so accessible to the public, it has been known to frequently get vandalized, albeit lightheartedly. On one occasion, somebody put a big pink hat on the giant's head, and on another, it has been painted with graffiti.
There has to be an irony hidden somewhere in the fact that tourists tend to troll (i.e. pull pranks) on a giant statue of a troll.