There are no Big Mites and the Big Prawn is in Limbo

The Big Prawn in happier days

The Big Prawn in happier days

It is a sad truth that there is no Big Mite in Australia, nor indeed anywhere in the World so far as I know. There is a Big Ant, at least as an abstraction, in Broken Hill and a Big Mozzie in Hexham and even a not-so-itzy Big Spider in Urana. But no Big Mite. Once, though, Ballina could boast of a Big Prawn.

The Big Prawn today - just a shell

The Big Prawn today – just a pallid shell

Alas, the Australian sun sent the Big Prawn  to a barbie and it came out looking much like a 60 tonne white elephant. Then its raison d’être  closed and the 20-something Prawn was condemned to demolition by the Ballina Shire Council in 2009. Thanks to the reluctance of its owner, popular demand and a promise to refurbish by Bunnings Warehouse the shell lingers on in a vacant lot awaiting its resurrection. I hope Bunnings comes through with its promise. The Big Prawn was always my favourite stop on the north coast of New South Wales and the opening slide to my lecture on eating arthropods. I suppose I’m suffering from nostalgia, and certainly from homesickness in several ways, but I prefer a giant pink prawn to any number of giant pink squid.

Giant Squid on top of Questicon, Canberra

Giant Squid on top of Questacon, Canberra

Well, actually, I prefer calamari to prawns when it comes to eating invertebrates, but Paul Hogan never said he’d ‘throw another prawn on the barbie’ anyway.

The Big Prawn, in no way a shrimp

The Big Prawn, in no way a shrimp

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5 Responses to “There are no Big Mites and the Big Prawn is in Limbo”

  1. Dac Crossley Says:

    In Marietta Ga there’s the big chicken…

  2. George Says:

    Give us new mites! We like mites!

  3. Leon Says:

    does anyone know the current status of the prawn is it being restored while the bunnings is being built, i am going to qld early june and dont know if i should go the bypass or the prawn.

    • macromite Says:

      The remains of the prawn, as illustrated above, are sitting in a vacant lot on the main drag into Ballina (River Road, I think). Presumably the lot is where the Bunnings is intended to be built. Seems unlikely it will be refurbished by June, but one can hope.

  4. Leon Says:

    ok thanks, at first i thought it was going to go above the entrance to bunnings, then i thought it was going next to bunnings, not sure what they are doing now, ideally it would be with some kind of roadhouse or seafood/souvineer
    shop!

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