It appeared as stealthily as a Vaporeon. One day it wasn't there. The next it was. Pokemon Go fans in New Orleans installed an unapproved Pikachu statue in the middle of a park. The statue is inscribed with the hashtag #pokemonument. The grand sculpture's origin is a mystery, but it came to the internet's attention earlier this week.
The statue, located on top of a defunct fountain, is a glorious depiction of Pikachu, the most famous Pokemon in the world. Pikachu's arms are crossed and the fictional critter wears a determined look. A Pokeball sits on the base. The statue is made to look ancient, like it's been there for years, but visitors report it's likely made from either resin or fiberglass.
Pokemon Go fans are taking pilgrimages to the statue and posting about it on social media. Twitter user Angel Giuffria posted a GIF of a person in a plush Pikachu costume dancing next to the monument and reports that people are leaving offerings and rubbing the creature's belly.
The rogue statue seems like it might have a chance of staying in place for some time, barring the city deciding to pluck it from its perch or more of the sort of vandalism captured here.
"I assume it's not permanent and that whoever put it there will take it away at some point. If they leave it, maybe it could become part of that operating fountain one day," Andew Yon told Uptown Messenger. Yon works on fountain maintenance and restoration for Coliseum Square, the park Pikachu now calls home.
Pokemon Go has inspired millions of game downloads, encouraged previously shut-in gamers to go outside and received criticism over updates to the game. The real-world adventure and augmented-reality elements of the game are part of what makes it so compelling. The Pikachu statue just adds to the game's mythology by elevating the rodent-monster to monument stature.