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What to Know About Ripley’s Latest Exhibit: the World’s Smallest Micro-Sculptures

image001Niagara Falls, in many ways, is the perfect spot for strange happenings, odd exhibits, and side-show revelry. After all, it wasn’t just the stunning view that drew people to the area and its waterfalls, it was the mesmerizing feats of daredevilry that surrounded them — and the tales that got told as a result. At the Niagara Fall’s “Ripley’s Believe it Or Not!” there are scores of fascinating objects, artifacts, and stories that can be pondered and wondered at every day of the year. But sometimes, a traveling exhibit makes its way to the Odditorium that’s so bizarre and fascinating it warrants its very own special trip to the already fun and mesmerizing museum. Here is a little about what you should expect from the latest Ripley’s exhibit, which is a collection of the world’s smallest micro-sculptures.

How Small Are They?

When you think of the phrase, “world’s smallest micro-sculptures,” it’s easy to skip over just how small the phrase suggests these sculptures are. Micro-sculptures already sound pretty tiny, but these are actually the world’s smallest in that already incredibly-small category. These very rare micro-sculptures are small enough to sit on the head of a pin or inside the eye of a needle. They’re so small, in fact, that to be able to see any of their remarkable detail and complexity, they have to be viewed under microscopes.

Who Made Them?

Made by renowned artist, Willard Wigan, this collection isn’t something that could have been accomplished by maybe any other artist, given the scale. Willard is known to have to enter a meditative state in order to slow his heart rate and breathing down so that he can sculpt in between heart beats as they create too much movement in his hands.

Even outdoor traffic can pose a hindrance to the miniature work, as the reverberations can disrupt his efforts, so Wigan often scuplts at night. A life-long pursuer of making the very small, Wigan started making things in miniature at the age of 5, when he built houses for ants, because he thought they needed a place to live. That early beginning formed the foundation for this remarkable collection that has been called “the eighth wonder of the world.”

How Did He Do That?

Besides the need to be in a state of lowered heart rate and slowed breathing, Wigan also makes use of tools that he made himself in order to accomplish creating the micro-sculptures. The homemade tools include acupuncture needles that have been filed down, diamond shards and splinters, his own eyelashes, and even hairs pulled from a fly. All these tools and more are employed in sculpting and painting these tiny wonders.

Who Owns Them?

image003In addition to the traveling collection, Wigan has sold micro-sculptures to many famous clients, including:

  • Prince Charles
  • Mike Tyson
  • Simon Cowell
  • Sir Elton John
  • And more!

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see — in person — some of the most remarkable pieces of art ever created by a human being. Take a trip to Niagara Falls, and make a visit to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” You won’t be disappointed.

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