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“It's official! Sort of...”
It might not be surprising to discover that the "Official Center of the Universe" is located in California. Well, sorta. In fact, it's situated in the middle of a pyramid out in a desert town where the mayor was legally elected by an invisible dragon. Yeah, it's kinda a weird story. So, how does a town go from desert wasteland to a place that the Institut Geographique National of France recognizes as the center of the world? Turns out, you just kind of say so. Jacques-Andre Istel fell in love with the patch of land while serving as a Marine in the Korean War, writing it into the children's novel he was working on, COE the Good Dragon at the Center of the World. Istel purchased thousands of acres of the desert and named it Felicity, after his wife. Using his book as a launchpad, managed to convince the leaders of Imperial County, California, to legally recognize Felicity as the Official Center of the Universe. From there, everything just kind of fell into place. Istel was then able to incorporate Felicity, making it a real town, and in a 3-0 vote, he was declared mayor. One of those votes, he's happy to point out, was from the invisible dragon himself, making it the only time a dragon, much less an invisible one, has legally voted in the state of Califorinia. With help from his wife, Istel came up with the perfect place to hide the center of the world - a 21-foot-tall, pink granite pyramid. Inside sits a small bronze plaque that declares the exact spot where the Official Center of the World is situated. Today, visitors who come to visit the center can partake in a very special ceremony that involves recording the exact time you place your bare toe on the plaque, awarding you a certificate signed by the mayor himself. Some people call it a "calibration". Felicity offers plenty more than just the center of the world, though. There's a sculpture of "God's arm" used as a sundial, a spiral staircase from the Eifel Tower, and even a giant monument that anyone can have their story etched onto, a massive record book meant to survive a nuclear war. Want to visit the Official Center of the World for yourself? Guided tours are offered from December through March. -Roadtrippers The Official Center of the World is the dot on the bronze plaque within the pyramid. The center of the world, or universe, can be anywhere. It was set by law, based upon a now popular book for children - who argues with a fairy tale? or states that Red Riding Hood wore a blue dress?
We went as a party of twelve to watch the parachutists. After checking on line and finding no mention of them offering food or drink, we all packed a picnic lunch. On arrival there were no signs... Read more
This stop was a gem - and dog friendly! An incomplete history of the world, with major Star-Trek levels of optimism for the unbroken future to fill the blanks. Our tour guide was unbelievable, and... Read more
It's a interesting place. The marble plagues are wonderful to walk through and read. I'm amazed someone took the time to design this. He did a wonderful job! Read more
Center of The World
- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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