North Dakota is a state with many wide open places. It is also home to a number of tourist destinations that are frequently visited by travelers. In addition to some of the better known tourist destinations, there are also some strange or unusual sites to be seen in North Dakota.
The Pyramid of North Dakota – Nekoma, North Dakota
One of the most unusual destinations in North Dakota is a site that has become known as the Pyramid of North Dakota. In reality, the Pyramid of North Dakota is an abandoned nuclear missile complex located at Nekoma.
The Pyramid is in reality a radar system. When the site was in operation, it included dozens of launch silos for nuclear weapons.
The complex took $6 billion to construct. Once completed, the site was in operation for less than three days. The Defense Department concluded, after all the time and expense of building the complex, that it would not be effective. There was also a concern that missiles would accidentally be detonated over friendly territory.
Albino Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota
The North Dakota Buffalo Foundation at Jamestown is home to three very rare albino buffalo. In addition, the Foundation has other “traditionally colored” bison in its herd as well.
The albino buffalo can be seen roaming about on the ranch maintained by the Foundation. What makes these albino bison even rarer is the fact that they are female. Female albino buffalo are far less commonplace than albino males.
The Geographic Center of North America – Rugby, North Dakota
The middle of the North American continent is in North Dakota. There is a monument in Rugby acknowledging this reality.
When one realizes the geographic center of North America is in North Dakota, a person really understands how big all of North America is — and how far north the continent extends from the United States.
Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site – Cooperstown, North Dakota
The North Dakota Pyramid is not the only remnant of the U.S.A.’s nuclear defense system. The site was decommissioned and is no longer an active part of the country’s nuclear defense system. The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile Site has been maintained in part to permit visitors the opportunity to see this type of facility up close and personal.
The military name of the site technically is Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the November-33 Launch Facility. It had been managed by the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead – Wahpeton, North Dakota
A grim monument is found on the plains of North Dakota at Wahpeton, North Dakota. The Tent Pole Monument to Circus Dead was erected to commemorate two circus workers who were killed by lightening in that town.
On June 10, 1897, the Ringling Brothers Circus came to Wahpeton. When putting up the tent, a storm raged in, with lightening that ended up taking the lives of these men. Despite the deaths, the show did go on.
Fargo Wood Chipper – Fargo, North Dakota
The movie “Fargo” was critically acclaimed and highly popular. The movie draws to an end with a gruesome sequence involving a wood chipper. The wood chipper has become a popular tourist “site” and is located on the west end of the city of Fargo itself at the F + M Visitors Center.
Tourists pop in to see the wood chipper, particular fans of the movies. It is common for a visitor to take a selfie with the former movie prop.
World’s Largest Buffalo – Jamestown, North Dakota
The world’s largest buffalo is a roadside sculpture at Jamestown that clocks in at 46 feet long and 26 feet high. The sculpture weighs as much as 60 real life buffalos.
The sculpture has been around for over 50 years. On its 50th birthday, a contest was held to come up with a name for the buffalo. Dakota Thunder was the winning name for the buffalo. The enormous buffalo statue is not far from the live buffalo herd that includes three albino bison.
KVLY-TV Mast – Blanchard, North Dakota
What virtually no one knows is that the tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere is not located in New York City, but in Blanchard, North Dakota. Indeed, this structure is the fourth tallest structure in the world at this juncture in time.
The KVLY-TV mast towers above the Western Hemisphere at an amazing 2,063 feet. The structure has collapsed and been rebuilt twice. In 1968, a Marine helicopter crashed into it and in 1997, an ice storm with 70 mph winds, resulted in the structure’s collapse.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger.
Feature photo: By Aaronyoung777 – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43010674