Foamhenge – A Stonehenge Replica Made Entirely of Foam.
There’s plenty of mystery surrounding Stonehenge. Who built it? How did it get there? What does it mean? These are just a few of the mysteries surrounding England’s prehistoric wonder of the world. For those that can’t make it to see the real Stonehenge, artist Mark Cline has a solution. For those of you that live in America, you may want to consider travelling to Virginia to see Foamhenge. Foamhenge is a to scale replica of the real Stonehenge made entirely of, you guessed it, foam!
What is Stonehenge?
This is a question that is still yet to be answered fully. There’s plenty of theories surrounding the purpose of Stonehenge, however none of them are indisputable. These great mysteries are what earned Stonehenge a place amongst the greats, as a wonder of the ancient world.
Stonehenge is thought to be approximately 5000 years old and became a world heritage site in 1986. It’s essentially a ring of giant standing stones, yet is true purpose is unknown. Some historians have theorised that it may have been the site of an ancient burial ground. Traces of human deposits dating back to as early as 3000 BC were discovered when it was first excavated. Other theories surrounding the purpose of Stonehenge claim it could have been a place for healing, a celestial observatory or even a team building exercise.
How Was Stonehenge Built?
Nobody knows for certain exactly how ancient man managed to overcome the construction hardships of such a phenomenal site. The giant stones which make up Stonehenge would have had to have been transported using great force. It’s unknown exactly how these stones were moved in ancient times, without the presence of heavy construction equipment. Each stone is approximately 4.1 meters high and 2.1 meters high. Each stone is also thought to weigh roughly 25 tons each, that’s the equivalent of an average sized killer whale. How such a weight was moved by ancient man still remains a mystery to this day.
What is Foamhenge?
Foamhenge was built much later than the original (April 2004) and is a modern day homage to it’s predecessor. It was originally located in Natural Bridge, Virginia but was later relocated to in 2017 to Centreville, Virginia.
Believe it or not, artist Mark Cline originally built Foamhenge as an April Fools stunt in order to generate tourism. He was first inspired after seeing giant foam blocks at a local insulation manufacturer; the blocks measured 4.9 meters each. The “stones” of Foamhenge are made entirely of Styrofoam and are painted grey in order to mimic the appearance of the original Stonehenge stones. Being much lighter than stone, the Foamhenge blocks are all stabilised with a 2.5-inch-diameter pipe. These pipes run from the top of each block, straight through to the bottom where they are anchored to the ground. Foamhenge took 10 days to build, which is much less time than Stonehenge would have taken. The art piece came with a plaque stating unlike stonehenge that took 600-1000 men “it took 4-5 Mexicans and on’ crazy man to construct”.
Although built as a whimsical and temporary attraction to promote tourism, Foamhenge far exceed expectations. It has now taken pride of place in Natural Bridge, Virginia for over 12 years now and continues to draw tourism to Virginia every single year.